10 April 2011

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo is one of Alexander Dumas's most famous books. It was written in the mid1840s as a serialized newspaper installment.

Unbeknown to me, the version of this book that I downloaded from www.gutenberg.org is an abridged version. Out of a total of 117 chapters, the version I read included chapters 28-47; only 20 chapters. Now that I am aware that I was only reading a portion of the story I can truly say that I do wish I had been reading the full unabridged novel.
The Count of Monte Cristo (Penguin Classics)

The story was still very meaty. I was able, as a matter of fact, to discern on my own that one of the main characters appeared in many different incarnations throughout the story, holding title to 6 embodiments aside from his original appearance in the story. The whole story would only be more clear had I been reading the novel in its entirety.

Since it was written as a serial the plot is thick! The reader finds much to enjoy: revenge, adventure, treasure, romance, intrigue, piracy... There is little reason for me to go on. If you like a story line that continually builds and doesn't falter in doldrums you will likely appreciate this story. The setting moves along as well, back and forth from France to Italy and other locales.

For a serious reader, I would recommend the complete, unabridged novel. I would also recommend reading a literary guide along with it so that nothing vital is missed.

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