Title: The Count of Monte of Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Book Beginnings quote:
On the 24th of February, 1815, the lookout at Notre-Dame de la Garde signaled the three-master, the Pharaon, from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.
The commissary of police, as he traversed the antechamber, made a sign to two gendarmes, who placed themselves one on Dantes's right and the other on the left.
Summary: Edmond Dantes is set up by two jealous individuals and their compatriots and accused of being a spy and a follower of Napoleon, the Emperor. On the very day he is set to wed his love, Mercedes, he is hauled off to prison on trumped up charges. None of his friends or family know where he is and he is left to rot in prison where he will surely die. Fourteen years later, he escapes with the help of another prisoner who tells Dantes where to find a hidden treasure trove. After finding the treasure Dantes sets in to action a plan seeking revenge on those whose falsehoods sent him to prison.
|Published by: Word Cloud Classics in 2013. 1055 pages.|
Review: Throw me a party!!! I finished this classic, this tome. The version of the book I read was 1,055 pages long and the audiobook was over 42 hours long! It was no small project to complete this book but I confess by the time the book got to it's climax, around page 800, I was all in.
Here are a few of my observations, since the book has been around since 1846, no one needs me to review it. (If you want to know more about it, check on Snopes!)
- I listened to the audiobook and the voice actor was fluent in French. Many words and names sounded very similar to me and I had a hard time keeping track of events and people. In addition several of the character names were changed after Dantes was imprisoned, as they went to a kind of hiding. I liked listening to the audio version but it would likely have been less confusing had I read the print version.
- This tome could have easily been divided into three books: Imprisonment; The Set Up; and Revenge. I'm sure if Dumas had published the story today he would have been advised to do just that.
- I was very aware that the book was set for the modern reader at the time (mid 1840s) of its publication. Dumas was clearly familiar with the dress and the social habits of the upper class of the day. A few examples: no one showed up at the opera on time because they wanted to make a grand entrance; most people had mistresses and thought little of the scandal; the addictive nature of opium was NOT understood.
- Dumas wrote The Count of Monte Cristo with the help of a ghostwriter, Auguste Marquet. I couldn't help wondering what percentage of the book was actually written by Dumas.
- The book was published serially between 1844-1846, then as a complete book in 1846.
- According to Wikipedia: The story takes place in France, Italy, and islands in the Mediterranean during the historical events of 1815–1839: the era of the Bourbon Restoration through the reign of Louis-Philippe of France. It begins on the day that Napoleon left his first island of exile, Elba, beginning the Hundred Days period when Napoleon returned to power. The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book, an adventure story centrally concerned with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness.
With the completion of The Count of Monte Cristo, I have accomplished my 'One Big Book Challenge' of the year! This is a personal challenge where I select one book I've avoided because of size or scope and set myself the goal of finishing it within the year. It didn't take me a year, but it did take me almost three months to read this one!