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lightreads ([personal profile] lightreads) wrote2012-04-25 10:49 pm

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy

The Scarlet PimpernelThe Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

So boring. So boring;.

I read this weeks ago, and I've been waiting ever since for someone else in the group to come out with a great review. Something transformative. It would compare this to Radcliff and nineteenth-century opera and talk about modes of romanticism. Or it'd be one of those intensely personal reviews about a grimey, sweaty summer spent singing in the chorus line for a production of Pimpernel, and the backstage affair whose passions ebbed in counterpoint to the story. Or, I don't know, something.


It's not like I got anything either. Except maybe one thing.

Of all the times in recent years for this book to hit my radar screen, this is probably the worst. It's not about rescuing people from the violence of the French Revolution. It's about those poor, persecuted rich people. It's horrible, they've never hurt anybody -- well, except for the starvation, and the institutionalized remnants of feudal pseudo-slavery, and the "I'm not concerned about the very poor" -- oh sorry, wrong guy. "let them eat cake." There. That's the one. This is a book convinced that people are interesting and worthy of respect by virtue of being very wealthy, and I just.

It's a small part of my job to absorb national political mood and reflect it back in different analytical modes. And I was not in the fucking mood for "let them eat cake."

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[personal profile] livingbyfiction 2012-04-26 05:00 am (UTC)(link)
Let me direct your attention to my review of Never Let Me Go, in which I reference The Scarlet Pimpernel. Because both books are garbage.
aella_irene: (Default)

[personal profile] aella_irene 2012-04-26 06:34 am (UTC)(link)
I read most of the book thinking ", I'm with Marguerite and Chauvelin here. Send those bastards to the guillotine darling, and you go off and have an affair with Therese Tallien!"
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[personal profile] cahn 2012-04-28 12:12 am (UTC)(link)
That's too bad. I remember liking this book quite a lot when I read it at high school, though that does have a lot to do with the teacher who lent it to me, whom I loved, and which I have never managed to read again, though most of the stuff she lent me I've managed to find again one way or another, so I suppose that's my subconscious telling me something.

And I love the musical, which is totally campy and schmaltzy and has terrible lyrics that frequently make no sense ("The moonlight on the bed will fade away/ Some day" -- what?) and uninspired music. And when I saw it, Douglas Sills was playing the Pimpernel, and he was amazing -- my contention is, people are interesting and worthy of respect by virtue of being played by Douglas Sills :)
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[personal profile] cahn 2012-04-29 02:26 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, I don't disagree the musical is horrible -- my sister brought home the soundtrack before I saw it, and I was all "uh, you realize this is tripe, right?" But Douglas Sills is so good, in my opinion, that he can actually sell the horribly cheesy dialogue and uninspired music.

I'd expect that without Sills it would be rather terrible, sort of like Wildhorn's earlier Jekyll and Hyde, which I saw the video of with David Hasselhoff. No, really. It was soooo bad I laughed through the whole thing.