Book Review: The count of Monte Cristo

Title: The count of Monte cristo
Author: Alexandre Dumas (pere)
Publication date: 1884
Country: France
Pagination: Circa 400
Some books are so good they are still worth looking at 134 years after their initial publication and some authors so timeless they still haunt literature more than a hundred years after their death. That’s a brief description of ‘The count of Monte Cristo’ and Alexandre Dumas, the man we have to thank for the book’s conception.
Dumas, also of the 3 musketeers fame, in the count of Monte Cristo, spins a tale that has most of the typical ingredients of a great story and displays why he is regarded as one of the top literary artists of all time from a country with a history log brimming with literary greats. Dumas’ tale of Edmond Dantes, a man in love and on the up, with his whole life in front of him and the world at his feet, On what should qualify as his happiest day has his freedom, love and career taken away from him in one brutal swipe under treacherous circumstances. Dante meets a monk who has a profound influence on his life (not the way you are probably thinking) and undergoes a character metamorphosis while in prison, then comes into unexpected wealth and becomes the count of Monte Cristo: a man on a payback mission.

Dumas skillfully weaves the story such that while it’s a long read, nearly every page is engaging. While it is based on the well known theme of vengeance, it has something of an original feel, And while Dumas leads us through a long and winding alley with many twists and turns, he also ensures we remain curious enough to follow him. The mix of a love with greed, deception,philosophy of sorts,conflict, betrayal, vengeance,politics and adventure produces a blend that’s all together satisfying.
Set during the period of the French revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte, the book also adopts the political and social conditions of the time as it’s environment, while Dantes story is going on, Dumas is also giving us a social commentary on Napoleon and revolution era France in a manner that is readable.The appearance of certain phrases and words from the original French in the English translation provide a sense of context proximity and adds to the charm of this read.
All in all… It’s not a quick read, being some 400 pages or thereabouts, but it’s a great read If you spare the time.

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