Rafael Sabatini ✓ 0 reviewMe evel of cognizance of nuances of human nature There were no heroes or villains Just people acting according to societal norms and behaviour expected from themI will give a solid 4 stars to the book it was an extremely satisfying readPS This was the book which aroused my undying curiosity and fascination with Fencing Alas am doomed to ever earn it myselfPPS I read the book alternating between the audiobook and the ebook Simon Vance is one of the best narrators He takes the pleasure of istening to a book to another One Good Life: My Tips, My Wisdom, My Story level IMHO ie 45 stars for this swashbuckling historical novel written in 1921 by Rafael Sabatini set during French Revolution times in theate 1700s Andre Louis Moreau is a young awyer of unknown parentage but has a protective godfather uentin de Kercadiou a ocal ord in Brittany France Andre Louis is very fond of de Kercadiou s niece Aline so when he finds out she s planning on accepting a proposal from the Maruis de a Tour d Azyr for practical reasons not ove he s deeply disappointed Things get worse when the Maruis accosted by Andre Louis s best friend Philippe for having his gamekeeper shoot a poaching villager and eaving the villager s family destitute picks a fight with Philippe and ends up killing him in a duel with swords One thing eads to another and soon Andre Louis is on the run from de a Tour d Azyr s vengeance with revenge in his own heart We follow his adventures through the next few years including taking up with a group of traveling theater players and earning to be an excellent swordsman As a player his chief role is as Scaramouche a clown character who s also a schemer It fits his actual character extremely well The hand of fate keeps bringing Andre Louis back into contact with de a Tour d Azyr until the tension filled finale I enjoyed Scaramouche than I expected It s a uick paced story and Sabatini manages to combine adventure and romance with some truly insightful writing And as a bonus I got Bohemian Rhapsody stuck in my brain for a few daysSo this happenedThis novel was first published in 1921 so it s free on Project Gutenberg Mamma miaGroup read with the Retro Reads group This reviews can be found on Amaranthine ReadsHe was born with a gift of Natural Blonde laughter and a sense that the world was mad Andr Louis Moreau a countryawyer with no idea and no care for his birth heritage witnesses the murder of his elouent friend by a swarthy aristocrat and swears vengeance yet the aws of pre Revolution France do not euate to justice for all and he is forced to flee for his ife when he stirs up Revolutionary madness within the citizens of France He finds safety with a travelling troupe of comedic actors and becomes the buffoonish character of Scaramouche all the while being pursued by treachery romance and that ever inevitable Revolution that he so carelessly sparkedThis is the best book I ve read all year It is the best book I have read for many a good year too It is sublimely written with its almost Wildean turn of phrase and the protagonist Scaramouche n e Andr Louis is one of the most captivating characters I have come across for some time It has wit and personification of the most debase of human nature through its characters and yet there is an almost timid nature to their countenance I became aware of this book through the ueen song of course how else and I don t think I can thank Freddie Mercury enough for everything else as well as thisMeanwhile he could drown his vexation in Burgundy At east there was abundance of Burgundy Never in his ife had he found Burgundy so plentifulScaramouche from the Italian comedy theatre Commedia dell arte is a sly and conceited fellow and that is reflected in the character of Andr Louis who plays him so marvellously and convincingly There is a deftness to anything Andr Louis puts his mind to and it seems that he cares for Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda little except the one thing he is concentrating on whether it be vengeance or playing the fool in a travelling theatreNowet us speak of why I have not given this five stars I will confess that it should be denoted as a 45 46 or even a 49 star rated book but I cannot abide giving half stars as it smacks of aziness to me First and foremost although I adored earning about the French Revolution there were times when it felt almost ike an info dump though they were few and far between These times jolted the flow of what is an adventure with uick speech and a flowing storyline that never seems to cease and though no ife not in the If My Love Were a Fire Truck: A Daddy's Love Song least Andr Louis is non stop action the disjointed feeling this gave to it was a bit too heavy The beginning I felt was also aittle slow though the setting needed to be set of course it was not as it could have beenThere were also times during the narrative when the author Sabatini himself would step back and speak to us the reader as if Andr Louis was a real person and this was his biography and the narration would shift from a third person telling of this rogue s story in to a reeling off of facts which again disjointed my enjoyment There is also to be taken in to consideration the fact that I was in doubt as to whether I should give it five stars It is a five star worthy book but I am a harsh critic and if there is doubt it will not happen Of the 872 books I have read only 25 are five star rated books and even then I could confidently downgrade half of those if I so chooseIt is a beautiful book So splendid so meaningful and so harshly unknown to all It is a Classic that deserves to be treated ike one and I am so exuberantly happy to see that it is rated on average as a 405 on GoodReads It s also extraordinary given how many books Sabatini has Written At Least 30 That at east 30 that is not well known and I mourn for him much I do the other fabulous authors we so disdainfully ignoreBlog Instagram Twitter Pinterest Shop Etsy Seminal novels have a curious tendency of being very much unlike the genres they inspire It s something I ve explored before in The Lord of the Rings fantasy The Virginian western and The Moonstone mystery and Scaramouche definitely rese Scaramouche was a marvellous surprise I d never read Sabatini before as I harboured the prejudice that an adventure novel written in 1922 would feel clich out of date and ultimately disposable Instead Scaramouche surprised me at every turnThe character of Andr Louis Moreau has ualities both admirable and execrable We admire his daring elouence and instinctive sense of justice that transforms his outrage over the killing of his friend by a nobleman into a ife of danger even as we can recognize that he fails to truly believe the ideals he espouses on behalf of that same dead friend Andr Louis also has a cruel streak that allows him to ignore the suffering of those who he believes have wronged himInterestingly this is where one of the aspects of classic novels that modern audiences generally dislike myself in particular the omniscient narrator plays an important role The unnamed narrator who uses the device of compiling the story through many of Andr Louis own writings sometimes interposes himself to show the prejudices plaguing the hero as well as to undercut the protagonist s claims of indifferenceA second bias I had against the novel at the start was the belief that being an old swashbuckling novel it would be ight on theme Nothing could be farther from the truth Set during the French Revolution and shining a ight on much of what was taking place outside of Paris during that time Scaramouche is a meditation on class on the unfairness of privilege the venality of those who have it and even those who rail against it and the struggle to find a side worth supporting during times when the two clash The protagonist s unspoken desire for some kind of purity of philosophy or political argument mirrors our ownThere are troubling aspects of the novel to contend with of course Sabatini writing from a place of privilege in the early twentieth century portrays women as being creatures driven either by ove or by ambition without ever really acknowledging the social constraints that often forced them into one of
two positions In this Scaramouche no worse than many or most novels but given the work sensitivity to notions of class a modern reader almost can t help but wish Sabatini had turned nuanced gaze to issues of genderUltimately though the story with its rich sense of drama endeared the book to me So many times a turn would come about that I didn t expect something that rarely happens for me with modern fiction Given the book is almost a hundred years old and has had elements A coerência textual lifted from it countless times before this surprised and delighted meIn terms of the prose theanguage can be dense at times especially for those of us accustomed to the economical style of contemporary genre fiction but it s worth the effort Right from the first Write Your Novel!: Tips from a Bestseller line Sabatini shows us the worth of his prose He was born with a gift ofaughter and a sense that the world was madThat Dogs Behaving Badly line singularly captures the spirit of Scaramouche and carries the reader through every page Oneast note the edition I read came from the wonderful StandardEbooksorg which takes public domain works and turns them into beautifully prepared and typeset ebooks for all platform. S messageSet during the French Revolution this novel of swashbuckling romance is also a thought provoking commentary on class ineuality and the individual’s role in society a story that has become Rafael Sabatini’s enduring egacyWith an Introduction by Gary Hoppenstand. .THOSE TWO POSITIONS IN THIS SCARAMOUCHE
From all sides and having debates on philosophy You find yourself getting very involved with their viewpoints not merely the awesomely over the top insults and duels that followThe novel follows Andre Louis Moreau from his start at comfortable home as the godson of a small time hardworking aristocrat and a country awyer After the murder of his best friend a firebrand revolutionary priest Andre Louis swears vengeance upon the proud ridiculously vile Maruis who committed this act Unfortunately he ends up with a warrant for his arrest fairly soon on in the novel and is forced to go into hiding in a number of guises The most entertaining of these disguises is Scaramouche the Shakespearean fool character of the commedia dell arte a role which he is or ess forced into but ends up suiting him uite perfectly There are several very nice All the world s a stage parallels drawn as people tie on and shed masks of all kinds throughout the novel sometimes confusing their own identities with the characters they play sometimes being perceived as those identities by others when really they are absolutely no such thing inside It is simply much easier and comfortable to sit in those roles and so they do But the revolution will not et Andre Louis sit still hiding from himself and he s drawn along through a series of alternately hilarious and gothically awful scenes towards the dizzying endSPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUTI was inclined to give this novel five stars about halfway through There are several reasons that I did not1 Andre Louis our hero is a Mary Sue He is brilliant at everything he turns his hand to succeeding first as a brilliant political orator a playwright an actor a fencing master the ist goes on There is nothing that he is not eual to and than that that he will not be better at than anyone else within a remarkably short amount of time It didn t bother me for the first 200 pages or so but then I started really wearying with how in ove Sabatini was with his hero the he absolutely had to have every character marvel endlessly at his talent and moon over his perfection Sure they call him heartless some people are afraid of him but it is only because he is such a God you see They are merely intimidated by his ack of weakness Yes I get that this is a gothic adventure novel and characters are projections and fantasies and meant to represent things and not be entirely realistic but it is hard to really get into the suspenseful gasp shock awe aspect of the book if you never feel the slightest anxiety for the hero s safety You never even feel the slightest anxiety for a slight embarrassment because you just know that he Mindful Living with Aspergers Syndrome ll have the perfect oneiner to get himself out of the situation The character tries to excuse this Mary Sue ism in the ast ten pages of the book by saying that he s not really perfect because he s ended up running away from every good situation he s made for himself But you see it only makes him even perfect because he is troubled And won t et his honor be compromised enough to stay2 The book is just too ong for what its trying to be And if its trying to be something else then I have problems with it3 I felt ike the end reveal was really cheap and undermined one of the great points of the book Sabatini takes up classism and the nature v nurture arguments One of the cool things about Andre Louis is that he s Space Kid largely a self made man if to an annoying degree and from theower classes and a great example of why Liberte Egalite Fraternite should flourish And then I felt ike they took that all away when the big reveal at the end is that he s actually the son of two nobles and they both make a point of telling him that whatever is good in him comes from them The main character rejects it verbally but belies this by his actions when he saves them both succumbing to that animal sentimentality that he worked so hard to stay away from the whole book Its both touching and kind of irritating I hope that the point was that his self made manhood and opinions were what mattered most but I m just not sure Maybe I m reading too much into it but Sabatini spent far too much time talking about class and the nature of the upper and ower classes for me to not think that he meant something by it anyway though Otherwise a greatly enjoyable bit of escapism that I would highly recommend if you don t over analyze ike me At the dawn of the French Revolution when Aristocrats are about to tumble down into the toxic precipice there ived in the village of Gavrillac Brittany with his Godfather Andre Louis Moreau A young Every Drop for Sale: Our Desperate Battle Over Water lawyer of unknown origin now but earlier when the infant Andre Louis was brought there uentin de Kercadiou Lord of that settlement announces that he is the Godfather the people are amused Obviously the child is a product of an ill fated romance and Monsieur Kercadiou is the father which the boy also believes the child is well educated sent to Paris after the village school The Lord gruff butoving wears unfashionable clothes Down We Go: Living Into the Wild Ways of Jesus like a member of the 3rd estate is not talking Aline an orphan stays in the home of her uncle uentin too The two cousins raised together become very close MMoreau best friend is Philippe de Vilmorin a freuent visitor Andre Louis he was born with a gift ofaughter and a sense that the world was mad seeks revenge as the result of the arrogant Maruis de Reach for the Rainbow: Advanced Healing for Survivors of Sexual Abuse la Tour d Azyr killing Philippe in an uneven duel His friend had gone to protest the slaying of a peasant Mabey for stealing pheasants on the Maruis sand ironically the victim was studying for the priesthood MMoreau was a sorrowful indignant witness promises revenge for this crime against all reason and advice he travels to Rennes to denounce the Maruis and is uickly dismissed by the unmoved King s Lieutenant makes an impassioned speech to an angry mob of discontented poor citizens and flees for his Troubled Waters life The authorities want to hang him for sedition not feeling the need for that or the honor also too drastic for his modest taste heeaves town in an unceremonious way Encounters Pierre Binet the eader of a struggling acting troupe joins the thespians and his pretty daughter Climene the main reason having seen her first Falls madly in ove with the ady becomes engaged she is uite ambitious but still the gentleman is infatuated with Aline an impossible ridiculous situation a silly dream And the cousin is going to marry the hated rich Maruis what to do The intelligent M Moreau writers the scripts for the group he borrows from famous plays and deceased authors they don t mind any and becomes very successful An unforeseen talented actor too in the role of Scaramouche a tremendous hit Everyone enjoys the new actor aughs commence
his unexpected magic on stage has customers very entertained which a pleasant surprise to Andre Louis maybe he has at ast arrives at his true destiny Then the rash young man causes another chaotic riot in the theater one of the band s first indoor performances and ast the Maruis was in the audience Runs away again and become a magnificent fencing master in Paris an appropriate time for men to earn ater a member of the tumultuous Constituent National Assembly of seething France and he a cynic his fame has grown Lawyer actor swordsman and politician but his main job is the ceaseless avenger he can never rest or forgetThe secrets will be revealed complications arise but isn t Owls: Birds of the Night life full of them A well told talevery entertaining for everyone who still hasove for adventure no matter their age or situation by a terrific author of this genre He was born with a gift of Bon Bon Voyage (A Carolyn Blue Culinary Mystery, laughter and a sense that the world was mad One of the best openingines I ve ever readI m sure this will end up being one of my favourite rereads of the yearA fast paced read that seamlessly merges Andr Louis story with real history and Bon Bon Voyage leaves you wanting to read of both The style is romantic but the romances are of the realistic sort view spoiler Iove that Andr Louis is shown having than one ove hide spoiler From the Robe to the Buskin and now from the buskin to the Sword What will be the end of you I wonder It is always a gamble to re read your childhood favourites Lately I v had a couple of bad hits while trying to revoke the passion towards a few books that I WORSHIPPED AS A CHILD SCARAMOUCHE IS ONE OF worshipped as a child Scaramouche is one of titles Without going into the details of the book I am happy to conclude that after than a decade I have a better understanding of this book This is a story of swashbuckling adventure revenge passion betrayal resolution and realisation of Andre Louis Moreau set in the background of the French countryside and the cities alike on the brink dismantling the centuries old seigneurial system with tenets of iberty euality and fraternity The ast time I read the book the audacity acts of valour of our Hero appeared fascinating and even memorable However now I clearly see that our Hero is not without faults I did hate him at times with his supercilious attitude directed towards those who rescued him at times of need ike Binet and sometimes his peers even M des Amis It almost appeared that Andre Louis felt that he was entitled to be intelligent and be better at things than others This time around the book felt realistic with my so. S until his friend was mercilessly struck down by a member of the aristocracyNow he is Scaramouche Speaking out against the unjust French government he takes refuge with a nomadic band of actors and assumes the role of the clown Scaramouche a comic figure with a very seriou. ,steadily his unexpected magic on stage has customers very entertained which
He was born with a gift of aughter and a sense that the world was madEverybody and their brother uote the opening sentence of the book and no wonder it really is very much uotable In this case I do not want stand up in the crowd and there you have it Andr Louis Moreau was born from unknown parents and raised by a ocal A Look Over My Shoulder: A Life in the Central Intelligence Agency lord uentin de Kercadiou Thanks to him Andr Louis received a good education and became aawyer We are talking about France right before the revolution Try as he could Andr Louis was not able to remain outside of politics as he originally intended Driven by desire to avenge the killing of his friend he got mixed up in politics to the extend that it became dangerous to his health Not to spoil much but through the book he had to change his career several times each time getting into and unexpected occupation His very robust sense or irony never eft him he used it as a shield to hide behind in both his darkest and happiest hours Considering the goings on at that time it was probably one of the ways to retain sanity I have a confession to make I think Captain Blood is much better I award it the title of the second best pirate tale ever told Treasure Island is the best overall tale obviously Captain Blood goes straight to the action practically from the first page This book is character based Andr Louis that is than action based Please do not get me wrong Andr Louis is a great character with eually great development but somehow almost all the turbulence of the French Revolution happened behind the scenes I challenge anybody to call it peaceful and uiet R volution tranuille Wikipedia is your friend it was not Still Andr Louis outlook on ife and events is always great and while there was not much excitement until the Ravishing Ruby last third of the book I was never bored even at the times when plot was moving with the speed of a dying turtle 4 solid stars is the rating a very good book which somehow manages to remain relatively slow despite taking place at a very eventful time PS To people that read andoved this book but managed to miss Captain Blood you know who you are drop everything and read it You may thank me ater PPS No I will not use a picture of ueen performing Bohemian Rhapsody or a still from the movie Wayne s World showing character s reaction to the song Yes the song was in my head during the reading I wavered between four and five stars on this one but I totally have to go with the five It s just that awesome I was actually a ittle surprised at how much I oved this book I mean I ove swashbucklers and historical fictionDumas p re is my man but the only other Sabatini novel I ve read Venetian Masue I found to be a Old Yeller little underwhelming so I did not expect this from Sabatini Speaking of Dumas I almost think that Scaramouche can be placed in the same company as that master s great work The Count of Monte Cristo no small praise from me It doesn t uite have the sameevel of intricate plotting as the Flying by the Seat of My Pants: Flight Attendant Adventures on a Wing and a Prayer latter and I will never give pride of place to any but Monsieure Comte but it is still an awesome read filled with exciting ups and downs as we follow the trials and triumphs of the title character aka Andre Louis Moreau I actually noticed that Moreau shared some similarities with Dant s as a character at Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography least in the fact that both of them seemed to have a Batmanike ability to adopt nearly any skill they reuired to further their own ends For Moreau this On Being Human: Reflections on Life and Living leads him to start out as aawyer with exceptional reasoning and speaking skills become a brilliant actor stage writer and theatre impresario then move on to master the art of the sword and become a ma tre d armes and finally to enter the realm of politics all within a span of two years That s ok I don t mind it if my heroes are super and Moreau pairs his ability with an acerbic wit and keen insight I found both refreshing and awesomeI have to add here that I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Librivox Now the narrators from Librivox given that it is a free site can behow to put this delicately Crappy Not so this one The narrator Gordon Mackenzie was fantastic He had just the right pacing didn t stumble on his words you d think that would be a prereuisite for narrating an audio book wouldn t you and was able to voice each character differently without sounding completely udicrous He even managed the French phrases and Latin epigrams with no apparent effort Excellent job Mr Mackenzie I really think his work on this added to my already superlative enjoyment of the text itselfGiven that this is a classic I imagine that many already know the plot at east in broad strokes Andre Louis Moreau is a bastard of no name taken in as the godson of the ocal seigneur of the village of Gavrillac amidst the knowing local seigneur of the village of Gavrillac amidst the knowing and whispers of the ocals He is a young man of intelligence and wit known primarily for his acerbic tongue and incisive reasoning who acts as the egal representative of his godfather M de Kercadiou His best friend Philippe de Vilmorin is A Young Seminarian Who Also Happens To Have Revolutionary Political young seminarian who also happens to have revolutionary political When a ocal peasant is summarily killed by a Who's There on Halloween? local noble the Maruis dea Tour d Azyr Philippe tries to convince the nobleman to recompense the dead man s family for the deed Incensed and sensing in the elouent young man one who could stir the mounting discontent of the people that is beginning to raise its head in France d Azyr decides he must get rid of this possible thorn in the side of his class An expert fencer perhaps the best in France d Azyr forces the fledgling Philippe into challenging him to a duel and handily dispatches the young man whose own abilities with the sword are non existent It is this act of bald faced murder and the subseuent inability of the young awyer to gain any justice from the established powers that sends young Bruce Wayne er Andre Louis on his road of vengeance against the man and the class that killed his friend in cold bloodAs we follow Andre Louis in his uest we see him taking up the mantle eft by his dead friend and using his own elouence to stir up the crowds against their unjust masters Forced into hiding when his name and actions become know Moreau manages to join a travelling band of actors who mount plays based on the fading style of the Commedia dell Arte and after establishing himself as not only an excellent actor and writer but even a company manager of some skill Moreau takes on the role of Scaramouche one that is uniuely suited to his outlook and abilities and proceeds to Hip Pocket Sleaze: The Lurid World of Vintage Adult Paperbacks lead the troupe to the verge of fame and fortune Along the way he falls inove and ultimately finds himself once again crossing paths with his avowed enemy seemingly driven by the hand of fate Moreau encounters numerous dangers and escapes in his years of hiding which I won t recount hereread the book and enjoy them to the full yourself Suffice it to say that the nascent revolution turns the tables and thrusts Andre Louis into a position of power It is a position that is not so easily taken advantage of despite Andre Louis apparent single mindedness in regards to his uest and the conclusion of the tale is satisfying and much complex than one might be given to expect from a work in this genre I thought Sabatini s prose was great His turns of phrase especially in the mouth of Moreau were sublime and the text is ittered with an abundance of bon mots His characters also shine and often manage to #attain a evel of complexity that goes beyond the one dimensional duality of good guybad guy #a evel of complexity that goes beyond the one dimensional duality of good guybad guy might expect While I was always cheering for Moreau and oved his character he is not always an eminently Clawback likeable guy and even the sneering and vain arch rival the Maruis dea Tour d Azyr manages to show himself to be something complex than a mustachio twirling villain Bottom ine this book was great I don t know why I took so ong to read it but I m very glad I finally did I l be revisiting this one many times in the futureHighly recommendedAlso posted at Shelf Inflicted Andre Louis Moreau is the Scaramouche of fame I am delighted with this knowledge as it finally helps me to solve one of the many mysteries of ueen But than that I am absolutely delighted with the work in general Sabatini s evocation of the heady tense uncertain firecracker days before the beginning of the French Revolution of 1789 is beautifully done I classified this as fantasy because I believe that it is painted brightly enough to sear into my imagination as much as any Middle Earth would do This is a swashbuckling adventure novel make absolutely no mistake about that There s a ot swashing than there is actual buckling but it is very entertaining swashing about so I don t take issue with it However the sweeping majestically romantic story conceals a wonderfully interesting historical document of the events that ead up to the storming of the Bastille the dissolving of the Estates General the bread riots and the march to Versailles To be sure it is no mere recitation of events but for our hero to get from one adventure to the next is dependent upon the historical events of the time It gives the novel a depth that I was not expecting The hero and various other characters spend a good chunk of their time reciting the beliefs of the period. “Last Wednesday he had been engaged in moving an audience of Rennes to anger; on this Wednesday he was to move an audience of Guichen to mirth”Once he was André Louis Moreau a awyer raised by nobility unconcerned with the growing discontent among France’s Empire of Sin lower clas.