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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dish Best Served Cold
The introduction to this excellent Modern Library edition says, "The long journey of Edmond Dantes is one that we should all take at some point in our lives." I couldn't agree more. This novel easily ranks among the greatest epics--The Odyssey, Don Quixote, Les Miserables, War & Peace and The Brothers Karamazov come to mind as works of comparable scope and...
Published on March 2 2004 by Doginfollow

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Consider the translation!
This particular translation was the most visible at a particular Border's (as well as on Amazon), and I almost bought it. However, I had time to kill, and so I read the first three pages from several other translations: it really made a difference. I opted for the Penguin Classics edition trans. by Robin Buss, which I found to be both clear and faithful. This frickin book...
Published on June 3 2004 by david gingold


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dish Best Served Cold, March 2 2004
By 
Doginfollow (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: The Count of Monte Cristo (Paperback)
The introduction to this excellent Modern Library edition says, "The long journey of Edmond Dantes is one that we should all take at some point in our lives." I couldn't agree more. This novel easily ranks among the greatest epics--The Odyssey, Don Quixote, Les Miserables, War & Peace and The Brothers Karamazov come to mind as works of comparable scope and moral grandeur.
My only advice is: set aside some time. With 1500 pages, a complex web of characters (including many with shifting identities) and more than a few dispensible subplots, this unabridged edition is a challenge--albeit a rewarding one.
The novel tackles all the great themes: war, revolution, love, power, money, justice, evil, God. But in a word, it's subject is REVENGE. A good-natured young man of exceptional promise, Edmond Dantes is betrayed by his erstwhile friends, unjustly imprisoned by an ambitious magistrate, and left for dead by the woman he loves. The first three hundred pages of the story are fast-paced and almost cinematic, from the wrenching scenes of betrayal and imprisonment, down to Dantes' miraculous escape and rebirth as a remarkable new man, the Count of Monte Cristo.
The Count is part 007, part Stoic philosopher. He'll drop you in a duel, match wits with you in the salon, concoct potions from recipes in a dozen languages, be in three places at once, with three different identities, and exercise a kind of foresight and control over human events that we normally associate with gods and conspiracy theories. Oh yeah--and he's loaded, too.
Dantes burns with a desire for revenge, but it's an entirely different sort than the Clint Eastwood/Charles Bronson variety. Instead of blasting his way into Paris with a semi-automatic (or less anachronistically, with a really big sword), Dantes methodically plots the downfall of his enemies using even more lethal weapons: the evil that lurks in their own hearts.
All this takes a long time. There is a big drop off in intensity in the middle chunk of the novel, as Dumas transitions from the swashbuckling Napoleonic days to a more traditional European novel of manners set in the 1830s. A whole new set of characters are introduced. Later, we discover their relationship to Dantes' earlier antagonists--but for a time we are totally at sea. Meanwhile, Dumas launches various digressions that will occasionally cause the reader to wonder whether he was getting paid by the word (probably).
But don't despair. The last half of the novel gathers steam like a freight train, as Count of Monte Cristo moves in for the kill. The suspense builds--not because we wonder whether Dantes will get his revenge, but whether he can avoid turning into a monster in the process.
Ultimately, Dumas offers as sane and humane a message as you can hope for from 1500 pages of injustice and vengeance. In a novel where fortunes shift, names and titles are granted and extinguished, and identities are transformed on turns of luck, the old Stoic wisdom shines through. It's not what happens to you, good or bad, but how you respond to it, that determines true virtue in this world. One suspects this would be true even without an avenging Providence, even if Edmond Dantes' triumph were less complete.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revenge is a dish best served cold, June 28 2004
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Ce commentaire est de: The Count of Monte Cristo (Paperback)
Edmond Dantes was a happy and fortunate young man, blessed with a beautiful fiance, good looks, and an upwardly mobile career. In short he had everything that a man could want. As is always the case, one man's fortune breeds another's envy. Jealous of Edmond's good fortunes three of his friends conspire to remove him from the scene. The plan might not have worked were it not for his bad fortune in chief prosecutors. His fortunes soured, Edmond is sentenced to life imprisonment.
What follows along this plotline is one of the greatest novels ever written. Edmond escapes, finds his fortune, and begins a long road of revenge. Not satisfied with killing his enemies, Edmond instead seeks to do unto them as they have done unto him. Ruin their lives by taking away everything that they hold dear.
I cannot emphasize enough the quality of this book. The plot is complex and intriguing. The characters are deep and fully fleshed. Always intelligent, often whimsical, occassionally romantic, and interspersed with action, this novel has something for everyone.
Read this book!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long but each page is worth it..., July 19 2004
By 
Ce commentaire est de: The Count of Monte Cristo (Paperback)
I have read 6 different translations of this book starting with a children's version when I was 6. I know, that doesn't count. But the 5 other ones were full versions. I know that such a thick book can be intimidating but it is worth while. Each turn of the page feels like unwrapping a new gift. By the time you get to the end you will miss it and wish that it was even longer. This is the best translation that I have read thus far. This book is for anyone that likes to treasure their time with their books and is not for impatient people who just want to know the plot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS is the Best Book I Have Ever Read!, Oct. 26 2012
By 
Anthony L. "Carpe diem" (The centre of the universe) - See all my reviews
If you have not read this book do so immediately. Like, RIGHT NOW!!

Edmond Dantes, a man cruelly wronged by 3 men, is sent to prison, where he carefully plots his revenge. Escaping from the clutches of death, he emerges as the mysterious Count du Monte Cristo. And he carefully, ever so carefully, exacts his revenge. But some circumstances are out of his control...

(The chapter "Mercedes" is by far the greatest chapter in any book I have ever read.)

Oooh, I can't spoil it for you but the part where Dantes... never mind, but it was so moving. This book is so brilliant. What an ending!!

But:
It's not light reading.
It's not a genre piece.
It's not action packed.

But:
It is the 3rd greatest book ever written.
It is so full of truth.
The characters are perfect.
The story is unprecedented.
It's scope is grand.
Revenge is sweet.

Forget War and Peace. Read The Count of Monte Cristo. A seriously good book.

P.S. Read my OTHER review on The Count of Monte Cristo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Riveting Tale!, July 7 2004
By 
Loki Shams (West Des Moines, IA) - See all my reviews
This is honestly one of the greatest novels I have ever read. I absolutely loved this book. I could not put it down! This is a must read for anyone.When I first started into this novel, I had in my memory the 'movie' that was made for the big screen. So of course, I expected the book to be very similar to it. Well, I was very wrong! Other than Edmond Dantes being betrayed by his 'friends' and finding the treasure, this book takes on a different route.
Believe me, the book is much more superb. The way the Count exacts his revenge is astonishing. I cannot fathom how Dumas came up with such a scheme. At times, one cringes for the those who wronged the Count.
This book made me laugh and cry. There are many poignant moments throughout the book that make you feel good. Anyone who says that Dumas is not up there with the 'classic' writers, does not know what they are talking about. This book is rich in dialogue, mystery, suspense and storyline. All in all, this is an amazing classic, and I recommend it to anyone wanting a good read.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Consider the translation!, June 3 2004
By 
david gingold (memphis, TN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: The Count of Monte Cristo (Paperback)
This particular translation was the most visible at a particular Border's (as well as on Amazon), and I almost bought it. However, I had time to kill, and so I read the first three pages from several other translations: it really made a difference. I opted for the Penguin Classics edition trans. by Robin Buss, which I found to be both clear and faithful. This frickin book is well over 1,000 pages, so it may be worth your while to sit down in the bookstore and investigate for a few minutes.
p.s. Look out for the sneaky abridged versions, too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unquestionably my favourite novel!, April 24 2010
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Ce commentaire est de: The Count of Monte Cristo (Paperback)
To quote someone whose name has slipped my mind, this is the "shortest 'long book' I have ever read." Though its length appears daunting and turns off even some of the most avid readers, I can guarantee that this epic story of ruination, redemtion, revenge, and realization is well worth the effort. I started reading this book at 7:00 pm on Saturday evening and read straight through to 8:00 am on Sunday morning.

I hesitate to write too much of a review because I feel that my limited writing capacity will not do this novel justice. The plot is unbelieveably well-crafted and suspensful---several times I nearly skipped to the end of a chapter because I couldn't tolerate not knowing how that particular section would conclude. Each character is unique, memorable, and, most importantly, very dynamic. Not a single character is "unchanged" by the events in the novel. Dumas is the master of "character connections" and manages to create complex relationships that weave through the fabric of an already ingenious plot. Finally, the didactic messages of the novel are as relevant today as they were so many decades ago. You cannot finish this novel and feel unchallenged in your thinking.

I have never felt so crushed upon the reaching the last page of a novel. The plot spans three decades and, by the end, you find yourself attached emotionally invested in each character...even the utterly evil ones. I have never cried in a movie or while reading a novel. However, I was surprised to find that, when closed the back cover of this novel, tears began to well up in my eyes. Somehow, 1300 pages just wasn't long enough.

Read this book. I promise you that it is well worth the effort.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Swashbuckling action from cover to cover, June 22 2005
By 
Kara Ortiez (Hamilton, Canada) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: The Count of Monte Cristo (Paperback)
The Count of Monte Cristo begins as Edmond Dantes lands in Marseille, ready to marry the love of his life, Mercedes. Within 24 hours his world will turn upside down; punished for a crime he did not commit, he'll be imprisoned in the Château d'If for life, stripped of everything he held dear. And so the stage is set for the greatest revenge novel ever written.
Swashbuckling novels are a sub-genre of historical fiction. Too easily, the whole genre is dismissed as juvenile reading. The Count of Monte Cristo features two cases of infanticide, a serial poisoner, a stabbing, three suicides, torture, execution, drug-induced sexual fantasies, illegitimacy, transvestism, lesbianism, dramatic soliloquies, references to classical history, the effects of hashish, all in about 1300 pages. Juvenile? I don't think so....
This is my favorite book of all time. The unabridged version is the only way to go. The movies have never done it justice. I can guarantee you won't put it down!
Once you've finished it, check out The Three Musketeers... the unabridged version ;)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A True Classic!, July 7 2004
By 
Loki Shams (West Des Moines, IA) - See all my reviews
This is honestly one of the greatest novels I have ever read. I absolutely loved this book. I could not put it down! This is a must read for anyone.When I first started into this novel, I had in my memory the 'movie' that was made for the big screen. So of course, I expected the book to be very similar to it. Well, I was very wrong! Other than Edmond Dantes being betrayed by his 'friends' and finding the treasure, this book takes on a different route.
Believe me, the book is much more superb. The way the Count exacts his revenge is astonishing. I cannot fathom how Dumas came up with such a scheme. At times, one cringes for the those who wronged the Count.
This book made me laugh and cry. There are many poignant moments throughout the book that make you feel good. Anyone who says that Dumas is not up there with the 'classic' writers, does not know what they are talking about. This book is rich in dialogue, mystery, suspense and storyline. All in all, this is an amazing classic, and I recommend it to anyone wanting a good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Riveting Tale!, July 7 2004
By 
Loki Shams (West Des Moines, IA) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: The Count of Monte Cristo (Paperback)
This is honestly one of the greatest novels I have ever read. I absolutely loved this book. I could not put it down! This is a must read for anyone.When I first started into this novel, I had in my memory the 'movie' that was made for the big screen. So of course, I expected the book to be very similar to it. Well, I was very wrong! Other than Edmond Dantes being betrayed by his 'friends' and finding the treasure, this book takes on a different route.
Believe me, the book is much more superb. The way the Count exacts his revenge is astonishing. I cannot fathom how Dumas came up with such a scheme. At times, one cringes for the those who wronged the Count.
This book made me laugh and cry. There are many poignant moments throughout the book that make you feel good. Anyone who says that Dumas is not up there with the 'classic' writers, does not know what they are talking about. This book is rich in dialogue, mystery, suspense and storyline. All in all, this is an amazing classic, and I recommend it to anyone wanting a good read.
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The Count of Monte Cristo
The Count of Monte Cristo by Robin Buss (Paperback - May 27 2003)
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