At approximately four o’clock this afternoon (give or take an hour, since I don’t remember exactly what the time was), I finished reading The Count of Monte Cristo. I talked about my desire to read it last year and I’ve spent the last one-and-a-half months working on it, while reading some other stuff, too. It’s a heavy, complicated book so I needed some breaks now and then.

The final verdict is I loved it. I would highly recommend it—as long as you read the Robin Buss translation, which is the one I read. It’s the best one out there because it’s the most modern (the stilted Victorian language in the older ones is just not something you’ll want to deal with, trust me) and it has handy little footnotes. Dumas made reference to all sorts of random things: classical allusions that I assume an educated person in the nineteenth century would have known; stuff about life in the nineteenth century that you’d probably only know if you lived back then; and random weird stuff. The footnotes explain it all so you aren’t completely lost.

The ending was a bit surprising to me. Not so much the events themselves, but the message I feel the author was trying to send. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll leave any discussion of that out of this post.

I know the book is long, but it’s well worth the read. I usually read very quickly, so it was humbling to have to spend over a month reading something. I tried to read a couple chapters a day (most of them aren’t terribly long). There are one-hundred seventeen total in the book.

One of my favorite things I learned from the book, aside from getting a glimpse of what Parisian society was like in this era, came from the end, where there’s a chronology of Dumas’ life. In 1858, he moved to Russia. Some sources say he was there for over a year, while others say it was closer to nine months, but regardless, Dumas liked Russia enough to write travel guides about the place. Say what you want about the man—he certain had good taste in travel destinations.

Have you read any good classic works of literature lately? Let me know in the comments!

6 thoughts on “I Finished The Count of Monte Cristo

    1. Honestly, I never found it boring… but it definitely was different than I expected towards the end!

      I’ll put the video in my watch later queue. I hadn’t realized it was going to be 3 hours long when I clicked!😀😀😀

  1. Ha, I knew you’d have loved it! I got to that finale on the Tube one morning, commuting to the airport, and I exhaled a loud “No shit!”, getting some interesting looks from other travellers… I thought whether to explain the reason for that, but then I realised I’d have looked even more than a nutter than I already was…

    1. Yeah, unfortunately explaining anything about books to people who don’t read (i.e. the majority of society) will get one some weird looks! I have seen people reading on public transport and noticed facial expressions as they read and I totally get what they’re going through. It can be hard NOT to react to one’s reading sometimes!

  2. Glad you liked it!

    The ending isn’t quite you expected, huh? In all the adaptations I’ve seen, no matter on screen or on stage, usually they don’t have that many hours to dedicate to the story. So some characters are left out, while some are combined. Sometimes characters from different families are combined into one family! Since they don’t have enough time to have all the characters and side stories, usually they go for a more Hollywood, and also more predictable ending.

    1. Ugh, I hate predictable endings!

      One thing I like about Russian adaptations I’ve seen is the Russians take textual accuracy VERY seriously. They literally adapt books chapter by chapter, thus making them epically long TV shows. Which is awesome if you like the book… I wish Hollywood did that sometimes!

Comments are now closed.