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The Scapegoat

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  3,770 Ratings  ·  360 Reviews
"Someone jolted my elbow as I drank and said, 'Je vous demande pardon, ' and as I moved to give him space he turned and stared at me and I at him, and I realized, with a strange sense of shock and fear and nausea all combined, that his face and voice wer
Paperback, 348 pages
Published January 27th 2000 by University of Pennsylvania Press (first published 1957)
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Jean
Aug 14, 2015 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever wanted to run away from your life? What would happen if you suddenly had the chance to; would you "grasp the nettle"? Or what if a new life was imposed on you, whether you liked it or not? Such is the premise of Daphne du Maurier's 1957 novel, The Scapegoat.

The Scapegoat is reminiscent of novels such as, "The Prisoner of Zenda" and according to one of Daphne du Maurier's biographers, this rollicking adventure was a favourite story of Daphne's when she was a little girl. But it also
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Judy
Aug 18, 2010 Judy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: du Maurier fans; Rebecca is not the best book she wrote.

Scapegoat has an intriguing history as a word. Originally, in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, the High Priest confessed the sins of the people on the Day of Atonement over the head of a live goat which was then allowed to escape, taking the sins with it. From this religious tradition developed the meaning of a person, group or thing who takes the blame for the mistakes or crimes of others.

In Daphne du Maurier's excellent novel, an English history professor on his way home from holiday in
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Misfit
Apr 30, 2009 Misfit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two strangers, identical in appearance, a chance meeting and lives are forever changed. English John meets French Count Jean and share dinner and drinks as they discuss the remarkable likeness the two share. But Jean's financial problems drive him to render John unconscious, switch identities and leave him in his place to deal with his failing glass factory and fractious family. John soon finds himself in the midst of a mine-field dealing with a pregnant "wife", a couple of mistresses (one of th ...more
Jessica
Jun 19, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it
An extraordinary novel by the incomparable Du Maurier. Most know the plot: an Englishman and scholar, bored with his life of detachment, is pushed to change identities with his doppelganger, Jean de Gue, and take on his life and famille in an aged Chateaux and glass-blowing factory in France. Exquisitely plotted, richly textured, Du Maurier's novel is fully convincing in its portrait of de Gue's adopted life and ways...until-- perhaps--the twists and turns of the ending. I'm still thinking about ...more
Laura
Jun 13, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-lit
When a dissatisfied Englishman on holiday collides with someone in a railway station, he realizes he’s looking at his double — only his double is French. The next morning, the Englishman discovers his passport and papers have been replaced by the Frenchman’s, so he figures his best option is to assume the Frenchman’s identity. Navigating his new role as master of a chateau and head of a complicated family and family business is tricky enough for the Englishman, but adding to the suspense are his ...more
Tom
Sep 19, 2007 Tom rated it really liked it
Up to its heavy-handed Christian closing, I was in love with this book. Du Maurier brilliantly, engrossingly, explores the haunting yet goofy idea of the doppleganger. The navigation of French culture, mistresses, children, dogs, another's life completely, comes to you mazelike in the narrative. And always, du Maurier twists the tension gleefully.
Cphe
This I think would have to be my favorite du Maurier novel to date. A marvelous writer. Loved the premise of the novel, the convoluted storyline and the way the relationships were portrayed. Was initially a bit disappointed with the ending but on reflection it was fitting.
A big "thank you" to the readers who gave me the "heads up" with this one.
Laura
I would give 4 stars to this book. However, the plot is very unlikely even that is captivating story. A quite disappointing end, I was expecting a more dramatic one.
Book Concierge
From the book jacket - Two men – one English, the other French – meet by chance in a provincial railway station and are astounded that they are so much alike that they could easily pass for each other. Over the course of a long evening, they talk and drink. It is not until he awakes the next day that John, the Englishman, realizes that he may have spoken too much. His French companion is gone, having stolen his identity. For his part, John has no choice but to take the Frenchman’s place – as mas ...more
Kavita
This book starts off in a very interesting manner. John, who is a lecturer in England, feels himself as a failure and wants to join a monastery. At the same time, there is Jean, who is the Comte de Gué, is running away from his myriad responsibilities. When Jean meets John, he drugs him and takes away everything that John owns, leaving his own things to him. Effectively, Jean leaves John with his own life. This leads to an interesting story where John becomes Jean and gradually takes over his li ...more
Tina
May 20, 2013 Tina rated it liked it
Not As Good As The Movie

I started reading this after watching "The Scapegoat," a 2012 production by Charles Sturridge on Netflix and absolutely loving it. Then, after searching for it in various libraries without finding, I went out and bought it off amazon.

So if you are like me, and want to read the book because you liked the movie, I should warn you that the film is an adaptation and doesn't follow the book closely at all, especially not the ending. The major differences involve the love story
...more
Duncan Wood
Apr 24, 2009 Duncan Wood rated it really liked it
I would recommend this novel to anyone who thought Daphne du Maurier never wrote another decent book after My Cousin Rachel. All in all, The Scapegoat is strangely underlooked, a neglected gem. It's hard to see why this one gets forgotten, as the premise is intriguing, the plot gripping and du Maurier's grip on the narrative is masterful and never falters. I sometimes struggle, in her historical novels, to grasp the tangled family trees and the (sometimes) unpronounceable Cornish place names, bu ...more
Shirley
Aug 25, 2014 Shirley rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
Once again, du Maurier has created a baffling world for us to enter alongside the main protagonist - a mystery to be solved, as the story gradually unfolds before us. Just as in "Rebecca", the second Mrs de Winter found it hard to step into Rebecca's shoes, so John struggles to second-guess what Jean would do or say. What I loved about this story was (view spoiler) ...more
Lauren DeStefano
Aug 15, 2013 Lauren DeStefano rated it it was amazing
Stumbled upon this by chance and I'm so glad I did. If you're looking for something to hold you over until the next season of Downton Abbey, here it is.
Katie
Jan 01, 2013 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, 2013

I greatly enjoyed The Scapegoat. The idea of doubles meeting and switching places is not new, especially with the English/French element to it. It requires a leap of faith to believe that these two men are so identical that they can fool everyone. They even have the same name - John and Jean.

The reader follows John as he wakes up to find Jean missing. He decides to go to the château and well blag it after realising it would be impossible to convince the police that he has had his identity stolen
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Lesley-Anne
Feb 08, 2016 Lesley-Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
The Scapegoat is the second du Maurier novel I have read, the first being Rebecca, and this one is even better. This is the tale of two men who look and sound exactly the same, but whose circumstances differ widely. After a chance meeting between the two men, John is drugged and left in a hotel room in France by Jean; left to assume the other's identity. And what starts off as a spiteful acquiescence on John's part becomes an unpredictable and often anxiety ridden journey of pretence versus self ...more
Deborah Sheldon
Jun 02, 2016 Deborah Sheldon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vivid and atmospheric, this is a fascinating exploration of identity, family ties, and love, with surprising conclusions. Du Maurier's character studies are, as usual, in depth and on point.
❀Julie
4.5 stars. This was a thought provoking read with lots of surprising twists! I was sad to see it end.
Kath
Sep 02, 2012 Kath rated it it was amazing


A great page turner, most enjoyable. I didn't like the ending but at least it wasn't predictable.
Farnaz Ps
همان حس رمز آلود ربکا را دارد اما نه به آن زیبایی
John
May 09, 2016 John rated it really liked it
[I initially posted IMDB links to the two screen adaptations, but for some reason this gave the GoodReads software conniptions. So here's a second attempt . . .]

I'm a fan of Robert Hamer's screen version of this novel, The Scapegoat (1958 or 1959), with Alec Guinness and Bette Davis, and I liked also the 2012 remake done by Charles Sturridge, with Matthew Rhys and Eileen Atkins (and with the great Sheridan Smith in a supporting role). The other day it struck me that I'd never read the novel -- o
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Sid Frost
Feb 07, 2011 Sid Frost rated it it was amazing
This is the story of what happens when two men who happen to look and sound alike trade places. One is unhappy with his life primarily due to loneliness and is seriously considering joining a monastery. The other is unhappy because he is smothered from caring for others. The situations of the men made the lonely one depressed while causing the other to be bitter and to strike back at those he loved.

British writer Daphne du Maurier, who lived from 1907 to 1989, wrote novels, short stories, plays,
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Alias Pending
The Scapegoat.

Shorty: I bet there is a good two hour movie version of this story. I advise you, dear reader, to watch that instead. Or watching Being There.

Short Version: In which a French man has a semi-serious schizoid break and pretends he's an Englishman pretending to be himself. I've made it appear too interesting, I fear, but it really isn't. The fantastic setup settles down into a tepid soap opera about a stale, lifeless family that is worried about - well, not much. The leisurely, overly
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Bonnie
Mar 12, 2015 Bonnie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I recently watched the 2012 BBC production of "The Scapegoat" based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier which I had not read or heard of. It was well acted and entertaining but it made me wonder how closely it followed the original book. The set up is pretty similar but the endings could not be more different. I recommend both movie and book. In "The Scapegoat", Daphne Du Maurier manages to make an implausible melodrama plausible and she draws the reader in with a tense narration that is full of m ...more
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
This is the second most fascinating story (after Poe's "William Wilson" of course) about the double. Comte Jean de Gue appears unexpected and gives John an opportunity to become someone entirely else, someone powerful, rich, with a family and responsibilities that comes with it. He disappears and leaves all to John who now becomes Jean.
As with other Daphne du Maurier's novels, this one builds suspense from the first to the last page. The tension is sometimes unbearable! Even a "normal" conversa
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Scapegoat, Daphne du Maurier
عنوان: بلاگردان؛ شاهکار: دافنه دو موریه؛ مترجم: ابوالفتوح امام؛ تهران، گلشائی، 1363، در 475 ص،
عنوان: سپربلا؛ مترجم: یوسف قریب؛ تهران، پیروز؛
Kat
That's right, we don't only read cheesy romances. Buddy read with my favorite K <3
Nicki
May 04, 2010 Nicki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, 2010

The Scapegoat is the 1957 novel by Daphne du Maurier. The story centers around two strangers who are identical in appearance but have starkly contrasting lives.

John is a lonely professor with what he considers to be an empty life – no family and no deep seeded connections to root him down. Jean, on the other hand has a very full life with all of the obligations and demands of a big family, an expensive estate, and a failing family glass business. Jean is weary of bearing his burden and wants to
...more
Claudia Marie
Mar 11, 2015 Claudia Marie rated it really liked it
You can find my full review on this book here.

Stunning, sophisticated, well detailed, incredibly old-fashioned, fast-paced story about how one's life can be turned upside down in just one second. This book will tell you how short life actually is, but at the same time it's also too long. This book is packed with brutal grief, anger, forgiveness, betrayal, love and learning of how to embrace everything in your life.

This book starts with John, a depressed british man that hates everything in his
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Helen
Jul 09, 2010 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
What would you do if you came face to face with yourself? That's what happens to John, an Englishman on holiday in France, when he meets his exact double - a Frenchman called Jean de Gue. John agrees to go for a drink with Jean but falls into a drunken stupor and wakes up in a hotel room to find that Jean has disappeared, taking John's clothes and identity documents with him!

When Jean's chauffeur arrives at the hotel, John is unable to convince him of what has happened - and ends up accompanying
...more
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2001717
If Daphne du Maurier had written only Rebecca, she would still be one of the great shapers of popular culture and the modern imagination. Few writers have created more magical and mysterious places than Jamaica Inn and Manderley, buildings invested with a rich character that gives them a memorable life of their own.

In many ways the life of Daphne du Maurier resembles a fairy tale. Born into a fami
...more
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“I could not ask for forgiveness for something I had not done. As scapegoat, I could only bear the fault.” 17 likes
“So you see, when war comes to one’s village, one’s doorstep, it isn’t tragic and impersonal any longer. It is just an excuse to vomit private hatred. That is why I am not a great patriot.” 12 likes
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