The Count of Monte Cristo at page 400…

Just to give anyone reading this the benefit of the doubt – there could be MINOR SPOILERS in this post.  The edition I am reading is considered ‘Complete and Unabridged”.  That would be my recommendation.  I don’t think it will disappoint.


I can easily imagine the original serial format of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo causing 19th Century periodical readers to hang out at newsstands at midnight waiting for the next installment.

In one of my more astute literary observations, I can sum up the first 400 pages with “Best prison break ever”!  I thought it would be slow and methodical; however, it grabbed me by surprise and hasn’t let go.  Anyone who has ever said 19th Century French literature can’t be entertaining has never read this novel.

Franz d’Epinay’s visit to the Count’s island, Monte Cristo, is memorable for his hashish-induced dream involving statuesque Greek goddesses.  Suffice it to say it did nothing to dispel certain French stereotypes.  At page 400, Franz has taken a backseat in the plot but I’m hoping he’ll reappear.  But if he doesn’t, dozens of other fascinating characters move in and out of the intricate but fast-moving storyline.

Yes, at times, the question might arise as to why certain characters don’t recognize the Count as someone from their past; however, I’m having too much fun for that to really matter.  And at this juncture, I’m a little confused about Bertuccio’s story, but I’ll keep reading and perhaps it’s significance will become clear.

And where will Madame Danglar’s “dappled grays” eventually end up?  My curious mind wants to know.





5 responses to “The Count of Monte Cristo at page 400…

  1. This is my second-favorite book of all time. I’ve read a couple different translations — when I read it first at 11, I read this ancient copy from our public library and fell in love with it. I got a different translation a few years later and kept wondering why a couple sections I remembered so clearly weren’t there. Just figured my 11-year-old self had imagined them… until I started researching different translations a teeny bit and discovered that some of them leave out or gloss over plot points and different side stories! Ack! So I bought what’s considered to be a faithful translation a couple months ago, and I hope to read that one later this year once I’m done with my LOTR read-along.

    By the sounds of what you’re saying here, you’ve got a more faithful translation than the paperback one I had. And I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! I love it dearly.

    • I’ve never heard anyone who didn’t like this novel. I have heard a lot about the various translations/versions and I really wanted to read what was closest to the original-at least from a plot standpoint. While I usually enjoy whatever I read to a certain degree, this book has upped the ante on the most fun I’ve had reading a novel. I probably will post again once I’m finished.

  2. Pingback: The Count of Monte Cristo -”wait and hope” | Mirror w/ Clouds

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