Scott's Reviews > Scaramouche

Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
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's review
Jan 14, 2012

liked it
Read in January, 2012

This book almost lost me, but won me back again. I was put off by the flowery, often self-indulgent language used by the author, such ad:

"The venomous scorn it poured upon those worthless rapscallions afforded him a certain solatium against the discomforts of expatriation by which he was afflicted as a result of their detestable energies."

It's not really fair to judge an older book by current standards, and this book was written before the "show, don't tell" rule. It was very tell-y. For example, although I had read and been told that Sabatini was a master of swashbuckling stories and that this is one of his best books, most of the buckles are swashed off-stage and we're merely told about duels or they are described in a paragraph or two of summary, with one very important (and enjoyable) exception.

The story also wandered a bit in the middle, after a pretty good start, and so did my mind.

However--and this is a big however--the book was redeemed for me by the last several chapters, which were very good. I enjoyed the conflicts between the classes before and during the French Revolution. I gasped at the book's Big Reveal.

I give most of the book three stars, but the last several chapters four. The final chapter could have been more satisfying, but it fit the book. I probably won't read this again, but I want to read more Sabatini. I only hope his pirate books are more direct and suspenseful with their action, like the last few chapters.
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07/24/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie If you like swashbuckling books, you should look into a lesser known book by Alexandre Dumas, "Georges." Loved it a lot!

Scott Good tip! I was planning to read some Dumas this year. I'll look for that one.

message 3: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Great! Look for the newer one translated by Tina Kover. I read that it was the best translation.

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