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The Count of Monte Cristo (Wordsworth Classics) [Paperback]

Alexandre Dumas
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
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Book Description

20 Nov 1997 Wordsworth Classics

This Wordsworth Edition includes an exclusive Introduction and Notes by Keith Wren, University of Kent at Canterbury.

The story of Edmund Dantes, self-styled Count of Monte Cristo, is told with consummate skill. The victim of a miscarriage of justice, Dantes is fired by a desire for retribution and empowered by a stroke of providence. In his campaign of vengeance, he becomes an anonymous agent of fate. The sensational narrative of intrigue, betrayal, escape, and triumphant revenge moves at a cracking pace.

Dumas' novel presents a powerful conflict between good and evil embodied in an epic saga of rich diversity that is complicated by the hero's ultimate discomfort with the hubristic implication of his own actions.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; New Ed edition (20 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 (190 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
389 of 393 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be careful which version you choose! 9 Nov 2006
By Scott
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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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Better Than The Film Thing 23 Mar 2003
Format:Paperback
I read "The Count of Monte Cristo" in approx. 10 days and, at the end, had sore red eyes because I did not blink while reading it. From the beginning to the very end I loved it.
It was originally written as a serialisation which is why it is lengthy and sustains interest from one chapter to the next and, therefore, to the very end.
Primarily, the story is about a man's revenge but it incorporates so many other things. It is about travel and adventure (which for a 19thC reader was intriguing, but is also for today's reader), disguise (and deception), morality (putting right an injustice and the consequences), romantic intrigue, religion (confession, forgiveness and Spada/Vatican riches), wealth and poverty, history and politics (Napoleon's escape from Elba, girondiste v jacobins), justice (courts and duelling/sword-fighting), social etiquette and graces (equipages, dress, being seen at the right soirees, etc.), disgrace (being made bankrupt), scandal (burying a live baby), and even some comedy (satire).
Overall, the prose moves along very easily, though there are occasions when some dialogue is just a bit too long. The translator of the book also explains that some of the dates can be inaccurate, which can make the reader occasionally lose the chronological thread, but it is minor in carrying the story along.
I recently visited Port Marly (France) to see Alexandre Dumas' home, which is named "Chateau de Monte Cristo" (Monte Cristo in reality being an Italian island in the Tyrrhenian Sea) and Chateau d'If, but found the locations of the novel much more interesting.
In the 800+page novel there are more twists and turns than the recent filmed version can begin to include.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mesmerising tale of betrayal and revenge 17 Sep 2004
Format:Paperback
'The Count of Monte Cristo' was originally published in serial form in 1844/1845. It is a sizeable book, but don't be put off.
Edond Dante has it all. He is soon to become Captain of his ship, and marry the beautiful Mercedes. With all his good fortune, Dante becomes a victim to the jealousy of his so-called friends. An accusation of treason against Dante seals his fate, sending him to rot in the Island prison, the Chateau d'If. Dante plots escape and bloody revenge.
As it was published in serial form, this novel moves at a brisk pace. Of course this mammoth novel starts extremely badly for Edmond Dante. His desperation and suffering in the Chateau d'If makes his methodical revenge all the more satisfying. Don't be put off by the length, Dante's fall and rise is mesmerising. Yes, the early/mid-section in Rome is not as interesting as the rest of the novel, but it all has its place in the story, so the best approach is to stick with it and punch through that section. The second half of the book will more than reward your persistence.
The writing style is straight-forward to read, and because the novel has a serialised style, there is usually an interesting plot development in each chapter. The downfall of Dante's accusers is all the more fascinating because their fate is cleverly brought about through the flaws in their own personalities.
This book is well worth the time. A readable classic. Clearly five stars.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece for All Times. 25 Oct 2004
Format:Hardcover
Every year amusement parks around the world spend millions of dollars trying to build the biggest and fastest roller coasters. These parks seek to give their visitors the greatest thrills possible on these rides without actually endangering the riders and thrill seekers flock to these parks by the thousands in order to take what they hope will be the ride of their lives. My advice is to skip the long trips and even longer lines and take a ride with Alexander Dumas and Edmond Dantes. No technology known to man can match the excitement and adventure you will thus find.
Make no mistake; this will be a long and sometimes bumpy ride. Dumas occasionally will drop his reader into a chapter that seems to have no relevance to any of the chapters before it. After a while though, it will all become crystal clear as this master storyteller weaves his magic. There will be twists and turns that the reader will not be able to foresee and in the end you will marvel at the scope of the story and the extent of both the vengeance and kindness of the story's hero.
As with many great works of literature, there have been many film adaptations of this book. Some were of course better than others were but none of these films come close to doing this book justice. If you have watched any or all of these films, be prepared to find that the book will often only resemble the films in that the characters have the same names. At least the characters that make it into the films will have the same names but many of the characters in the book never make it into the films. This book is simply too rich and too deep to be captured on film. To really experience Dumas' work you simply must read the book.
This is a story of love lost, of deception, jealousy and murder.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Count of Monte Crist-ooh!
This is my 2nd favourite book of all time (closely following Jane Eyre).

Injustice, and the vengeance wreaked is wonderful! Read more
Published 2 days ago by Susan Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars Winter evening book
Interesting story. Very well written,but you do have to remember the characters.otherwise you lose track of the story. Enjoy it
Published 4 days ago by Digger
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Classic
This is one of the great stories by Alexandre Dumas, written I believe between 1844/5. Much of the fiction written around this time is considered dated but this particular story... Read more
Published 4 days ago by J. Chippindale
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Superb condition, arrived promptly, wellpackaged and the book itself is gorgeous, an absolute bargain, this was a gift for a friends and she will be delighted
Published 17 days ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner
This is a true classic. I was hooked from beginning to end to find out what would happen to the Count and all the other characters. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Miss Catherine Reeves
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent yarn!
I have read this book a number of times, since my teenage years. it was more enjoyable reading it on my new Kindle Fire.
Published 24 days ago by Karim
5.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for my first Classic novel
While I was reading this, I d uhh school poo Verde it was originally serialized. which is why it seemed so convoluted.

It still a good read after all these years.
Published 27 days ago by Ian Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Count of Monte Cristo
Without doubt the best book i have ever read surpassing my previous favourite book which was Papillon. Read more
Published 28 days ago by robert davis
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece
Where do I start? This book is absolutely amazing. Films that have been made about this so far do not do it any justice at all. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J Bannion
5.0 out of 5 stars Words fail me
This book has it all: love, innocence, its loss, revenge, pride, humility, and divine providence. It is gripping and taught me many lessons.
Published 2 months ago by Timothy P. Daly
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