Saturday, June 30, 2007
The Count of Monte Cristo
"The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas
The story begins with 19 year old Edmond Dantès on top of the world. He is about to be married and he is to be captain of his own ship. However, jealousy among his acquaintances cause them to sabotage the life coming his way. He is framed for being a Napoleon supporter. His judge has political reasons to continue the treachery. Edmond winds up in prison for the next 14 years.
Edmond's prison mate just happens to know where untold riches have been buried so long the world has forgotten them. He's also a Italian scholar who educates Edmond. Then circumstances allow Edmond to escape and claim the treasure. All of the players from his betrayal have left Marseilles and gone to Paris. They have also gotten rich. After roaming the earth for a spell, Edmond assumes the title "Count of Monte Cristo" and follows where he begins a campaign of revenge.
This book has every thing: love, murder, revenge, betrayal. But it's completely implausible. Every step of the way, things just fall into place to accommodate the Count. If he needs a murderous wife, she's there. If he needs a secret passage, it's there. If he needs a witness, it's there. (If his lucky star shined that brightly he'd have never gone to prison in the first place). It is over-the-top melodrama.
That being said, it's still a captivating book. The characters are so black and white you can predict most of it (but not all--I did have one big surprise from it)but it's easy to get swept up in. I recommend it to anyone who wants an adventurous escape.