Wealhtheow's Reviews > Scaramouche

Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
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's review
Feb 29, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: historical, battle-of-wits
Recommended to Wealhtheow by: Kelly
Recommended for: fans of the Scarlet Pimpernell, In the Name of the Wind, or the Princess Bride
Read in February, 2009

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-making. In extremity, he becomes in turn a rabble-rouser, an actor, a fencing-master, and finally, a politician. In each guise, he heaps another humiliation upon the Marquis, until finally 1792 is upon them, and blood must be spilt.

This is a book filled with duels, rhetoric, mob violence and lots and lots of clever dialog*. Andre is a rather more sarcastic twist on The Princess Bride's Wesley--Aline is a much smarter version of Buttercup. Scaramouche would be a fantastic movie.

"From M. le Marquis there was a slight play of eyebrows, a vague, indulgent smile. His dark, liquid eyes looked squarely into the face of M. de Vilmorin.
"You have been deceived in that, I fear."
"Your sentiments betray the indiscretion of which madame your mother must have been guilty."
The brutally affronting words were sped beyond recall, and the lips that had uttered them, coldly, as if they had been the merest commonplace, remained calm and faintly sneering.
A dead silence followed."
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Reading Progress

01/22 page 2
0.56% ""You are unjust to your godfather. He is a humane man."
"Oh, as humane as you please. But this isn't a question of humanity. It's a questio" 2 comments
01/23 page 3
0.84% "Whenever I read about Marquis of La Tour d'Azyr I picture Lucius Malfoy. Rowling has ruined me!"
01/23 page 4
1.11% ""Are there in the world no laws but game laws?" he demanded, angrily. "Have you never by any chance heard of the laws of humanity?""
01/23 page 4
1.11% "The Marquis sighed wearily. "What have I to do with the laws of humanity?" he wondered."
01/23 page 22
6.13% ""the worst kind of thief that is conceivable, a thief of spiritual things, a thief of ideas! It is insufferable, intolerable!""
02/02 page 330
91.92% "mob chooses red&blue from the colors of Paris, adds white from the ancient standard of France to differentiate from Duke de Orleans' colors"
02/02 page 340
94.71% ""Do you know, Andre, I sometimes think that you have no heart."
"Presumably because I sometimes betray intelligence.""
02/02 page 360
100% "I love Danton! Big bull of a man, roaring laugh, swears constantly. A good companion for a slippery fellow like Andre-Louis"
02/02 page 370
100% ""For government by any one class is fatal to the welfare of the whole.""
07/24 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Terence Wealhtheow,

If you enjoy Scaramouche, I think you'd like Sabatini's other masterpiece, Captain Blood (the Errol Flynn movie isn't a bad adaptation either).

Wealhtheow Ooh, as a child I loved the Errol Flynn movie! Now I'm doubly excited by Sabatini!


(Sorry for turning into the peanut gallery but its really the only way to experience some of this awesomely ridiculous dialogue. :))

Elijah Kinch Spector The movie of Scaramouche is actually a good deal of fun too, so long as you resign yourself to the fact that it's only vaguely similar to the book.

Has one of the great old-timey swordfights, too. Also, one of the longest.

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