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Scaramouche (Scaramouche #1)

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  5,891 Ratings  ·  464 Reviews
“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 lawyer raised by nobility, unconcerned with the growing discontent among France’s lower class—until his friend was mercilessly struck down by a member of the aristocracy.

Now he is Scaramouche. Sp
Mass Market Paperback, 359 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Signet (first published 1921)
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The Three Musketeers by Alexandre DumasThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasTreasure Island by Robert Louis StevensonThe Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
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May 15, 2013 Terry rated it it was amazing
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
Jo Woolfardis | Infinite Variety Books
"He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad."

André-Louis Moreau, a country lawyer with no idea and no care for his birth-heritage, witnesses the murder of his eloquent friend by a swarthy aristocrat and swears vengeance, yet the laws of pre-Revolution France do not equate to justice for all and he is forced to flee for his life when he stirs up Revolutionary madness within the citizens of France. He finds safety with a travelling troupe of comedic actors and becomes t
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
Το Άσχημο
Jun 23, 2016 Το Άσχημο rated it did not like it
Όταν ο Έρολ Φλιν συνάντησε το "Τόλμη και γοητεία". Μια σάχλα και μισή. Είπα να διαβάσω κάτι ελαφρύ κι ευχάριστο. Καλά να πάθω.
ΥΓ Αυτό που μέσα στον χαμό της Γαλλικής Επανάστασης οι πρωταγωνιστές λύνουν τα γκομενικά τους, είναι πραγματικά η λογοτεχνική ενσάρκωση του ρητού: "Εδώ ο κόσμος χάνεται και το μπιιιιιιπ χτενίζεται".
Ρε ούυυυυυυυστ. Ξούτου. Μπλιαχ.
Feb 29, 2012 Wealhtheow rated it liked it
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
Jun 18, 2016 Chrissie rated it did not like it
This is a book about a fictional character who lived in Brittany, France, at the time of the French Revolution. It is a plot oriented tale. The central character, André-Louis Moreau, is educated as a lawyer. He is of the aristocracy. A close friend is killed and Moreau wants retribution. He has a gift for words, which gets him into trouble and then he must hide. We watch his path as buffoon in a troupe of traveling actors to becoming a fencing-master, a politician and a revolutionary. We watch h ...more
Jul 24, 2016 Perry rated it liked it
Thunderbolt of Lightning, Very, Very Frightening
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, Will You Do the Fandango?

This a rollicking romantic adventure, circa 1921, following the life, loves and transformation of Andre-Louis Moreau in the years leading up to the late 18th Century French Revolution, from cynical lawyer to comic actor (playing clownish Italian character Scaramouche) and, ultimately, into a swashbuckling romantic. It's no literary treasure though.

If you enjoyed Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeer
Mike (the Paladin)
Apr 14, 2012 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing
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
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
May 30, 2011 El rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 19, 2016 Cheryl rated it it was ok
This book just wasn't for me. I really didn't like the author's writing style. I thought the pace was uneven. Too many long political discussions, with some action sequences in between. An OK read.
Mar 20, 2010 Szplug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
"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
Mar 06, 2014 Bettie☯ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: published-1921
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 16, 2011 maricar rated it it was amazing
“…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
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,
Jul 16, 2016 Mwrogers rated it it was amazing
It is often acknowledged that those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. Various thinkers have vocalized this sentiment throughout the ages. But do we learn? Do we study? Why do we not heed their warnings? Why do we just keep making the same mistakes, century after century?

It's as if we keep reenacting the same plot with different countries as the setting and different politicians and wealthy players as the leading characters.

Maybe I am in this reflective mood after reading this s
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
Julie Davis
Jun 15, 2016 Julie Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-m-listening
I reread this in preparation for an SFFaudio discussion in a few weeks. It's about time they tried some Rafael Sabatini and I'm proud to have pushed it upon them. The only thing better than my initial reading was listening to Robert Whitfield's (a.k.a. Simon Vance) excellent narration, thanks to my library.


Extremely enjoyable swashbuckling on the eve of the French Revolution. This might be the perfect companion volume to A Tale of Two Cities, though it also had strong echoes of Nichola
May 10, 2008 Gavin rated it it was amazing
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
Marts  (Thinker)
Jul 18, 2013 Marts (Thinker) rated it it was amazing
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
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
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Jan 13, 2012 Elizabeth (Alaska) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, classics

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.

Jun 28, 2008 Caitlincrowley rated it really liked it
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
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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.” 2094 likes
“But I like my madness. There is a thrill in it unknown to such sanity as yours. ~ Book 1, Chapter 9,” 52 likes
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