There are some very mild spoilers a head, so please be wary of that!
My Battered Copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. Photo Credit – Sweet Silver Linings Blog.
For some reason, I decided to pick up the biggest book I’ve read (The Stand by Stephen King following at a close second!) a month before my baby was due. I’m a slow, but avid reader so I don’t really know why I thought this was a good idea.
Just before I started it, I had finished The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafron, and they discussed Dumas’ lengthy classic, and after that I had the urge. It was winter as well, and I just fancied a revenge-adventure novel!
I even took it the hospital when I was in labour, where I read only half a page before giving up.
So, for all it took me *cough* 8 months *cough* to read it, I really loved it. Classic literature can be so tough, the language is different to that which we speak on a day to day basis, the pop culture/historical references are a bit of a stretch, let’s face, sometimes it can be drivel. I couldn’t get away with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or Moby Dick (Herman Melville) but I loved every bit of The Count of Monte Cristo. I will admit, I listened to a few chapters via an audio book on YouTube to give it a boost towards the end, because even though I was really enjoying it, I really just wanted it finished by this point!
The language was fascinating, and I would be forever reading snippets that I had found particularly intriguing or entertaining to my husband.
I feel that the novel is really ahead of its time – the men are very openly affectionate towards each other, and very concerned with their own image, and there is a even a small subplot that hints (but never fully admits) to two female characters running off together as lovers.
The characters were fantastic – even the baddies, they were really were the ones you love to hate! – I loved how over the top and dramatic they were! I often wondered why on earth any of them were so much as acquaintances, never mind friends as they did swap from being highly affectionate to down right offensive from sentence to sentence but hey – who doesn’t love a bit of witty banter amongst friends?!
This story of revenge is so elaborate – yes he’s wrongly imprisoned, and when he finally escapes, the only woman he ever loved has married one of the men that got him in prison in the first place, and yes his father is dead, but my word that is a lot of time, dedication and planning! I must admit, I found some of the revenge he took out a little disappointing. I had visions of them all being gathered together in one place for the big reveal, and then all trying to place the blame on each other, but no, singular punishment for each. Still very enjoyable!
Despite being so long, I didn’t feel that there was anything that wasn’t needed because every little detail played into the Count’s story.
Overall I’m giving this fascinating, entertaining and at times, shocking story a 5/5.
Now I’m looking forward to watching the adaptations! Although one day, I think I wouldn’t mind adapting this myself for television. That’s a long way off in the future though, I feel that would be a HUGE undertaking.