The Count of Monte Cristo

By Alexandre Dumas

This book is a tremendous read.  It is the story of one man’s path to revenge against three people who falsely accused him of a crime, which led to 14 years of wrongful imprisonment.

You may be daunted by the book’s thickness, but Dumas is a gifted and captivating storyteller, keeping this reader on the edge of her seat the whole way through.  The characters were all described very intimately so you get a keen sense of who they were as human beings and how they changed over the years as the story progressed. Some of these characters are just pathetic creatures and you can really feel a tangible dislike for them, whereas others are just simple, good people, trying to make ends meet.

It’s a real page-turner, this book.  The chapters are short (there are 117!!). Someone suggested to me, that if I was in a hurry to finish it, to skip the part about Italy.  And I agree, this is the least exciting part of the book. However, it really sets the stage for understanding who the Count is and you start to get a glimmer into how his mind operates.

In Italy, he meets several characters, one of whom features prominently in the rest of the book, so at least skimming this section is a good idea, as you will appreciate getting a glimpse of this particular character.

The book’s plot is built around an interesting time in French history– Napoleon’s exile to Elba, his escape and brief return to power.

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