I finally finished Alexandre Dumas’ novel The Count of Monte Cristo. While I, by no means, have any regrets spending so much time reading this, I doubt that I’ll be in the mood to read a book of more than about 400 pages any time in the near future. But that being said, this novel ranks up there as a favorite.
This isn’t the first novel that I’ve read that originally was written in serial format, but this is the first one in which I could easily see how it could be separated into small pieces that could get readers hooked on the story and get them coming back for more. Since I’ve finished it, I’ve wondered what kind of experience it would have been if I had read only a chapter a week. Whenever I decide to read The Three Musketeers, I might try that. I don’t think it would be that different from watching a serial television show such as Lost for six seasons. The more things change – the more they stay the same.
I could sum up the theme of Monte Cristo in one word: revenge. The plot revolves around Edmond Dantes’ efforts over several decades to give his betrayers what they deserve. Throughout the novel, questions arise as to how much vengeance is due to Dantes’ own attempts, how much is the result of the betrayers, themselves, and how much is simply due to Providence, Fate or Destiny (all three of those words are used at various points). It’s interesting that Destiny vs. Free-will was also a theme of Lost. As one might expect, no specific answer to any of these questions is given in the novel. Instead, each gets masterfully woven into the intricate storyline.
In spite of Dante’s vengeance overseeing the plot, redemption and forgiveness are not far behind. While not planned, I happened to finish this book on Easter Sunday. It’s final message of “wait and hope” seemed fitting.
My previous post about this novel when I was at the half-way mark is here.