The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

count-of-monte-cristoThere are two parts in this story. The first part before and when Edmond is in jail, and the part when Edmond becomes a Count. This is my warning to you: do not pick this book up and start it if you have something important that you can’t skip it or you need to do in the next day or three. The reason why is you won’t be able to put the book down, or if you do, you’ll move zombielike through your everyday tasks while your mind stays with the adventures of Edmund Dantes.

Edmond Dantes is a young and very successful merchant sailor. As the ship lands, Dantes is the first to inform the ship’s owner, Morrel, that their Captain has died and told Dantes to deliver two packets: One to Marshall Bertrand, and the other to an unknown man in Paris. Morrel hints that Dantes may be the next captain. This conversation is overheard by Danglars, a man also working for the same ship, and very jealous of Dantes’s success. While he watches Edmond invite everyone he knows for his wedding with Mercedes, Danglars teams up with Caderousse and Fernard, somebody who is in love with Mercedes. They send a letter, and pretty soon, on the day of the wedding, a few minutes before Edmond and Mercedes are declared as husband and wife, Edmond, as innocent as he is, is arrested.

Life at the jail is not good. He is sent to a place for dangerous criminals, without a trial. He spends years in prison before meeting with the old prisoner next door. They are not at all supposed to meet, but the old prisoner, Faria, miscalculates the hole he has made to try to escape, and rather than escaping, he ends up in the prison next door. The old prisoner teaches Edmond the lesson of hope, and after some years of communicating, the old prisoner dies, making Edmond a very good chance to escape. To escape, Edmond pretends to be the dead prisoner and is thrown to the sea. But Edmond survives, then he is rescued by a passing ship. He iss the only person to be able to escape that prison.

Edmond finds out that his father has died, and Mercedes has married Fernard, and has a son named Albert, while Morrel is on the verge of being bankrupt. As Edmond makes his way to an Island, Morrel is on the verge of suicide. He finds his debts mysteriously paid (by Edmond) and his cargo ship has returned with its load.

The last two words that end this book are ‘Wait and Hope’. When you feel lost, alone, and confused in the dark – darker than night – like Edmond in his jail, hope is like a tiny spot of light in the distance, that is slowly edging its way towards you, never being noticed. With the light comes the promise of everything. And when it comes to you, you will embrace its heat.

This book is an example of perfect fiction writing. An example of great classic.  The story, the characters, the settings and the emotions enthralled me for many days. I seriously could not put it down. I am living the book as it took me to France, the mediterranean, Italy and every home, cave and mode of transportation detailed in exemplary fashion by Dumas. The Count of Monte Cristo is a delicious book, full of intrigue, great fight scenes, love and passion. It is a story of injustice, despair, remorse, cruelty, misfortune, and evil. However, at the same time, the book manages to show that in the seemingly rotten world we live in there is hope, charity, love, honor, and purity as well.

The book that I own has 875 pages. Its length is four times the average book and I feel it still is not long enough! Some people might be put off by the size of the book — it’s a pretty hefty volume — an tempted to ignore it. Don’t! As thick and impossibly long as The Count of Monte Cristo may seem when you open it for the first time, you’ll feel as though it’s far too short by the time you get to the last page.

Last but not least, whatever happens to Danglars and his partners when Edmond goes out of jail? They become rich, with lots of money in their income. Then suddenly, the Count Of Monte Cristo enter their lives. Who is the Count of Monte Cristo you may ask? It is Edmond, in disguise. But nobody knows. That was the second part. There are a lot of talk about politics, mainly concerning money. Edmond recruits a lot of people whose life is tortured under Danglars and Fernard. And as I said before, only one recognized Edmond, and it is Mercedes.

Alexandre Dumas, was a French writer, his works had been translated to more than 100 languages, and he is one of the most widely read French author. He was born on July 24, 1802 (July 24 is my birthday too) and died at December 5, 1870. Other than his popular story The Count of Monte Cristo, he was also known for The Three Musketeers.


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