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Scaramouche Paperback – September 25, 2013
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This is a fast-moving story that sweeps the reader along through a series of surprising twists. Not least of those twists is Moreau's career as a member of a troop of Commedia Dell'Arte actors. Pursued by the police on a charge of sedition, Moreau persuades the troop to make him part of their company. Among them he assumes the role of Scaramouche, the cold, sly and glib trickster who manipulates the characters and the action without ever taking an active hand himself. It is a part Moreau finds singularly suited to his personality. It is also a role that, to some degree, he continues to play in all his subsequent careers.Read more ›
Scaramouche the character is so well developed by RS and I can not imagine anybody doing it in modern prose. It is a charming story made more so by the style of writing from the period.
Set in France during the days of the Third Estate and the pending downfall of the monarchy, the story is told from an insider's perspective.
Andre-Louis's character manifests as Scaramouche, also as a fencing master and a politician and each facet of his career is cleverly portrayed.
"Scaramouche" is an excellent read marred only by the tangled romantic elements and, for me, a contrived but fairly predictable ending.
However, for anyone who has not read any of Sabatini's works, I would thoroughly recommend this book.
First off, he gives a speech, channeling the fervent ideas of his murdered friend, which is considered to be seditious by the nobles, in particular the murderer of his friend. The nobles seek to arrest Andre-Louis so he can be hanged for sedition. Andre-Louis seeks cover by joining an itinerant band of actors, actors in the tradition of <em>Commedia dell'Arte</em>. In that tradition, each actor has a pat role, rich buffoon, jokester, inamorata, etc. One such role is <em>Scaramouche</em>, a glib schemer, the role Andre-Louis obtains. He excells in that role, and again, during one of his scenes manages to stir up the populace against the nobles, in particular the murdering marquis who happens to be in the audience.
Andre-Louis must once again flee for his life, and ends up in Paris, where he becomes a fencing master. I could go on, but I won't. One might better read this book for one's self. It's rather good. Sabitini is a master story teller and an astute observer of the human condition. Another benefit of reading this book is that one will also learn something about the root causes of the French Revolution and how things proceeded. An added bonus for me was that I read the part about the storming of the Bastille on Bastille Day. How cool is that?
There now, I really don't need to say anything else, do I, because you're already on your way to the library, aren't you.
Andre-Louis Moran may just be my favorite hero ever. Sorry, Teddy Lawrence and Gilbert Blythe and Rhett Butler and the two mentioned above and...all the rest.
Seriously, he's sarcastic, funny, nonchalant, laughing in the face of death, clever, rakishly brave...shall I go on?
The main female characters exasperated me, the plot intrigued me, and I accidentally learned a bit about the French Revolution along the way.
But the hero definitely made this book. (And yes, my husband thinks so too. Why do you ask?)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For me, Scaramouche will always represent Sabatini at the height of his power as a story teller.
And his description of the sources and progress of the French Revolution... Read more
This was a great read, and I read through it rather quickly compared to other classics I've read. I loved the twists in the plot and how it ultimately ends. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Viviane Dutra
My best friend was hooked on Sabatini in high school; I never understood it. Until now. This gentlemen is an EXCELLENT writer and story teller. Read morePublished 5 months ago by JTR
This is an excellent character story about a young man who becomes caught up in the French Rebellion (much through his own designs) and through a series of seemingly unconnected... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
"Foreign sailors in outlandish garments and of harsh-sounding, outlandish speech . . . ."
"The newly risen sun was transmuting into diamonds the dewdrops... Read more