Saturday, February 23, 2013

Review: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Title The Scarlet Pimpernel
By Baroness Emmuska Orczy
Genre Adult Classic
Pages 204
Recommended by Book club

First sentence A surging, seething, murmuring crowd of beings that are human only in name, for to the eye and ear they seem naught but savage creatures, animated by vile passions and by the lust of vengeance and hate.

Synopsis 
Armed with only his wits and his cunning, one man recklessly defies the French revolutionaries and rescues scores of innocent men, women, and children from the deadly guillotine. His friends and foes know him only as the Scarlet Pimpernel. But the ruthless French agent Chauvelin is sworn to discover his identity and to hunt him down. (From Goodreads)

What it has going for it
You can always tell how much I "liked"  a book when I just copy and paste the Goodreads synopsis on my reviews instead of taking the time to write one out myself...Well, that's now entirely true. Sometimes I just can't put a book's synopsis into words. But with this book, the former is the culprit. While that first LONG sentence may turn you off, this one was actually a very easy read. The plot moved along quickly which made the story...tolerable. 

What's lacking
As I told my book club: The three things wrong with this books were 1) Marguerite. What a useless character! She was used as a plot device. There was all this set up like she might actually be of some help but she never was. So freaking infuriating. Plus, she was just whiny and over emotional. 2) The writing. The above mentioned plot device trick is just plain annoying. Sure the story moved along and there was a lovely passage about the ocean I enjoyed, but it just seemed amateurish for a classic book. 3) The author used the word literally when she did not mean literally...twice. Ugh!  

Favorite moment 
When Percy kissed the ground where Marguerite had been...NOT! Yuck! 

Yea or Nay?
Meh. No, but if you wanted to don't let me deter you. It was an easy read and everyone else at my book club seemed to like it.

18 comments:

  1. You crack me up! I've always though the Scarlet Pimpernel was pretty funny as a super hero type character. Although my only impression came from the Black Adder series so I guess that's why I've always thought of him in a comedic light. Don't know if I could handle a character as a plot device.

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    1. I always thought the movie was fine and that Percy was amusing but the book?... Ugh!

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  2. I really want to check this out since I know several YA books are coming out riffing upon it. I want to be able to understand the references. I have watched a film version though (with Leslie Howard) which was okay so I'm already familiar with the basic story.

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    1. There are a lot of books coming out that are barf on this one. At least I have it out of the way. ;-)

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  3. Gah! That first sentence did it for me. I don't like fiction that makes me work. Classics just aren't for me. I realize this makes me totally low brow. I wasn't born in the 1800s, so it's not like I was ever the target audience.

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    1. I don't mind some classics and as classics go this one was an easy read but, yeah.

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  4. omg your favorite moment. I am laughing so hard!!

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    1. :-) Oh, it was awful, Steph, just awful.

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  5. I would love to be in a book club with you. I bet you get everyone laughing. I had actually thought about reading this soon. At least you say it's an easy read:)

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    1. Um, yeah they do laugh. I'm surprised I don't annoy them.

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  6. Ha ha! I love that you said the book was tolerable. And, I loved the three reasons you didn't really like that book. I'm interested to see what I'll think once I finish the book.

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    1. So you are planning on finishing it?

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  7. Definitely an interesting book club choice! Maybe I'll read it.....one day.... And he seriously kissed the ground? Has no one told him about germs? lol

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    1. Oh, Natalie, it was the corniest thing I've read in a long time!

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  8. Yep. Marguerite inspired much annoyance in me, but I enjoyed this one enough to forgive it a little. Just a little.

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    1. You're better than I am. I've been able to overlook annoying characters before but not this time.

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  9. I remember loving the movie a lot more than the book, but the book was still entertaining for me. Can't even remember Marguerite in the book, though. Apparently that's a good thing :)

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    1. Oh, you're lucky. I think I'll always remember her. Unfortunately.

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