Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Book review: Saint Martin's Summer by Rafael Sabatini

Rafael Sabatini (1875-1950)

Saint Martin's Summer, published in 1909, is a historical romance, Sabatini's signature style.
Think of it as a very high-toned beach book….
Here's my take on it:

Jason Bourne would be bored in Dauphiny.

It's a sleepy, rural French province, but there is the occasional sword play, and some moat diving, so he wouldn't be bored all the way to tears…

But let's just face up to it, in your classic Romantic novel about 18th century French dowager marquises and blundering bounders and dashing heroes and cherishable maidens and fat, simpering seneschals, you're going to get more talk than titillation, and more argument than action. So be it.

Sabatini deftly creates his tale of principled, introspective people trying for success, both villainous and otherwise.

His characters have deep appeal—they're always trying to do the right thing, or at least trying to do a bad thing the right way…e.g., Grenache knows he must save the girl, and he knows he will love her deeply…

They care deeply—about the ones they love, about their success in a milieu that maximizes opportunity for deception and ultimately minimizes the prospect of getting away with a betrayal or self-dealing or moral weakness.

Sabatini is a colorful storyteller, and he tells a great story about things that count.

More on Sabatini.....

Bookstores for book lovers...

L. P. Hartley's art...

The Financier

1491....the book

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2012 All rights reserved.

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