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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece for All Times., 25 Oct 2004
This review is from: The Count of Monte Cristo (Modern Library) (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. Within this book the reader will find villains so vile that they seem almost inhuman but when their downfall comes it is so terrible that one almost feels for these wretched creatures. All through the book the reader sees the story building to a climax, but it builds slowly. So slowly in fact that the reader will be almost on the edge of his or her seat as they wait for the inevitable falling of the ax. When the final act does finally come, the reader will know the characters so well that they will almost be able to feel their agony. On the other hand, the reader will also see that the Count's victims would not have become victims but for their own greed and pride. The traps laid by the Count simply would not have worked had not his victims been ruled by same vices that led them to wrong Dantes in the first place. As with all great works of fiction, the moral lessons are there, but buried under the surface so that they don't interfere with a great story.
This is indeed a great story.
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