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A Timeless Classic
on 14 April 2014
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 has stood the test of time and is as fresh as the day it was written. It is a story that I have returned to many times over the years, often prompted by the release of a film or TV series, none of which come close to the drama and energy of the book. Anyone reading it for the first time cannot fail to be impressed by the storyline and the writing style of Dumas. Many of the "classics" are somewhat dry and stilted to the modern taste but this tale is anything but dry. It is vibrant and exciting from the first page to the last. It is an epic story by any standards, one thousand pages plus but holds the reader throughout, never boring or superflous in any way.
Why did I feel the need to buy another copy, having already said that I have read and reread the story in the past. Well the saying "Never judge a book by its cover" has just flown out of the window. Yes, I was seduced by the appearance and description of the book. The book is very tactile with its blue bonded leather binding, covered in graphics that relate to the story and these are a joy in themselves, not least the large sailing ship depicted in gold on the back cover. The satin ribbon bookmark is just another nice touch and finally the gilt edged pages give the book an opulent look, that amazingly is not reflected in the price. Plus, best of all I know that when I have finished handling and enjoying the appearance and feel of the outside of the book, there is an amazing piece of writing waiting for me on the inside.
My only criticism is that I cannot understand why the publisher has not given the same lavish treatment to the Three Musketeers by the same author. If and when they do I will have a space ready and waiting in the bookcase.
There are a number of classic books by these publishers (Barnes & Noble) virtually all with leather bindings and unique front covers. These are definitely worth a look by people who are searching for something special and out of the ordinary for that special place in the bookcase, or even as a gift for other discerning bibliophiles.