The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas.

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Sianselina
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Re: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas.

Post by Sianselina » 25 Apr 2014, 11:53

Great book

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anastaciaknits
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Post by anastaciaknits » 02 May 2014, 13:54

Love the Counte! And I agree with the others who stated that every time you read it, you get something different and new out of it. As a matter of fact, I think I due for a re-read & may convince hubby to try to read it, too (he's not a big reader)

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Post by Nathrad Sheare » 03 May 2014, 03:13

I'm so glad to see so many readers who enjoy Dumas' best work. I was so enraptured by the story, the Count, and the language I almost forgot to eat and sleep... Ha, ha!
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who only dream at night.

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Post by npandit » 03 May 2014, 03:16

One of the best books ever written--my dad would read bits of it out to us when we were kids, and the language that was used in the older translations is really beautiful. (Unfortunately, I am unable to read French, but it is worth learning to be able to read Dumas books in their original form!)

Nathrad Sheare--we were speaking of villains in another thread--the three villains in Monte Cristo are perfect examples of well-written multidimensional people you want to see taken down! :-)
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Nathrad Sheare
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Post by Nathrad Sheare » 03 May 2014, 06:32

I certainly agree, npandit, about the villains of this story. Of course, I also agree with your comment about the novel's place on the lists of best and worst of fiction. I don't know when the edition I have was translated, but the prose is definitely beautiful in the English I'm presently able to read it in. It's truly rapturous.
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who only dream at night.

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Post by npandit » 05 May 2014, 05:33

Nathrad Sheare wrote:Of course, I also agree with your comment about the novel's place on the lists of best and worst of fiction. I don't know when the edition I have was translated, but the prose is definitely beautiful in the English I'm presently able to read it in. It's truly rapturous.
My intention was never to imply that it belongs on the "best AND worst" of fiction.

I think it belongs in the best, but I agree that sometimes beauty gets lost in translation.
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Nathrad Sheare
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Post by Nathrad Sheare » 05 May 2014, 06:35

Oh, no apology necessary! I wasn't clear... Oy, I need to start sleeping... I meant that it belongs on the "Best" list, definitely. So sorry for the confusion... My creative writing teacher was always on me about this kind of thing...

-- 05 May 2014, 06:51 --

I'm glad you have fond memories attached to the novel. Those are my favorite books, the ones I remember reading with people I've loved.
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who only dream at night.

-Edgar Allan Poe
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Post by npandit » 05 May 2014, 07:27

Nathrad Sheare wrote: I'm glad you have fond memories attached to the novel. Those are my favorite books, the ones I remember reading with people I've loved.
Me too! :)
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Post by GKCfan » 07 May 2014, 16:02

Remember that there are numerous abridged versions of this book. When I read this my sophomore year of high school, I read the 1,000 page version. However, there's also a 500 and a 250-page version, which REALLY cut out a lot of the plot and details.

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Post by CR Sutton » 07 May 2014, 16:08

I watched the movie a few years ago a lot because my sister loved it. For an English project in high school, i chose to read the book. I thought the first half was very interesting, but toward the middle, and especially the end, it became dull and slow, with little character development and action, even for a book of that time period. I love that sort of book too, so it surprised me that I didn't like the end half much. Only read it if you are really interested.

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Post by randolphfine » 17 May 2014, 13:25

This is one of my all-time favorite books. I first read it in the Army many, many years ago. It has left a lasting impression on me that only classic literature seems to offer. Dumas' ability to tell a story and transport a reader to another world is amazing and still relevant all these years later.
Now I feel compelled to dust of my unabridged version and start the journey again. Thanks!
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Post by LittleWilma » 19 May 2014, 01:59

My husband had a VHS of the 1939 movie with Robert Donat and I absolutely fell in love with it. I finally read the book a few years ago and it is one of my favorites of all time. I intend to read again some day.
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Post by nerubian » 07 Jun 2014, 17:05

I have just finished reading this for the second time, the first being nearly 10 years ago.

Some thoughts.

Did anyone else find the transition from Edmond to the Count rather abrupt and jarring?. The book basically cuts 10 years without blinking an eye or making any mention of it. It's like Alexander took a break for a year and resumed the story with a clean slate.
We have been reading about Edmond for hundreds of pages and then you turn 1 page and it is now the Count who at this point is essentially a totally different character. It is not for hundreds more pages that Edmond starts to leak out here and there until that sublime moment when Mercedes comes to his house at Auteil and calls him Edmond upfront.

Is there some deeper meaning or allegory attached to Caderousse?, because if there is it went over my head. Of the 4 conspirators Caddy is the least guilty by far and the only one who feels remorse for Edmond. Of the 4 Caddy comes out the worst.
Initially this comes across as a case of the good(er) guy comes last which fits in with the theme of railing against god, providence or lack of, divine vengeance etc. This then seems to be confirmed when the Count pays him a visit and revives his ailing fortunes. However it is then turned completely on its head, Caddy's life takes an even worse turn and he basically falls into the survival of the jungle trap with no redemption no greater meaning. He simply dies at the end a desperate and bitter man.

Why did the Count delay exposing his plan with Valentine to Max for so long?, this made no sense to me. He quite literally tortures Max with life for weeks just so he can set up a grand revelation. Near the moment, we have this passage where the count doubts Max truly wants to die and can still find satisfaction in life and that this makes his saving of them both a less worthy act and not a valid balance on the scales to counter the havok he has wrought with some goodness.
This is a bizarre and seemingly egregious conceit that comes out of nowhere. Good is good, to not do good because you think it is not a high enough caliber in your view is inane.

Why did he let Danglars go with 50,000 francs?. I can understand letting him go with nothing and leaving it up to god to see if Danglars can make a new life for himself from scratch or not. But Dangy was the lead conspirator, there is no reason for this mercy even if the excessive success and collateral damage from his machinations in the Villefort household are troubling him at this point.

Poor Mercedes!, she truly came out one of if not the worst of all the characters. She never truly got over Edmond's disappearance. Edmond's return destroys the life she had made in his absence and ultimately puts her in an irrevocable emotional position at the end.
I found it quite ironic that one of the two people Edmond loved most in the world ended up the most unhappy and sorrowful. For all the talk of divine vengeance, providence, a sublime god where was all this for Mercedes?. She did nothing wrong, she was a beautiful person (and im sure you know im not talking about the physical) and yet she suffered all through the story with her only happiness after Edmond being Albert who in the end leaves her, in all likeliness to die in a foreign land.
While it is clear he feels deeply for her, Edmond is still able set off at the end with a light in his heart as he leaves his soul mate to a grim and crushing end.



Lastly I have to say, Edmond Dante's is surely a polymath up there with the greats like Davinci and Avicenna etc. Faria's teaching plus ten years in the world may be a long time but even so only a human being of the highest intelligence, memory and constitution could learn and apply so much knowledge to such supreme effect.

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Post by Timea » 16 Jun 2014, 04:03

I really enjoyed the first volume, the second one not so much and the third I have yet to read.
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Post by florajavier » 24 Jun 2014, 10:38

There are some books that I thoroughly enjoy as a passive observer. This one feels like I am an active participant, because I can not help but imagine what I would do if I were Edmond. I think I would also be fueled by thoughts of revenge as he is. I think when you are unjustly put in such a desperate and miserable situation, there would probably be no motivator stronger than hate. But of course, as this book suggests, to be finally free you must eventually learn to forgive.

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