πŸ“– The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (1846) β­β­β­

Hello, my fellow bookworms, today I am bringing you my thoughts on the classic adventure novel, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, which was published back in 1846. I hoisted this weighty tome up at the very beginning of summer 2021 and it took me over three months to read it. Finally, finishing it at the start of October 2021. But was it worth it I hear you cry? Well…

The scene opens, in the south of France, upon the brave, dashing Edmond DantΓ¨s, who, at just nineteen years old, has become a well admired sea captain and is about to marry a beautiful young woman named MercΓ©dΓ¨s. Yet his good fortune stirs up dangerous jealousy in the black-hearts of three men: Danglers, the treasurer of Edmond’s ship; Fernand, MercΓ©dΓ¨s’s covetous cousin; and Caderousse, Edmond’s nosey neighbour.

Together these conniving conspirators cook up a plan, unconnectedly helped by an ambitious deputy judge, Villefort, that sees Edmond arrested and sent to the infamous ChΓ’teau d’If without trial or appeal. Where it is heart-breaking to see poor Edmond wallowing away for fourteen agonisingly long years; in a dark, cold, filthy cell, while his friends and loved ones mourn with no clue what has happened to him. 😒

However a chink of light comes in the form of fellow prisoner the AbbΓ© Faria, an Italian priest, who becomes Edmond’s teacher, father-figure and benefactor. He not only helps Edmond to escape, but gifts him the means to go after the men responsible for his incarceration. All of whom are now rich, powerful and respected figures in Parisian society, as the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo arrives in town!

This ‘new’ Edmond is very different, as he coldly plots and calculates to bring his enemies down from within. Cleverly revealing and enabling their own vices, weaknesses and secrets to destroy them, whilst never having to physically lay a finger upon them himself. On the flip side, he also becomes a secret benefactor to his old friends and worthy souls in need.

All which is told in Dumas’s trademark detailed, flowing description and prose, that may be too wordy for a lot of modern readers, but which I find wonderful. Very like reading Dickens or Tolkien, you need to slow down, take your time, mull it over and lose yourself in this sort of writing style. Hence the three months it took me to finish! You can see why this was hugely popular when it was first serialised in the 1840s.

It made me smile, laugh, cry, gasp and wonder at the sheer audacity and scale of this epic tale. With its large host of characters, including great ladies, politicians, lords, generals, pirates, highwaymen, sailors and slaves. Plus its many gorgeous locations from the large port town of Marseilles; the festival packed streets of Rome; and the bustling society of Paris. You need your thinking cap on to keep up! πŸ˜…

So was it worth it? Yes! Overall I thought The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas was an epic, sweeping tale of love, loyalty, betrayal, patience, hope and revenge! I am not sure it can quite knock The Three Musketeers off my top spot for Dumas, but it comes pretty darn close! I recommend this if you enjoy classics, adventure and historical-fiction. Great read ⭐⭐⭐

Have you read this? Or anything else by Alexandre Dumas? Please let me know in the comments below!

17 thoughts on “πŸ“– The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (1846) β­β­β­

  1. I listened to this one via Librivox.org, and found it fantastic! The interesting thing is that I really did not like the Dartanian series, nor the other novels of his which I gave a quick try.

    But I did love his short story Murat, which I hear recently.

    1. Hey Shira! πŸ‘‹ Thank you for stopping by and commenting – It is always lovely to hear from a new face. 😊 Great to hear you enjoyed listening, although sad you didn’t like the Dartanian series as I have been.

  2. I don’t think I’ve read any Dumas! I’m afraid if I took that long to read a book, I’d forget everything from the beginning before I reached the end! I’m glad it was totally worth the effort for you. πŸ™‚

    1. Not read any Dumas?! 😱 I am only kidding, Kelly – I can totally see how the length of them would put people off. It took me about 10 years to finally pick this up! If you want a slightly shorter, easier read I would go with The Three Musketeers as a first read. As for the memory though, I don’t think these are the types of tales you need to keep recalling things in, just go with the flow. πŸ˜…

  3. This is one of my favourite classics, so I’m pleased to hear you enjoyed it so much. I agree that you need to take your time with this sort of book, but it’s definitely worth it in the end! Apart from this one and the Musketeers series, I have also read The Black Tulip, which I loved as well.

    1. Helen, I added The Black Tulip to my Classics Club list, after I read about how much you had loved it! I also need to read more of the Musketeers series! 😁

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