Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Count of Monte Cristo

Title: The Count of Monte Cristo

Author: Alexandre Dumas

Number of pages: 1462

Started: 18 February 2010

Finished: 23 March 2010

Opening words:

On the 24th of February 1815, the lookout at Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the three-master, the Pharaon from Smyrna, Trieste and Naples.

As usual, a pilot put off immediately, and rounding the Chateau d'If got on board the vessel between Cape Morgion and the Isle of Rion.

Immediately, and according to custom, the platform of Fort- Saint-Jean was covered with spectators; it is always in an event at Marseilles for a ship to come into port, especially when this ship, like the Pharoon, has been built, rigged, and laden at the old Phocee docks, and belongs to an owner of the city.

Plot summary:

Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and becomes determined not only to escape but to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. A huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s, Dumas was inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment when writing his epic tale of suffering and retribution.

What I thought:

This was a big read! All 1462 pages of it. It was a decent read, but I have to say that the size of it was daunting and meant that I perhaps skimmed over some of the finer points of it. It was a book of captivity and vengeance and much more.

I have heard a few people say that this was one of the best books they have every read. I would not put it in that category, but it is certainly worth a read. Vengeance is a dish best served cold, as they say.


Sarah said...

Sorry not to have been by recently. I remembered that you had been reading this and was keen to see what you had thought. I read it as a comparative youngster and was completely captivated, although I still feel disturbed, thinking about it, even now.

I can see why the length would put you off. I wonder if blogging does this to us? Not just the writing of them, but visiting and having a constant treasure trove waved under our noses? As a kid I really loved long books that I could 'stay in' for a long time, but now I am always rushing for the next one.

Random Reflections said...

Sarah - I am pleased to see you back blogging again.

I found the length of the book off-putting. I often read long books and wonder why they couldn't have said it in fewer words, but maybe that says ore about me than the book.