Wednesday, 25 May 2016
Monday, 16 May 2016
A young French sailor with a bright future ahead of him and is looking forward to an early promotion and marriage to his sweetheart when he is falsely accused and condemned to rot in prison. The fourteen years he spends in that dank dungeon drive him to the depths of despair and the brink of madness but a chance encounter with another old prisoner gives him a new hope and sets up the greatest revenge story in literature.
Dumas's story was originally serialised in 18 parts so the sheer size of the novel is a bit overwhelming. To tell the truth I found it a bit long winded in parts and if it was being published today it could benefit from some enthusiastic editing. Nevertheless Dumas tells a fascinating tale that still holds up. There are also fascinating bits of history in the book - a glimpse at French society shortly after the time of Napoleon.
One word of advice - If you are reading Monet Christo in English don't be tempted by the free versoin on Gutenberg. It is an inferior 19th century translation. The 1996 translation by Robin Buss (Penguin Classics) is far superior. Buss' s modern language is more accessible to modern readers but his translation is also more complete with restored content and copious footnotes.