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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 (260 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Product Description

Review

If you are already dismayed by the length and price of this famous story of revenge set in France against a backdrop of turbulent Bonapartist politics, you could cop out and buy the two-CD abridgement for £10.99. It would be about as satisfying as booking a table at Le Gavroche and ordering scrambled eggs, but 52 hours, I agree, is a long haul. Dumas père is chiefly remembered for this, for The Three Musketeers, and for fathering Alexander Dumas fils, author of La Dame aux Camélias. It's a terrific story. Edmond Dantès, a charismatic young seaman, just promoted to captain, is framed by jealous rivals, falsely accused of being a pro-Bonaparte spy and arrested minutes before his marriage to the beautiful Mercedes. He is sentenced to life imprisonment at the notorious Château d'If, where, 14 years later, a fellow inmate, a priest on his deathbed, reveals the whereabouts of a massive treasure on the tiny island of Monte Cristo. Dantès escapes, finds the treasure, buys a peerage and sets about his revenge. Take it on your gap year. --Sue Arnold, The Guardian --This text refers to the Audio CD 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

437 of 443 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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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
This edition has a recent translation. I found the clasic translation quite heavy going to read. I switched early to this edition and instantly found it much more enjoyable. This newer traslation also seems more subtle and mature. The notes are helpful and explain many of the refrences and avoid pointing out obvious details. In addition, the introduction is very good.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By unlikely_heroine VINE VOICE on 3 May 2004
Format: Paperback
Dumas's dazzling, epic tale of a man seeking revenge following the ruination of his life is a thrilling read, despite being (in this edition) more than 1200 pages long. This edition is to be particularly recommended as it features a very fine recent translation, which reads very well and which also picks up on a few of the subtleties lost in the "classic" Victorian version of this novel.
Edmond Dantes is a man who, to use a cliche - has it all. He is young and just beginning to see success in his career, and has a beautiful fiance with whom he is madly in love. However, his world falls apart when he is thrown into prison on trumped-up treason charges and the world forgets about him - his father dies in poverty; his fiance, thinking he is lost to her forever, eventually marries another man. And Edmond himself spends years languishing in jail, coming close to insanity, before he meets another prisoner who gives him the skills and the courage to think about escaping and tracking down the men responsible for ruining his life...
"The Count of Monte Cristo" is an astounding novel in terms of its scope and its subject matter. We are led across Europe and through the lives of a wide cast of characters, seeing how their fates unfold over their lifetimes. The novel is also remarkable for dealing with some surprising subjects (if we consider the time it was written), including drug use and lesbianism, not to mention a murderer who is steadily working their way through an entire family.
The book does have a few problems - as other reviewers have mentioned, the Rome section drags.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Cron on 5 July 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is by far and away my favourite novel. (Robin Buss version)

I first read it on a ski-ing trip and I remember being so utterly engrossed that I read most of it uncomfortably hunched in the back of a jeep as we drove through the night by the glow of a pen light, I just could not put it down!

It terms of story, it is a classic tale of adventure and revenge. Some negative reviews accuse it of being too formulaic, but I would argue that this is one of the great stories on which the formula itself is based. Whilst the basic premise of wrongful imprisonment and cold revenge is straightforward, the vast and subtle maneuveres of the plot are phenomenal. When I finished the book I sat back and was simply staggered at the enormity of the detail, the interweaving of storylines and characters, and the genius to have conceived such complexity without ever once becoming dull.

Like all good things, it is never rushed, the author never misses the chance to explore a character's past or a corner of the plot, thus piece by piece, the cast is gradually assembled in a way that you appreciate each of them fully. Some of their opinions and concepts are dated, noticable in areas such as duelling over petty insults and suicide over shame, but that is inevitable for a book set in the past, and personally, I revel in the completeness with with Dumas describes his society.

As for Edmond himself, by the time I finished the book, I felt like I knew him as no other character I have ever read...
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