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Basil Balian

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French Classic Rocambole in English
Friday, March 02, 2012  6:18:00 AM

by Basil Balian



Action/Thriller
For the first time ever, A French classic is adapted into an English language three volume work.

Coming in March

Before there was a Sherlock Holmes, Scarlet Pimpernel, Hercule Poirot, the Saint, and Arsene Lupin, there was Rocambole. The story of Rocambole by Ponson du Terrail has been acknowledged as the transition between the old-fashioned Gothic novel to modern heroic fiction, thus marking the beginning of the genre of adventure crime fiction novels. The Rocambole saga has captivated readers around the world for nearly two centuries. It is the story of an adventurer and a criminal who started life on the wrong side of the law, redeemed himself, and then devoted his life to doing good. 

The English-speaking world has hardly heard of Rocambole because the story has never been translated into English even though five full-length movies have been made of parts of the story and two television series based on the story lasted for several seasons in France and Mexico. One reason why a full translation has not been attempted may have been the length of the saga which runs to seventeen books. Another reason is that the story was first published as a newspaper serial, and an exact translation would render a soap opera that is hopelessly convoluted with a never-ending number of characters and subplots that makes it hard to follow.

This book is the first attempt to tell the story in English. It is an adaptation of the complete saga and it will be offered in three volumes, each with four book sections. The first volume, The Dark Side tells about Rocambole’s sinister life. It will be followed by the second volume, Redemption, and the third volume, Crusade. This adaptation has maintained all the major plots of the original saga but edited them to eliminate the minor characters and subplots and replaced them with original material to bridge the gaps.

 







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