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A BIG adaptation
le 7 janvier 2010
We read this version of the book for my French class, and I was excited at first, as I'm a fan of the story - however, I was pretty disappointed to find that this book was very much an adaptation. It is simplified in language, which is understandable enough, but the bigger problem is with the adaptation of the STORY. It's far from the condensed version of the book, it actually cuts out a very large number of important characters and events from the original novel. The first (over) half of the book is Dantes's introduction, his time in prison, and the escape - and if that is over half the novel, you can imagine how rushed and stripped the rest of the book is, from there on out. As a result it's nowhere near the masterpiece of the original work, occasionally even confusing.
However, I will give it some credit: it's good for students, if nothing else. It is at an intermediate level of reading, so it is appropriate for students who have been learning French for only a couple of years. The language and plot are simple enough to follow along, more often than not (aside from the lack of details, at times), and there are handy footnotes on all of the less common words that students may be struggling with, as well as study guide questions at the end of each chapter, and prompts to get you thinking at the start of each. All of these things make it easier to understand and follow, if you're a learner.
My conclusion: you will enjoy this if you are reading it purely as a student, and not expecting anything much like the original novel. Handy if it's what you need, otherwise not worth it at all.