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Scaramouche | [Rafael Sabatini]

Scaramouche

With swordfights and romance, adventure and treachery set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, this is the book that made Sabatini famous. Andre-Louis Moreau has good prospects as a young lawyer, but an unfair duel with the ruthlessly cruel Count de La Tour d'Azyr leaves Andre-Louis' best friend dead and Andre-Louis himself a fugitive from the King's justice. While incognito, he becomes both a wildly popular actor and a firebrand of the Revolution.
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Publisher's Summary

With swordfights and romance, adventure and treachery set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, this is the book that made Sabatini famous. Andre-Louis Moreau has good prospects as a young lawyer, but an unfair duel with the ruthlessly cruel Count de La Tour d'Azyr leaves Andre-Louis' best friend dead and Andre-Louis himself a fugitive from the King's justice.

While incognito, he becomes both a wildly popular actor and a firebrand of the Revolution. His vow to avenge his friend's murder leads him deeper into the political intrigues that surround the Revolution, and to a position of power. But there are secrets to be revealed that will stun all of Paris.

One of the best historical romances of all time, Scaramouche was a best seller upon its original publication in the U.S. in 1921.

(P)1996 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"All in all, this 'sheer knight-errantry' is a marvelous entertainment." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (177 )
5 star
 (83)
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Overall
4.3 (64 )
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Story
4.4 (62 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Tariq Anis Morganton, NC USA 03-21-07
    Tariq Anis Morganton, NC USA 03-21-07 Listener Since 2000

    avid reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    4
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    "Mesmerizing"

    I've seen a movie based on this novel maybe thirty years ago (yes, I am that old), then I ventured to listen to the novel, which forced me to stay up until 4 AM for two consecutive days, and I doubt that I'll be rewarded with equal pleasure any time in the near future. I hope others will find as much pleasure as I did in this beautiful novel.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth B. Strumpf Manlius, NY USA 10-05-06
    Kenneth B. Strumpf Manlius, NY USA 10-05-06 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
    ratings
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    13
    4
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    "Great writer, good reader"

    Scaramouche has always been one of my favorite novels. It has everything good escape fiction should have- great characters, an interesting setting, twists and turns, ups and downs and surprises. I've probably read the book three or four times but it all seemed fresh again with this reading. The reader does a very good job with most of the characters and keeps the action moving very fast. Several times I sat in my car continuing to listen (I listen to books in my car via my Ipod) even though I had arrived at my destination- always a mark of a good audiobook. I only have one complaint. Some of the older female characters were made to seem a bit too pompous and ridiculous through the reading.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Richmond, VA, United States 12-05-07
    Stephanie Richmond, VA, United States 12-05-07 Member Since 2003

    There is no frigate like a book ~ E. Dickinson

    HELPFUL VOTES
    256
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    22
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    Overall
    "Superb"

    This book is in my top ten favorites along with Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Harry Potter, The Moonstone, etc. It is a superb action-adventure story told in the very best style. Scaramouche contains all the 'essentials'-- a dashing hero, sword fights, love, revenge, mystery, great dialogue, and clever plot twists. You will find yourself cheering and sighing by turns. Don't miss this book.

    If you enjoy this one then read/listen to Captain Blood, Sabatini's next-best book. Honestly I think that his other books are lousy by comparison. Some authors only have one or two books in them, and that is the case here. But Captain Blood is great fun-- pirates, sea battles, romance, etc.

    The recording and narrator are fair/good. Whitfield sometimes lacks the emotion a scene requires, and his character voices are not always perfect. But I'm being hypercritical-- it is one of my favorite books, after all.

    10/10

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loren D. Rising Sun, IN, USA 01-09-07
    Loren D. Rising Sun, IN, USA 01-09-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
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    "Excellent"

    A great story, well read by Robert Whitfield. There is enough action, romance, and adventure to keep you interested, but this story is mostly about revenge.

    It’s not as good a revenge story as The Count of Monte Cristo, but is excellent nonetheless.

    The narration is terrific.

    If you like this book, you will almost certainly also like Captain Blood by the same author and narrator.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Orson Greensboro, NC, United States 09-29-10
    Orson Greensboro, NC, United States 09-29-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    158
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    "A classic of Serious Historical Fiction"

    Nowadays it seems that historical novels are a subgroup of bawdy Romance, but once upon a time, writers like Rafael Sabatini (who also penned the immortal Captain Blood) dealt with serious issues and created deft and morally subtle fiction like Scaramouche. This novel of the French Revolution takes the issues seriously - but never leaves you long without action, suspense, and intrigue. Robert Whitfield brings it to such vivid life that you feel as if you've watched a wonderful movie version. It is so much better than most new novels that you owe it to yourself to listen to this, if only to realize how poorly so many contemporary writers do by comparison.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Douglaston, NY, United States 05-11-08
    Robin Douglaston, NY, United States 05-11-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    74
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    "A Classic Adventure, Romance & Surprises"

    Written in 1921 and set in the years before the French Revolution this tale may be too political for some but it delves into moral questions about human nature and government that are still relevant today.
    While the setting is informative and intriguing the most wonderful part of the this book is a facsinating main character, fantastic adventure, nice romance and some great surprises.
    I even wondered if George Lucas had ever read this before he created Star Wars.
    I had some difficulty at the beginning but once the action begins it never stops. I can't believe Masterpiece Theatre has not made a serial of this book.
    I loved it

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hiroaki. K Toronto, ON Canada 11-08-08
    Hiroaki. K Toronto, ON Canada 11-08-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Best."

    Best audiobook I've ever listened in Audible.com.
    Lovable character, great story, and above all the great narrator!

    I now crave more of this author and narrator... the thirst!!!
    I listened to it 3 times while looking through more of these types of books. XDD

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 05-29-14
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 05-29-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Highly entertaining"

    This novel is a gem. Well written and beautifully constructed, with human, pathos and drama all thrown in.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen KAMIAH, ID, United States 02-20-08
    Stephen KAMIAH, ID, United States 02-20-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "Sabatini's best"

    This is beyond doubt the crowning achievement by Sabatini. The reader does an outstanding job with every character, as well as the challenges of language. I have listened to this book more times than I can remember and have enjoyed it every time. If you like history, and you like romantic saga's, you will love this book. Sabatini was a historian that could and did write his readers into an era right down to the idioms of the day and the buckles on the shoes. Enjoy!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan 06-22-10
    Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan 06-22-10 Member Since 2010

    I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Completely Enjoyable Scaramouche!"

    I'd never read anything by Sabatini before but fortunately was attracted to his work by reading the enthusiastic listener reviews of Scaramouche.

    I found Scaramouche savory, witty, moving, and suspenseful, with compelling characters acting believably in the richly researched and imagined historical setting, and an inevitable and satisfying denouement. I respect Sabatini's objective, cynical view of the French Revolution (and of human nature) and his avoidance of sensational action and cheap sentimentality in favor of psychological drama. Andre-Louis Moreau, the lawyer-agitator-actor-swordsman-lover, is a wonderful character to carry the story: ironic, intelligent, brave, charismatic, romantic, self-castigating, capable of great pretense and great honesty, a man of action who denies he is a man of action. And Sabatini effectively has his narrator tell the story of about two key years in the life of a "real" historical figure, drawing on Andre Louis' "Confessions" and "real" documents like playbills contemporary with the events of the novel, and often criticizing his behavior, character, or motivations.

    Throughout, the reader Robert Whitfield does a fine job, speaking clearly at an easy pace, effectively changing his voice for the different characters in their different moods: the uptight, arrogant, refined, icy and yet passionate Marquis de la Tour d'Azyr; the weak, self-serving, envious, and buffoonish actor M. Binet; the foul-mouthed, hot-tempered, good-natured, giant revolutionary Danton, the kind blue-blood Mme. de Plugastel, the innocent and spunky Aline de Kercadiou, the rough and simple Quintin de Kercadiou, and of course the complex Andre-Louis.

    I often found myself unable to stop listening, saying, "one more chapter!" It was a great listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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