The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
What’s It About
You probably already know – it’s been around for so long, and has been adapted and retold so many times – but just in case: It’s a fictional novel following the life of Edmond Dantes, who is unjustly imprisoned because of a conspiracy by three “friends,” and what happens to him afterwards. Read more about it at Goodreads.
Why Was This Title Selected
It’s a classic, and one my in-person book club had read and enjoyed before I joined it. It’s also a novel that was originally written in something other than English, so yet another way to expand my usual reading choices. Finally, Caroline Starr Rose (an author I really like) has raved that it’s her favorite book.
Anything Else To Know About It?
It’s super long, but surprisingly readable (there is one section that drags quite a bit, but most of the book is more engaging). If you’re getting bogged down a bit in the part in Rome, don’t despair, but keep going!
I *highly* recommend the Robin Buss translation. You can get it in print, or on Kindle, but I couldn’t track down an audio version of that translation, so if you’re determined to listen to the book you’ll have to select something else. I originally started out with a different translation, and then made the switch to the Buss version. SO much more readable and enjoyable.
The 2002 movie version starring James Caviezel is supposed to be really good, and I will ask at least one question related to the movie later in the month, so if you have time to watch it after you’ve read it you may want to do that (you can rent it from Amazon, but it’s not streaming on Amazon Prime or Netflix that I could find). There are other film adaptations (including one with Richard Chamberlain from 1975), but I haven’t heard anything about those.
How’s The Discussion Going to Work?
Over in the Facebook Group, I’ll be posting at least one question each weekday. On January 27th, I’ll have a “review” post here, with my thoughts on the book, and it will include a linkup so if you’ve written a post about it, I’d love for you to add that link to the list.
Week one will be introductory and overview questions (so if you haven’t quite finished the book, you should still be able to join in for some of them, although you run the risk of reading spoilers.) Week two will focus on characters and setting, and week three will be about the writing and plotting. And the last week in January we’ll wrap everything up with some concluding questions and looking beyond the book.
Am I Too Late To Join the Discussion?
Not at all – just request to join the Facebook group and I’ll get you added. The discussion will start today, and spoilers are allowed, so keep that in mind before you join, but you’re welcome to come and discuss as much as you’ve read, whenever you get to it. The discussion will continue all month. It is a long one though, so realistically you may find it challenging to get the book finished before the end of the month.
What’s Coming Up Next Month?
Tom Reiss’ biography of General Alex Dumas (the father of Alexandre Dumas), The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo. It’s available in print, ebook, or audible. Unlike this month’s pick, there are no translation issues or different versions to worry about, so things should be a bit simpler. It’s another long one though, so you may want to get started on it soon (the paperback copy is 432 pages.)
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Previously on The Deliberate Reader
Three years ago: December 2012 Recap