The Scapegoat

The Scapegoat

4.0 2
by Daphne du Maurier
     
 

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"A dazzlingly clever and immensely entertaining novel." --New York Times

By chance, John and Jean--one English, the other French--meet in a provincial railway station. Their resemblance to each other is uncanny, and they spend the next few hours talking and drinking - until at last John falls into a drunken stupor. It's to be his last carefree moment,…  See more details below

Overview

"A dazzlingly clever and immensely entertaining novel." --New York Times

By chance, John and Jean--one English, the other French--meet in a provincial railway station. Their resemblance to each other is uncanny, and they spend the next few hours talking and drinking - until at last John falls into a drunken stupor. It's to be his last carefree moment, for when he wakes, Jean has stolen his identity and disappeared. So the Englishman steps into the Frenchman's shoes, and faces a variety of perplexing roles - as owner of a chateau, director of a failing business, head of a fractious family, and master of nothing.

Gripping and complex, The Scapegoat is a masterful exploration of doubling and identity, and of the dark side of the self.

Editorial Reviews

NY Times Book Review
What a magnificent thriller this is.
From the Publisher
"A good original novel, well tinged with nightmare."—Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316252980
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
12/17/2013
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
127,429
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the actor Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of the author and artist George du Maurier. Her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published in 1931, but it would be her fifth novel, Rebecca, that made her one of the most popular authors of her day. Besides novels, du Maurier wrote plays, biographies, and several collections of short fiction. Many of her works were made into films, including Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, My Cousin Rachel, "Don't Look Now," and "The Birds." She lived most of her life in Cornwall, and was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1969.

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The Scapegoat 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
gaele More than 1 year ago
AudioBook Review:  Stars:  Overall 4 Narration  4 Story  4  Heading back to some classics that I first read long ago, the opportunity to listen to the story in AudioBook was too good a chance to  pass up. You will be familiar with the story:  a remote railway station brings the story of a doppelganger meeting, two strangers share a meal and wine, only to find that the Englishman, John awakes to find himself as Jean, and assumes his life.  du Maurier’s writing is clever, opening possibilities and examining broken people all done with few words and elaborate description.  Cleverly making the lives of John and Jean so vastly different, reflecting the personalities and intentions of each, the transformation of John into chateau owner, managing a failing business, placating a fractious family and satisfying not one, but two mistresses, the potential for this story to become farcical or a rapid downhill slide into recrimination and remorse is high.   Despite all of the dramatics and high stakes issues, John comes to care for this new life and family, and is doing his best to repair the damages caused by Jean.  Slowly but surely, things start to take a turn for the better, and an unexpected windfall for the business brings Jean back to the fold.   Tension, relationships and the ever-present juggling of situations is John’s forte, and with characterization and interactions playing a major part in this story, readers are instantly sucked in, wondering just how he can manage it all, with just an evening’s conversation to  present the barest outline of the players and situations.   Narration for this story is provided by Paul Shelley, and his voice is wonderfully adept, mixing nuanced changes in pitch, tone and delivery to delineate the characters. Adding the underlying frustration and exasperation to John as he is thrust into this situation, and showing the subtle changes in the interactions that show his growing affections for the members of this new family. Without overacting  or overpowering the words he is delivering, the performance is a solid one, allowing the story to shine.  I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.