Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Count of Monte Cristo

Author: Alexandre Dumas
Stars: 3
Review by: MandyApgar

My one boss was teasing me how I can read at least one book daily, but almost never touch fiction. So I tried this one and for a while was rather pleasantly surprised.
I knew nothing of it coming in and frankly hate Dumas' other works so I wasn't expecting much. Minus a 200 page exposition to various love stories in the middle of the (507 page) book it was rather good. Edmond Dantes is a sailor about to marry the lovely and wealthy Mercedes, only to be arrested on trumped up charges the day before his wedding. Imprisoned for 14 years on the false evidence provided by 3 enemies jealous of his stature, he finds himself celled nearby an Italian priest bearing the knowledge of an immense treasure on the island of Monte Cristo. The two arrange an escape, only for the priest to die of epilepsy immediately before, and Edmond becomes a very wealthy man. Styling himself a count, he then ingratiates himself into the lives of those who wronged (and loved) him - saving the business of his mentor, making friends with the young son of his former fiance, etc. Up to there it was pretty good. But then things go out of focus for a while, with Edmond buying a princess as a slave and raising her as his ward - only to have her conveniently turn out to know some really dirty secrets of a former foe. He finally gets his all to often sworn revenge 24 freaking years after he was arrested, which got rather tiring. After all the exposition I was waiting for something, anything to happen and no. Finally he is avenged almost all at once, and the irritating thing was that all the people basically went "gasp! it's Edmond!" in the same theatrical way. I kept imagining an organist do a "dun-DUN!!!!" on the keys each time as it seemed so cliched it fit. But Edmond sort of has his revenge, and then promptly decides that life isn't worth anything and at first wants to run off and die more or less, but his ward Hardee then declares her love and the two of them presumably run off while Edmond's property and fortune are left to two young friends.

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