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GROUP READ: The Count of Monte Cristo

2013 Category Challenge

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1christina_reads
Edited: Feb 25, 2013, 3:20pm Top

Welcome to the group read of The Count of Monte Cristo! The plan is to read it over the course of three months (March through May). Feel free to post about anything you'd like, but if you plan to reveal any plot spoilers, please include a warning to that effect!

I just got a copy of the book from my local library, so now I'm excited to start! I'll be reading the Robin Buss translation. Who else is in?

2PawsforThought
Feb 25, 2013, 3:23pm Top

I'm joining the read but I'll probably go a bit slow the first month as I have a lot of other books piled up for March. April and especially May are a bit lighter. (I hope.)

Don't have the book on hand at the moment but I did check to make sure it was a complete and unabridged translation.

3ivyd
Feb 25, 2013, 4:24pm Top

I'm in. I got a free version for Kindle, and don't have a clue who the translator is. I read a few paragraphs and it looks okay, also seems to be unabridged, but if it becomes a problem, I'll find another version.

4-Eva-
Feb 25, 2013, 5:58pm Top

I have a couple of more (short) books to finish before I start - I'm reading the Robin Buss translation as well. I'll be on holiday in May, so my plan is to finish in April. I'll try and keep away from spoilers!!!

5AHS-Wolfy
Feb 25, 2013, 7:50pm Top

Too soon for me to re-read but I hope all of you enjoy it as much as I did. I'll be interested in the comments this one generates so will be keeping an eye on this thread.

6LittleTaiko
Feb 25, 2013, 9:04pm Top

Can't wait! This is one of my favorite books!!

7sjmccreary
Feb 25, 2013, 9:43pm Top

I have an audio version checked out of the library, but it is very long - 35 disks, I think. I never thought about checking for a free version for the e-reader. That is a great idea and using both versions might make it easier to get through.

8lkernagh
Feb 26, 2013, 12:12am Top

I am in.... I have already started my Project Gutenberg download version but I have stopped at Chapter 10 at the moment for other books that I am reading, so I don't think it will take long for people to overtake me, even if this is a re-red for me!

9cammykitty
Feb 26, 2013, 1:34am Top

I'm one chapter in and liking it. I don't remember seeing a credit for the translator. I'm seeing a wide range of page counts on The Count. My nook version has 1200+ pages. Most of the "unabridged" book versions are between 600 & 700, but penguin (Buss) is in the 1200+ range. I'm totally confused?

I'm assuming this means we may be reading quite different versions. & I'm also wondering how much of a time commitment this will be - 600 and 1200 are quite different - and how many books does this count as in my "classics" category. LOL, that book count issue is important!

10gennyt
Feb 26, 2013, 1:17pm Top

I listened to an audiobook of this last year - took me many months because I don't listen regularly. It was 47 hours of listening time - I don't know how many pages that is equivalent to! Not sure who the translator was, either.

Anyway, it was a great story and I shall follow along this thread with interest as it is still fresh enough in my mind, I hope, to remember what you are discussing...

11christina_reads
Feb 26, 2013, 3:23pm Top

@ 9 -- That does seem like a big page difference, cammykitty! I'm sure some of the variation can be explained by size of paper and font, as well as verbosity of the translator. I know that the Buss translation also has a lot of notes and appendices and such, which might be included in the page count (not sure). It will be interesting to see whether certain "unabridged" versions are leaving things out!

12kaulsu
Edited: Feb 26, 2013, 4:38pm Top

I'm in. Not that I belong! I *still* haven't finished January's When Christ and His Saints Slept (gads, is it boring), and I haven't finished The French Lieutenant's Woman, either, though I like it. I need to move it from my "bed pile" to a more active pile!

But the Count is on my iBook app, so I can read it on my phone while I'm waiting on something...

I can't see who the translator was. Guess I'll have to go to the iBook store. But Gadzooks! It has 117 chapters and the first page of the 117th chapter is number #6,788. Was this guy paid by the word as Dickens was? Heeelpp!

Okay, I just checked. I downloaded the Project Guttenberg and it doesn't list the translator--at least not in the front matter. I'll see later if I can dig it out of the very end matter.

Obviously, whatever the 6,788 means, it isn't pages@@!!

13cammykitty
Feb 26, 2013, 4:45pm Top

Christina - I'm a little afraid that it might be the verbosity of the translator as you say. I used to work on trilingual packaging and the translations for French and Spanish always took up three times the space as the English original copy. Then I started reading a lot of side-by-side texts, Spanish translated to English, and realized the English was always longer than the Spanish. I'd assumed the other langueges used more letters/words to say the same thing as in English, but obviously that isn't the case. What I've seen is translators often feel they need to unpack and explain things that a native speaker would use cultural knowledge to interpret.

My version doesn't list the translator either. It's similar linguistically to Buss, but a bit rougher so I'm guessing it is a translation Buss consulted when he did his own. As for the notes, I know Buss had a lot of them but they seemed to be all at the end and therefore not part of my page count. Size of pages and fonts are probably a factor too.

So still confused. Maybe we'll figure this out as we read.

14electrice
Feb 26, 2013, 9:26pm Top

I'm in. I think that I will start it later in the month. I'm reading Le Comte de Monte-Cristo in french so it could count for the AlphaCAT if finished in March (I have faith) ;)

My version has 1140 pages, I don't know how it translates in term of pages going from french to english ?

Others unabridged french versions in paperback format (pocket size) will often have roughly 1000 pages or more even with letters in 10 Times New Roman.

Don't know if it helps ...

Anyways, I'm looking forward this group reads.

15DeltaQueen50
Feb 27, 2013, 2:59am Top

I'm in as well. I'll be reading on my Kindle so don't know exact page count. I'll probably be starting it next weekend. Looking forward to this one!

16jonesli
Feb 27, 2013, 6:01am Top

I'm also in. I will probably start it over the weekend. I'm reading a B&N edition on the Nook. I'll have to check how many pages/chapters there are.

17christina_reads
Feb 27, 2013, 7:32am Top

@ 14--electrice, the great thing is that even if you don't finish until April, it can still count for AlphaCAT because it's by Dumas!

18electrice
Feb 27, 2013, 8:19am Top

Nice christina_ reads. I don't know why I didn't think of it. Thanks. I think that it will be a great read.

19clue
Feb 28, 2013, 11:21pm Top

I'm in as well and I'll probably read from Kindle. I hope to start this weekend, probably Sunday evening.

20cammykitty
Edited: Mar 1, 2013, 10:23pm Top

3 or 4 Chapters in - I had forgotten who was on Elba. When Dantes dropped off a letter and saw "our emperor" I was pretty naive about it, but someone brushed up my history. Napoleon was exiled to Elba, and was of course biding his time until he could come into power again. BTW, I saw pictures of his residence in exile. My oh my, I'd be happy with the maid's quarters. It was a palace!

With walls? Expecting to be attacked, perhaps?

I have to say, I love Dantes - he's honest, loving, a dutiful son and devoted fiance - but dang, he's too naive to live if he didn't think dropping by Elba and then taking a letter he hadn't looked at to Paris was something to speak of casually - just because it was a dying man's wishes.

21avatiakh
Mar 2, 2013, 4:20am Top

I won't be able to start till later this month as I'm away from home till then. Looking forward to picking it up.

22JonHutchings
Mar 2, 2013, 10:54am Top

I plan on starting this one soon, I just have a couple of short things to read before I begin. Looking forward to reading along with the rest of you!

23DeltaQueen50
Mar 2, 2013, 10:03pm Top

I started The Count of Monte Cristo today, have only read the first two chapters, but I am pleased to see that it reads easily, I was a little afraid it might be a very difficult read. It's length is a little daunting, but with three months to go, a goal of 39 chapters per month sounds attainable.

24jonesli
Mar 3, 2013, 6:21am Top

I started yesterday, and I just noticed that I have an abridged version. I hope that doesn't become a problem. I've never really taken notice before of the abridged vs. unabridged versions of the classics.

It's the B&N edition on my Nook, and as Judy stated above, it's reading much easier than I originally thought.

25Maura49
Mar 3, 2013, 6:41am Top

At last I can stop feeling guilty every time my eye catches my gorgeous but unread Folio hardback of this novel. I read it as a teenager and I am looking forward to accepting this challenge and revisiting what I remember as a very absorbing story. I will start today.

26electrice
Mar 3, 2013, 8:44am Top

Oh does it look like the red one ?



I wish I had more room to buy gorgeous books. I think I should start by buying the place then the gorgeous books ...

27luvamystery65
Mar 3, 2013, 10:32am Top

I also got a copy of the Robin Buss translation. I LOVE this book. I will get started later in the month and check back in.

28-Eva-
Mar 3, 2013, 6:26pm Top

I just finished chapter 8 and am surprised at how fast things are moving along. I read an abridged version as a kid and I've seen a couple of movies, but I am wondering if I've missed a huge part of the story - minor spoiler: Edmond is already at d'If and I'm only on page 82!

If it continues at this pace, I'll be very happy - it's a very engaging read.

29cammykitty
Mar 3, 2013, 8:02pm Top

Eva, I'm just a little further along than you. MINOR SPOILER - Someone said to me, yup, I know the plot. He's in jail for a long, long time. How exciting can that be? - I was a bit worried about that. I thought we might have 500 pages of sitting in a cell. Nope, it's a page turner.

30-Eva-
Mar 3, 2013, 9:26pm Top

I don't remember ever being anything but enthralled by the story, so I don't doubt you for a second. I'll happily read 1,000 pages of prison cell if it goes at this pace!

31AHS-Wolfy
Mar 4, 2013, 6:15am Top

I remember when I read it a couple of years ago planning to read something lighter at the same time so I could get some relief from this heavier tome but turned out to be totally unnecessary. Just carried straight on with this story until the end.

32christina_reads
Mar 4, 2013, 11:12am Top

I'm only 4 chapters in right now, but I'm also finding it very easy to read. The dastardly plot against Edmond is beginning to take shape! Gasp!

33Maura49
Mar 4, 2013, 11:25am Top

26- It absolutely does look like the red one. I now discover that the translator is anonymous. This version was originally published by Chapman & Hall, Dickens Publishers, in 1846. Your lovely illustration shows up one of the problems with these books, their sheer weight. I can only read this by placing it on my desk and leaning over it, but a small price to pay for an enthralling read.

34jnwelch
Mar 4, 2013, 11:30am Top

I'm another one who loves this book. I look forward to more comments as everyone gets further into it. It's a great read.

35electrice
Mar 4, 2013, 12:48pm Top

>33 Maura49: Well it's a reading that must relished :)

I'm anxious to start but I must finish 2 other books first then I'm in.

Have fun Maura and everybody else but not too much without us ;)

36ivyd
Mar 4, 2013, 12:58pm Top

I also started reading over the weekend and I'm just past the beginning of Chapter 11. My reaction is much the same as everyone else: easy reading, and a fascinating, quickly-moving story that I'm eager to continue. I guess it's the length that made us decide to spread it over 3 months, but I'm thinking it's going to be as Wolfy says (msg 31) and I'll just keep going.

I'm still a bit confused about the versions. I downloaded a Kindle version, then downloaded the Project Gutenberg version. They're the same translation -- apparently the 1846 version that Maura mentions in msg 33. HOWEVER -- and this is weird -- the Kindle version begins: On the 24th of February, 1810... It should be (and is on Project Gutenberg) On the 24th of February, 1815... A rather egregious error! And otherwise I didn't find even a single word difference (as far as I checked -- I'm not going to read it twice!).

37electrice
Mar 4, 2013, 1:35pm Top

Hi ivyd, my version is in french and old-school paper. I don't know what it's worth but it's starting with Le 24 février 1815 ...

It's precised that the first publication available in bookstore was done by Pétion et Baudry from 1844 to 1846.

Good read

38DeltaQueen50
Mar 4, 2013, 1:49pm Top

My Kindle version also has the date as being in 1810, but Napoleon didn't arrive on Elba until 1814!

39ivyd
Mar 4, 2013, 2:13pm Top

>37 electrice: & 38 It definitely should be 1815 (and LT's common knowledge says so, too). I'm not very well versed in French Revolution/Napoleonic history, but I was confused in the first chapter, since I didn't think "the emperor" had been imprisoned on Elba in 1810. After I found the different date in the Project Gutenberg version, I did look it up, and as Judy says, he was sent to Elba in 1814, and (mincing around a possible spoiler) the event that is reported at the beginning of Chapter 11 occurred on 26 Feb 1815.

I really don't understand how such a major error could slip by -- and especially in the first line of the book!

40cammykitty
Mar 4, 2013, 5:04pm Top

No kidding Ivy! Looks like someone decided not to pay a copyeditor.

41clue
Mar 4, 2013, 8:52pm Top

I'm reading the Kindle version and I wondered about this: just at the end of Chapter 3 Danglars says "the Pharaon cannot be under weigh again in less than three months." I assumed that was a spelling error (weigh) but then thought maybe not, maybe "under weigh" referred to cargo? Probably not.

42ivyd
Edited: Mar 5, 2013, 12:54pm Top

>41 clue: I noticed that, too. My thought was that "under weigh" must refer to weighing anchor, and I wondered if that was the origin of the expression and the spelling has been changed over the years. (I think, though I'm not certain, that "weighing anchor" means pulling it up and moving on.) I didn't try to look it up; I know there's a website for the origins of phrases/idioms, but I've forgotten what it is.

43-Eva-
Mar 5, 2013, 6:00pm Top

->41 clue:
LOL! I think that's supposed to read "under way." :)

44gennyt
Mar 5, 2013, 7:57pm Top

Under weigh was apparently an alternative way of saying under way, from an erroneous association with weighing anchor.

45lkernagh
Mar 7, 2013, 11:12pm Top

Stopping by to see how everyone's reading is going and love the conversation so far! I am about to start Chapter 15 and even though this is a re-red for me, it has been long enough since the last read that I am incensed all over again at the plot/intrigue against - as Katie put it - our 'pretty naive' Dantes!

"the Pharaon cannot be under weigh again in less than three months."

I assumed it was referring to weighing anchor so that the ship can set sail but I am not a nautical person. ;-)

46-Eva-
Edited: Mar 8, 2013, 12:27am Top

Possible spoilers - I've read up to chapter 34

This story is just zooming by and I'm loving it! I can imagine that it was very successful as an installment-publication - I would have been chomping at the bit to get the new installment to see what happens.

I found an interesting article on Abbe Faria's condition over here (note that "Case Two" is about Monsieur Noirtier de Villeforte - I skipped that part since I haven't gotten to him yet).

Anyone else loving "Sinbad's" cave? It sounds more inviting than most homes I've been in. :) Also, I'm not extremely well-versed in the effects of drugs (and thought after the description of the "greenish paste" that it would turn out to be pistachio...!), but I can tell from its effect that the "hashish" in chapter 31 has quite a hefty chunk of opium in it. I did find it interesting that there didn't seem to be any stigma attached to using drugs - is that because it didn't have a stigma at this time in history or because we're among "pirates?"

47DeltaQueen50
Mar 8, 2013, 12:18am Top

Possible Spoilers - Regarding the above

Eva, thank you for providing the link about Abbe Faria's condition. I just assumed this was something that Dumas totally made up, but it's cool to see that he did some research and that, indeed, this condition was not as farfetched as I thought.

I haven't read much further than this so I can't comment on the rest of your post yet.

48cammykitty
Edited: Mar 10, 2013, 3:30pm Top

Possible Spoilers

Yes, I would so move into Sinbad's cave. I'd move in with Sinbad. Yup, total crush on our Count. I just wish he'd let this vendetta thing go and find friends he can relax with and love. Clearly, he's draining the life out of himself.

Tons of people used opium openly back then, Byron among them - and we are styling the Count after a Byronic hero. I believe it was costly and rare enough at the time that people weren't aware of the long term effects it could have. It was exotic, and there were opium dens you could go to to enjoy, if you could pay. The Opium Wars with China were between 1839 to 1842 and 1856 to 1860 - the cause, the British were importing so much Opium into China that the Chinese realized it was a threat to their society. Fathers were selling family members into slavery to feed their opium habit. I'm not sure how Europeans viewed this. They may have thought the Chinese were "inferior" and just couldn't handle it. So, no, the lack of stigma wasn't because we were with "pirates" outside of the law. It was because there were no laws against it at the time and it was considered an "Oriental" luxury.

Thanks for the link on Faria's condition. I was pretty sure it was something real. It didn't sound too far off from epilepsy or stroke. My oh my - your article has some spoilers. I've gotten to one infanticide, but haven't seen any lesbianism yet. Must have been shocking at the time!

49cammykitty
Mar 10, 2013, 3:35pm Top



Chateau D'if

Just remember, poor Edmund didn't get to see the beautiful scenery ever.

50cammykitty
Mar 10, 2013, 3:47pm Top

I'm on Chapter 51 and have been marking quotes all along. I'm not sure where people are and don't want to spoil anything for anyone, so I'll mark the quotes with chapters. I'd love to hear other people's reactions to these.

Chapter 5 - The Marriage Feast
"Man does not appear to me to be intended to enjoy felicity so unmixed; happiness is like the enchanted palaces we read of in our childhood, where fierce, fiery dragons defend the entrance and approach; and monsters of all shapes and kinds, requireing to be overcome ere victory is ours. I own that I am lost in wonder to find myself promoted to an honor of which I feel myself unworthy - that of being the husband of Mercedes."

Chapter 17 - The Abbe's Chamber
The abbe refers to Edmund as "Old enough to be ambitious, but too young to be corrupt." - Looking farther into the novel, ??? Do you think the abbe is right?

Chapter 20 - The Cemetery of the Chateau D'If
"but now to die would be, indeed, to give way to the sarcasm of destiny."

51-Eva-
Mar 11, 2013, 7:35pm Top

->48 cammykitty:
"I just wish he'd let this vendetta thing go"
I do believe that would make the story quite short, though. :)

"'Oriental' luxury."
I like that description.

More teaser than spoiler, surely...? LOL! Can't wait!

->49 cammykitty:
I've only been to Marseille once and didn't get an opportunity to visit d'If - I'm really wishing I had made time for it now!

52cammykitty
Mar 11, 2013, 9:19pm Top

@51 I'm sure d'if is quite scary once you get inside. I managed to see the dungeon in a Swiss castle off of Lake Geneva. That was eye opening. They chained the prisoners that they liked to posts, and the prisoners could hear the waves of the lake and feared they would drown because they thought they were below sea level, which they weren't. They threw the people they didn't like down the oubliette, which was basically a deep crevice in the rock base. Clearly the guards dropped food into the hole because once you were in, you weren't coming out. D'if looks even worse.

& sigh, letting go of the vendetta would shorten the novel by some 600 pages ;) and it would probably be long out-of-print by now. I was just watching the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice and was getting tired of Jane. Yes, nice people who see good in everyone don't lend themselves well to suspenseful fiction.

53ALWINN
Mar 12, 2013, 3:09pm Top

Has anyone seen the vampire thing link yet?????

54-Eva-
Edited: Mar 12, 2013, 4:55pm Top

->52 cammykitty:
That sounds absolutely awful - aren't we humans so kind to each other?! Last year when I was home in Sweden, they had an event at Bohus Fortress where you were allowed down into their dungeons - they're cold and damp and dark and I would rather die than have to live there!

Possible spoilers for chapter 35:.

->50 cammykitty:
"Old enough to be ambitious, but too young to be corrupt."
Well, is he corrupt? He's world-weary and cynical, sure - that whole speech at the end of chapter 35 (starting with "Oh men! Men! Race of crocodiles") is extremely emotive, , but so far (I'm on chapter 50 or so and he's in his 40s) I've not seen corruption per se. He's certainly acts outside the law, but he's our hero so his dealings are on the righteous side of illegal. Or are the Abbe's words more or less a declaration of inevitability?? Very interesting, morally.

Possible spoilers for chapter 34:

->53 ALWINN:
Not sure if you're referring to a specific one, but there is certainly mention of it. For example, in chapter 34, when she sees the Count, Countess G-- is terrified because "He looks to me like Lord Ruthwen in flesh and blood." And since Byron has told her that he has encountered a real vampire, she convinced of their existence. It's quite an amusing paragraph, not only since we know who he is and why he looks the way he does, but because the moniker isn't completely erroneous, considering his history of being risen from the grave (albeit someone else's) in more ways than one.

55cammykitty
Edited: Mar 12, 2013, 9:59pm Top

I'm on chapter 63 now. I'm getting compulsive about reading this. ;)

Eva, -Yes on all your comments

Possible spoilers for around chapter 42 I'm getting interested in the idea of filial duty in The Count of Monte Cristo. The royalists are using the line of thinking: son is to father as subject is to king as person is to God. In other words, an offense to the father is an offense to God. An offense to the king is also an offense to God. This was a common belief of the time. But then we have the revolution, which weighs the natural man (with his natural talents) versus a hereditary monarchy/nobility. Dumas has shown us he clearly doesn't respect hereditary nobility and will put his support behind the natural man - Dantes - who has risen up from nothing. However, the son is to father part of the analogy? I think he's backing it up. Dantes and Maximillion are examples of dutiful sons. Villefort obviously not. Benedetto and Edward, Villefort's sons? I think they were perhaps corrupt at birth because of their father's unnatural treatment of his own father. Certainly, Benedetto is a bastard with all the stereotypical behaviors expected from a bastard at that time. Edward, born in wedlock, is clearly a spoiled brat with no regard for animals. That's the best I'll say for him. As for Edmund, at page 716 and roughly the age of 40, I still do not consider him corrupt. Jaded yes, conniving yes, corrupt no.

56-Eva-
Mar 13, 2013, 6:07pm Top

->55 cammykitty:
I'm mowing through it too. I was going to pace myself more, but I'm so engaged in the story now that nothing else on my nightstand looks tempting. :)

Interesting thoughts about filial duty - of which I have nothing really insightful to say, though. :) I'll have to pay more attention as I read on.

57andreablythe
Mar 15, 2013, 2:22am Top

I started reading this on my iPhone, so I'm up to Chapter 63. (I need to get a hard copy though, because I can't focus on it very well in that format.) Anyway, I may go back and retread a bit, too, because there are so many threads of plot and I was having difficulty keeping them all straight.

58ivyd
Edited: Mar 15, 2013, 1:17pm Top

I'm at the end of Chapter 42 and enjoying it immensely.

Kindle reading is new to me and I'm so glad I decided to read this book on it. I can instantaneously look up the archaic and obsolete words and usages, the x-ray feature lets me figure out people and story lines that I've sort of forgotten, it only takes a minute to find images of Castle d'If and the island of Monte Cristo...

59-Eva-
Mar 18, 2013, 8:22pm Top

Well, as I've noted before, this turned out to be quite a bit more engaging than I had anticipated - so much so that I finished this weekend. It's fantastic! Looking forward to hearing what the rest of you think - I'll stay away from commenting on details, since I would definitely be spoiling for someone. Having an urge to read more Dumas!

60sjmccreary
Mar 27, 2013, 7:40pm Top

Finally got started on the book this morning. Since LT is going down this evening, I will go read some more.

61cammykitty
Mar 28, 2013, 1:56pm Top

I finished too, a while ago. I'm still in mourning for the book. The book I read after it was just a let down!

62ALWINN
Mar 29, 2013, 11:37am Top

This is such a wonderful story so glad I took the time to read it. Will be a re-read in a couple of years.

63Kassilem
Mar 31, 2013, 12:50pm Top

I'm in too, finally. My library doesn't have the book on audio so it took me a while to find a copy to listen too. I thought of reading it instead by April is going to be the busiest month of my year so I wans't sure I'd get very far that way. But I've got a copy now and am excited to get going on it.

64ivyd
Edited: Apr 2, 2013, 4:15pm Top

I finished the book Saturday night, and loved it! Like Katie (msg 61), I'm in mourning!

*** SPOILER about revenge -- finished book ***

I think Dumas expressed some pretty significant reservations about Edmond having done the right thing, but without coming to an ironclad conclusion about it. Since that sentiment only seemed to show up at the very end, I wonder whether Dumas developed those thoughts as he wrote the story and saw where it led.

*** end SPOILER ***

Also, I've wondered if the name Dantes is supposed to suggest a connection to Dante's Divine Comedy.

65-Eva-
Edited: Apr 2, 2013, 5:52pm Top

CONTINUING THE SPOILER WARNING FROM #64

I thought it was more along the lines of the Count having to become a little softer at the end so that the ending with Haydée makes sense and we'll feel at that at least he has a chance to be happy. However, since it was written over a number of years, Dumas may have changes his mind more than once! :)

66Maura49
Apr 3, 2013, 9:22am Top

Having reached the chapters featuring "Sinbad the Sailor" I have to agree with the LT reviewer who noted that the story 'dips' somewhat at this point. The emotional temperature drops decidedly, but given the absorbing storytelling of the first thirty chapters or so I am optimistic that better things lie ahead.

67Bjace
Apr 5, 2013, 11:33am Top

I'm just getting started and joining the group. Looks like I have an interesting read ahead.

68DeltaQueen50
Edited: Apr 9, 2013, 1:06am Top

I finished The Count of Monte Cristo over the weekend and like most of us, I loved it. I did feel that it slowed down somewhat in the middle but the beginning and end of the book more than made up for that.

69thornton37814
Apr 11, 2013, 8:56am Top

We had to read The Count of Monte Cristo in 10th grade. It's been a favorite that I've re-read two or three times since then. I didn't join this group read, but I'm glad to see so many people enjoying it.

70lkernagh
Apr 11, 2013, 9:47pm Top

For everyone that might think the group read is flying along, I am currently on Chapter 30 of my re-read of the Count, so I will be hanging around for the full three months of this group read! ;-)

71cammykitty
Apr 11, 2013, 11:00pm Top

SPOILER in response to IVYd - Edmond's revenge going wrong is certainly a slow burn. I expected it to cost him, especially after the monk was so upset about having helped him figure out who had harmed him, because then he became consumed with thoughts of revenge. I actually expected him to end up with Mercedes, but to either have her so changed there was no joy in it or that he would die soon after. I actually expected him to die. Instead, Edmond seemed to fall and then reach some sort of faith and redemption, and even mercy, through the process of watching how his revenge made people he had come to care about suffer as well.

72christina_reads
Apr 12, 2013, 3:45pm Top

@ 70 -- Lori, I've only read 35 chapters, so I am right there with you! :)

73christina_reads
Apr 23, 2013, 11:10pm Top

Sadly, I had to return my copy to the library a couple weeks ago...but today I was able to check it out again! :) I'm only 1/3 of the way through, so I really need to get going!

74LittleTaiko
Apr 25, 2013, 11:10am Top

I'm finally committing to the Count and am only on chapter 10. I read this a long time ago and loved it, so it's somewhat familiar, but there is a lot that I had forgotten.

75lkernagh
Edited: Apr 26, 2013, 11:50pm Top

> 73 - Frowny face that you had to return the book but happy you were able to check it out again, Christina!

> 74 - Stacy, if you are just starting and already on chapter 10, you will overtake me in no time! I at chapter 38 and enjoying the intrigue, but I am only reading this one sporadically. Like you, there is a lot that I have forgotten as well!

76sjmccreary
May 2, 2013, 2:01pm Top

I also had to return my book unfinished. I hadn't made much progress - maybe 150 pages. I wasn't able to renew the book as someone else is waiting for it. Not sure when I'll have a chance to get back to it, but not in time for this group read. Someday...

77andreablythe
May 2, 2013, 2:49pm Top

I'm starting in again on The Count. Fortunately, I'm already about halfway through, since I've been reading it on my phone for a while now. Been having trouble focusing on the story and many characters, while reading it in that format, so I'm hoping stealing the print version from my mom and reading it that way will work better for me.

78christina_reads
May 7, 2013, 11:02am Top

I've passed the halfway mark now! I think I'm somewhere in the 700s, page-wise. I'm still enjoying the book, but it seems to have gotten very digressive...I'm having a little trouble keeping some of the characters straight. Baroness Danglars and Mme. de Villefort (have I got their names and titles right? I don't even know!) seem particularly interchangeable, since they are both portrayed as odious, scheming women.

79andreablythe
May 8, 2013, 4:41pm Top

Switching from the phone edition to the print was a great move. Already I can tell that the reading is going to go much quicker and smoother. I think that not only is it easier for me to focus with print, but the translation is also better, which is great.

I'm just over halfway through, and a fateful dinner has been had.

80lkernagh
May 8, 2013, 9:27pm Top

> 79 - Well, now I want to get to the 'fateful dinner' part! ;-)

81Maura49
May 9, 2013, 2:24am Top

> 78- completely agree about the families of Danglars and Villefort. Having first read the book years ago I had forgotten how intricate the plotting is and am spending a lot of time rifling back to remind myself of events and conversations. It is an enthralling read though.

82avatiakh
May 15, 2013, 6:53am Top

I wimped out and listened to the wonderful audio version narrated by John Lee. I don't know how many hours of listening but I I've been baking a lot just so I can spend time in the kitchen and listen to the book. Loved this so much. And for me it's interesting to see your comments as this is the first time I've come across the written versions of all the characters' names.
I also felt a little perturbed by the path that Edmund's revenge was taking but thought Dumas managed to give us a very satisfactory ending.

I'm keen to tackle The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo but probably need to read a few other books before I head back into this time period.

83christina_reads
May 15, 2013, 8:10am Top

I finished last night!!! I hope to post my thoughts on the book soon...still have several reviews to catch up with, but I'll get there. The short version is that I really liked it! :) I am planning to read The Three Musketeers this year also, and now I'm a bit more excited about it!

84andreablythe
May 15, 2013, 9:22am Top

>82 avatiakh:
Wow! The Black Count looks awesome! Thanks for mentioning it.

>83 christina_reads:
Congrats!

85Maura49
Edited: May 27, 2013, 3:08am Top

>83 christina_reads: I finally finished this mammoth read. Many thanks for suggesting this challenge. I enjoyed re-visiting the world of the enigmatic Count. I had forgotten what a complex and well worked out plot Dumas had contrived. I also found myself endlessly pondering the character of the man who was once Edmond Dantes. I felt some pity for the victims of his remorseless search for revenge and also puzzled by some of his actions. Why does he spin out the agony of poor bereaved Maximilian for so long? Why does he feel that his revenge must be visited on the children of his oppressors? I was not all sure that I liked the man Dantes became but I was endlessly fascinated by him.

I also loved the epic sweep of this very long novel and the pen portraits of Paris and Rome. Dumas's depiction of Carnival lingers in my mind. Then there are all those stories within the main story to consider, feeding into the main revenge theme. It was disturbing too to note how easily people could be bought- the telegraphist for example who wanted more leisure time to tend his garden.

Thank you again.

86christina_reads
May 27, 2013, 12:50pm Top

Maura, I agree with you -- I also felt pity for Dantes' victims in the end. And I couldn't understand why he tortured even the people he was trying to help! Near the beginning, when Mr. Morrel was going to go bankrupt and was about to commit suicide, why didn't he step in earlier?! In the end, Dantes seems to believe that he was totally justified in everything he did, and I simply don't agree with him!

87lkernagh
May 27, 2013, 9:56pm Top

I completely forgot to post that I have finished my re-read of The Count. A rather quick review can be found here

>85 Maura49: & 86 - Interesting. I agree that Dantes took his revenge to some unusual extremes but he was shocked by what happened to Valentine's step brother and really did not expect Mercedes response. There were moments when you could tell that Dantes only had a very tenuous hold on what was occurring, and that is what makes this story so fascinating for me to read.

88christina_reads
May 27, 2013, 10:29pm Top

Good point, Lori. But of course, the very fact that Dantes didn't have all the information should have made him even more careful, at least in my opinion. Perhaps one can interpret this novel as an illustration of what happens when you play God without having God's omniscience.

89lkernagh
May 27, 2013, 10:32pm Top

Yup.... playing God has very serious repercussions. Perfect lesson to be learned from this one!

90andreablythe
May 31, 2013, 10:30pm Top

I'm finished! Yay!
Great book and my review is here.

Group: 2013 Category Challenge

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