Thursday, August 5, 2010

Book Review of #3 Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas

Slow River
Name of book: Vicomte de Bragelonne

Author name: Alexandre Dumas

ISBN: 978-0-19-283463-8

Publisher: Oxford

Type of book: Adult or young adult, historical, one of French classics, 17th century, Louis XIV

Year it was published in: 1995 (originally was from 1847-1850?)

Part of a series: D'Artagnan Romances


It is May 1660 and the fate of nations is at stake. Mazarin plots, Louis XIV is in love, and Raoul de Bragelonne, son of Athos, is intent on serving France and winning the heart of Louise de la Valliere. D’Artagnan, meanwhile is perplexed by a mysterious stranger, and soon he learns that his old comrades already have great projects in hand. Athos seeks the restoration of Charles II, while Aramis, with Porthos in tow, has a secret plan involving a masked stranger and the fortification of the island of Belle-Ile. D’Artagnan finds a thread leading him to the French court, the banks of the Tyne, the beaches of Holland, and the dunes of Brittany.
The Vicomte de Bragelonne opens an epic adventure which continues with Louise de la Valliere and reaches its climax in the man in the iron mask.

Characters: The characters are round I suspect although they don't seem to go through a change in the novel. Just like a little in Twenty Years later, there are multiple points of views from different characters, and it can get quickly annoying to an extent. Many times I got lost with the story and simply read it to finish the novel. (Not as bad Asian Saga by James Clavell). The good characters are painted the same way, and same with bad characters, different from good characters but still sound alike. The good guys are all resourceful and gentleman and dashing characters. Unfortunately, in this novel in particular, there was barely any focus on the bad characters. 

Theme: Unfortunately, just like in previous D'Artagnan Romances, I cannot figure out the message that the novel is trying to send to me. (Between flipping back and forth of the pages, whatever the message was is lost to me.)

Plot: The plot is almost at a standstill and this has way too many point of views; those of Louis XIV, Louise and her friend, etc. the events also tend to be kind of mixed up and I couldn't understand what was going on at some points.

Author Information: Alexandre Dumas is a French author born in 1802 and wrote other novels such as The Count of Monte Cristo, The Man in the Iron Mask and The Three Musketeers. He died in 1870 and also wrote The Reign of Margot.

Opinion: Unfortunately this book again has too many threads for me to enjoy it properly, and it didn't help that I had to flip back and worth between index and the page I am on to understand the story. I did appreciate the extra things that Oxford included, such as notes and whatnot. I do recommend the edition I had to those who are into French history so they can know what is true what is fiction. This is a very slow read. 

3 out 5

(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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