20 August 2007

The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

Date: August 17
Recommendation: Fantastic, but you may want to read the abridged version.

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I would be hard pressed to more aptly describe Dumas' classic than to invoke the words of Robert Louis Stevenson - "A piece of perfect storytelling."

Indeed, there is little of the Cole Notes jargon with Dumas. It is straight to the jugular with plot, subplot, conflict, and denouement. The characters are fully actualized, vivid and extremely knowable. Historical in its setting, the adventure's unlikely plot takes on a air of tangibility. Quite frankly, although the term is used loosely to describe anything old, I can think of but a few novels upon which the term "classic" can justifiably be affixed to.

Whether you have read it or not, most will be familiar with the plot. Edmond Dantes is betrothed to the lovely Mercedes. Conspirators however falsely accuse him of treason. Dantes is sent to prison, where he vows revenge. After years in solitary confinement, he is met by the Abbe Faria, who confers upon Dantes the secret to a vast treasure. Dantes escapes prison, heads for the isle of Monte Cristo to recover the treasure. He then embarks on mission of revenge against those who conspired against him. Along the way, there are dashing sword fights, the rescue of beautiful maidens, thwarting of villains, and plenty of secrecy.

The version I read is 1462 pages long. To put this in context, the first 4 Harry Potter books are 1485 pages. Should you have the patience, I would strongly urge you to read the Count. Even if you are already acquainted with the premise of the story, the details will adequately enrapture you to make the time worthwhile.

“I regret now,” said he, “having helped you in your late inquiries, or having given you the information I did.” “Why so?” inquired Dant├Ęs. “Because it has instilled a new passion in your heart—that of vengeance.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yaaah!! Glad you loved it.