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Scaramouche (Scaramouche)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  4,051 ratings  ·  342 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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Henry Avila
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
May 15, 2013 Terry rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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 do...more
Feb 29, 2012 Wealhtheow rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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...more
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...more
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
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
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...more
"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...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...more
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,...more
“…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...more
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...more
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...more
Mark Adderley
Sep 22, 2011 Mark Adderley rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
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
Sep 23, 2008 Chelsea rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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.
Andre-Louis Moreau, parentage unknown, is brought as an infant to a small village in Brittany where his support and education is supplied by his "god-father" M. de Kercadiou, and everyone assumes Kercadiou to be Andre's father from the wrong side of the blanket. Andre grows up with church-bound Philippe, as well as Kercadiou's beauteous niece Aline. Aline is preparing to accept the suit for her hand in marriage to the much older Marquis de la Tour d'Azyr, but tragedy strikes when the Marquis ins...more
Jan 06, 2010 K. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: French Revolution students
Interesting book. Went well with Les Mis as it deals with the beginnings of the French Revolution. Nicely fleshed out some historical names Hugo mentions but doesn't define.

Things I liked:
*Sabatini must have had an enormous personal vocabulary. There were so many words that I've never even seen before, and I've seen quite a few words. That's always fun, although I didn't take the time to look them up.
*High moral tone. Hero is the epitome of self-made man who pulls himself up by his own bootstr...more
Dec 21, 2009 Jason rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYBODY
Recommended to Jason by: Orson Scott Card
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna Ilona
This book is more amusing than it realizes it is.

The setting (France in the very early days of the French Revolution) is interesting, and the cast of characters (proud and imperious aristocrats, traveling improvisers, fencing masters, revolutionaries and a beautiful maiden) is colorful. The protagonist himself is reasonably engaging, although one questions whether he would really be *quite* so brilliant at every career he attempts (perhaps this brilliance merely illustrates an authorial trust t...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)

I don't say that with a tone of dismissiveness, but rather with a note of respect. Sabatini accomplishes this tale of the French Revolution with plenty of plot, but also with enough characterization to keep me happy.

The main character, Jean-Louis Moreau, is raised in much the same way as Daniel Deronda. That is, he is without known parents and is raised by the propertied man of the district who is not his father. Everyone in the district assumes M. de Kercadiou is his father.

M. Milner
Rafael Sabatini's tale of a swordsman/lawyer/actor/teacher in the French Revolution is a bit of a potboiler, but it's fun in parts. Andre-Louis, the Scaramouche of the title, is the bastard some of French nobility, spurred into action when his friend is killed in a duel. He more or less rides the waves of history, helping spur the proletariat into revolution. He's a master orator, swordsman and actor, but also moody, cold and pretty remorseless in killing more than a few people. Somehow the wome...more
If you happen to be in the market for a great summer read, here you are. Originally published by Rafael Sabatini in 1921, the book tells the story of Andre-Louis Moreau. Andre-Louis is a man of illigitimate birth who is raised with almost all the privilages of his nobleman godfather. The book is set at the cusp of the French Revolution and tries to explain the attitudes of the different classes of people and how the revolution turned into the blood bath that it became. In the middle of all that...more
Johnny Waco
I came to read this novel after stumbling across the 1952 swashbuckler film based on it, and I discovered a forgotten gem. Sabatini may have been the last great author of the golden age of the adventure novel, an era beginning with Stevenson, Haggard, and Kipling, and fading away by the Twenties. Andre-Louis, a provincial lawyer with no strong political views, turns vehemently against France's aristocracy when a haughty marquis trumps up a duel with his bumbling but egalitarian friend so he coul...more
This is my favorite of Sabatini's novels, with its story of the young aristocrat who becomes involved with the politics and turbulence of the revolution. It has precursors in the work of Dumas and you might compare Saramouche to Cyrano or the Scarlet Pimpernel, but he stands on his own as one of the great romantic heroes of historical literature. Sabatini's most famous works have been translated into the classic swashbuckling films Captain Blood and Scaramouche. Sabatini's writing, usually ficti...more
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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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“He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.” 1982 likes
“ is human nature, I suppose, to be futile and ridiculous.” 42 likes
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