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The Count of Monte Cristo – Review

One of the most famous works of world literature and perhaps one of the most frequently adapted. It is no wonder that this gripping tale of revenge and love captivates almost everyone. But we must first place this work within the context of the time in which it was written.

Monte Cristo did not see the light of day until the late 19th century. Monte Cristo saw the light of day in the late 19th century. Unsurprisingly, the work was considered “brackish” literature. The author, Alexandre Dumas, set it at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. He was himself a follower of Napoleon, which is truly evident in this book.
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That the story is based on a sequel is evident from the fact that each chapter ends with a “cliffhanger,” which is meant to build anticipation for the next installment.

The basic skeleton of the story is probably familiar to all. Young Edmund Dantes, newly appointed captain, is unjustly arrested at an engagement feast thanks to the false denunciations of those he considered trustworthy, if not his friends. Sentenced to life in prison, he successfully escapes 14 years later and recovers a treasure that a fellow prisoner told him about. With this treasure in his possession, he creates a new identity, the Count of Monte Cristo, and sets out to take revenge on those who wrongfully condemned him.

The book itself is divided into six parts. One must be prepared for a slower pace at first, as it is not until the third volume that Dantes gets lucky. Volume I is devoted to the introduction of the main characters and the arrest of Dantes. Volume 2 focuses on Dantes\’ imprisonment and escape, and the beginning of Volume 3 takes us for the first time to the island where the treasure awaits.
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Now, the pace of the plot picks up, but at the same breakneck pace, more characters with different relationships are introduced. For example, the daughter of the man who condemned Dantes is also the mistress of the son of the shipowner whose ship the protagonist was previously appointed captain. The latter is also a friend of the man to whom his so called lover, Valentina, was promised in his father\’s will. On first reading, the multitude of characters and plotlines may be quite confusing. However, that is also the intention.

In all these plot threads, Dantes lurks like a spider in a web. With his seemingly inexhaustible wealth, he spins his web to ensnare those who have wronged him. In doing so, he has no regard for the innocent. It was he who recommended the quick-acting poison to Valentina\’s stepmother. He knew full well that the stepmother would use the poison on her stepdaughter so that her son would inherit all her wealth. And it is only because that daughter is the daughter of the judge who condemned him at the time, and her death will be a great shock to him.

No, none of the people Edmond points to will be spared. And that is what makes this book such a compelling work. We eagerly await to see who the next victim will be and what ingenious plan they will devise.

I definitely recommend this book and give it an overall score of 9 out of 10.