Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantès is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas' epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular success when it was first serialised in the 1840s.
Story Line: This summer for my AP French class I had to read an adapted version of The Count of Monte-Cristo in French. The story, I'm told, is not as long as the original but the basic concepts are still the same, plus I think it's harder to read because I mean come on it's in FRENCH. Anyways, I really enjoyed the story line and the emotions transmitted through the story. This is a story about betrayal, love, greed, secrets, revenge, and second chances. As always the end was the best part, it wasn't the end I expect and that's what made it even better, the surprise of the ending. While I wouldn't recommend you read this version, unless you actually know French, I would recommend you read The Count of Monte-Cristo. It is an excellent read and you'll never be bored with it, I promise. Also, for those of you who watch the show Revenge on ABC you'll definitely enjoy this because the story line is similar.
Edmond/Count of Monte-Cristo: Edmond's character is a lovable one because even though he has much hate for the three men who condemned him to prison for about sixteen years, he still has a generous and forgiving side to those that did not wrong him and to those he meets along his journey. Edmond grows a lot throughout the book and his character is so human, with human reactions and emotion, that one can't help but relate to him. Another thing I loved about his character is that he is a complete mastermind, even though he used to be a simple sailor.
Mercedes: This is Edmond's love interest in the book, yes this book even has romance. Her character kind of annoyed me but after learning some extra information about her from my sister, who read the actual book, my opinion about her changed. This information, which I don't want to give out, was not mentioned in the abbreviated French version I read but it is in the regular version. In all her character wasn't that bad and I would describe her as a kind and gentle soul.
Danglars/Fernand/Villefort: These are the three characters responsible for the sentencing of Edmond to the prison. Their characters where full of greed and pride and while I can't say that I like their characters for that I can say that they were good villains. I also think that they each got what they deserved, what they got in particular you'll have to find out when you read the book.
Overall: For being a school book that I had to read, and one for French no less, I really enjoyed it. I hope to some day read the whole story, hopefully in English (lol!). A must read, at least once in your life time, is the only way I can describe this book.
Rating: I would give this book a 9.
About the Author:
Alexandre Dumas was a French writer, best known for his historical novels of high adventure. Translated into nearly 100 languages, these have made him one of the most widely read French authors in history. Many of his novels, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Later were originally published as serials. His novels have been adapted since the early twentieth century for nearly 200 films. Dumas' last novel, The Knight of Sainte-Hermine, unfinished at his death, was completed by a scholar and published in 2005, becoming a bestseller. It was published in English in 2008 as The Last Cavalier.