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Scaramouche Paperback – September 25, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

All in all, this "sheer knight-errantcy" is a marvelous entertainment. --Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Rafael Sabatini was born to an English mother and Italian father, both well-known opera singers. At seventeen Sabatini moved to England, where, after a brief stint in the business world, he started to write. His major breakthrough came with Scaramouche, which became an international bestseller and was followed by the equally successful Captain Blood. All his earlier books were then rushed into reprint. Many of his novels were subsequently adapted into classic films which appealed to both a male and female market with their drama, romance and action, set against a variety of historical settings. 'One wonders if there is another storyteller so adroit at filling his pages with intrigue and counter-intrigue, with danger threaded with romance, with a background of lavish colour, of silks and velvets, of swords and jewels' - Daily Telegraph
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466213507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466213500
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,293,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Guttman on September 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad..." Thus begins "Scaramouche", the novel that made Rafael Sabatini famous. The novel follows the adventures of Andre-Louis Moreau through the years immediately prior to, as well as during, the French Revolution. The bastard son of unknown parents, raised by his country-squire godfather and educated as a lawyer, Moreau starts out without any political convictions. However, that changes after he is forced to witness the death of his politically-active best friend in an unequal duel with a powerful aristocrat, a duel contrived by the aristocrat with the specific purpose of killing the young man in order to silence his "dangerous eloquence". Moreau vows to avenge his friend, not with the sword, but by assuming the voice of the dead man, despite the fact that he doesn't really share his friend's convictions. Thus Moreau begins playing the first of may roles that he is to assume in the course of the story; including revolutionary orator, actor, fencing instructor and politician.

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.
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This is a classic novel and i am so pleased I read it again after several decades.
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.
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"Scaramouche" is the third of Rafael Sabatini's books that I have read and enjoyed recently. I relish his eloquent and lyrical prose, particularly his use of seemingly antiquated language.
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.
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This is a historical novel, describing the beginning of the French Revolution, i.e. the period around 1790, plus or minus a few years. The main character, Andre-Louis Moreay is of unknown parentage, but has been brought up under the protection of his landed-gentry godfather. Andre-Louis is well educated and has a gift for glib rejoinders. He has no firm political views, but becomes politicized when his best friend is murdered by a marquis, allegedly under cover of a duel. Andre-Louis vows revenge.

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?
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The hero of this book is nearly a twin to The Scarlet Pimpernel, with a dash of revenge from The Count of Monte Cristo, for good measure.

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?)
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