The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

After being enthralled with The Three Musketeers, I was trepidatious with The Count of Monte Cristo, fearing I’d be disappointed. My fears were squashed as Dumas once again delivered an adventure that had me nearly trembling with anticipation over the Count’s exploits.

In the early 1800’s, 19-year old Edmond Dantes seems to be looking forward to a wonderful life; a promotion from sailor to captain of the Pharaon, marriage to his beloved Mercedes and well liked by all who knew him. He is unaware of those who envy him and suddenly finds himself imprisoned far away from everything and everyone he loves.

The dashing Edmond Dantes seeks revenge against those responsible for the losses he has suffered on trumped up charges and years isolated in prison. The education he has received while imprisoned serves him well as he plans the perfect retribution against those who have wronged him.

Deeply green with envy, Monsieur Danglars has his own plan to rid the world of Dantes and after doing so, improves his life financially and socially. Growing quite comfortable over the years, he is extremely unprepared for the fate that awaits him at the hand of his mortal enemy.

Monsieur Morrell, the Pharaon’s shipowner, is an honest man and the only one that tried to help Dantes when he was falsely accused. He also helped Dantes father who had no support while his son was imprisoned. Morrell is in dire financial straits when Dantes eventually escapes and is unaware that the miracle that has saved him from suicide came from the man he once tried to save.


Quotes:

His whole manner gave evidence of that calmness and resolution peculiar to those who have been accustomed to facing danger ever since their childhood.

“And now,” said the man on the yacht, “farewell to kindness, humanity and gratitude. Farewell to all sentiments that gladden the heart. I have substituted myself for Providence in rewarding the good; may the God of vengeance now yield me His place to punish the wicked!”

No matter how hardened to danger a man may be, he always realizes, from the pounding of his heart and the shivering of his flesh, the enormous difference there is between a dream and reality, between a plan and its execution.

Truly generous men are always ready to become sympathetic when their enemy’s misfortune surpasses the limits of their hatred.

Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. It is necessary to have wished for death, Maximillian, in order to know how good it is to live.

What a thrill it would be to go on an expedition with Mr. Dumas, perhaps in a little dinghy. We could discuss his own adventures and how he applied those experiences to his novels.

My rating for The Count of Monte Cristo is a 10 out of 10.

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Next up , Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles

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