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Scaramouche (Scaramouche #1)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,323 Ratings  ·  415 Reviews
Set during the French Revolution, this classic novel of swashbuckling adventure and sweeping 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.
Paperback, 376 pages
Published November 1976 by Ballantine Books (first published 1921)
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May 15, 2013 Terry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of swashbucklers, historical fiction and witty repartee
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 little surprised at how much I loved this book. I mean, I love swashbucklers and historical fiction…Dumas père is my man, but the only other Sabatini novel I’ve read, Venetian Masque, I found to be a 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 gre ...more
Henry Avila
May 24, 2014 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the dawn of the French Revolution, when Aristocrats are about to tumble down into the toxic precipice, there lived in the village of Gavrillac, Brittany, with his Godfather, Andre-Louis Moreau. A young lawyer of unknown origin, now, but earlier when the infant Andre-Louis was brought there, Quentin 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, ...more
Saoirse T. E. Sterling
You can read my full review of Scaramouche on my site XLeptodactylous.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. How is this not better known? How can I not give this five stars? I do not know, except that I can only give it four, the idiot that I am.

The story is wonderful: André-Louis goes on the run after insulting the gentry and stirring up revolution in pre-Revolution France, and falls in with a group of travelling players. It is sublimely written, but often there were tangents that really did not add
J.G. Keely
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 resembles the latter two in how they stray from what we might expect.

Firstly, we have an unusually introspective, complex protagonist. Much less the dashing hero, we are shown a doubting cynic, a recluse who sees the cruel inequality of the world and
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 Queen. But more 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 ...more
Feb 29, 2012 Wealhtheow rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the Scarlet Pimpernell, In the Name of the Wind, or the Princess Bride
Recommended to Wealhtheow by: Kelly
Written in the 1920s but set directly before the French Revolution, this is the story of a young lawyer from the provinces, Andre-Louis. Raised and educated among the nobility, he has not the wealth, parentage, or hypocrisy needed to remain in their midst. When the Marquis de La Tour d'Azyr viciously and cold-bloodedly kills Andre-Louis's best friend, a naive priest, Andre swears vengeance. The corrupt system of laws is no help, and Andre is turned from his home and profession for his trouble-ma ...more
A stupendous adventure novel!

It's been a while since I've enjoyed a swashbuckler, mostly because the adventures often are overly melodramatic in the classics, but this one has just the exact amount to be enjoyable and not off-putting, and since the character at one point becomes an actual Comédie actor playing the role of the buffoon, whatever histrionics there are in the plot doesn't feel out of place and goes well with the main lead's personality. And Sabatini does establish the personality o
Mike (the Paladin)
I couldn't actually find the edition I read...but I loved this book. Find it read it you won't regret it. High adventure, romance, intrigue, betrayal.... So buckle on you swash and sally forth.

Set in the midst of the French revolution this is a very satisfying "high adventure" of swordplay and romance... (of course it's by Sabatini, what else should we expect?)



I just reread this...again. I've read it several times and like it immensely, it rates among my favorite novels.

I'm a
You know you want to.

So most people recognize "Scaramouche" from Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, but the original story started in the 17th century in the Italian theater. You probably recognize him when you see him:

In Sabatini's story Andre-Louis Moreau witnesses the death of his best friend at the hands of a nasty aristocrat, and thus dedicates his life to taking down the mean ol bastard. Andre-Louis goes into hiding as - surprise! - Scaramouche in a traveling troupe. Then there's plenty of swashbu
I just finished and loved to distraction The Beloved Vagabond by William J. Locke. Paragot, the main character, reminded me of the first line in Scaramouche "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad."

Mar 30, 2014 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rafael Sabatini (1875-1950) joined a long list of authors writing historical fiction of much the same genre – Alexander Dumas, père, with his The Three Musketeers, Charles Dickens with his A Tale of Two Cities, and Baroness Emma Orczy with her The Scarlet Pimpernel, come immediately to mind. Like these latter two writers, Sabatini’s novel takes place immediately before and during the early years of the French Revolution, his story ending at the beginning of the Reign of Terror. It’s hero is Andr ...more
First line: "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad."

According to Wiki, "Scaramouche" also called Scaramuccia, means a roguish buffoon character in the commedia dell'arte.

A great novel, it reminds me Dumas pere books, with a lot of twisting plots, duels and plenty of historical figures, like Marat, Danton , Marie Antoinette and so on.

A decade later after Scaramouche publication, Sabatini wrote a sequel, Scaramouche the Kingmaker text , which was not as well rece
Mar 20, 2010 Szplug rated it really liked it
Before the reader has had time to settle in, the beloved friend of Monsieur Moreau (soon to be known as Scaramouche) - the pair being young petites bourgeoises with noble dreams of a France committed to liberté, égalité, fraternité - is slain by the haughty and unyielding aristocrat the Marquis de la Tour d'Azyr (one of literature's great antagonists), husband-to-be of Scaramouche's cousin Aline. Our hero - less one dear friend - will be forced to flee the long arm of justice after being condemn ...more
Jan 10, 2013 Maureen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
lots of shenanigans in a fun little novel that i certainly cannot fault for failing to provide adventure. these are the many exciting exploits that young lawyer turned revolutionary turned actor:the eponymous scaramouche and our hero, andré-louis moreau embarks upon, and the back drop -- the years of the french revolution -- make an interesting setting for sabatini's special brand of swashbuckling.

so entertaining, yes. but..

there are too many forgettable inconsistent supporting characters abrup
Apr 29, 2008 Kori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad," so begins Scaramouche, Rafael Sabatini's 1921 novel set during the French Revolution. That single and unforgettable sentence propelled me back to my childhood and awoke in me nostalgia for the excitement and adventure I once held for books and movies.

Scaramouche is a tale of revenge, an astonishing tour de force - every single page seethes with incident, color, and detail. How could it no be? It is the story of a man bo
Gary Hoggatt
Published in 1921, Scaramouche was swashbuckling historical novelist Rafael Sabatini's breakout novel, after over two decades of writing. My first encounter with Sabatini, however, was reading his 1922 release Captain Blood last year, and so many of my thoughts on Scaramouche are in comparison to Captain Blood, which I enjoyed immensely.

In Scaramouche, Sabatini introduces as our hero Andre-Louis Moreau, a provincial lawyer of uncertain parentage, raised by his godfather (wink wink, nudge nudge,
Apr 16, 2011 maricar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“…it is human nature, I suppose, to be futile and ridiculous.”

Though I am first a reader of romance novels/novelettes (bleeding hearts, unite!), I must admit feeling sometimes that I could be drowning in oversaturation with the lovey-dovey stuff (Ms Judith McNaught, forgive me for I have sinned… eh, but really, I’ve no choice, you’ve whimpered out of existence in the years past and thus consigned our passionate affair into a sad, orphan-like recourse to unsatisfactory hollow imitations of your w
Nov 19, 2010 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the years just before the French Revolution, Andre-Louis Moreau is openly critical of his idealistic peers who seek to change the country. Andre-Louis isn't a gentleman, but he was starting a career as a lawyer thanks to help from his aristocratic godfather. A harsh experience makes him realize that the law is of little use against the powerful, so Andre-Louis takes matters into his own hands. His quest for revenge leads him through adventure, drama, political intrigue, and personal revelatio ...more
Marts  (Thinker)
With the French Revolution as it's backdrop, Scaramouche tells of the adventures of Andre-Louis Moreau a young french lawyer who, though not initially affected by the actions of those in governance, feels the effects of such when his best friend is brutally murdered by a noble.
After this act, and with his altered views he becomes, over time, an actor, fencing master and politician.
This revolutionary seeks revenge for his friends death and finds love in the midst of his adventures...

This novel
May 10, 2008 Gavin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics-old-new
If you've never read any Rafael Sabatini, then I urge you to do so. He writes historical novels that are at least as good as Sir Walter Scott's, if not slightly better. This particular one concerns Andre-Louis's adventures as a part of the french Revolution, its build-up and subsequent events.

Scaramouche is a character from the Comedia dell' Arte whose characteristics fit the protagonist to a T. Sabatini has an easy style and keeps the interest up throughout the novel. There's a second one with
Mark Adderley
Sep 22, 2011 Mark Adderley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mark by:
Anyone who knows me or has read my books, particularly The Hawk and the Huntress, will know that I have a strong romantic streak in me. I love Erroll Flynn movies, and was interested in Scaramouche because it was by the author who brought us The Sea-Hawk and Captain Blood. I confess that I mostly enjoyed it, but found it curiously unengaging.

The novel is set at the time of the French Revolution. André-Louis Moreau's friend is killed in a duel by the villainous Marquis de la Tour d'Azyr, and he s
Apr 30, 2015 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic story. It has a bit of The Count of Monte Cristo flair to it (which is one of the books at the top of my All Time Favorites), so it had that certain appeal to it. Andre-Louis goes through many changes in this book that takes you through many twists and turns with a pretty good surprise at the end. Highly recommended for lovers of the classics. It truly is one.
Jun 28, 2008 Caitlincrowley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm currently reading 'Captain Blood', and I can tell you that Sabatini writes some of the best classic adventure stories you will encounter. His mix of historical fiction, romance, action and political intrigue in Scaramouche will keep you turning pages. Highly recommended if you enjoy Dumas. Also, Andre-Louis is a very interesting protagonist, which is more than can be said for the heroes in most adventure novels. You'll be surprised by the different roles Andre-Louis plays in the story, as we ...more
May 17, 2015 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SCARAMOUCHE. (1921). Rafael Sabatini. ****.
This is the first novel I have read by this author, and I am duly impressed. He managed to weave the historical novel together with the action thriller in such a way that each of his works turned out to be on the best-seller list of his day. This novel features the adventures of Andre-Louis Moreau, a young man who grew up under the tutelage of his godfather. Andre always assumed that his godfather was really his father, but that turned out to not be the
Sep 23, 2008 Chelsea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Todd Denning
If you like Dumas, you'll like this book. It really reminded me of The Counte of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers...except that it didn't have real boring crap in between action scenes. Not to say that this book is all action, just that I was never bored. I really enjoyed that it was set during the time of the French Revolution. It added an ineteresting historical flavor to the story, without overwhelming the actual highlight of the book--the characters.
Mar 22, 2012 Anika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, classics
I really enjoyed the politics of the book, especially in this day of a wayward Occupy movement and our general climate. The main character reminded me of myself, both in his observations, actions and coolness.
Apr 14, 2015 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
It was so very hard to fall in love with Andre Louis. He is pompous and sometimes so mean. He has pride galore and his brain power is so superior to the rest of us, he makes sure we don't forget it.
Having said that, I was surprised how much I enjoyed the book. The writing is fabulous and the story engaging.

Did George Lucas have to read this in college? The Star Wars parallels are there people.

Why did he hate M. Binet? I could never understand it. It seemed to me that man did everything he asked
Apr 13, 2012 Deanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
Great fun, though not a book which requires deep thought, just enjoy the ride with Andre-Louis.
Emma Iadanza
This was quite a fun, interesting book! It was not at all what I expected (well it partially was), but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Basically, it is the eve of the French Revolution and André-Louis Moreau, who doesn't know his parents but has lived in the protection of his godfather his whole life, has a friend who accidentally challenges a Marquis to a duel and is killed. Then he promises revenge after the Marquis refuses to kill him too, and then accidentally starts the French Revolution.

Then a bu
Sep 13, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw an article recently that said many people lie about reading classics as their most common way to appear smarter to others.

Well, I'm apparently something of a strange duck: I really *do* read classics. This is one of them.

Scaramouche is the story of Andre-Louis Moreau, a provincial French lawyer during the time of the Revolution. Through a variety of circumstances, he leaves his little home town for Paris. During this journey, he becomes an actor (portraying the eponymous commedia del'arte
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Rafael Sabatini (1875 - 1950) was an Italian/British writer of novels of romance and adventure. At a young age, Rafael was exposed to many languages. By the time he was seventeen, he was the master of five languages. He quickly added a sixth language - English - to his linguistic collection. After a brief stint in the business world, Sabatini went to work as a writer. He wrote short stories in the ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Scaramouche (2 books)
  • Scaramouche The King Maker

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“He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.” 2047 likes
“But I like my madness. There is a thrill in it unknown to such sanity as yours. ~ Book 1, Chapter 9,” 47 likes
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