The Scapegoat (Virago Modern Classics)

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The Scapegoat (Virago Modern Classics)

The Scapegoat (Virago Modern Classics)

RRP: £99
Price: £9.9
£9.9 FREE Shipping

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Description

Take a look around you, at all those vast legions of cynical, weary, burnt-out souls - lost in their private hells. The edition I got was by the University of Pennsylvania Press, and it was already in its 5th printing.

Gilles and the family business of Verrerie (glass-work) and which all members reside in the stately Chateau. The image used in the site header is a fragment from Benozzo Gozzoli's fresco Procession of the Magi. I think the hair on the back of my neck would stand up if I walked into a pub and sat down next to a clone of myself. I made an effort to feel some sympathy towards them, just to anchor myself to the story, and succeeded for a time, to direct them towards Francoise (Jean's wife) and Blanche (his sister) who were both utterly wronged by the true Jean de Gue.

A life with a precocious daughter, a heavily pregnant wife, lots of adultery, an ailing mother, unhappy siblings,a failing company and a village still struggling with the demons of a NAZI occupied past and how they dealt with the collaborators 15 years ago. It's a suspenseful psychological study as we learn the secrets of Jean's life through the eyes of John as he works out the relationships and family history.

She and her sisters were indulged as a children and grew up enjoying enormous freedom from financial and parental restraint. It is evident that he is travelling through France, where he meets a man who eerily is his double in looks; a confident French count, Jean de Gué. Similarly, in The Scapegoat, the most powerful presence is that of one complete absentee – Jean de Gué. Previously somewhat shy and leading an uneventful life, John is unexpectedly thrust into the very limelight of life, acquiring a big family overnight, but also overbearing responsibilities and a failing business.I adored the descriptive element of the novel, the characters are flawed and dislikable ( apart from one or two) which was an element I really enjoyed. And if you could step into one of these men's lives - by trading places --as a stranger/ actor taking over the role.

Again, less gothic, but satisfying (although I must say, it left me quite curious as to what followed the final page). Oh and that’s just the beginning…he inherits a precocious 11-year old daughter, a sister-in-law (who he is having an affair with), a valet, a mistress, a glass factory that is floundering… And given this is a du Maurier novel there have been sinister things happening well into the past…that this Englishman now fake Frenchman is going to have to deal with. In Rebecca, on the other hand, du Maurier fuses psychological realism with a sophisticated version of the Cinderella story.There is a bit of an anticlimax at the end, and du Maurier did not quite manage to suspend our disbelief completely regarding this situation of two compete look alikes, who speak different languages, not only meeting but then one’s family mistaking a stranger for its own family member, inviting him home. When the priest leaves, Jean arrives and mocks John's attempts to help the family, mistakenly thinking he only wants to stay with them for the money and comfort, but John reveals he has grown to love them. Also, in both Rebecca and in The Scapegoat, people who committed terrible deeds in the past are haunted by their actions and try to use a naïve complete stranger to “get away” from their trauma.

The reading became compulsive, as I yearned to know what would happen next and how would John get himself out of the several situations that presented to him. Before long, it starts to become obvious that Jean is using John as a scapegoat; Jean's family and business are both in a mess and he wants someone else to have to deal with them. possessed by a reckless feeling I had never known before, the sensation that I myself did not matter any more.

It was a butterfly, the last of the long summer, woken by sunshine, seeking escape from the cobwebs that imprisoned it.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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