Le Comte de Monte Cristo, everything sounds better in French, doesn’t it? Okay, maybe not everything. 😉 I truly love this book. It’s so full of mystery, intrigue and, of course, revenge. Not that I’m an advocate for revenge, but it does make for a great story line.
My reasons for being enamored by this book:
#1. It begins by endearing you to Edmond (albeit, through his naivete). I mean, he is really naive, he trusts everybody. He believes Fernand. He trusts Danglars. So you feel sorry for the poor guy, especially when he gets arrested.
#2. Once in prison (and after a few months) he meets Faria, and their friendship helps Edmond immensely. Faria shows Edmond how he was deceived by Villefort, Gaspard, Danglars, and Fernand. Faria was pretty much the Sherlock Holmes of France. He also increased Edmond’s IQ level in every imaginable way.
#3. Edmond’s escape, though gruesome, was amazing. I’m not sure I would have had the guts for that.
#4. The whole pirate episode (which I shan’t ruin for you) and Jakapo’s allegiance to Edmond was interesting.
#5. The finding of the island of Monte Cristo from which Edmond gets his title, name and riches.
#6. Edmond is so methodical in the taking down of his enemies. He definitely learned his lesson.
#7. Though he is in the revenge business he still tries to spare the innocent.
#8. Albert seems to have the same problem Edmond did when he was young. Naive with a capital n. Perhaps Mercedes forgot to teach him about stranger danger. 🙂
Franz seemed to have the foresight to think before speaking. Albert though…… he practically gives the Count everything but his rank and serial number (jk).
I did find it a bit humorous when the Count saves Albert’s life, Albert puts out his hand to shake and the Count almost gives himself away. But, again, Albert is blind to it. Albert reminds me of D’Artagnan and Porthos mixed together (a totally different book, I know, but it’s by the same author).
#9. Luigi Vampa, what a story. I half wondered if Edmond set the whole thing up just to get an invite to Morcerf’s home. And Albert’s sleeping through the whole hostage situation was rather funny.
#10. Maximillian (which, strangely enough, makes me think of a Roman horse- the name, not the person) was a likable character. His saving his father, being respectful to M. Noirter, and loving Valentine endeared him to you. But when he decided that the only answer to life is death, well….I disagreed. As did the Count.
#11. Villefort, ah M. villefort. Even if his father’s a traitor, at least he’s a kind traitor. Villefort’s a dirty coward. I really, really disliked him. Villefort was so willing to help Edmond, it seemed. Then he utterly destroys his life by sentencing him to prison.
Dantes should have been a bit more thorough, I think, in figuring out who should pay and who shouldn’t. I was quite intrigued by how Dantes saved Valentine’s life.
#12. Fernand, too, is a coward. As seen by Haydee’s story. Thus his punishment is well deserved.
#13. Haydee. Haydee is pretty much Dantes’ adopted daughter. She was quite heroic in her efforts to save Dantes from Fernand.
#14. M. Noirter was extremely smart. The eye signal/language, and his figuring everything out before everyone else, proved it. I also liked how he saved her from having to marry Franz.
#15. Danglars also got a good sized punishment.
#16. The ending was sweet. I was totally not expecting the Haydee twist yet, all in all, ’twas sweet.
What drove me crazy:
#1. Mercedes’ marrying Fernand- ugh, what was she thinking?!
#2. Poor M. Dantes starving to death. Have some heart, people!
#3. Mm. Villefort killing her son and herself. Ugh.
I give this book 4 out of 5 because of curse words, and Dantes took his revenge a tad too far at times.
It was hard to recall all of it, so I may not have included everything.
If you are going to read this book be sure to get the unabridged version (about 800 pages, more or less).
Also, do not, I repeat, do not watch the movie. It seems as though the script writers put the book in a blender, ground it up, and then tried to glue it back together. They completely ruined the movie. Or, if you have watched the movie, disregard it entirely while reading the book. The book came first and is, ultimately, the better of the two.
Hmmm…. What to say about this book….there’s so much to cover it’s hard to make sure I get it all.