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Scaramouche (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Great story - clever humor

Sometimes a classic can be somewhat difficult to read, with dated, overflowing language. Sabatini's prose is not only a pleasure to read, I could envision him with a twinkle in his eye and a faint smile on his lips. Never boring, even in the slower parts, and sometim...
Sometimes a classic can be somewhat difficult to read, with dated, overflowing language. Sabatini's prose is not only a pleasure to read, I could envision him with a twinkle in his eye and a faint smile on his lips. Never boring, even in the slower parts, and sometimes suprising in his character development, Sabatini not only keeps you hooked with his action, but entertained with his wit. Caution: Don't read the Introduction by John Cloy until AFTER you've read the book. While Cloy's intro is very informative, it includes a spoiler. Cloy, and Barnes & Noble, should know better than to uncover such a detail in the introduction....it belongs at the back of the book.

posted by phantom24 on November 4, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A (Very Long) Journey Through Revolutionary France

Well, if anyone really wants to read the novel-length review below, be my guest, but I'm going to try to make this one much shorter. This was a really good book, although it took me a while to get through it, and I think Sabatini does a great job showing how change can ...
Well, if anyone really wants to read the novel-length review below, be my guest, but I'm going to try to make this one much shorter. This was a really good book, although it took me a while to get through it, and I think Sabatini does a great job showing how change can occur without the subject even knowing it. I'm not sure the 'psychological study' is as good as advertised, but the action is great, when it chooses to show up. If you were really intrigued when you read The Three Musketeers or The Count of Monte Cristo, your time spent reading this book will be well-spent. Otherwise . . . well, it's slightly shorter than the ones I've mentioned but it still feels as though it drags on and on and on and on for chapters at a time.

posted by Anonymous on April 2, 2006

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2005

    20th Century Story with 19th Century Panache

    Rife with nineteenth century melodrama and a plot riddled by coincidence, Rafael Sabatini's SCARAMOUCHE is a tale of passion and adventure on the eve of the French Revolution. Andre-Louis Moreau, a low born young man who has studied the law and enjoys the patronage of a local nobleman, M. de Kercadiou, falls afoul of yet another highborn gentleman when this other takes it upon himself to entice Andre-Louis' best friend into a duel he cannot win. Moreau's friend, Philippe de Vilmorin, is a hotheaded idealist preaching the overthrow of the established order and his highborn antagonist, the Marquis de La Tour d'Azyr, is a man who cannot abide that. Goading the hapless Philippe into a one-sided duel which must result in his death, the Marquis ultimately refuses to respond to the angry demand of Andre-Louis that he kill him, too, leaving the young man clutching the dead body of his friend and swearing to become the voice of revolution that Philippe would have been had he lived. Aiming to make good his oath, Andre-Louis soon turns his talent for oratory into rabblerousing against the Marquis, and those of the King's officers who protect him, and is forced to become a fugitive as the established order turns against him. Fleeing the gendarmes with the aid of Aline, beautiful niece of M. de Kercadiou, Andre-Louis joins an acting troupe and begins the first significant transformation of his life. But it will not be his last as he finds his calling in playing the scandalous rogue 'Scaramouche' in the series of plays he soon devises to win fame and fortune for his little troupe. Yet trouble haunts the troupe as Andre-Louis discovers a passion for Mademoiselle Binet, the beautiful daughter of the troupe's leader, only to find his hopes thwarted when he again crosses paths with the deadly Marquis de La Tour d'Azyr. Angered at the decision of M. de Kercadiou's niece, Aline, to refuse to foreswear the attentions of the ubiquitous Marquis, who seeks to win her with his worldly wealth and gentlemanly charm, Scaramouche soon resurfaces as a political dissident once more, bringing to an end his love affair with the theater and the actress, La Binet, who first drew him to it. But Andre-Louis still has another transformation before him and, fleeing to Paris, he secures a position with a fencing master and is soon well on his way to mastery of that still vital martial art. As the Revolution gains steam, Andre-Louis, who continues to see himself as the rogue, Scaramouche, finds himself sucked back into the maelstrom of disorder and violence that the conflict in France is fast becoming. When, at last, he learns of an opportunity to square accounts with the man who slaughtered his friend, besieges Kercadiou's niece, and derailed his own planned marriage with the lovely Binet girl, he is quick to act and is soon brought face to face with d'Azyr in the Assembly of the newly formed French constitutional monarchy. But the constitutional monarchy cannot endure and little else is as it seems in the escapades of Scaramouche. If one surprise is amply telescoped there is yet another, waiting in the wings, which comes so suddenly that I was astonished I had not anticipated it. Of course, the tale is entirely derived of the magnificent coincidences, nineteenth century style, that keep the story boiling as M. Moreau, the Scaramouche, learns the secrets of his own history, one revelation at a time. If you like good old fashioned historical action tales with a French flavor and have a tolerance for the archaic conventions that enriched Sabatini's writing in the period (he wrote in the early twentieth century though his style resounds with the accouterments of the nineteenth), then I'm betting you'll like this one. I did. -- SWM

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2014

    Loved it!

    I really enjoyed this book. The verbiage can make it a bit challenging, but it really takes you into another world.

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    Posted February 23, 2009

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    Posted July 22, 2010

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    Posted January 22, 2011

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    Posted November 17, 2008

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    Posted May 21, 2010

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    Posted December 17, 2009

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