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Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
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Scaramouche (1921)

by Rafael Sabatini

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English (28)  French (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
"Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?" Whatever the heck that Queen lyric means, the Scaramouche novel by Rafael Sabatini is swashbuckling entertainment a la Dumas or Baroness Orczy. It's set during the French Revolution. Our versatile protagonist, lawyer Andre Louis-Moreau, is the bastard of a secret-shielded mother and unknown aristocratic father. He's inspired to change his life at age 20 or so when his friend is murdered in an unfair duel by an arrogant aristocrat. To honor his friend, Andre becomes an eloquent rabble-rouser in opposition to the country's uncaring elite. Forced to flee, he joins a theater troupe (where he becomes Scaramouche) and has a profound effect on them. Forced to flee again, he hides as a junior instructor in a fencing school, where the constant swordplay advances him toward mastery.

Dedicated to bringing down the arrogant aristocrat who killed his friend, Andre finds he must use all his acquired skills to even have a chance. Andre is complex in romance and in his revenge-fueled drive, sometimes cold, sometimes charming, sometimes vulnerable. He develops strong attachments with ladies high and low, and alternately infuriates and captivates members of his adopted family. Written by the author of Captain Blood and The Sea-Hawk, it makes for amiable summer reading with a beverage of your choice. ( )
  jnwelch | Jun 11, 2014 |
Like bad Dumas. His sailing books offer a little more in that genre. However, this tale - a tale of revenge and love in the time of Revolutionary France - really leaves much to be desired. It is really ok - but not great. Good, but not wonderful. The disappointment is that it could have been really amazing - but it wasn't. ( )
  stuart10er | Nov 5, 2013 |
I remember I was much excited by this book, and few years later when I was a sophomore in college iI signed up for a course "the french REvolution and Napolean" influenced to do so in part by my reading of this novel. It was an excellent course. ( )
  Schmerguls | Sep 17, 2013 |
I loved the 1952 movie with Stewart Granger so much I decided to go to the source & read the book... The book is amazing! It had so much more depth than the movie, but retained the fun, swashbuckling adventure too. If you like Dumas's The Three Musketeers or Dickens' Tale of Two Cities, you should read this book. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 26, 2013 |
Since uni I've been interested in the French Revolution, and have read a handful of proper histories, but almost never any fiction. I read A Place of Greater Safety and loved it. I watched the Scarlet Pimpernel episode of Blackadder 3 and loved it. I picked up this book, meant to be a swashbuckling tale of romance, and... not so good.

It wasn't terrible. The plot was just so predictable and cliched, driving towards entirely contrived scenarios, the last one of which made me groan audibly. But worse than that, I did not understand Andre-Louis' character at all. He is described repeatedly as 'heartless' and 'insincere', but on a number of occasions he is described as being unsure of what to do, or being upset, of having sleepless nights. It didn't fit together, not for me. ( )
  seabear | Apr 27, 2013 |
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He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.
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Book description
Once he was André-Louis Moreau, a lawyer raised by nobility, unconcerned with the growing discontent among France’s lower class—until his best friend is mercilessly struck down by a member of the aristocracy.

Now, he is Scaramouche. Speaking out against the unjust French Government, he takes refuge with a nomadic band of acting improvisers where he assumes the role of Scaramouche The Clown—a comic figure with a very serious message...

Set during the French Revolution, this novel of swashbuckling romance is also a thought-provoking commentary on class, inequality, and the individual’s role in society—a story that has become Rafael Sabatini’s enduring legacy.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451527976, Mass Market Paperback)

Once he was André-Louis Moreau, a lawyer raised by nobility, unconcerned with the growing discontent among France’s lower class—until his best friend is mercilessly struck down by a member of the aristocracy.

Now, he is Scaramouche. Speaking out against the unjust French Government, he takes refuge with a nomadic band of acting improvisers where he assumes the role of Scaramouche The Clown—a comic figure with a very serious message...

Set during the French Revolution, this novel of swashbuckling romance is also a thought-provoking commentary on class, inequality, and the individual’s role in society—a story that has become Rafael Sabatini’s enduring legacy.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:55 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Scaramouche , by Rafael Sabatini , is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics : New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences biographical, historical, and literary to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. Raised by a supposed godfather, Andre'-Louis Moreau knows nothing about his background or his real parents not even his real name. All he knows is that he wants vengeance against the vicious, arrogant aristocrat who brutally murdered his best friend. As France plummets into revolution at the end of the eighteenth century, Moreau's journey toward revenge takes him through several careers, from lawyer to fugitive to actor and playwright and eventually to member of the French National Assembly. Hiding with a troupe of itinerant actors, he gleefully plays the traditional Commedia Dell-Arte role of Scaramouche, the trouble-making trickster who, like Shakespeare's fools and jesters, speaks painful truths disguised as harmless comedy. Rafael Sabatini was a twentieth-century Alexandre Dumas: a masterful creator of swashbuckling historical romances. Mixing real people with fictional characters and actual events with invented ones, Sabatini drew vivid, accurately detailed pictures of revolution-addled France. In Scaramouche, he turns a sweeping adventure epic into a subtle psychological study, as Moreau's odyssey gradually becomes less about revenge than about self-discovery. Includes 8 pieces of original art. John D. Cloy, Ph.D. , is Bibliographer for the Humanities at the University of Mississippi Libraries. He is the author of Pensive Jester: The Literary Career of W.W. Jacobs (University Press of America, 1996) and Muscular Mirth: Barry Pain and the New Humor (University of Victoria Press, 2003), as well as various articles on turn-of-the-century English literature and humor, comparative literature, and British short fiction.… (more)

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