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Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
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Scaramouche (original 1921; edition 2005)

by Rafael Sabatini

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1,311405,938 (4.01)107
Member:dadelman
Title:Scaramouche
Authors:Rafael Sabatini
Info:New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2005.
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Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini (1921)

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English (39)  French (1)  All (40)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
This is a new author, I really have no idea what to expect for this Retro Reads group read.

Scaramouche starts off very politically, set in Brittany and Paris during the turmoil of the French Revolution and the first few pages are dripping with quotable lines.

Andre-Louis, lawyer of questionable parentage, and raised as the godson of local landed gentry Quentin de Kercadiou, is our hero. Originally unsympathetic to the third estate, a tragic interaction with an evil Marquis sets Andre on the path of a purposeful vengeance that aligns temporarily with those seeking to topple the power of the aristocracy.

I really enjoyed the story's progression, although Andre seemed to me to already be a fully realized person who needed little growth, and things kept happening to and because of him.

Also includes a fugitive hero, a travelling acting troupe, swashbuckling adventure, daring deeds, romance, idealists, scoundrels, villains, rescue, secrets revealed and the tempestuous French revolutionary-era population.

Highly recommended.

ATW 2018 France ( )
  Critterbee | Apr 16, 2018 |
"He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad."
Best. Opening. Line. Ever. ( )
1 vote librisissimo | Feb 19, 2018 |
Clever dialog, albeit sometimes slower to read (sentence structure/word choice.) So glad to have found this gem. Published in 1921, André-Louis Moreau is a complicated character, even as a young man in his mid-twenties and already a lawyer, actor, fencing master, politician. It makes me wonder what he would have accomplished now? ( )
  sraelling | Jan 27, 2018 |
Scaramouche is a long and winding journey through Revolutionary War France following the character of Andre-Louis Moreau. It starts off when his best friend is killed by a man who is trying to protect the old guard—the class system in France. Moreau doesn’t start off as a revolutionary, but his desire to gain revenge for his friend turns him into one. The journey goes through an exiled Moreau becoming a famed stage actor, then turned master fencer, then becoming a politician leading France through its revolution. He carries this grudge with him throughout his life and his many different experiences.

Scaramouche has an adventurous swashbuckling quality to it. The novel mixes in historical events well with the action and plot of the story. It gives a pretty good feel for the life of revolutionary France. Although Andre-Louis is a good character, but my complaint with him is that everything comes too easy for him. He has no acting experience at all but becomes a famous stage actor with ease. He becomes a master fencer almost instantly. He’s a great politician and orator. It was all a bit much. Despite that, there was far more positive than negative in this novel. It had a great deal of intrigue and kept me wanting to read throughout.

Carl Alves – author of Two For Eternity ( )
  Carl_Alves | Oct 29, 2016 |
I read Sabatini's wonderful Captain Blood some time ago and have been meaning to return to his work. After my 13-year old daughter finished Scaramouche for the second time, and highly recommended it, I started reading her paperback copy, then switched to a Kindle version downloaded from Amazon. This made it much easier to look up some of the odd words or French passages the author frequently uses.

Scaramouche is a story that takes its time getting to where it is going. I was expecting a real thriller like Captain Blood, but this isn't that type of book. The characterization, at least of the title character, the adopted son of a minor nobleman, is much deeper and this is truly a piece of historical fiction rather than an adventure novel. We see France during the inception of the French Revolution as the protagonist, seeking to avenge the death of a friend, becomes a spokesman for the third estate--the ordinary people who are trying to put an end to the unquestioned power of the nobles and the clergy. All this is very educational and quite well done. We get to meet, in passing, some of the historical personages of the revolution such as Danton. But the fun in the story is how the hero (although he is a hero with some obvious flaws) has to reinvent himself as he is fleeing arrest. First, he joins an acting troupe and is quickly writing their scenarios and becoming their star--thus his assuming the identity of Scaramouche. Later, he becomes a fencing master, which certainly comes in handy. All the while, the story is moving toward its inevitable climax when he must confront the despicable nobleman who killed his friend at the beginning of the book. Except, nothing is quite that simple here. Sabatini has a more complex story to tell, and he tells it well. Although this isn't what I was expecting, the book is very well written and never fails to hold the attention.

There is a sequel, Scaramouche the Kingmaker, which continues the story.

Sabatini is a not-quite forgotten writer who deserves to be read and re-read. ( )
  datrappert | May 11, 2016 |
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:06 -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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