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The Count of Monte Cristo (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – 5 Nov 1997


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The Count of Monte Cristo (Wordsworth Classics) + The Three Musketeers (Wordsworth Classics) + The Man in the Iron Mask (Wordsworth Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 928 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; New Ed edition (5 Nov 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853267333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853267338
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.7 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Product Description

Review

"Dumas was... a summit of art. Nobody ever could, or did, or will improve upon Dumas's romances and plays." --George Bernard Shaw

"From the Paperback edition." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

'Dumas is a master of ripping yarns full of fearless heroes, poisonous ladies and swashbuckling adventurers.' The Guardian --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

423 of 428 people found the following review helpful By Scott on 9 Nov 2006
Format: Hardcover
Dumas' "Count of Monte Cristo" is the most exciting book I have ever read. It is the epitome of the perfect adventure novel and contains all of the traits that define the genre: jealousy, suspense, action, revenge, deceit, etc. At 1100+ pages, and the label as a "classic," many readers would be turned off at the task of reading such a book. Although the story is long and over 150 years old, it is truly "timeless." This does not read at all like the books you were forced to endure in 9th grade English, and is mostly as topical today as it was when it was penned.

That being said, reading the "wrong" version of this book can change the reader's experience for the worse. Amazon has combined all of the reviews for this book across the many different versions available, which can be very misleading. There are two things that affect the story, the translation, and the context.

I strongly encourage everyone to get the UNabridged version of this story. The abridged version cuts out more than half of Dumas' novel and while the story is still enjoyable, the reader misses out on many exciting chapters in the book. Do not let the length fool you. I found every bit of this book exciting, and never got bored.

Secondly, look for the Robin Buss Translation. Many of the versions of this book use a translation from 1846 (including the Modern Library and Oxford World's Classics editions) that, because of social restrictions at the time, altered some of the story, especially that dealing with sexuality. The Robin Buss translation is more faithful and restores this language, as well as making it an easier read for modern readers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LittleMoon VINE VOICE on 11 Mar 2009
Format: Paperback
Dumas' unabridged novel The Count of Monte Cristo, weighs in at a hefty 900+ pages, a fact that might turn a great number of potential readers (and thus buyers) away. It is a mistake though, to pass up this novel on account of its pretensions to masonry, when what lies within is prose of a highly readable nature, and a story of timeless intrigue and vengeance. Not for nothing does Keith Wren's introduction refer to Dumas as the "John Grisham or Stephen King of his day".

I find that Wordsworth Classics are excellent editions overall, particularly for their jargon-free introductions, and the little piece of advice always noted at the front, that "we strongly advise you to enjoy this book before turning to the Introduction". In rival editions of classic novels I'm always looking for this advice, and find it wanting. It's satisfying to read the introduction on concluding the novel, to find Wren's exposition of the nature of both the writing and its context, and to more deeply engage in the circumstances of its production as a serialisation, written at high speed. My only criticism of this edition of the novel is that the speech becomes a little confused: with more than one speaker "talking" on a single line, it's really not clear at times which character the dialogue belongs to.

Of the story itself then, there seems little that needs to be related, as it forms a part of our popular consciousness. Edmond Dantes, betrayed into imprisonment for 14 years of his life, escapes to unlimited wealth with only one thing on his mind: vengeance. The first third of the book fairly races along, as Edmond is first betrayed, and then imprisoned.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sean Gainford on 31 July 2009
Format: Paperback
An agent of Providence, Dantes (Count of Monte Cristo, and also know as few other names) gets revenge on the bastards that ruined his life. However Dantes is not just some crazy man who goes around destroying his enemies with impunity. There is a bit more subtlety involved. The revenge is more like a slow, well thought out strategic chess game then a contemporary shoot and kill everybody game. And Dantes is a bit more of a thinker then the normal revenge seeking psycho. Is he an agent of providence? Has he gone too far?

I first read this book about 8 years ago. It actually is the book that convinced me to study literature, which is what I eventually did at university. Unfortunately most of the books in the academic literature cannon don't come close to this book. Yes, this book has some flaws: it is a bit too long and some scenes could have been cut; some characters could have been more rounded or more individualistic; dialogue could have been a bit more natural. This book was however published in the mid 19th century and in serial form, so I think some leniency should be allowed.

But whoever reads this book can't deny that this is one genius story; to me, one of the greatest stories ever written, combining all the human emotions with philosophical ideas of morality and the limits and problems of human justice. Definitely a book you must read before you die.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
what an enchanting book. the characters come alive and jump off the page. and you feel every emotion that each character goes through as if it were your own. With a totally complicated but awesome plot, the book is unsuprassed in my opinion. If you have seen the films and thought against reading the book, please dont take that as a sign, the book is a million times better than any of the films ever made. dont let the size of the book put you off either, you will not be able to put it down after the third chapter. an utterly compelling read.
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