Friday, March 16, 2012
Book Review of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Author: Alexandre Dumas
Publisher: Bantam Classics
Type of book: Revenge, generations, sea, Chateau D'if, unjust imprisonment, god, control, wealth, 1815-1840s?
Year it was published: 1844 (version I have 1956)
Set against the turbulent years of the Napoleonic era, Alexandre Dumas's thrilling adventure story is one of the most widely read romantic novels of all time. In it the dashing young hero, Edmond Dantes, is betrayed by his enemies and thrown into a secret dungeon in the Chateau d'If- doomed to spend his life in a dank prison cell. The story of his long, intolerable years in captivity, his miraculous escape, and his carefully wrought revenge creates a dramatic tale of mystery and intrigue and paints a vision of France- a dazzling, dueling, exuberant France- that has become immortal.
I found the characters to be flat, besides Edmond Dantes, but I think for this type of book its necessary because of the nature of it. Yet it didn't detract from my enjoyment and instead added to it.
No one can be God.
I honestly found the timing somewhat awkward, but the plot is well done and crafted as the reader glimpses the shocking scenes and confessions, as well as how it all fits together. Even though we know that the enemies get what they deserve there is still scandal and shock, especially how everything unfolds. This is from multiple points of view in third person narrative.
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.
The version I read was abridged, which means I read the main points and not extra details. I read this a number of years ago and one of the worst things to happen with this book is interruptions for anything, which I hated to do. I loved the suspense, the tension, the way the plot is strung and Edmond's constant nature. There are many things that I have forgotten over the years, but reading the book was still delightful. I have to be honest that although I tend to be kind of a purist as in nothing being cut out, in this case it worked wonderfully because from reading the Three Musketeers series, I doubt that full version would have been interesting. It does teach good lessons and answers a what if question; if you had unlimited money, would you be happy getting a revenge on someone?
5 out of 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.)