Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Count of Monte Cristo

This enduringly popular tale of love and revenge in the post-Napoleonic era follows Edmond Dantes as he prepares to captain his own ship and marry his beloved Mercedes. But on his wedding day, he is betrayed by spiteful enemies and arrested on trumped-up charges. Condemned to lifelong imprisonment, he befriends Faria, a priest and fellow inmate with an escape plan. When Faria dies, Edmond escapes alone. Free at last, and incredibly wealthy, Edmond enters society posing as the Count of Monte Cristo to reclaim his lost love and enact a terrible vengeance on his accusers.

I feel for Dantes, he was young, ambitious, in love and had the potential for great things. But the people he thought he could have trust weren't his true friends but people envious of his success and the love of Mercedes. Not only did he give his trust so easily he assumed the Villefort (sp?) was an honorable man and that he had his best interests in mind. The despair and confusion that he felt being sent to prison over a matter he didn't understand, was all very believable in my opinion. Not only was he sent to prison he was put into a dungeon alone in the dark for years, the only company he had was his thoughts, some good and some bad. Until he accidentally meets the abbé. And it's then that the story really starts to pick up. The abbé teaches Dantes about the world, history and guides him to see what truly happened to him, the reason behind his arrest. When he finally realizes the true reason for his arrest he has a need for revenge. Which I find understandable, poor man, he had a naiveté about him that made him a sweet and suddenly it is taken and made him into a hard man.

I think what made me enjoy the book the most was my need to find the kindness and heart that I knew that the young Dantes had in the harder adult Count of Monte Cristo. I saw it occasionally but his need for vengeance was at times overpowering. But I kept on reading. And at the end of the book, I was happy with the way things ended.

I have a desperate need to watch the movie version with James Caviezel and Guy Pearce.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (4.5/5) Classic Literature; Published: Chapman and Hall 1844-46; Format: Ebook (Project Gutenberg); 1001 You Must Read (78); Books 2010 (71);

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