One of my students just read The Count of Monte Cristo last year and has been on my case about reading it. I couldn’t help chuckling when the Cannonball Book Club decided to read it. It’s like karma’s trying to tell me something! While I knew that this was going to be a long read, I was looking forward to it. I’ve seen Wishbone’s and Jim Caviezel’s versions of The Count so I knew the basic plot of the novel. I didn’t know how the ending is waaaaay different than the movie versions.
This read was quite the experience. One of the longest books I’ve read, there were moments I thought I’d give up. I’m glad I didn’t not just for the bragging rights of having read it, but for the vast landscape the book presents. I haven’t read much of French literature and the post-Napoleonic era is intriguing. I enjoyed a look at the French culture of the era. I’m more familiar of the British culture at this era, so it was a good contrast. I have to admit I think the French were a lot more interesting.
The base plot of the novel is very Dickensian, a dash of Agatha Christie thrown in, spiced with Shakespearean drama. There were moments I couldn’t wait to find out what the resolution would be and other moments I needed all the drama to stop. For example, why does each character threaten to kill his or her self whenever the going gets rough? It seems like they all feel like that’s a respectable out.