Alice's Reviews > The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
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's review
Jan 11, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: 2011-tbr-challenge
Read from May 31 to June 09, 2011

This was super-dumb. Even the last sentence, I was like "Really? Really Orczy? That's the sentence you chose to end the book?"

The whole thing is full of phrases that would appeal to turn of the century idiots. Marguerite's "childlike" ways are invoked about 73 times, and Chauvelin says everything "peremptorily." That word is used on one page three times, all in reference to him. She's just a bad writer. The only reason I can think of that this book has endured is that the Scarlet Pimpernel is like a pre-superhero superhero. He's rich, he's handsome, he's cleverer than all the bad guys, to the point that people attach a kind of supernatural quality to him. And people like period costume and they like superheroes, so the Scarlet Pimpernel carries on, despite how crappy the book is.

I will say that the 1980s movie seems to be awesome (because it's not written by Orczy) and I do kind of enjoy the musical. But the book just sucks.

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Reading Progress

05/31/2011 page 15
8.0% "I'm hoping for some swashbuckling adventure in this."
06/02/2011 page 38
21.0% "This book is kind of ridiculous. But I guess it's supposed to be? Still, there's a lot of talk of clear, noble brows and the like."
06/06/2011 page 69
38.0% "I am way not into this book, but it's in my TBR pile, so slough onward I shall."
06/07/2011 page 98
54.0% "Omg this just got awesome."
06/09/2011 page 166
91.0% "You know when you're almost done with The Scarlet Pimpernel, but it sucks so much that you have to put it down and finish it later? Yeah."

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