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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the series!
I felt I had to redress the rather poor overall rating this book has been given on Amazon. Its a personal thing, but having read all five of the Musketeers series, this is my favourite. A great story which follows our fantastic four some years after the three musketeers. Milady is dead, Louis XIII replaced by the young Louis XIV and a sinister young man is determined...
Published on 26 Mar 2012 by Mr. Steve D. Berridge

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FUN, BUT MORE "TWO FOR TWO!" THAN "ONE FOR ALL!"
A REVIEW OF 'TWENTY YEARS AFTER' by ALEXANDRE DUMAS

'Twenty Years After' is the lesser-known sequel to the world-famous 'The Three Musketeers'. First published in serialised form from January-August, 1845, the book appeared only one year after its renowned predecessor, despite the action taking place two decades later. Those expecting Dumas' sequel to be a...
Published on 28 Sep 2009 by Barty Literati


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the series!, 26 Mar 2012
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Mr. Steve D. Berridge (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twenty Years After (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I felt I had to redress the rather poor overall rating this book has been given on Amazon. Its a personal thing, but having read all five of the Musketeers series, this is my favourite. A great story which follows our fantastic four some years after the three musketeers. Milady is dead, Louis XIII replaced by the young Louis XIV and a sinister young man is determined for revenge. It moves at a pace and the scenes at the execution of Charles I are very moving. The weaving of fact and fiction is brilliantly done by Dumas and you will learn much historical knowledge by reading this book. I hadn't realised how Charles I and the french aristocracy were related. Yes, this is my favourite of the five books and for me although the Vicomte de Bragalonne is generally a good read, it was downhill from thereon, somewhat.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FUN, BUT MORE "TWO FOR TWO!" THAN "ONE FOR ALL!", 28 Sep 2009
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This review is from: Twenty Years After (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
A REVIEW OF 'TWENTY YEARS AFTER' by ALEXANDRE DUMAS

'Twenty Years After' is the lesser-known sequel to the world-famous 'The Three Musketeers'. First published in serialised form from January-August, 1845, the book appeared only one year after its renowned predecessor, despite the action taking place two decades later. Those expecting Dumas' sequel to be a facsimile of the original swashbuckler must have been somewhat perplexed by the more unconventional approach given to the musketeers' middle age. Indeed, 'Twenty Years After' is a sprawling tale, lacking the unity of the original, not only in terms of a coherent narrative, but also via the disunity between the four main players; D'Artagnan, Porthos, Athos and Aramis. Whereas 'The Three Musketeers' has been truncated and adapted on countless occasions and may have an undeserved reputation as a "children's classic" (Those familiar with the downfall of Milady would rightly dispute this!), it is hard to imagine how the sequel could be similarly condensed and sanitised.

On one level, in 'Twenty Years After' (TYA) the reader has to give Dumas credit for not regurgitating his original. The decision to set the story the full twenty years after 'The Three Musketeers' (TTM) allows us to discover how the lead characters have changed in such time. Only D'Artagnan seems to have retained a genuinely youthful vigour despite his failure to rise up to the higher echelons of the military. The early chapters offer a useful summary of the key events of TTM, and the plot device (the scheming of the underhand Cardinal Mazarin) to bring the four back together is well-handled. The first appearance of Aramis is written with real comic flair. However, perhaps the greatest frustration of the novel in its entirety, is the lack of interaction and camaraderie between all four musketeers which made its predecessor such a joy. Throughout most of the story, our heroes operate in pairs (D'Artagnan with Porthos and Athos with Aramis), fighting on different sides. Certainly this adds to the story's increased emphasis upon characterisation by focusing on the dilemma between choosing duty over friendship. And yet, the previous interplay is just not there. Even as we approach the conclusion, it is prison bars which separate the men, even when their cause seems united.

Nevertheless, where the novel works, it works brilliantly. Morduant, embittered son of Milady, as the principle villain, weaves a dark presence throughout the core of the story. He is a scheming 'baddie', hell-bent on gaining revenge upon his mother's executioners. There is almost a 'Terminator'-style detachment to his ruthless pursuit of vengeance. His menace is a bonding force for the musketeers, and one feels that, until Morduant is finished off, our heroes are in real danger.

As in the original, the action set pieces are told with breath-taking energy, both on sea and on land. Dumas is at his best when he truly engages his heroes. The passages detailing the demise of King Charles I in battle and the attempts to rescue the fallen monarch are delivered with real panache.

Mention of England's executed King highlights another of TYA's characteristics; the lack of a consistent narrative. Whereas TTM was principally about the attempt to conceal Queen Anne's ill-advised affair with Buckingham and save royal honour, the task of writing a blurb for TYA is not an easy one. Is the key plot Queen Anne's escape from a volatile Paris? The thwarted attempt to rescue King Charles I? The contest between the musketeers and Morduant? The intrigues against Cardinal Mazarin? The list goes on. Dumas described history as the "peg" upon which he held his stories. It would be churlish to criticise the great story-teller for his historical inaccuracies (Milady's deranged son as Charles' executioner!). However, there seems to be so much going on in both England and France throughout the novel, that it is, at times, hard to keep up with the volley of names, intrigues and events.

However, despite the criticisms, TYA is a brave sequel which hits far more than it misses. In such a way it resembles 'Rupert of Henzau', Anthony Hope's darker and more controversial sequel to 'The Prisoner of Zenda'. Both 'Henzau' and TYA ignore the established formula and offer something genuinely original. This decision is commendable, and TYA is well-worth reading for its fresh approach to the musketeers saga which will continue with 'The Vicomte of Bregalonne', 'Louise De La Valliere' and the more famous, 'The Man In The Iron Mask'. The closing lines of TYA (delivered by D'Artagnan) set up the further novels with cinematic sparkle. Yet, it is telling that he does not say them to Porthos, Athos or Aramis, whose company he again lacks at the finale. Am I being greedy to just have wanted a little more "All for one"? 7/10
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 16 Jan 2014
This review is from: Twenty Years After (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I assume that you either love Dumas' works or are indifferent to them.( I cannot imagine anyone hating them). Because they are in the end historical adventure stories, Dumas is often not given enough credit for his masterful plotting, dialogue and humour. For example, very near the end of "Twenty Years After", D'Artagnan and Porthos are held prisoner, and their escape relies in part on the strength of Porthos. D'Artagnan is praising Porthos and Porthos compares himself to Milo of Crete, who performed wonderful feats of strength including bursting a cord wound around his head. Porthos claims he has emulated all Milo's feats except bursting the cord. D'Artagnan replies "because your strength is not in your head, Porthos" and Porthos responds "No; it is in my arms and shoulders". Dumas adds "answered Porthos, with naivete". But onto the plot. No suprise that the action takes place twenty years after the events decribed in "The Three Musketeers", and revolves around the events of "La Fronde", a civil war of sorts between the citizens of Paris and the Monarchy/Cardinal Mazarin which took place between 1648-1653. At the beginning of the novel, the four musketeers are separated with D'Artagnan serving as a lowly lieutenant of Musketeers; Porthos a rich widower on his estates; Athos on his estate; and Aramis, well doing what Aramis does. D'Artagnan is given a task by Cardinal Mazarin (who succeeeded Cardinal Richelieu the main protaganist of the earlier novel) for which he needs the help of Porthos. However they soon find this puts them- momentarily- on opposite sides to Athos and Aramis. For me, the poorest part of the novel is when the Musketeers travel to England during the English Civil War and try to prevent the execution of King Charles 1. Dumas does stretch credulity a little too far here. But he can be forgiven, as overall Twenty years After is a marvellous novel,with the larger than life characters leaping out of the pages. D'Artagnan in particular comes over as a wonderful character, full of faults but equally full of grace.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars needed to complete collection, 20 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Twenty Years After (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
collection now complete
very good read , start to end
if have read other titles by author then this is a must
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Twenty Years After (Wordsworth Classics)
Twenty Years After (Wordsworth Classics) by Alexandre Dumas (Paperback - 5 Jan 2009)
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