The Count of Monte Cristo

To be honest, the first time I came across 'The Count of Monte Cristo', it was the movie that came out in starring James Caviezel as Edmond Dantes and Guy Pearce as Fernand Mondego.

Let me tell you right now that the movie has absolutely nothing on the book. The movie is garbage. Utter garbage. The acting is okay, but when I look back at the movie and compare it to the novel, it angers me that they would change it so much. To be honest, when it comes to something like this, it's irrelevant if the book might be too offensive to some viewers. That is why the motion picture rating system was invented in the first place! If people can't be bothered to check to see what the contents of the movie are, then they should not complain if they watching something that they find offensive. It's the viewer's responsibility, not the author. But that's just my personal opinion. I just like to see something in its 'true' form, such as foreign movies. I can't stand dubbed movies as they take away the essence of the movie in more ways than one. The meaning of words, expressions, everything is lost!

But I am getting side-tracked, let's continue with the book...

The book is a masterpiece. It is amazing. Where do I begin? The language? The constant use of words that it really rolls off your tongue, like a long poem. Perhaps it is the French influence behind it (the original was written in French). It 'feels' good to read the pages. It's heavy in material, but the way it is written makes it seem spectacularly simple and makes you want to progress through the story. Sometimes when I run into a huge paragraph, I skim through it, because it's a massive block of text. But for some reason in this book, it makes you want to read that huge blocks of text. Not only that, it makes you want to go back over it, as if it were some kind of sweet drug.

Then the premise of the book. Amazing. He was living through an age, albeit the very end of it, where France was still recovering from Napoleon's rule. Although it's just the background to the story, you can really feel as if you were there. That's how well the setting has been described and how it sucks you in. It makes you smell the air of that period, to appreciate the things that you normally take for granted, shoves the drastic separation of class and wealth and the contrast of the social order right in your face.

Another point is Alexandre's ability to convey a sense of mysticisism and magic. In the story, the main protagonist uses drugs, and potions and their side-effects to his own advantage. The descriptions are amazing, and I can only say that he has experienced those 'trips' first hand. The more you read, the more complex and entangled the story gets, and you sometimes just have to put the book down and shake your heard in amazement as the pieces of the puzzle start coming together. Some are predictable, but others just blow past all sense, and yet in some way, Dumas convinces you that this can be so. Like how Sir Author Conan Doyle could convince you of his deductions through Sherlock Holmes.

I am not really giving much away in regards to the story because I want you to read it. I think that as a reader, you'll definitely enjoy it, and it will engage and enthral you. Don't be intimidated by the size of the book, it isn't all that big, and you will find yourself fighting to keep it down.

In a way, I suppose you could say that the book is a drug.


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