‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ by Alexandre Dumas

‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ by Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo is a well-known, well-read, many times adapted story. It was released in France in 1844 via a newspaper serialization series by Alexandre Dumas, and has since been displayed on the stage and on the big screen many times – with it’s latest version being released in 2002. However, even Dumas’s version was not original – in reality, there was a true, living ‘Count’ although not exactly as portrayed by Dumas. Dumas took the essence of the story from a collection of old police case files, exaggerated it, enhanced it, and renamed it ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’.

I admit, this story is nothing if not exciting. But this is not a tale of love and happiness and light. This is a story of revenge and the evilness of man. Edmond Dantes (aka the Count) – throughout a large portion of the tale – exacts revenge on those who have wronged him. And in the large sense they had it coming.

However, there was one character that I feel was severely mistreated by Dantes himself, namely Dantes lover in youth – the lovely Mercedes. She is a seemingly innocent character who not only lost the love of her life TWICE, but she also was lied to and manipulated by her husband, left to fend for herself in near poverty by her son, and finally abandoned by Dantes – who instead chose a young and supple female replacement after (however unintentionally) causing his once love much pain, regret and loss. Maybe the feminist in me is rearing it’s ugly head, but I must say after reading this novel all I could think was, ‘Well, I guess the author is a bit of a misogynist.’

The novel ends with the Count avenged and happy; and with this little fable-like moral:

‘My dear,’ replied Valentine, ‘has not the Count just told us that all human wisdom is contained in the words, Wait and Hope!’

Overall this tale is exciting, exhilarating, enchanting; quick read – which is saying something because my edition had over five hundred pages. But to be honest, a novel based around revenge left a sour taste in this bloggers mouth.

Salon Summary

RECOMMENDABILITY: 3 {out of 5} stars  |  ★★★☆☆
REPETITIVE READABILITY: 1 {out of 5} stars  |  ★☆☆☆☆
RATING: 3 {out of 5} stars  |  ★★★☆☆