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The Man in the Iron Mask (Oxford…

The Man in the Iron Mask (Oxford World's Classics) (original 1847; edition 2009)

by Alexandre Dumas, David Coward (Editor)

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Title:The Man in the Iron Mask (Oxford World's Classics)
Authors:Alexandre Dumas
Other authors:David Coward (Editor)
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (2009), Edition: Unabridged Version, Paperback, 656 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas (1847)


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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
While I like this Simon Vance narration, I found that this edition, based on the 3 volume version of "Vicomte de Bragelonne; or Ten Years Later", was not as good as my print edition which is based on the 4 volume edition. This one is just too long, especially if you are reading this as a stand-alone -- it is about 30% longer than the 4 volume edition and mostly with stuff which lacks the adventure and action that one might expect in this book. ( )
  leslie.98 | Aug 12, 2015 |
Having finally read the entire series, I found that I liked this final section even more. Some sections that I previously thought a bit dull or unrelated I now realize where the continuation or wrapping up of things that had happened previously. Several of the relationships, such as that between Raoul & Louise, are not at all clear if you read this as a stand-alone but make perfect sense having read the previous parts of "Vicomte de Bragelonne; or Ten Years Later". However the book is still a fun read even lacking the nuances of these relations as long as you know "The Three Musketeers" 4 main characters.

One thing I had forgotten was how sad this book ends up being. I was feeling a bit annoyed in the middle that Louis XIV wasn't left in the Bastille and Phillipe on the throne, especially after Louis behaviour towards Fouquet in the second half of the book. But upon reflection, Dumas chose the more realistic path and allowed the characters to show their sense of honor or lack thereof. I remain saddened by the division between the 4 friends which is only partially healed in the end. Poor Aramis tried to become another Richelieu and failed. It is interesting the the musketeer who started off as the most devout ended up being the most corrupted by ambition while the one who started off with the most ambition ended up the most dutiful to his moral obligations. So sad that d'Artagnan dies just as he is about to achieve the one ambition left to him!

For those unaware, Dumas' mammoth third book in the d'Artagnan series ("Vicomte de Bragelonne; or Ten Years Later") is generally divided into several volumes, most commonly 3 or 4. Unfortunately, these volumes usually have the same name even though they cover slightly different material. This book is covers the material in the 4th volume of a 4 volume edition. I also listened to the Blackstone audiobook edition narrated by Simon Vance which is the final volume of a 3 volume edition (and also a slightly different translation although the translation information is not provided). For those wanting to read this classic as a stand-alone, I would recommend the 4 volume edition -- the 3 volume edition contains about 30% more material at the beginning (covered in my 3rd volume "Louise de la Valliere") which only minimally helps understand the relationships I mentioned above and lacks the adventure and action of the first & last parts. ( )
  leslie.98 | Aug 12, 2015 |
The first part of the volume is actually quite good with many tense and interesting scenes. Something of an antidote to the boring padding that marrs the earlier volumes, but there is nothing to justify making his readers suffer through those sub-standard sub-plots. There is some ropey writing, especially where he's overly earnest in bewailing the deaths of characters that, despite the 2000 pages of this long novel, he's not taken the time to really make us care about. While I can understand why this is the only commonly read section of the Musketeers' saga after The Three Musketeers, my main emotion on finishing it was relief. ( )
  Lukerik | May 13, 2015 |
I was surprised that the book was very different from the movie! It is the tale of the failed attempt on the part of two former musketeers to place the identical twin on the throne of Louis XIV. All of this takes place in the first few chapters and the rest is Louis getting even. ( )
  creighley | Apr 28, 2015 |
Well, that was a real downer. People die, noble plots are thwarted, good men are sent to prison. The title is a little misleading, because surprisingly little of the book is about said man - the brother of the king, whom Aramis tries to install in his place from the very first chapter. I still love all four Musketeers, but this story seemed less about them and more about French politics. I think. To be honest, I had a lot of trouble following it. I kept confusing people, especially since most of the noblemen had two or three names each. It was nice to rejoin Athos, Aramis, Porthos, and d'Artagnan, but I would have rather spent the time with them off on adventures, and not as old men who barely see each other anymore. I suppose it's not a bad way to round off your Musketeer collection, but definitely don't start here.

This translation was not so great. I'm not convinced, even in Dumas's time, that people would say "What does that signify?" instead of "What does that mean?" or "Do you comprehend?" instead of "Do you understand?" It made everything sound stilted and weird. ( )
  melydia | Oct 12, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alexandre Dumasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gray, Francine Du PlessixIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neugroschel, JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pisarev, RomanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rogers, JacquelineIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, Henry LlewellynTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Whilst every one at court was busily engaged upon his own affairs, a man mysteriously entered a house situated behind the Place de Grève.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192838423, Paperback)

Alexandre Dumas was already a best-selling novelist when he wrote this historical romance, combining (as he claimed) the two essentials of life--"l'action et l'amour." The Man in the Iron Mask concludes the epic adventures of the three Muskateers, as Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and their friend D'Artagnan, once invincible, meet their destinies.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:45 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

When the destinies of King Louis XIV and a mysterious prisoner in an iron mask converge, the Three Musketeers and D'Artagnan find themselves caught between conflicting loyalties.

(summary from another edition)

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