I love the classics. Though I must admit, as I stand in front of the classics display at the bookstore, I am a little ashamed at how few I’ve actually read. Thus I’ve made it an unofficial goal of mine to read more classic literature, a goal which doesn’t feel so much like a goal as it does a pleasure. With the exception of only one or two (just ask Carrie about Wives and Daughters, ahem), I have never regretted the time spent in the pages of a classic novel.
Speaking of pages, my copy of The Count of Monte Cristo numbers at over 1200 of them which is pretty intimidating to say the least. I ordered the unabridged version based on the reviews I had read but I was a little daunted by the sheer size of the book, especially after reading an abridged version of Les Miserables, a version that still contained several political rants the reader must
endure plow through (or at least that was this reader’s experience).
But I read them, all 1200+ pages chronicling the adventures of The Count of Monte Cristo and I loved them, all 1200+ pages. My review in a nutshell: Fantastic. Wonderful. Incredible storytelling. And, finally, man up and read all 1200+ pages; you’ll be so glad you did!
Unlike Les Miserables, I cannot fathom which portion of the story one would condense or, worse, leave out altogether. You need them all. You will love them all. For those of you, like me, unfamiliar with Monte Cristo’s story, young Edmond Dantes is thrown in prison for a crime he did not commit. During his incarceration, he befriends an old priest who claims ownership of a vast fortune hidden on the island of Monte Cristo. Upon his death, the priest shares the secret of the fortune with Dantes who then determines to escape and to use the treasure to exact his revenge upon those responsible for his years spent in prison undeservedly.
All the elements that make for a really good read, a “classic” if you will, are here. Love. Intrigue. Suffering. Mystery. Adventure. Action. Betrayal. Vengeance. Redemption. Honor. Intricate characterization. Compelling plot. Interesting setting.
It’s a classic, to be sure. Not only that but it’s 1200+ pages’ worth of really good reading. Highly recommended!
Note: I read the Penguin Classics’ version of The Count of Monte Cristo (linked in this review) featuring Robin Buss’ translation which I found to be clear, easy to read, and wonderfully written, so well written in fact that I sometimes forgot I was reading a translation!
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes….