15 July, 2015

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Edmund Dantes is about to celebrate his engagement to his beloved, when three men conspire take him away, try him for a crime and imprison him for a very long time.  His imprisonment and subsequent escape are thrilling.

The island of Monte Christo is a real place (in the Mediterranean, between Corsica and Tuscany) and many of the background events are likewise true. Dumas writing close to the events he describes, gives a real flavour of post-Bonaparte Europe. 

The Count is supremely competent as he creates situations to discomfort and ultimately ruin those who stole 14 years of his life.  Yet his vengeance is tempered by his desire to protect the children of his adversaries.  Fortunately for him he is extremely wealthy and somehow in prison his fellow prisoner managed to instill in the rough French sailor the manners of an aristocrat and the ability to impersonate Englishmen and Italians.

Beware! this is a very long book, it took me a month and even so I skipped some of the long speeches.  That said, definitely worth reading.

Author: Alexandre Dumas

Reviewed by Christine, Takapuna Library
Christine has worked in North Shore libraries for over 20 years. She likes her fiction to be credible and her nonfiction to be accessible

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