The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas.

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perusaphone
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The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas.

Post by perusaphone » 01 Jan 2012, 15:04

I read this book years ago when a mere teenaged boy, it was as a direct result of watching a televised serial on English tele' featuring the late Alan Badel. The story portrayed in the serial was indeed a gratifying experience for me, it had the main theme of course, but, as I was a 'wet behind the ears' youth, I knew nothing of the finer points of Dumas' writings. I aquired a copy of the book through the local library and began to read. It was most efficacious, the printed word became an imaginationary paradise and my love of books was sealed for ever. However, due to my youthful exuberance in reading material and, lack of knowledge, I missed the fact that what I was in fact reading, was an abridged version, I still own it after all these years. :roll:
I have witnessed various filmic versions of the story since and, I suspect many of you have to, however, I recently was requested to supply a title of a book suitable for my 60th birthday present. I thought long and hard about it and came up with 'The Count of Monti Cristo'. I scoured the airwaves for an unabridged version, nothing, zilch, zero. Many examples are mentioned, but nothing available it would seem. I ventured into a favorite s/h bookshop of mine and inquired and as usual, nothing doing. I purchased something else from the 1930's instead. I left the shop and went into a sort of gift shop, local and very cheap. As I perused the shelves I noticed a collection of Paperback classics. There were the Dickens, the Hardy's, the Elliots and so on, and then, right out of alphabetical order was a paperback example of The Count of Monti Cristo for the princely sum of £1.99, brand new and, the all important unabridged version. I bought it rapidly and exited the shop before someone mugged me for it.
I have now finished it. A fantastic book and read. It reached far beyond anything I ever knew of the story, it has all manner of extra avenues unexplored by any other version I have ever encountered, these all pale into insignificance by the side of the original translation. Yes the print is small size, yes it is a heavy book to hold up in bed, but that is so negative beside the positive.
I really do not read many story books, but, this is an exception, I cannot relay my enthusiasm enough. Although I missed out on a present at the time, I heartily recommend this to any reader of 1800 classics. It is published by the Wordsworth Classics mark and I may well invest in many more at these prices.... :o :o :o
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Post by RuqeeD » 01 Jan 2012, 15:37

I completely agree with you. It is by far one of my all time favourites in any genre, and in any time setting. I think what really appeals to me is the character of Dante who is my all time favourite hero (and yes I use the word hero even though I'm usually reluctant to coin someone as such). The whole concept of vengeful intent, revenge is a dish best served cold and so on so on may seem trite but I feel Dumas executed the storyline with a lot of panache and you find yourself as a reader becoming so invested in the outcome just hoping that yes actually please let him get his revenge even is there is a part of you that has been conditioned to think that revenge is not always the answer.
perusaphone wrote:However, due to my youthful exuberance in reading material and, lack of knowledge, I missed the fact that what I was in fact reading, was an abridged version, I still own it after all these years. :roll:
I fell into the same trap. I read it a few years ago and was showing it to my friends after I recommended it and one of my friends commented that her sister has the book and it was a much bigger and thicker book than the pitifully abridged one I had. :oops: But I managed to get the full version quite soon after that. We have a great store that have an extensive collection of classics at really good prices so it works out great for me!

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Post by perusaphone » 01 Jan 2012, 16:50

Aaah, so you too are from Albion, a precious island to me...... I find the very thought of anything French leaves me feeling bereft of sympathy for them, but having said that, this book is a top hole Frenchie story. I can readily sympathise with the poor Abbe Faria, alone in his cell for years and years, then to meet up with Edmond Dante's, a few more years of education for Dante's pass and, then to die, leaves me very saddened. This book has all the pathos one can accept without being mawkish, most up to date books have a certain lack of deep pathos and plot so they seem lacking in content in comparison, whereas, 1800's classics etc were written in comfort, time allowance superbly rife, peaceful countenance all day probably, and with a vocabulary and language long gone from these days of abbreviated doggeral. These tales of yesteryear abound with overly long content sometimes, but, when read thoroughly, explain so much. We must get back to those days of pre-computer, rat race, speed panic, to languish in our favorite chair and submit to books of this calibre..... it really works for me !!!

-- Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:55 pm --

I just pulled the book from a shelf and it is all of 875 pages, small fonted print with precious little else except titles, and the spine is hardly marked. usually they become folded up like a tissue serviette and the pages open to well thumbed exerpts. My copy still sits flat as though brand new, is this my caring nature or quality in production one asks....!!
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Post by ThrivingDad » 05 Jan 2012, 13:29

The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my all time favorites. The beauty of this book is that you take away different lessons when reading it at different ages. When I first read it, it was in middle school, and I thought it was a great adventure. Then I read it again just a few years ago, and the experience was completely different(and better).

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Post by perusaphone » 06 Jan 2012, 16:22

The same with the writing, it was written between 1844 & 1847 by Dumas and the unabridged version alludes to Opiate and Hashish abuse, but, there again the times were different and the usage was done in a totally different atmosphere than today. Gentry were allowed to indulge in this ancient and, probably expensive pastime. It doesn't mention it much, but it does arise as a part of the whole book, so, as times change, so does writing content and, I really enjoy that historical connection.....
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Post by Va_treehugger » 24 Feb 2012, 01:38

Have not read the book yet but I love, Love, LOVE the movie that came out in 2002. My entire family loved it. I got the feeling that it stayed true to the book. Anyone know how true it was?

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Post by perusaphone » 24 Feb 2012, 04:06

A great deal of filmic versions have a certain resonance with the book, in as much that Edmond Dantes gets imprisoned by devious means, then escapes after a fashion and wreaks revenge. Slight deviations from that scenario are in each successive film version. However, the unabridged book has a whole lot more involvement with other families and characters, both in a revenge mode or in a benevolent mode. A lot more intrigue and picture painting in words goes on. It is a much fuller story as a result. In fact, there as so many threads, it becomes difficult to understand how all the threads come together at the end. Yes, there are faults in continuity, some quite glaringly obvious, but overall it is a great read from the 1800's and should be read as such, with a total disregard for 21st century values and visual ideology.
Read it and give yourself a treat, the unabridged version and not the normal film versions though.......
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Post by RuqeeD » 24 Feb 2012, 08:09

Va_treehugger wrote:Have not read the book yet but I love, Love, LOVE the movie that came out in 2002. My entire family loved it. I got the feeling that it stayed true to the book. Anyone know how true it was?
I actually thought the movie was rubbish and barely kept with the greatness of the book. It's because I read the book first and then I watched the movie and thought....what the hell are they playing at? Sorry to be so blunt but it just bugged me how awful the movie was but that's just me. :D

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Post by perusaphone » 24 Feb 2012, 13:10

I must confess to abhorring any film made after 1970 in essence. Just because it been hyped as a 'must see' does not always mean it is worth watching. Most films after 1968 in fact are, by and large, predictable nonsense that are formulaic in content and, they just keep on getting worse as the years slip by. A book is a book and, one persons take on that book does not often translate to film very well, but that is just me.
Films tend to be an easier option to the task of reading books it would seem....!!
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Post by shaphat » 08 Mar 2012, 04:00

The Count of Monte Cristo is my favorite book, I own it in spanish (Editorial Debate, Hardcover, pg 1154). I remember that one time I'd left it in my mom's car, in the back sit. The car had been left in the parking space in front of the clinic we were going to. When we came back from the appointment we saw that several of the car's windows were broken and everything was stolen but the book. I was upset by what happened to the car, but glad I still had my book. :?

I think that the book is so appealing to me because it has everything: Drama, Action, Romance, Mystery, etc. and is well mixed in. Plus the character of Edmond is quite likeable,I was cheering him on all through the book. The parts where he reveals his real identity to his enemies made my heart race, I even re-read those parts. I also watched several of the films and have yet to find one close to the feel I got from the book. The 2002 version was a huge disappointment, probably one of the worse adaptations.

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Post by perusaphone » 10 Mar 2012, 12:46

Fine if that is what rocks your boat, but the book has a much more involved storyline as against any film. It would just be so
long a film that people would lose interest, mainly due to uncomfortable posteriors. A filmic version of most books have to first be an account, as seen by the manufacturers, then reduced in total content to sustain visual interest, then the 'celebrity' input has to be adhered to by the hype people, then marketed as yet another 'new' film...??

I read because films are always a sad reflection on the authors writings.... and that is not even contemplating verbatim versions, running up against any existing copyright......

-- Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:56 am --

As an aside to the original C of MC story concept which was written about 1845ish, I have just finished a short story by the French author Francois-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), he later took the nom-de-plume Voltaire. Sometime around 1750, Voltaire wrote one of his shorter stories entitled 'L'Ingenu'. This has another male of lower status being wronged, imprisoned, taught by an older sage and sort of wreaking revenge toward the end. Written some 100 years previous to Dumas, one wonders if there was any influence taken from Voltaire's text by Dumas...????
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Post by abbeyfan » 27 Oct 2012, 19:18

Loved the book. Only read it when I was already an adult, maybe 35? Enjoyed his style thought the plot may have dragged a little in the middle ie plotting his revenge could be quite tedious, but overall the read was fantastic. Shame that more kids don't read this one.

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Post by Caron1 » 19 Nov 2012, 21:21

I am all for reading and I read it many many years ago, and enjoyed it. I think it did drag a bit just as The Three Musketeers did too. But that's just the style of the time I think. I just have to say though that I do appreciate movie versions of books. Sometimes, yes, the vision is way off or too much is cut out and can be disappointing, but over all movies help one gain a sense of visual texture that otherwise might be lacking. For instance, I can imagine the clothing women wore and the black walnut plank tables in an inn, but seeing the serving girl in an authentic outfit in a room full of rowdy drinking men just makes the reading experience richer. I definitely enjoyed the 2002 movie w/Caviezel for this one.

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Post by perusaphone » 20 Nov 2012, 11:23

A fair and accommodating comment about filmic versions of older books. My take on the subject is that all films today have the craggy jawed hero, the evil villains and, the token current fave rave of the celebrity worshippers in a dress of some description. Sadly the truth of this depiction of ancient times is, a zillion light years away from factual substance. For example, the acting contingents these days do not have the stench of the 1700's, the fleas under the wigs, the unchanged clothing, the wooden teeth, the rife Halitosis, the body odour etc etc. I am not advocating the acting fraternity do so for realism by any means, but, I do tend to read my history a mite and, choose to imagine it in a genuine manner and not some fictitious, gratuitous, Hollywoodised depiction without the authors total content included......... each to their own though !!!
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Post by Caron1 » 20 Nov 2012, 11:54

lol...Precisely why I enjoy the films so much is because I don't have to smell them! I like the romanticized version but I love my modern conveniences and cleanliness! I definitely wouldn't want to live in the past. Just think, we wouldn't be able to debate online! Gasp! Even so, I completely agree that there is nothing so wonderful as a good book. It saddens me that reading has gone by the wayside and I encourage teenagers to read whenever I can. 'You saw the movie? Then get the book and see what you missed!' Surprisingly, they quite often do get the book.

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