The Count of Monte Cristo

by Alexandre Dumas

Paper Book, 2001

Status

Available

Publication

Barnes & Noble (2001)

Description

Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML: The Count of Monte Cristo is Alexandre Dumas' classic tale of revenge and adventure. The young sailor Dantes is fallaciously charged with treason and loses his fiancé, his dreams and his life when he is locked up for thirteen years on the island prison of Chateau d'If. Mentored by another prisoner, Dantes finally escapes the prison, reinvents himself as the Count of Monte Cristo and begins to exact his revenge on the people who set him up.

Original publication date

1844
1844–1846 (serialised)

Language

ISBN

0760723788 / 9780760723784

Rating

(5768 ratings; 4.3)

User reviews

LibraryThing member elliepotten
Firstly, a quick note on this edition: having started an old, archaic and atrocious translation to begin with, I can heartily recommend the crystal prose of Robin Buss's translation for Penguin Classics... The difference was startling, and it made it an absolute joy to read where it could so easily
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have become a chore!

Now, this is going to be a tricky one to review. What to say about a book so well loved, so widely read, so generally revered? Well, let's start with the basics, the bits most people already know. The novel opens with young Edmond Dantes, on the verge of becoming captain of his merchant ship and husband of the beautiful Mercedes, being betrayed by his jealous friends and thrown into jail for his alleged support of Napoleon. During his fourteen years in the terrifying Chateau d'If, he meets a 'mad' old abbe, who introduces him to the world of learning and tells him about a secret treasure that he wishes Edmond to have should he ever escape. Well, escape he does, and is reborn as the Count of Monte Cristo, using his incredible wealth, power and intelligence to bring justice down on the heads of the three men who condemned him to the dungeons.

This book is so many things: it is epic, complex and exciting; it is heartbreaking, sorrowful and romantic. It touches on the heights of emotion, society and the human condition, as well as the depths of despair, corruption and depravity. I found myself speeding along in breathless excitement as Edmond's true identity was revealed to each of his tormentors, and felt the full horror of the tangled webs he wove to destroy them one by one. It made me ponder the relationship between wealth and power, between knowledge and power, and the way that faith can save someone's life but also, if they don't take care, lead them down a path swathed in darkness. The Count's lesson for jealous Danglars, for example, was deeply satisfying - whereas his quiet destruction of Villefort's entire family was devastating to read. Of course, all this is terribly unlikely and deeply dramatic, but that is part of its charm - this is escapism at its finest!

Quite simply, this is a masterful novel that drew me in gently then refused to let me go. The characters are wonderfully drawn - I even got a bit of a crush on Dantes, fallen angel that he is - and the story seeps forward deliciously, bringing everything slowly into focus as the scattered elements of the Count's plans draw together. This is definitely going to be one of my top reads of the year and one of my favourite books ever! Read it!
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LibraryThing member brodiew2
"This Count de Monte-Cristo is a singular man," said Emmanuel.
"Yes," answered Maxmilian; "but I feel sure he has an excellent heart, and that he likes us."

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexndre Dumas is a singular novel. I can think of no higher praise than to say it now ranks as one of my top
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five favorite books ever. It is the story of a young sailor named Edmund Dantes who returns from voyage intending to marry his love Mercedes. On his return, he is praised by the ship owner (who trusts him and loves him like a son), and in wake of the captain's death, promotes Edmund to Captain. This does not sit well with Danglar, the ship owner's representative on the ship. It does not take Danglar long to conspire with Fernand, a soldier and friend of Mercedes who also loves her. The conspirators accuse Dantes of being a traitor and he sent before the magistrate the night before he is to be married. The Magistrate, Monsieur de Villfort, is ready to release Dantes, when evidence is provided that he must personally protect. For this reason, he ships Dantes to prison where he stays for 14 years. When he emerges from prison, he is a changed man. He is led to a treasure of unimaginable size which he plans to use to avenge himself against his enemies.

This review will be unconventional as I have shared my thoughts with you along the way. Please forgive my rambling stream of consciousness praising this magnificent novel.

Dumas is a master of character. This is present in Edmund Dantes/The Count himself. We begin with a simple man who is good and loves his simple life. After prison, his education by the Abbe, and his immense fortune, we have a magnanimous man on the surface, but a cold, seething man underneath. The mask of The Count reminds me very much of Batman and how Bruce Wayne is the mask. Dantes is a man who has everything the world says is success: knowledge, power, fame, riches. But in all of this he is driven by revenge. Thankfully, ultimately, he is not consumed by it. In fact, he takes just as many pains to bless those he loves as he does to cause the downfall of the those who wronged him.

Dumas is a master of character. There are many characters in this book, major and minor. What amazes me is that Dumas gives every minor character a moment in the spotlight. An example of this is a scene in which Albert de Morcef, Fernand's son, challenges his good friend Beachamp to a duel over an item which appeared in one of his newspapers. This scene could have been short as Beachamp could simply have accepted the challenge. Albert is insistent that his father's honor has been impugned. Beauchamp takes extra care to try and deter his friend as the item got into the paper without his knowledge and that he cannot confirm or deny its truth. Beachamp skillfully, and lovingly, delays the duel long enough to resolve the issue. This scene, and others like it, show the love that permeates the novel. Whether is it romantic love, filial love, the love of a friend, or the love of a mentor, Dumas make this love inescapable.

I'll wrap up by saying I loved that every bit of this book is central to the plot. There is little if any fat here. Every tangent that Dumas leads us on rounds back to the central story and bares on The Count's machinations. And, his machinations are great. This is the long con. The Count knows all. The Counts see all. At least, we are lead to believe this into the final pages of the book.

I cannot leave without sharing that John Lee performed this book as a master of his craft. He uses multiple accents, of Italian, French, Arabian, and British. They are seamless. He builds dramatic tension so well and expressed anguish in such a way that I cannot help but get a lump in my throat. I would also say that this is my favorite audiobook ever. Lee's performance is so well rounded and so rich that I say it should be held up as a definitive example of the craft.
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LibraryThing member AHS-Wolfy
I used to style this as the greatest story I'd never read but will now have to arrive at a new appellation having just completed it. I have read and seen a few adaptations but never tried the original until now. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive in picking this one up as surely it could
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only disappoint?

I think the majority of people will be familiar with the tale of Edmond Dantes; his betrayal and subsequent imprisonment, his re-education and escape followed by his quest for vengeance on those responsible and so I will not detail that here. When I started this book it was with the thought that as it was so long I'd have to intersperse maybe a couple of other, lighter novels in between but after making a start I realised there was absolutely no need for me to even think of picking up another book in the meantime. Yes, there are slow moments in the story as we are introduced to the large cast of characters and how they all fit together but the last 400 pages just fly by as the well laid plans start to come to fruition. There really is something for just about everyone here with a tale of love, adventure, morality but at its heart is the tale of cold-blooded revenge.

If, like me (prior to the last couple of weeks), your only encounter with this story is through other versions then I would certainly recommend reading an unabridged copy of the original as, for instance, the 2002 film changes and misses out large chunks (as it must do) of the narrative and you do not get the full effect through that medium. A superb book that now leaves me with just one problem. How do I follow that?

Perhaps from now I will just refer to this book as The greatest story.
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LibraryThing member bookworm12
This was one of the most intense, intricate plots I have ever encountered in the literary world. It is nothing less than spectacular and it is well worth the time commitment it takes to read it.*

Most people know the basic premise of The Count of Monte Cristo. Edmond Dantes, a sailor who is beloved
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by his father and fiancé and all the men who work with him, is betrayed by a few jealous men and unjustly sent to prison. What follows is an incredible story of hope, survival and above all, revenge. That’s about all I can say without getting into spoiler territory.

“The unhappy young man was no longer called Edmond Dantes – he was now number 34.”

**SPOILERS**

Edmund’s time in jail is so beautifully written. I felt his despair in every bone of my body. The sheer horror of what happened to him chilled my blood. Dantes was jailed for 6 years, considered mad and completely isolated before he heard the voice of someone other than his jailer. Just for one moment try to understand the absolute torture of that kind of solitude. The hope that he got from the mere thought of someone in the cell near him stopped him from committing suicide.

“Seventeen months captivity to a sailor accustomed to the boundless ocean, is a worse punishment than human crime ever merited.”

He spends years wasting away and when he finally meets a fellow inmate; their connection is so deep and profound that it truly renews his spirit and gives him a reason to live. He spends years learning from Abbé Faria only to lose him after he becomes his second father. He manages to control his grief and think on his feet and after 14 years in jail Edmund is able to escape.

Instead of immediately racing to the island to claim the treasure Abbé Faria told him about, he spends time working on a ship. He gains the respect and love of those he works with and bides his time. When he finally gets his fortune he proves that once again he’s in no hurry. Throughout the whole book Dantes’ patience is mind-boggling. He does his homework, learning all the history that unfolded during his 14 years in prison. He then focuses on rewarding those who were loyal to him. Although his father died of starvation and his fiancée married another man, there are still a few people who he wants to anonymously thank.

Dantes old boss Morrel is one of my favorite characters in the book. He is such a good man. He understands the true meaning of loyalty and Dantes remembers him and spends much of his time out of prison repaying that debt. Morrel fought hard to get him released from prison and when all his attempts fail he tries to care for Dantes’ father. He not only paid the funeral expenses when Dantes’ father dies, he did it with the full knowledge that Dantes was considered a Bonapartist and he would be judged harshly for it. In turn Dantes saves Morrel and his entire family in their moment of need. Just when Morrel is in the direst of situations, Dante swoops in and saves them, but he keeps his identity a secret.

“Be happy, noble heart, be blessed for all the good thou hast done and wilt do hereafter, and let my gratitude remain in obscurity like your good deeds.”

When he began his schemes for revenge things got a bit confusing. It was the one part of the novel that was a bit of a struggle for me. He takes on multiple aliases and secret identities, but at first we don’t know the new character is still Dantes. We’re also introduced to many new characters with little fan fare and it was hard to figure out who was who for awhile, but if you hang in there it all makes sense pretty quickly.

I can’t even explain to you how satisfying it is when Dantes starts revealing his true plan and we see his long-awaited revenge finally come to fruition. He slowly inserts himself into the lives of his betrayers, earning their trust as an unknown stranger. The cyclical nature of the book is delightful. For each character there is a fitting end and it’s so satisfying! Both those who are good and evil get their just desserts.

I loved how Mercedes and Albert found out the truth about Dantes situation and how the rest of their story concluded. The scene between Mercedes and Edmond just took my breath away. After his time in prison he had become so hard and calloused, yet with only a few words she still had the power to make him melt. Some corner of his heart never stopped loving her and the same was true for her. Their love story was a tragic one, but there was beauty in it too.

Dantes calculated the perfect revenge for each of his betrayers. Fernand stole his love and the family he would have hard, so his punishment was the loss of his family. Danglars’ motivation for betrayal was greed and jealousy and so he lost his entire fortune and was forced to learn what hunger truly was like. He was the worst of the villains, goading the others into their acts of treachery, and his fate was equal to his crime. Villefort acted out of a loyalty to his father, but also out of a desire to protect his own reputation and future. You could almost understand it if it was only out of love for his father, but in the end it was really a selfish decision. So it was only fitting that Villefort's doom come from within the household he tried to protect. He lost his family and the respect of his entire community.

In the midst of this tale of revenge there are a few beautiful stories of love and redemption as well. Maximilien Morrel’s love of Valentine de Villefort, Valentine’s devotion to her disabled grandfather and Haidée’s love of Dante are all powerful pictures of devotion in their own ways. It’s incredible that in addition to creating such a thrilling adventure story, Dumas also gave the book wonderful characters with depth that will stay with readers forever.

**SPOILERS OVER**

BOTTOM LINE: Read it! It’s a long haul, but unlike some long novels, the majority of the book flies by and it keeps you interested throughout. Many older classics that take time to get into and adjust to the language, but this one starts off at a run and doesn't let go. Besides one small section in the middle that dragged for me, I couldn't put it down. Curl up with this brick of a book and you won’t be sorry.

“In politics, my dear fellow, you know, as well as I do, there are no men, but ideas – no feelings, but interests; in politics we do not kill a man, we only remove an obstacle, that is all.”

“There are, indeed, some things which appear so impossible that the mind does not dwell on them for an instant.”

“The overflow of my brain would probably, in a state of freedom, have evaporated in a thousand follies; misfortune is needed to bring to light the treasures of the human intellect. Compression is needed to explode gunpowder.”

“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of living.”
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LibraryThing member captawesome
I first became aware of this fine work when my dumb b*tch of an ex-girlfriend attempted to read it during one of her brief and ineffectual attempts to appear smarter than she actually was. Being accustomed to the morass of condescending relativism and corporate-sponsored feelgoodery known as
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Oprah's Book Club, she quickly lost interest and cast it aside. Despite my near absolute certainty that the book would contain no giant robots or gratuitous sex scenes I decided to start reading it myself, if only to show that dumb b*tch up.

The first third or so sort of plods along seemingly without rhyme or reason, and I admit that I was starting to wonder when the damn Count was going to show up and kick some ass already. However, what at first seems like one pointless tangent after another is actually a set-up for one of the biggest mindfucks in the history of literature. The Count of Monte Cristo is one bad ass mofo that will rock your face off. His plans for revenge border on the comically insane, fortunately none of his enemies are Batman so everything goes off without a hitch in the end. Come to think if it, The Count of Monte Cristo is like what would happen if Batman and the Joker were really the same person. Holy sh*t, I just blew my own mind.
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LibraryThing member DRFP
To be honest this is little more than the equivalent of a 19th century Dan Brown novel. The Count of Monte Cristo is a very entertaining read but I didn't find much literary value in this "classic."

The prose itself is solid but I thought there was remarkably little of weight contained within these
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1300 pages. There's little debate about the right or wrong of Dante's revenge (at least until the end and then it feels oddly half-hearted and tacked on). There's really little time to think about anything. The plot rumbles on at such a fast pace that there's almost never a moment to pause and think. On the one hand that does make for an exciting novel but I was hoping for a bit more intellectual heft to this story than I got.

The shift, from the start of the story (up to Dante's escape) and from then on to the novel's conclusion is also quite jarring. The beginning is full of insight into Dante's frame of mind and feelings but that is cut off as soon as the Count of Monte Cristo persona takes over. I found this very frustrating. There's very little for us to emotionally feed off of because we have no idea what the Count is thinking. Of course, it's sort of appealing that he's so above ordinary men by this stage but that leaves Dante's character rather flat for most of the novel. I've read short stories with more character insight than the entirety of this book! Whilst we're on the subject of the Count's greatness - yes, his plans all working out nearly perfectly and him being so in charge of everything is sort of attractive - but it's also a little bit boring once you realise that the Count's basically got everything covered and sorted. For instance - was the plot line with Valentine really supposed to be in doubt? That seemed dragged out for rather petty reasons to me if it weren't.

Another failing of this still fun book was that Edmond's revenge felt anti-climatic every time. Because Dumas races along so fast (like the Count himself) and the characters are rather flat the satisfaction that ought to be felt is rather minimal. There's nothing in the way of an epic confrontation when the Count finally reveals himself - everyone seems to gasp in horror and disbelief, run off and that's about it.

As I said at the start this is a fun novel but it's not the sort of literary beast that you usually associated with most nineteenth century classics (perhaps that's a good thing for some people?). It's an enjoyable read that I was able to get through with ease and speed because of its simple writing and furious pace. But a lot in the story did seem simple and convenient and although I was happy at the outcome it didn't feel as monumental I'd hoped it would when starting out on the journey.

The Count of Monte Cristo was fun but ultimately inconsequential. If you want a doorstopper of a novel featuring an outstanding lead character fighting through life and having an epic showdown with his nemesis that isn't always predictable (except for him making the ladies swoon) then try Eiji Yoshikawa's Musashi. Now that's monumental.
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LibraryThing member Katie_H
This is one of my favorite books of all time, if not THE favorite. It has something for everyone, from romance, to betrayal and revenge, to travel and adventure, to swashbuckling and violence, to redemption and hope. There is so much meat to this unparalleled tale that it would take pages to fully
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detail. It can be easily explained by this quote from the text: "He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of living." The Count of Monte Cristo is an epic literary work with excellent pacing and a fantastic climax. It is a must-read for anyone who loves reading. I read the complete unabridged version, and it was lengthy - I'm not sure how many pages, since I read it on my Kindle, but it took me around three weeks of steady reading to complete it. It was 100% worth the time spent. This is a terrific story with a poignant message. "...has not the Count just told us that all human wisdom is summed up in two words? - 'Wait and hope.'"
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LibraryThing member KallieGrace
What an excellent book. I have so many thoughts. This is a delicious tale of revenge with fascinating characters, mystery, betrayal, rich portraits of high society in Rome and Paris at the time, and so many alter egos it would make anyone dizzy.
The first 200 pages or so focus on the betrayal and
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imprisonment of our protagonist, which is really the only time we get very close to him and his thoughts and plans. Once he escapes (that really can't be a spoiler, you've still 1000 pages left to go by then), he becomes elusive and mysterious even to the reader.
There were parts of this book that, while still great fun to read, felt like maybe we were losing the plot a bit, but sticking with them always brought us back to our story with greater insight into how everyone was connected. The chapters in Rome were a bit like that at first, and I am still scratching my head at the tales of the gang-raping bandits that were thrown in there, I don't think that was needed to introduce Vampa. Everyone has a rich and often salacious backstory, and we get all the details.
The revenge is fantastic because everyone's downfall was of their own making, secrets brought to light and dishonors uncovered. I suppose it would have been a much shorter book if they were all just killed after the prison escape.
I know it's a sign of the time it was written, but I did not like that the Count had slaves, or the circumstances of getting them, especially Ali. It seems that part of the immense wealth of the Count had to be shown through his possession of "exotic" things, and people....That certainly sours you to him for a while. He also is changed in his quest for revenge, and through parts of the story you start to wonder if he also turns into a villain in the end. I greatly enjoyed how the story was resolved, though I have to imagine Valentine is furious with the deception.
This is a classic I will revisit, I don't think I've enjoyed myself so much with a book in ages.
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LibraryThing member ToniFGMAMTC
No revenge story will ever measure up after reading this. Dude is the Revenge Master, level infinity. He was framed and sent away to prison for life as a young man. After fourteen years in prison, he escapes and plots and amazing comeback. He doesn't rush in and screw it all up. It takes
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twenty-three years overall, but everyone who even stood next to someone that looked at him funny gets theirs. He totally wrecks and ruins every single one amazingly. Wow, he was dedicated.
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LibraryThing member Matke
Just a rip-snorting good read; full of revenge, pathos, love, and adventure.
LibraryThing member electrascaife
Oh, this is So. Good. The story of Edmund Dantes, his misfortunes, rise to riches and his deliciously intricate revenge is just as fabulous as the details of all of the intertwining characters and stories following along in his wake. A long one, but I was so sad for it to end. Dantes also enters
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the ranks of fictional fantasy boyfriends (move over, Mr. Holmes, and Gen, and...).
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LibraryThing member saucymama
Best book EVER! Hands down. Worth the time to read this story! It's got plenty of action, mystery, suspense, AND it is very well written with detailed characters unlike a lot of today's writing. Highly recommend if you want a great classic!
LibraryThing member Brendan.H
So it turns out that English language versions of The Count of Monte Cristo are often abridged and bowdlerized, without necessarily noting that fact. The edition I read was one of these, which I now realize accounts for the breakneck pacing of the plot, the inexplicable appearance and disappearance
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of apparently superfluous characters, and the fact that the chief villain appeared to escape w/ the lightest punishment. I still enjoyed it, but I'm mightily annoyed that I missed out on the lesbianism and infanticide and I'm sorry to say that I may not be bloody minded enough to barrel through the full 1200 page original in the aftermath of the 700 page kid's version.
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LibraryThing member MrsLee
A classic tale of revenge served cold, told in the nineteenth century style. I listened to the audio version as narrated by John Lee. Mr. Lee's voice is pleasant, his delivery fine, however, when he attempted Italian and Greek accents, I had to grit my teeth until that part of the story was over.
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Mercifully, most of the story is English, with bits of French, and on those he did very well. I speak as an English speaker, not a French speaker.
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LibraryThing member MrsLee
I have a two volume, ancient leather bound edition of this book, the cover is prettier on this site.
This was a great book and adventure. It not only had a wonderful suspenseful tale, but it had all the deep questions of the soul in it. Very good pondering.
LibraryThing member Andibook
First of all, why hasn’t HBO or AMC made this into a miniseries yet?! The characters are so engaging - the servants, the enemies, the frenemies, the good guys; they all have backstory and personality. And the whole thing is so full of suffering and delicious revenge.

The story follows Edmund
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Dantes, a salt-of-the-earth (salt-of-the-sea?) first mate aboard the Phaeron. Things are going pretty well for Dantes: he’s young, attractive, does his job well, he’s engaged to a pretty woman, and he’s about to be made captain. Then politics and jealousy get in the way, and he ends up in prison for fourteen years. He escapes and acquires a massive fortune; for the rest of the story, he uses his money to exact sweet, sweet revenge.

The book is separated into volumes, but I would separate it into six thematic sections: before prison, during prison, recovering from prison, rewarding friends, building revenge, and closure. Each one has a different feel to it. The revenge section is by far the longest, and perhaps the slowest - but by then, I was hooked, and I liked waiting for the hammer to fall on the count’s enemies.

Recommendation: Anyone who loves a historical fiction, adventure, or suspense. This is also a great read when you only have time for a chapter or two in one sitting.

Feels: Well-rounded, exciting, colorful. Satisfying (lots of revenge and wish-fulfillment).

Favorites: The side characters are fantastic, and I’m a sucker for good villains. The thing is, no one is “the evil villain” - they’re regular people, and you understand them even as you hate them. I also loved the way storylines intertwine, but without cheesy parallels. A lot of modern books/TV/movies tie the story up in a perfect little bow, everything symmetrical and no loose ends.

Least favorites: The ending was satisfying, but it did feel a little rushed.

Writing style: Just as elaborate as I was expecting, but surprisingly easy to read, once you get used to the names. The perspective bounces around to different characters/locations every chapter or so, letting you see each new event in a slightly different light. You see the Count as himself in one chapter, then you meet a “mysterious stranger” in the next (with a wink and a nod from the author). Dumas doesn’t always tell you what the count is doing, so much as he leads you gently down the path to figuring it out yourself.
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LibraryThing member RebeccaAnn
I don't even know where to start on this review. The book was huge in weight and scope that I don't think any puny little review could possibly do it justice. But I'll do my best.

I doubt I need to do a summary. Monte Cristo is famous as the ultimate novel of revenge, and rightly so. The reader is
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given a front row seat to the transformation of a kind, generous spirit into one who wants only vengeance on those who have done him wrong. We see Edmund Dantes wrongfully imprisoned for fourteen years. We see his betrothed stolen from him and we are witness to the horrible, painful death of his father. We see those who hurt him rise to power and fortune while he rots in a cell and attempts to starve himself to escape his pain. The beginning is chilling and sad.

And then it drags. It drags for a fairly hefty portion of the book. We are introduced to new characters and shown enough of them to get a feel for their personality. We see the vast wealth of the new Count of Monte Cristo (of whom the reader but not the characters of the book know the real identity). And boy is he wealthy. The immensity of it all is pounded into our heads until we are sick of it. The many and frequent descriptions of his exotic Oriental property, food, and slaves also starts to get old after awhile. We all know he's plotting something, especially when he begins to get close to those responsible for his imprisonment, but we don't know what. There's a lot of set up that leaves the reader wondering "Well, when he is going to get on with ruining their lives?"

And then, approximately two thirds of the way through the book, he "gets on" with it and the books becomes a page turner you cannot put down. It devours your life and leaves you with an aching wrist from holding up this nose breaker of a book but still wanting more.

What I most enjoyed was Dantes's transformation. He's a lovely, generous character in the beginning but when he returns as the count, he is despicable. Believing to be acting as God's emissary, he excuses his actions through religion. He's cold and ruthless, ruining his enemy's honor, destroying their fortunes, and driving away their families before doing away with them. Even knowing what he's been through, at times it was hard to sympathize with Dantes. But at the same time, it was even harder to sympathize with his enemies. Most of the time, I pitied the innocent family members of Dantes's enemies. They were the ones unjustly punished.

Eventually, Dantes has a paradigm shift after one of his schemes leads to the death of an innocent boy and he realizes how his need for vengeance has been controling him. It's a tear-inducing moment when he forgives Danglars, the chief instigator of his own ruin, and allows himself to love and be loved again.

This book is beautiful. Yes, it's long and at times even tedious. The characters are not always likeable and sometimes, you hate them all. I would recommend having other books on hand to break this one up when you start to feel a bit overloaded. But it's all more than worth it in the end. Upon finishing this book, I immediately went back and reread favorite moments. This will be a book I keep by my bedside so that the tragic, yet always hopeful, life of Edmund Dantes is never far from reach.

5 stars!
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LibraryThing member TakeItOrLeaveIt
when I was younger I recall liking it. I wouldn't say 'loved' it. I did love 'The Three Muskateers'. this story was a little outlandish for me. OMG my roomate's last-night's-stand just woke up in his room. she makes good sex sounds. ive never seen her face. just heard her get off. strange.
LibraryThing member keithgordonvernon
Long but enjoyable
LibraryThing member bartt95
Absolutely stunning!

I guess the fact that I read an entire novel of hardly under 1300 pages without being bored shows that this book has stood the test of time. Even though the set of characters remain in Paris for a good 800 pages, one never feels like skiping ahead because any detail could be a
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part of Monte Cristo's plot, and any sentence could be Dumas at his best.

This book has perhaps restored my faith in the 19th century novel. The perhaps now absurd focus on upper class is not bothersome after a page or 50, and it shows that one can get used to any style of prose. Monte Cristo and the entire set of characters are truly memorable, and even though they come across as a bit romanticized, they strike the heart and manage to appear as realistically as fiction allows.
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LibraryThing member mattries37315
This classic story of wrongful imprisonment, hidden treasure, and revenge is truly a masterpiece. Alexandre Dumas’ famous novel The Count of Monte Cristo has seen life not only in print but in film and television, but one cannot appreciate the novel unless you read it in its entire unabridged
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length.

Edmond Dantes is wrongfully accused of a crime and thrown in prison without trial to be forgotten, after overcoming both mental and physical anguish and befriending a fellow prisoner, and finally he is able to escape. Thanks to his friendship Dantes knows where a potential hidden treasure is located and finds it to be real, and using it begins finding out why he was thrown into prison and chart is path to revenge through fortune and hidden identities. Yet what this quick synopsis omits is the numerous and fascinating major and secondary characters that Dantes interacts throughout the narrative.

Originally published in serial form, Dumas was paid for how much he wrote and one would think that The Count of Monte Cristo might be riddled with meandering subplots that never go anywhere and/or have nothing to do with the central plot. But Dumas instead wove a tapestry of beauty with every word he wrote; instead of making meandering plots he described scenes and events in rich detail that it brings the story even more alive in the reader’s imagination.

If pressed to find anything negative to say about this book, the easiest answer would be cultural references that are almost 170 years old. The only other negative was the completely different societal norms that were in Parisian society in the 1840s compared today’s. However both of these ‘negatives’ can easily be put down to a piece of fiction that was contemporary when it was written but now can be seen as historical fiction with the passage to time.

The Count of Monte Cristo needs to be read in all its unabridged glory to fully appreciate why it is a masterpiece and classic. Dumas’ literary tapestry is a delight to behold once finished with the last page and makes the reader think about when they’ll have time to reread it in the future.
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LibraryThing member libbromus
There were times my hair stood on end with suspense. There were times the tears welled up in my eyes. There were times I was aware of being happy, of despairing, of despising, of loving, of feeling grateful and anxious and relieved. All of these feelings and more were contained in this story. As I
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got nearer the end, I read slower and re-read passages so it wouldn't be over. Alas, it came to the end as all things must. I mourn. I will read it again.
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LibraryThing member booksandwine
Reading an abridged book is like eating cake without frosting. You don't really need the frosting, but the frosting is what gives a cake it's delicious flavor. The Count of Monte Cristo is a book which ought to be read unabridged, if only for the richness and flavor of the text. The evolution of
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Edmond Dantes from sailor to prisoner to Count of Monte Cristo is enthralling. Alexander Dumas's book is captivating. It is hard to set aside CoMC, as the characters are extremely interesting and well-developed. It's not like the antagonists are straight-up bad guys with no redeeming qualities, they are just people who make bad choices and act out of self-interest.Essentially, the moral provided in this HUGE tome is that revenge is a dish best served cold. In order to understand why I say this, I shall provide some backstory. Three men known to Edmond Dantes, all jealous of him in some way, one wants his job, the other wants his girlfriend, plot a way to put Edmond Dantes in prison. Their plan works and Dantes is arrested. He's thrown in prison without a trial. Dantes spends awhile in jail and thinks of nothing but his revenge. Eventually, Dantes escapes and becomes the Count of Monte Cristo. Luckily, for the reader we get to see the entire evolution of Dantes, we see him in his darkest moments as well as in his crowning glory. His revenge is most apt.I highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking to be transported into another time as well as for someone who is looking to fall in love with well-developed characters. There are many editions out there, I recommend the Robin Buss unabridged translation published by Penguin Classics. Buss's translation is fantastic and readable, the phrasing is not awkward at all, as in other translations. Also, Buss's translation includes all of the naughty bits - i.e. one sex scene, some drug use, and a dash of homosexuality.
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LibraryThing member DavidGreene
Read unabridged for total immersion. I recommend this edition (the Buss translation from Penguin Classics).
LibraryThing member jayne_charles
How I expected to hate this, believing it to be long and boring and probably packed with tedious description. But I was totally wrong - it was easy to read (probably thanks to the modern translation), got down to business straight away, and within a few pages I couldn't put it down.

There are many
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things wrong with the book - the characters for example, whose personalities change to an unrealistic degree just to suit the storyline, and a traditional reliance on coincidence, but what the heck, this is such a brilliant adventure story that none of it matters a bit. I absolutely loved it, it's my favourite 'classic' of all time.
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