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.