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The Count of Monte Cristo (Penguin Classics)…

The Count of Monte Cristo (Penguin Classics) (original 1844; edition 2003)

by Alexandre Dumas père, Robin Buss (Introduction)

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13,998242148 (4.35)4 / 897
Title:The Count of Monte Cristo (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Alexandre Dumas père
Other authors:Robin Buss (Introduction)
Info:Penguin Classics (2003), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 1276 pages
Tags:Completed 2013-02-20

Work details

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père (1844)

  1. 170
    The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (caflores)
  2. 90
    The Black Tulip by Alexandre père Dumas (2below)
    2below: These stories share some key themes and plot elements. It's not nearly as epic as The Count of Monte Cristo but makes for an interesting comparison.
  3. 90
    The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester (rareflorida)
    rareflorida: An old SciFi classic based upon The Count of Monte Cristo. Be patient because the begining of the story may be frustrating but you will eventually see the intelligence.
  4. 103
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (VictoriaPL)
  5. 70
    The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy (SandSing7)
  6. 61
    Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand (VictoriaPL)
  7. 40
    The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas (keeneam)
  8. 40
    The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox (citygirl)
    citygirl: Another detailed, intricately plotted revenge tale.
  9. 40
    Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini (MarcusBrutus)
  10. 52
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (one-horse.library)
    one-horse.library: The story of a man consumed by his obsession, but instead of revenge, Gatsby is chasing the American dream.
  11. 30
    Ivanhoe by Walter Scott (SandSing7)
  12. 20
    Selected Short Stories (Penguin Classics) by Guy de Maupassant (bokai)
    bokai: While Maupassant's power is in his slice of life short stories told in an objective narrative voice and Dumas is the master of the thousand page epic told (see more) in highly sympathetic narration, both authors evoke images of the same France and are unequaled in their skill at bringing character and conflict to life. A short by Maupassant is a great way to break up the lengthy prose of Dumas, and Dumas, in turn, expands and elaborates the world that Maupassant provides only glimpses of.… (more)
  13. 31
    D'artagnan Romances, The (5 Volume Set: The Three Guardsman; Vicomte De Bragelonne; Ten Years Later; Louise de la Vallie by Alexandre Dumas (MarcusBrutus)
  14. 20
    Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner (elizabeth.a.coates)
    elizabeth.a.coates: Both are adventure stories that take place over a number of years and deal with riches, revenge, and romance
  15. 21
    The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (joririchardson)
  16. 10
    Gil Blas by Alain René Le Sage (roby72)
  17. 21
    The Queen of the South by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (lilisin)
    lilisin: "Queen of the South" is a modern retake on "The Count". Not my favorite read but you can definitely see the parallels.
  18. 21
    The Stars' Tennis Balls by Stephen Fry (Pixelinchen, lizzybeans11)
    Pixelinchen: The Count of Monte Cristo in the British dotcom world of the 20th Century
  19. 00
    Shogun: A Novel of Japan by James Clavell (ShaneTierney)
  20. 29
    The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King (keremix)

(see all 20 recommendations)


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English (226)  Spanish (5)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  Turkish (1)  All languages (242)
Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
I'm often told by friends that I like boring/tedious books. The first chapters of this books are wonderful and engaging for anyone. Up to the Isle of Monte Cristo I think most readers will love this book. The majority of the novel takes place after the introduction of our Count and I think most would find it tedious. It certainly walked that line for me. All in all I enjoyed watching the various threads all come together but do think the pacing was off. I am glad to have finally read this classic though and feel that it was more enjoyable than most of the novels one finds on lists of classics. ( )
  AmbitiousLemon | Dec 16, 2014 |
First of all, why hasn’t HBO or AMC made this into a miniseries yet?! The characters are so engaging - the servants, the enemies, the frenemies, the good guys; they all have backstory and personality. And the whole thing is so full of suffering and delicious revenge.

The story follows Edmund Dantes, a salt-of-the-earth (salt-of-the-sea?) first mate aboard the Phaeron. Things are going pretty well for Dantes: he’s young, attractive, does his job well, he’s engaged to a pretty woman, and he’s about to be made captain. Then politics and jealousy get in the way, and he ends up in prison for fourteen years. He escapes and acquires a massive fortune; for the rest of the story, he uses his money to exact sweet, sweet revenge.

The book is separated into volumes, but I would separate it into six thematic sections: before prison, during prison, recovering from prison, rewarding friends, building revenge, and closure. Each one has a different feel to it. The revenge section is by far the longest, and perhaps the slowest - but by then, I was hooked, and I liked waiting for the hammer to fall on the count’s enemies.

Recommendation: Anyone who loves a historical fiction, adventure, or suspense. This is also a great read when you only have time for a chapter or two in one sitting.

Feels: Well-rounded, exciting, colorful. Satisfying (lots of revenge and wish-fulfillment).

Favorites: The side characters are fantastic, and I’m a sucker for good villains. The thing is, no one is “the evil villain” - they’re regular people, and you understand them even as you hate them. I also loved the way storylines intertwine, but without cheesy parallels. A lot of modern books/TV/movies tie the story up in a perfect little bow, everything symmetrical and no loose ends.

Least favorites: The ending was satisfying, but it did feel a little rushed.

Writing style: Just as elaborate as I was expecting, but surprisingly easy to read, once you get used to the names. The perspective bounces around to different characters/locations every chapter or so, letting you see each new event in a slightly different light. You see the Count as himself in one chapter, then you meet a “mysterious stranger” in the next (with a wink and a nod from the author). Dumas doesn’t always tell you what the count is doing, so much as he leads you gently down the path to figuring it out yourself. ( )
1 vote Andibook | Nov 7, 2014 |
I'm finished. It got better. MUCH better. More later. Maybe. ( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
This is one of the very, very few books that I liked less than the movie. I was a bit disappointed. ( )
  piersanti | Sep 28, 2014 |
Before Reading:
I started reading my copy when I woke up this morning and just thought I'd note a few things before I start reading the novel itself.

This is a book about Dumas's father: [b:The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo|13330922|The Black Count Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo|Tom Reiss|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1337693786s/13330922.jpg|18538602]. He was the illegitimate son of a marquis and a black slave of the island of Santo Dominga. My copy arrived at lunchtime even though this version isn't due out for another two weeks!

[b:The Count of Monte Cristo|7126|The Count of Monte Cristo|Alexandre Dumas|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1309203605s/7126.jpg|391568] was written in 1844-5 (6 months after [b:The Three Musketeers|7190|The Three Musketeers|Alexandre Dumas|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320436982s/7190.jpg|1263212]). My edition contains a chronology of the author's life.

The Author

[a:Alexandre Dumas|4785|Alexandre Dumas|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1279049943p2/4785.jpg] was born in 1802, the same year as [a:Victor Hugo|13661|Victor Hugo|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1288998664p2/13661.jpg] (they worked together, also with [a:Alfred de Vigny|70366|Alfred de Vigny|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1267496718p2/70366.jpg]). His father died when he was 4 so he had an impoverished childhood with little education. 'He joined the household of the future king, Louis-Philippe, and began reading voraciously.' Before he wrote TCoMC he had travelled to Switzerland and fallen in love with Italy, living in Florence for a year in 1841. In 1842 he visited the island of Montecristo.

(Click image for Google map)

Two years after TCoMC was published, Dumas built the Château de Monte-Cristo in 1846 and used it as his country home. He had to sell it when he went backrupt in 1850. Now it's a museum dedicated to him and his works.

It was known Dumas wrote for money 'at so much a line, and that he used at least one collaborator, [a:Auguste Maquet|3141704|Auguste Maquet|http://www.goodreads.com/assets/nophoto/nophoto-U-50x66-251a730d696018971ef4a443cdeaae05.jpg], who would make chapter outlines for him and do research. He was once referred to as 'Alexandre Dumas and Co., novel factory'.

However, he sometimes had to be locked away in a room away from his mistress just so he could finish writing. Must've been a randy fellow.

Dumas died in 1870. Afterwards Victor Hugo wrote to Dumas's son 'praising Dumas as a writer of universal appeal and added "He creates a thirst for reading."'

On the book itself, from the Introduction:

Based on the real life story of Francois Picaud detailed in [b:Mémoires tirés des archives de la police de Paris|9014622|Mémoires tirés des archives de la police de Paris|J. (Jacques) Peuchet|/assets/nocover/60x80.png|13892097] (Parisian police archives):

'Briefly the story is this: Picaud, a young man from the south of France was imprisoned in 1807, having been denounced as an English spy, shortly after he had become engaged to a young woman called Marguerite. The denunciation was inspired by a cafe owner, Mathieu Loupian, who was jealous of Picaud's relationship with Marguerite.

Picaud eventually moved to a form of house-arrest in Piedmont and shut up in the castle Fenestrelle, where he acted as a servant to a rich Italian cleric. When the man died, abandoned by his family, he left his money to Picaud, whom he had come to treat as a son, also informing him of the whereabouts of a hidden treasure. With the fall of Napoleon in 1814, Picaud, now called Joseph Lucher, was released; in the following year, after collecting the hidden treasure, he returned to Paris.

Here he discovered that Marguerite had married Loupian. Disguising himself, and offering a valuable diamond to Allut, the one man in the group who had been unwilling to collaborate in the denunciation, he learned the identity of his enemies. He then set about eliminating them, stabbing the first with a dagger on which were printed the words: 'Number One', and burning down Loupian's cafe. He managed to find employment in Loupian's house, disguised as a servant called Prosper. However, while this was going on, Allut had fallen out with the merchant to whom he had resold the diamond, had murdered him and had been imprisoned. On coming out of jail, he started to blackmail Picaud. Picaud poisoned another of the conspirators, lured Loupian's son into crime and his daughter into prostitution, then finally stabbed Loupian himself. But he quarrelled with Allut over the blackmail payments and Allut killed him, confessing the whole story on his deathbed in 1828.'

Holy cow! Moral of the story: Being merciful is a death sentence.

One of the characters, Madame de Villefort, is also based on someone from these archives.

Some consider TCoMC to be children's fiction for the for fairy tale and Disney-like quality of the adventure / romance / revenge story. However:

'...not many children's books, even in our own time, that involve a female serial poisoner, two cases of infanticide, a stabbing and three suicides; an extended scene of torture and execution; drug-induced sexual fantasies, illegitimacy, transvestism and lesbianism; a display of the author's classical learning, and his knowledge of modern European history, the customs and diet of Italians, the effects of hashish, and so on; the length, in any case, would immediately disqualify it from inclusion in any modern series of books for children.'

*rubs hands together*

Sounds filthy; can't wait. :D
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
Edmond Dantes je plemenit, lep, mladi mornar zaljubljen u predivnu Mercedes. Danglers koji želi da se dočepa njegovog zlata, Kaderus, lupež koji želi ličnu osvetu i zli general Mondego koji želi Mercedes za ženu, optužuju Edmunda za pljačku upravo na dan njegov venčanja i on biva zatvoren u zloglasni zatvor Sato D'if. Bežeci iz zatvora, na zabačenom ostrvu pronalazi ogromno blago. U Pariz se vraća kao bogati i misteriozni grof Monte Kristo. Kako bih isterao pravdu i sprao ljagu sa svog imena - uz pomoć tri nova i urnebesna prijatelja!
added by Sensei-CRS | editknjigainfo.com

» Add other authors (87 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dumas père, Alexandreprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bair, LowellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Binni, LanfrancoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Botto, MargheritaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buss, RobinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clapham, MarcusAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coward, DavidRevised translationsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coward, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franceschini, EmilioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Homewood, BillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maurois, AndréIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaeffer, MeadIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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On February 24, 1815, the watchtower at Marseilles signaled the arrival of the three-master Pharaon, coming from Smyrna, Trieste and Naples.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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These should be the unabridged editions of The Count of Monte Cristo
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Book description
blurb: This enduringly popular tale of live and vengeance in the post Napoleonic era follows Edmond Dantes as he prepares to captain his own ship and marry his beloved Mercedes. But on his wedding day, he is betrayed by spiteful enemies and arrested on trumped up charges. Condemned to lifelong imprisonment, he befriends Abbe Faria, a priest and fellow inmate with an escape plan. When Abbe Faria dies, Edmond escapes alone. Free at last, and incredibly wealthy, Edmond enters society posing as the brooding and mysterious count of Monte Cristo to reclaim his lost love and exact a terrible vengeance from his accusers.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140449264, Paperback)

Translated with an Introduction by Robin Buss.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:53 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas' epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular succes when it was first serialized in the 1840s.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 36 descriptions

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