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The Count of Monte Cristo

Cover: 'The Count of Monte Cristo'

Staff Review: "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas


I recently took on a rather mundane home improvement project of tearing off wallpaper and painting my dining room. Not a fan of these projects, my saving grace is listening to an engaging audiobook, one that sweeps me away to other lands and people.

I found this escape in The Count of Monte Cristo, written by French novelist Alexandre Dumas. The story begins with the young sailor Edmund Dantes, who is about to become captain of the ship Pharaon and marry the beautiful Mercedes. However, three jealous companions and an ambitious prosecutor arrange to have him falsely accused of treason and sent to an island prison, seemingly for the rest of his life. Through years of patience, ingenuity and a life-saving friendship, Edmund escapes from prison and returns to society rich and powerful beyond measure, determined to enact vengeance on those who sent him there, who in the ensuing years have obtained their own wealth and prominence. As the self-proclaimed Count of Monte Cristo, Edmund begins to wreak havoc on his enemies' fortunes, relationships, and futures. However, along the way he finds that his thirst for justice and revenge has unintended collateral damage.

This is a challenging book; it is long and has an extensive cast of characters, nearly all with French names. Nonetheless, for those willing to stick with it, The Count of Monte Cristo contains all the makings of a compelling tale:  adventure, romance, exotic locations, larger-than-life characters, humor, disguises, heroes, villains, revenge and redemption.

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, classic fiction

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