I’ve been wanting to read The Count of Monte Cristo for a while. Ever since I found out that one of its main themes is vengeance (at least according to the Wikipedia article, which could be wrong!) and that it takes place starting in the Napoleonic era, one of my absolute favorite periods in history, I’ve been interested in reading it. I picked up a copy in a bookstore once and read a bit of it and liked what I read. That’s more than I can say for a lot of those so-called classics, as I sometimes find them quite boring!
However, I’ve faced a problem in finding a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. Namely, it is a translated book, so getting a decent translation is of the utmost importance. It’s also so long that there are abridged and unabridged editions available and I didn’t know which to choose.
While trying to find a Kindle edition last night, I found a review from someone who seems to have good advice about which edition to choose. The review in question is here, if you want to read it. Apparently, Robin Buss’ translation is the best one out there right now. The reviewer says it reads a lot more fluidly that some of the other translations. I’m guessing some of the other translations must be decades old. Translations have a way of going stale over the years, even though the work in the original language retains its vitality. Breon Mitchell, a former literature professor and translator of many German-language works, has an excellent discussion of this in the foreword he wrote for Franz Kafka’s The Trial, but I digress.
Anyway, I looked up Robin Buss’ translation of The Count of Monte Cristo and it has convenient footnotes, which is what I want since there are bound to be obscure references and occasional linguistic difficulties. It’s not even that expensive, either. It’s only $3.75 for the Kindle edition, which is what I plan to buy. I think my arms would get too tired holding up a book this long, so ebook is the way to go. I plan on reading some very long books this year, so I think this is a good one to start with.