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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

Daphne du Maurier's The Scapegoat is a classic tale of stolen identity. As dark as it is witty, it introduces listeners to the gloomy and despondent character of John the Englishman. When by chance, John comes face to face with his French doppelgänger, Jean, his bewilderment is quickly replaced with envy. Realising that Jean is in possession of everything he lacks but has always desired, he assumes the identity of his look-a-like, leaving his old, tedious life behind.

As John's attempts to escape detection from Jean's family, servants and mistresses, he embarks on a captivating adventure in a charming Chateau in the French countryside, where a witty and enthralling tale ensues.

This critically acclaimed masterpiece was hailed by the New York Times for containing 'artfully compulsive storytelling' and highlighting Daphne du Maurier's skill with a pen.

Born in London and later educated in Paris, Daphne was always headed for artistic success, inspired by her father, the great actor Sir Gerald du Maurier. Writing short stories from a young age, Daphne honed her craft and eventually published some of the most influential English novels of our time.

Her best known works, Rebecca and The Birds were both taken on by Alfred Hitchcock and developed into award-winning films. These titles can also be found on Audible.

Narrator Biography

Paul Shelley is a classically trained British actor and graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. His extensive theatre background includes touring with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre in a variety of productions including, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Medea and King Lear.

Paul has also enjoyed a lucrative film and TV career, and can be seen starring in the likes of Oh! What a Lovely War, Dot the T, Doctor Who, Paradise Postpones and Doctors.

Having recorded over 30 audiobooks, Paul's vocal abilities have not gone unnoticed and he has gone on to win three Audiofile Earphone Awards. Some of his other titles include John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman, H.G. Wells' The History of Mr Polly and P.G. Wodehouse's Doctor Sally.

©1957 Daphne du Maurier Browning (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Yet to be disappointed by DuMaurier

Rebecca is still the pinnacle, but this one is excellent. Good story of a "mistaken" identity type that leads to more. Even when DuMaurier is writing more of a Romance type, which this is not, this is more of a mystery story, she is still a very good writer, not clunky like so many now. I have read/listened to many of hers and enjoyed them all, Hungry Hill and Mary Ann being least favorite so far. But I recommend this one to people after Rebecca, and then probably My Cousin Rachael.
If you want car chases look elsewhere, DuMaurier always leans heavily toward the character side and immerses you in her world.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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storytelling at its best

Fascinating story , draws you in, never lets you go. Sorry when it ended. Actor reading it was perfect

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Charmaine
  • JOHANNESBURG, South Africa
  • 09-19-12

THE UNBELIEVABLE IS BELIEVABLE

It seems impossible that an author could make one believe that a 'doppelganger' could so easily assume the role of another. How does an imposter play the role of father, brother and son, sign papers and so quickly 'know' the detail and history of a whole family? Ask du Maurier... This book could be viewed as bordering on science fiction. But no...the writing skill of this accomplished author makes the whole absurd situation quite believable. The work of a true master spoils the reader - makes one wish she was still alive and writing - to spare one from the modern cardboard characters in unbelievable, absurd situations...This was my second time around with The Scapegoat. I read it 40 years ago - enjoyed it as much now as then. And the narration was EXCELLENT. Vale!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Janice
  • Sugar Land, TX, United States
  • 08-18-12

Deception and redemption

A mere spectator in his own life, John encounters Jean, his doppleganger, who is desperately trying to manage his own messy and overwheliming life. Jean escapes, essentially thrusting John into his (Jean's) identity against his will. But to John's surprise, he finds he's pretty good at the deception, and is becoming both facinated and obsessed with the situation. Without tipping his hand, John deftly elicits needed information from family, neighbors and business associates using his wits, his instincts and more than a little luck. Mistakes are made, but explanations are found, most often by those who are being fooled.

DuMaurier goes beyond the conventional Hollywood doubles-exchanging-roles farce, and through John's own thoughts asks us to consider the ethics of interfering with lives without the responsibility of having to live with the consequences. Can he make changes in relationships and family dynamics and still remain an uninvolved spectator? To masquerade as Jean will he have to behave in ways that conflict with his own morals? Can he remain innocent of actions that he performs in the name of another man? John realizes the irony of getting his wish - he finds involvement and connection in his life, but it's not his life. What would be wrong with claiming it anyway since Jean has so obviously given it to him? The resolution of these questions is masterful.

Well written, well read, well recommended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Joanna
  • Hillsboro Beach, FL USA
  • 06-02-12

Fascinating

Would you listen to The Scapegoat again? Why?

Yes, I have listened to it a couple times and always find it intriguing. Ms. Du Maurier covered all the bases when it came to the pitfalls of one man masquerading as another. the only one she couldn't resolve was the master's dog.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The main character, John, who handled the situation so wisely.

Which character – as performed by Paul Shelley – was your favorite?

John

If you could take any character from The Scapegoat out to dinner, who would it be and why?

John

Any additional comments?

This is one of DuMaurier's best stories and I wish it could be made into a film

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Surprise ending

Wonderful, original suspense/mystery! Good performance. du Maurier is the original master of this genre. Hitchcock got it all from her! Well worth the credits/money.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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OK, but not her best

I am a huge fan of Daphne du Maurier, but this one was just OK. du Maurier has a certain fresh way of painting a scene and that is still here in parts, but the story lagged some for me. The basic plot isn't bad. Glad I read it, though.

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  • Joyce
  • SAN DIEGO, CA, United States
  • 06-19-13

A good story depicting how different people react

Would you listen to The Scapegoat again? Why?

Yes! I enjoyed how a man that had no interest in life fell into a dysfuntiional family and cured some of its ills.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Can't think of the man that was duped but I thought his reaction to being put into a very difficult situation was admirable.

What does Paul Shelley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I enjoyed the accents and the change of voice with the different characters.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no, I don't sit that long to read or listen - I enjoyed listening to it while working on a craft project

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  • julie
  • mobile, AL, United States
  • 02-15-14

What if this could really happen? Fascinating!

Any additional comments?

I love her books. They're so intensely deep and thought-provoking. Narration was perfect. Not long after I listened to this on audio the movie aired on TV! What a pleasant but disappointing surprise because the movie didn't follow the books ending. Still..... Very enjoyable and engrossing read! No spoilers .... Just sit back and prepare to be fully entertained and captivated.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Cat
  • 05-09-16

Brilliant and gripping

Really recommend. What would you do if you met a stranger who stole your identity and left you with his. Really interesting characters and beautiful description and moments of intense suspense.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-04-16

Great story, great voice

A great story set in late 50s. Wonderful language, wonderful reading and very nostalgic context.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • anasta
  • 05-27-17

Excellent!

This was a brilliant book by the wonderful Daphne du Maurier. Thoroughly enjoyable and the writing was superb throughout.
The plot was a little far fetched but because the story was so well told, it made sense more as the book went on.
The narrator Paul Shelley was outstanding and he managed all the characters so well. Also his command of the French language was first rate and his succinct narrative made the story so easy to listen to. He was excellent!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Welsh Mafia
  • 07-20-14

Beckett and Green after bucket and spade....

Having been enthused by Rebecca and starting the opening chapters on the road to Manderley, I completed this one at an altogether slower pace over the course of a couple of long trips and some snatched glances in between times.

The quality of the writing here is of a much higher standard than the earlier du Maurier work that I worked through. The early chapters, actually, put me in mind of Beckett - each of the pieces of the narrative being laid out like a mathematical puzzle to great effect. In truth the narrative does eventually wander, but through the early opening runs I was taken along willingly and enjoyably, anticipating every twist and turn and believing each new piece put in front of me.

Towards the end it all gets a bit Graham Greene, if you know what I mean. No bad thing though and certainly giving lie to the idea that the author is in any way narrow or limited. Quite the opposite, in fact, I think on this showing, she deserves more serious recognition that the gift buyings in seaside Fowey might credit her with.

Worth the effort of sticking with through the later meanderings, because it all works out worthwhiledly in the end.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful