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The Count of Monte Cristo

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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 serialized in the 1840s.

Robin Buss’s lively English translation is complete and unabridged, and remains faithful to the style of Dumas’s original. This edition includes an introduction, explanatory notes and suggestions for further reading.

1276 pages, Paperback

First published August 28, 1844

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About the author

Alexandre Dumas

8,715 books10.4k followers
This note regards Alexandre Dumas, père, the father of Alexandre Dumas, fils (son). For the son, see Alexandre Dumas fils.

Alexandre Dumas, père (French for "father", akin to Senior in English), born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, was a French writer, best known for his numerous historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world. Many of his novels, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne were serialized. Dumas also wrote plays and magazine articles, and was a prolific correspondent.

Dumas was of Haitian descent and mixed-race. His father, General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, was born in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) to Alexandre Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie, a French nobleman, and Marie-Cessette Dumas, a black slave. At age 14 Thomas-Alexandre was taken by his father to France, where he was educated in a military academy and entered the military for what became an illustrious career.

Dumas's father's aristocratic rank helped young Alexandre Dumas acquire work with Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orléans, then as a writer, finding early success. He became one of the leading authors of the French Romantic Movement, in Paris.

Excerpted from Wikipedia.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 29,966 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,534 reviews9,935 followers
March 29, 2023
Reread of one of my favorites for March of the Mammoths! My old review is below from back in the day when I actually liked to review!

5 Stars!


ALL THE FREAKING FEELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I never in a million years would have thought I would love this book! I never thought I would like something like this book. I never thought I would fall in love with Dantes! I never thought I would have so much anger, sadness, despair and happiness in this book! I never thought, did I!

*********SOME SPOILERS**********

Edmond Dantes was a wonderful man of 19-years-old. He had a woman he loved and was going to marry named Mercedes. A loving father. And he was going to be captain of the wonderful ship, Pharaon.

The the jealous bastards or just bastards in general ruined life for Dantes.

1. Danglars
2. Fernand
3. Villefort

I hate these men with such a passion I just wanted someone to kill their evil selves.

All of the jerks had a hand in putting Dantes in prison for 14 effing years! Yeah! For what? For NOTHING!

Dantes was in such despair he was going to starve himself to death. I can't even!

Then one night Dantes hears a scratching sound and soon realizes someone is tunneling. Dantes decides to tunnel as well. At some point the two of them tunnel to each other. Dantes gets to meet Abbe Faria, the mad man (so they say) in the cell next door. Abbe Faria thinks he's tunneling out to freedom but he made a miscalculation. But Dantes and Abbe devise a new plan and this takes some years to do all of this tunneling. But the Abbe is old and sick and having seizures. He's not going to be able to make it so Dantes waits with him. He is like another father figure to Dantes. And who in the hell but Dantes would wait and not leave his friend. Because Dantes is good and kind and loving.

Abbe Faria is also the one that opens Dantes eyes to who the culprits were that put him in jail. Poor Dantes couldn't see this at the time and he couldn't read what we were reading so he had no clue. Abbe Faria also tells Dantes about tons of gold and jewels that he has hidden on the island of Monte Cristo. He makes Dantes remember everything about getting there and where to find the treasure.

Unfortunately, Abbe Faria dies and it was so sad. Dantes was so grief stricken over his friend. Dantes decided to leave then as he had nothing else to stay for and he put himself in Abbe Faria's place all wrapped up waiting to be buried. Well, he doesn't actually get buried but thrown out to sea and luckily Dantes managed to save himself.

We go on to read of the tale of how Dantes gets to Monte Cristo and soon he is beyond rich and he is so smart and ready to get IT DONE!

And Dantes doesn't just run off and kill people. He's smart. He tears down their houses, their world without them knowing who he is until the bitter end. And all of the riches they acquired while he rotted in jail was disgusting. Anyway, some people did die but that's of little importance.

Dantes is also kind to all of the people that were kind to him or tried to help him while he was in jail. He's such a wonderful person. Yes, I know I keep saying that. He helps Morrel and his family when they were about to lose everything. They even lost the Pharaon but Dantes brings him a new one without Morrel even knowing where the ship came from. Dantes gave them money. He helped the family even after Morrel was gone. I cried and cried at his generosity.

And to sit and read of all the plans and all of the people crumble.

The only person to recognize Dantes, even with his disguises, was Mercedes. But she went and married freaking Fernand and had a kid. Dantes was friends with Mercedes son but things could never be good for them again. And it's so, so sad for so many involved.

Oh, and Dantes called himself "Sinbad the Sailor" and "The Count of Monte Cristo." Of course I guess if you own a rock and gold and jewels and many other things, you can call yourself anything you want! :-)

I can't sit here and go on and on about the book. It's freaking 1276 pages! I'm not that good of a reviewer to tell you something good about that many pages. Just know. . . THIS BOOK is freaking AWESOME! If you have been debating on reading it and afraid of it's size, who cares, just read it. I mean you can take two months or however long to enjoy Dantes and his adventures, but don't let the "tome" bother you. It's not boring at all! NOT ONE BIT!

I give it all the stars!

Sail on dear, Dantes! ♥


MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,989 reviews298k followers
January 27, 2019
Picture this: you are nineteen years old with your whole life ahead of you. You've just been offered the job of your dreams. And you're about to marry the person you've loved since childhood. When, suddenly, a couple of jealous men decide to frame you as a Bonapartist (a crime which was punished by death or life imprisonment) and have you sent away to rot in an island prison. I think it's fair to say you'd be feeling a touch bitter about the whole ordeal.

This is what happens to the young Edmond Dantes when he is betrayed at first by men jealous of his career and fiancee, then again by a man who sees a opportunity to benefit himself by sending Dantes to his jail cell. After spending fourteen years in a gloomy dungeon, Dantes finally has a chance to escape and seek revenge on those who wronged him, whilst also rewarding those who stuck by him and fought to prove his innocence.

I always try to read both positive and negative reviews of books so I can understand why people had a different opinion from my own, and the verdict on this from negative reviews seems to fall into one of two categories: 1) the book is too long, or 2) they were unable to side with Dantes when he sets out with his vengeful aims.

Personally, I agree that The Count of Monte Cristo is several novels in one and I'm not surprised that it was originally published in installments. That being said, though, the story itself is fascinating. It brings in historical elements and combines them with a great set of fictional characters to make a very rich story. There are parts that are sad and parts that are heartwarming and it all adds up to a great balance of the two.

As for the second problem, it is my own personal taste that I love a good revenge story. I know forgiveness is supposed to be a virtue blah blah and perhaps it doesn't make me a great person that I couldn't shake the hand of the one who'd ruined my life. Perhaps. But I believe Dantes suffered more than anyone in this tale, even after he had got his revenge. And I always did cheer for the likes of Beatrix Kiddo. So when the "avenging angel" struck, I was right there with him.

I think it says something when a 1200+ page novel doesn't bore me for a second, and The Count of Monte Cristo never once dragged as it took me through a plot spanning many years. There are several stories being told throughout and I found all of them interesting: Dantes' betrayal, The Shawshank Redemption-style time in prison where Dantes makes a close friend, the historical story of Napoleon's return, and Dantes' search for revenge. It's hard not to be enthralled by this complex world and its characters. My one complaint is the direction Dantes' romantic life took in the end, but whatever, there are over a thousand pages of awesomeness here and if you have the time to spare for this book/doorstopper/possible murder weapon, you should definitely read it.

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Profile Image for Joel.
556 reviews1,665 followers
June 23, 2011
Revenge is a dish best served cold. And unabridged. And translated from the French by Robin Buss.

The greatness of this book can be illustrated by the following simple equations:

( count-von-count-sesame-street + monte cristo ) < cover

Whereas, the majesty of the Count of Counting added to the deliciousness of a Monte Cristo sandwich from Bennigans still does not overmatch the inherent kickass value of the Dumas novel [which is, it can therefore be said, greater than the sum of its parts, both obsessive-compulsive (The Count) and mouth-wateringly fattening (of Monte Cristo):].


( count-von-count-sesame-street + monte cristo + batman-color2 ) = cover

The coolness of Batman, once introduced into the equation, thus balances the scales, probably because the Count of Monte Cristo (character) is equal parts Wealthy OCD Recluse, Delicious Sandwich (um, metaphorically), and Batman-like avenger. QED.

I don't know how I can be any clearer.

Facebook 30 Day Book Challenge Day 16: Longest book you've read.
Profile Image for Cynthia.
638 reviews43 followers
April 18, 2010
** Spoiler alert**

First, make sure you find a copy that is unabridged. Most editions in English ARE abridged, but usually don't say they are. Not sure if this Penguin edition is, it's not the one i read.
Readers generally think of this as a tale of revenge. For me, it was much deeper. I'm not a religious person at all, but for me this is a book that makes you question the existence of God or a god. Edmond Dantes is without flaw, a truly good person, and his life is ruined because a) others envy him and b) he was the victim of an unfortunate coincidence.
Even when he escapes prison and finds a monumental treasure, it is years before he finds peace (I dont think he ever finds happiness).
The questions it raises are: why are good people so often punished by horrible tragedies when truly bad people are so often able to float through life with all the rewards that this world can bestow?
The other question: Dantes spends much of his life after prison seeking the people who tossed into the oubliette — not to get revenge but to punish them. He believes he is the angel of god and that he has been freed from prison so he can do god's will by punishing these evil men.
But as he proceeds in his quest, he begins to question whether any man can actually be the angel of god, whether it's a sign of mania or even insanity to think you can possibly know what is god's will.
In the end, evil is punished, and it is because of wheels that Dantes sets in motion. But I don't think he is ever able to know if he is just another man seeking to ruin other men, or if he is in fact the angel of god. It's a question that, as a journalist, I try to always remember: we are none of us the angel of god. All we can do is try to live the best life we can and not decide who deserves to be punished or even ruined.
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,612 followers
December 31, 2022
منذ صباك ستنجذب له مهما كنت تراه مبتذلا..هل تساءلت ابدا لماذا؟
لان بداخل كل منا ادموند و الكونت معا..كل منا تتبلور شخصيته الأصلية قب�� العشرين ثم تسحقك الدنيا بكل الأشكال ..لتنبعث شخصيتك الأخرى من الرماد

من بين 36حبكة درامية تستهويني حبكة الانتقام..منذ البداية نشات علاقة توحد غريبة بين فتاة في سن19من الشرق تنتمي لنهاية القرن العشرين..وفتى في سن 19 من الغرب ينتمي لمطلع القرن 19..لا يجمع بيننا الا سن19 و لكن فيما بعد فهمت!! ا

ففي فترة ما من حياتك ستجد إنك سجين لشيء ما لمدة 14او 11سنة انت الاخر..سجين مهنة لم تحبها..لبيت لا يستهويك..سجين لأنماط تم حبسك في اطارها..و لن تعدم انت الاخر 3 -4اشخاص تفرقوا او تجمعوا لتدميرك
وقد تتدخل الاوضاع السياسية لتدمر حياتك وتعرقل مسيرتك انت ايضا ..
من منا لم يتمنى مقابلة الاب فاريا ..او قابلناه بالفعل و لم ندرك قيمته

سيظل ادمون دونتيه ..هو السجين الأول في مخيلتك
قد تكون اسباب هبوط الثروة 💰عليه واهية
طريقة الهروب بلهاء
نسيان الجميع لوجهه مبالغ فيه..ولكن من قال ان الأدب بسماجة الواقع..

بسبب تلك الرواية جربت الحياة باسمين واخترت بين حياتين
وصارت هوايتي الاثيرة جمع كل القصص المشابهة ومشاهدة كل ما تم إنتاجه عنها و مازال المسلسل الفرنسي القصير لديباردو هو الافضل..وبعده ايزل..و لن ننسى أنور وجدي" امير الانتقام ايضا..رغم كل شيء

تحول الكونت او ادموند لاحد ثوابت حياتنا ..من الصعب انتقاد سندباد او عم دهب(سكروج ) او سي السيد
ويظل الى الان اسلوب الكونت المنتمي للقرن ال19هو الافضل في الانتقام المنهجي..

وان كنت حزنت كثيرا جدا عندما عرفت ان البطل الأصلي الواقعي كانت نهايته مختلفة و مؤلمة للعاية
Profile Image for Chris.
341 reviews972 followers
February 9, 2008
Why did no one tell me about this book? I mean seriously, I was about a hundred pages in and I wanted to go find my freshman high school English teacher and inflict terrible, intricate revenge on her for depriving me of a great book. I figured first I could assume a new identity, perhaps insinuating myself into her life. I'd make her trust me and put all her faith in me, and then I would UTTERLY CRUSH HER!!! MWAH-HA-HA-HA!!!!

Seriously, this was an awesome book. I am not a big fan of the Classics, really - I usually get very bored very quickly with them, especially the Russians. I don't know if it's the characters I can't relate to, or the writing that puts me off, but I try to get through them and my interest drops off abruptly. Especially the Russians. God save me from the Russians.

But this? This was 1200 pages of concentrated awesome. A grand, intricate story of vengeance - and I do love my revenge stories - that I will definitely read again. And watching V For Vendetta is a lot more fun....
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
February 20, 2020
you know the classic question ‘if you were stranded on a deserted island, which book(s) would you want to have?’ well, TCOMC is my answer. without a doubt.

not only would the 1,000+ pages (which are full of the most masterfully crafted and deceptively clever plotlines known to humanity) provide hours upon hours of entertainment, but it would also be a massive inspiration to search for hidden treasure.

i am living for a reality where i sit on my hoard of wealth, plan the ultimate revenge against my enemies, and wait to be rescued (as if my strandedness was my decision all along). because thats the kind of self-confidence edmond would want for me (followed by the inevitable self-actualisation that forgiveness, patience, and hope are the best qualities a person can have).

this story is definitely in my top five favourite books of all time, but edmond dantés is the best character i have ever read. i can think of no other character who i have connect to, bonded with, or empathised for more. he will always have special place in my heart and on my bookshelf. <3

5 stars
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,263 reviews2,438 followers
July 7, 2023

If you are planning to pick up a classic with a great plot, this book should be on the top of your list. Alexandre Dumas will take you for an extraordinary ride through the life of Edmond Dantes.

This novel starts with the theme of jealousy and betrayal, which forces some people to frame innocent Dantes as a Bonapartist. He later gets thrown into a grim fortress prison on an island. Dantes spends fourteen long years in this oubliette. From there, he learns about the treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo. He starts his second journey to take revenge for all the sufferings he had to endure.

I am a person who always believes in Gandhi's words that forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. I am not too fond of reading revenge stories due to this reason. The central theme of this novel is retribution. Still, I loved it and gave it five stars because I think the author has done an extraordinary job in this novel. This book is more than 1200 pages long, and it took me an eternity to finish reading it. I think that this is an absolute must-read book for everyone.
“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you."

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Profile Image for Anne.
4,053 reviews69.5k followers
July 1, 2023
The Count Of Monte Cristo is the story that teaches us an important moral lesson:


I've said it before and I'll say it again, audiobooks are the only way to go if you're not the sort of reader who likes to read all the shitty filler and crunchy dialogue that normally comes with classic books.
For those of you who think that classics are so much better than anything written in your own lifetime, please don't take offense. I'm only talking to the peasants out there (like me) who prefer action movies with big explosions to Oscar-winning stories about...well, whatever Oscar-winning stories are about.


Ok, so I listened to the unabridged version by Blackstone Audiobooks.
Narrator: John Lee <-- this guy did a FABULOUS job.
Duration: 47:17:57 <--holy fuck!


Another thing to keep in mind is that this book was serialized in a newspaper. This means, instead of getting the equivalent of a 2 hour movie, you're getting the equivalent of a tv show that ran for 9 seasons or something. Count of MC was the soap opera of its day.
So yes. There's a hefty amount of shit in here that could have easily been chopped out.


Also, if you've seen the 2002 movie The Count of Monte Cristo with Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce, and young Superman? Well, then the actual story will come as quite a surprise to you. <--except for the names and general ideas, zero things are the same. Seriously. Both were good but I kind of prefer the movie ending if I'm being quite honest. Still, the book had soooo much more delicious scheming, backstabbing, and grifter-style revenge than the movie did.
So. Yeah, I guess I'm torn...


The gist is that this super nice guy, Edmond Dantès, starts off with everything going for him - true love, a wonderful father, and a job promotion. Everything is coming up roses for Dantès.
But then!
He gets set up by a few petty people who each want various things that are his. The poor dude gets well and truly fucked by random bad luck...and a dirty prosecutor.


Anyway, in a truly over-the-top but fun way, Ed becomes an expert in everything to exact his vengeance on everyone who wronged him. Of course, he goes a bit too far and loses himself, then gets pulled back and finds himself again.
But it's all the shit in between that's so much fun to see.
In the end, it all gets wrapped up with a big bow by a beautiful 19 year old ex-princess.


Like I mentioned, it's an incredibly unrealistic story that unfolds in the wackiest ways possible.
I was hearing the theme music to Mission Impossible when he was snatching off disguises, doling out harmless advice about untraceable poisons, and shooting a revolver like he was a sniper with a red dot sight. <--I laughed so hard at the thought of him shooting the numbers on playing cards with such precision that he could turn one number into another. Get the fuck out of here with that nonsense, Dumas.
And yet.
It was still awesome. And so much fun to listen to!


Yeah, there's stuff in here that's just a product of its time and doesn't make the transition to modern-day very well, but on the whole, it holds up so much better than a lot of the other classics you might be tempted to read. Toward the end, I was giving the universal wrap it up sign to Alexandre, but I'm pretty sure he didn't see me because he dragged the conclusion out a lot longer than needed.


Even so, I'm giving it 5 stars for not boring the shit out of me.
P.S. - I've heard tell there's an abridged version of this story out there. If audiobooks aren't your jam, then that could be a viable option if you are interested in reading this but don't have the patience to deal with all the crusty bits that don't need to be there.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews41 followers
August 7, 2021
(Book 906 from 1001 books) - Le Comte de Monte-Cristo = The Count of Monte-Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo is an adventure novel by French author Alexandre Dumas (père) completed in 1844. It is one of the author's most popular works, along with The Three Musketeers.

The Count of Monte Cristo begins just before the Hundred Days period (when Napoleon returned to power after his exile).

The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book, an adventure story primarily concerned with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness.

It centers on a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune, and sets about exacting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. His plans have devastating consequences for both the innocent and the guilty.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «حکایت کنت دمونت کریستو»؛ «کنت مونت کریستو»؛ «لوکنت دو مونت کریستو»؛ نویسنده: الکساندر دوما؛ انتشارات (تبریز محمد اسماعیل، هرمس، نگارستان کتاب؛ گوتنبرگ؛) ادبیات فرانسه، تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1976میلادی

عنوان: حکایت کنت دمونت کریس��و (چاپ سنگی)؛ نویسنده: الکساندر دوماس؛ مترجم: محمدطاهرمیرزا ابن اسکندر میرزا اسکندری؛ کاتب محمدمهدی گلپایگانی؛ مشخصات نشر تبریز، محمد اسماعیل، 1312 در 847ص و در شش جلد در یک مجلد، مصور، کاتب نوشته: شخص ناصرالدین شاه دستور ترجمه ی کتاب از زبان فرانسه به فارسی را داده؛ عنوانهای دیگر: کنت مونت کریستو؛

عنوان: لوکنت دو مونت کریستو؛ نویسنده: الکساندر دوما؛ مترجم: ذبیح الله منصوری، مشخصات نشر: تهران، میر (گوتنبرک) ??13 در سه جلد، در2400ص موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسه - سده 19م

مترجمهای دیگر: «آرشیلا قریب پور شهریاری، در 722ص، گوتنبرگ 1334»؛ «احمدرضا احسانی، 1363، در 131ص چاپ دیگر توسن، 168ص»؛ «شکوفه اخوان، در 255ص، سال 1371، چاپ دوم 1375»؛ «پ شکوهی، نشر جاودان خرد سال 1377، در 262ص»، «عنایت الله شکیباپور، زرین 1362، در 571ص»؛ «اعظم جوزدانی سال 1394، در 108ص»؛ «پروین ادیب در 208ص سال 1395»، «عباس سپهری در 56ص»، «شایسته ابراهیم، در 71ص، 1395»؛ «مونا ولیپور، در 225ص، 1391»، «جمشید بهرامیان، 1388، در 166ص»؛ «محسن فرزاد، نشر افق در 168ص سال 1376، و چاپ ششم 1388»؛ «محمدطاهر قاجار، نشر سمیر»؛ «پروین ادیب، نشر پارسه»؛ «محمد طاهر میرزا اسکندری، نشر هرمس»؛

دریانوردی زندانی، و مسافری مرموز، با چندین چهره، به نام «ادموند دانتس»، می‌خواهد با ثروت‌های افسانه‌ ای خود، طبقه اشراف «پاریس» را، در هم بریزد؛ «دانتس» در سال 1815میلادی، در روز ازدواجش، به اتهام دروغین طرفداری از «ناپلئون»، در بندر «مارسی» زندانی می‌شود، و بر اثر سعایت رقیب عشقی اش «فرنان»، و رقیب تجاری اش «دانگلار»، مدت چهارده سال، در زندان می‌ماند؛ این رویداد، به سود مقاصد سیاسی یک قاضی جوان و جاه‌ طلب، به نام «ویلفور» است، که در زندانی شدن او دست دارد؛ در سیاهچال پس از چندین سال، متوجه می‌شود، که زندانی دیگری، مشغول حفاری جهت فرار از زندان است؛ و سرانجام او نیز، مشغول به کار می‌شود، و می‌فهمد، که زندانی دیگر نامش «آبه‌ فاریا»، و یک کشیش و دانشمند «ایتالیایی» است؛ «آبه ‌فاریا»، نقشه ی گنج «جزیرهٔ مونت‌ کریستو» را، در اختیار «ادموند دانتس» می‌گذارد؛ ولی درست پیش از اینکه بتوانند، نقشه فرار خود را نهایی کنند؛ «آبه» می‌میرد؛ «دانتس» با طرح بسیار ماهرانه ‌ای، از زندان می‌گریزد، گنج را، به دست می‌آورد، و به «پاریس» می‌رود، و از سه دشمن خود انتقام می‌گیرد؛

این کتاب، به سبب توانایی در نوآوریهای شگفت آور و حیرت انگیزش، و به لطف صفا و صداقت بیانش، هنوز هم می‌تواند برای خوانشگران جالب باشد؛ عجیب‌ترین ماجراها با سبک نویسنده، که روان و پویا هست، بازگو میشوند؛ با اینهمه، بسیاری از بخش‌های کتاب، با حقیقتهای روان‌شناختی شخصیت‌ها، و امکان روی دادن آن ماجراها بیگانه است؛ نامداری کم‌ نظیر این رمان، با نمایشی که خود نویسنده، در سال 1848میلادی بر اساس آن تنظیم و بر صحنه آورد؛ بیشتر شد؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 11/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 15/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,983 followers
June 30, 2017
Over 1200 pages of suffering and revenge!

I enjoyed it. I did not like it quite as much as some of the other big classics I have read, but it was very good. The two things that brought it down a bit for me were:

- It felt a bit more drawn out than it needed to be. At a couple of points I was ready for Dumas to get to the point.
- Some of the plot was very convoluted. While this did lend itself well to the Count's intricate plotting, I would occasionally get to a chapter and say, "Wait, what!?" A few times I tried to reorient myself with chapter summaries online, but stopped after it became difficult to avoid spoilers.

With all the negative out of the way, I will say that is was definitely a great book. At times it was riveting. At others it was clever. At pretty much all times it was dark and seemingly hopeless. The unabridged is great because it has everything as Dumas wanted it, but it does require quite a bit of commitment.

Final judgement: A must for those who want to read all the classics, but probably a bit much for the causal reader.
Profile Image for emma.
1,865 reviews54.3k followers
Want to read
May 28, 2023
is it physically possible to read a book that's 1,276 pages long? asking for a friend
Profile Image for Baba.
3,615 reviews985 followers
July 8, 2023
Dumas' amazing (and long, but not at all tedious) tale of conspiracy, hope and revenge, a tale of friendship, love and families, a tale of Napoleonic France, the colonial empires and Marseille. A truly glorious and momentous classic, the tale of Edmund Dantes' unfair orchestrated imprisonment, what he gets in prison and what he does when, and after, he mounts his memorable escape.
9 out of 12

2011 read
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
September 2, 2020
So one of the nice things Goodreads has done for me is bring me some really cool friends who inspire me to flex my brain a little harder and read more classics. And the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo, clocking in at over 1000 pages, is a monster of a classic.

I was familiar with the Count's story from seeing an old movie or two, but reading the book, of course, is a whole different level of experiencing the tale. The first part of the book filled me with dread as I waited for disaster to strike; the second part made me truly feel Edmond Dantes' despair, as he was thrown into a dungeon in the historical Chateau d'If by greedy, power-seeking, selfish and lustful men, to spend the rest of his life in squalor.


After 14 years, Edmond (soon to become the Count) escapes from his island prison and things really start to get interesting as he plans and executes his revenge on the four men who conspired to ruin his life. Dumas' writing, even after 170 years and in translation, is powerful and moving, and the Count's complex and intricately planned revenge was awe-inspiring. Our buddy read group had a great time analyzing what was happening in the story, and discussing various Biblical and other literary allusions. (Our discussion can be followed in the comments attached to our reviews, but be warned that those threads are Spoiler City.)

But as we started getting closer to the end of the Count's revenge and this story, things started to go a little off the rails for all of us. The Count clearly views himself as an avenging angel, almost as a god himself, on a divine mission to punish the wicked. This view (which the author seems to share) becomes more and more uncomfortable as the death and destruction spread.

More about my problems with this book, and the reasons it gets 4 stars rather than 5, which are extremely spoilerish:

Final gripe: why does everyone in this book who's in love have to have the attitude that death is better than being separated from their love, or their love is not true? I've come across it in several Victorian-era books (it still lives on in some books like Twilight), and it seriously annoys me every time. Yes, it sucks if you can't marry the person you love, or if the person you love dies. But this does not mean that your life is over and you should commit suicide—or even swear off loving anyone else and mope around for the remainder of your days. Life goes on. If you allow yourself to move on, you will find that you're more resilient than you think. /rant

I really don't object to reading about a flawed hero, but it does bother me that the author In any case, though, this a marvelous, intricate book that gave me a lot of food for thought, despite its flaws.
Profile Image for Kim.
426 reviews511 followers
January 19, 2012

They don't write novels like this anymore. That's because they make television drama series and soap operas instead. To my mind, this novel is the 19th Century equivalent of a long-running and compelling television series. I can readily imagine being a reader of the Journal des Débats between August 1844 and January 1846, impatiently waiting for the next installment of Le Comte de Monte Cristo to be published, eagerly discussing each installment with my friends around the 19th Century equivalent of the water-cooler, exclaiming at each plot development, gasping at every cliff-hanger.

What fun it has been over the past few weeks to consume The Count of Monte Cristo in much the same way as I watched all seven seasons of The West Wing one after another a few years ago: wanting to spend as much time as I could with the story, yet simultaneously wanting to slow down in order to prolong the enjoyment, loving (almost) every moment of it. The Count of Monte Cristo is probably more Dallas than it is The West Wing, but you get the general idea.

The plot’s the thing here. Dumas (and his collaborator August Maquet) created a dense and complex story, the many threads of which are woven together into a most satisfying whole, with no threads left loose at the end of more than 1200 pages. This is the story Edmond Dantès’ revenge against the three men who caused him to be unjustly accused of treason and imprisoned for fourteen years. Dantès, who becomes the Count of Monte Cristo, carries out his revenge after developing a careful plan over many years. For him, revenge is most definitely a dish to be eaten cold. It’s also a dish which causes a degree of moral indigestion, as he comes to realise that what he sees as a divine obligation can have unintended (and horrific) consequences.

It’s far from a plausible story and it’s fair to say that the theme of revenge is more successfully realised than is the theme of redemption. The plot is indeed totally over the top, with elements of fable and fairy tale, replete with Orientalist imagery which for me brought to mind The Arabian Nights. Luckily for such an intricately plotted novel, the story moves along at a cracking pace, much of it in dialogue, which makes for an easy read notwithstanding the novel’s length.

Characterisation is somewhat sacrificed in the process of weaving the many strands of the plot together. While the Count himself is a compelling character, other characters are less so and female characters in particular are rather flat. One exception is Eugénie Danglars, who has the potential to be very interesting in her own right, although not enough time is spent with her for her potential to be fully realised. However, deficiencies in characterisation are more than made up for by the sheer thrill of the tale.

My enjoyment of The Count of Monte Cristo has been increased by it being a buddy read with several members of the Comfort Reads group. It has also been increased by listening to it as a French language audiobook downloaded from www.audiocite.net. Apart from hearing Dumas’ words as they were written, there was the immense joy of hearing beautiful, literary French, including the wonderful simple past tense, never heard in regular speech.

I can’t say that this is a flawless novel and deserves five stars for that reason. But I was on the edge of my seat as I listened to it for some 47 hours. As I neared the end, I started wondering just how soon I could justify a re-read. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Profile Image for Joe.
96 reviews716 followers
November 18, 2011
Every soap opera ever produced owes an enormous amount of debt to The Count of Monte Cristo, a sprawling, messy, over-the-top, gleefully melodramatic bitchslap fest.

In fact, I propose that the grandest of bitchslaps be henceforth referred to as a Monte Cristo Bitchslap because of the masterful manner in which Edmond Dantès delivers one colossal bitchslap after another to all who wronged him. And to those who wronged him by association? Thou shalt also receive a furious bitchslap! Clemency shall only be bestowed upon the righteous and goodly.

Over the centuries, many literary characters have aspired to be badasses - with middling to average results. It is Dantès, however, who can teach a Master's class on the topic.

Upon being accused of a crime he most certainly didn't commit, forcefully separated from the woman he loves, and imprisoned for an absurd amount of time in a remote, Alcatraz-like jail, our hero begins to craft his utterly convoluted revenge plot on the assholes who backstabbed him. It is a cleverly scaffolded plan indeed, but it would make even the most far-fetched plotline of Days of Our Lives seem plausible. That is, it is insufferably ridiculous but unbelievably enjoyable to watch unfold.

After what can only be described as The Most Insane Jailbreak Ever, Dantès spends hundreds of pages brooding and carefully constructing the ruses under which his punishments can be delivered in gasp-worthy bitchslaps. Multiple backstories also unfold, further detailing the astonishing depth of his plot while also providing the reader with the nagging suspicion that author Alexandre Dumas was not playing with a full deck of cards. ! ! ! ! It's as if every idea that ever popped into Dumas' delirious brain makes an appearance in the book. Maybe that's why it's 1,462 pages. Oh is the payoff worth it, though.

If revenge is a dish best served cold, then the final three hundred pages of the book achieve Antarctic levels of chilliness. The consequences of betraying Edmond Dantès are seismic. God help you if you're in this camp, for you will be the sorriest son-of-a-bitch who ever graced Planet Earth when Dantès points to your rotten, conniving soul and bellows "J'ACCUSE!" There is much gnashing of teeth, clawing at clothes, and raising of eyes Heavenward. There is much begging and pleading.

But mercy will not be granted.

Because you were an idiot and had no idea who you were fucking with: the Greatest Badass of Western Literature. Bow down.
Profile Image for leynes.
1,111 reviews3,027 followers
February 15, 2022
It's been a long time coming but I finally found the time to gather my thoughts on this tome. My initial verdict still stands: this was fucking great! It's been a long time since I've read an adventurous novel and even longer that a book with over 1000 pages managed to entertain me from start to finish. So, turn off your TV, log off of Twitter, cancel your Netflix subscription, and get your hands on this book. The Count of Monte Cristo is the gift that keeps on giving.
Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you.
The Count comes with secret islands, a big fat treasure, fistfuls of poison, serious disguises, Italian bandits, intricate prison escape strategies, Romeo-and-Juliet-like love scenes, and more. In 1815 Edmond Dantès, a young and successful merchant sailor who has just recently been granted the succession of his erstwhile captain Leclère, returns to Marseille to marry his Catalan fiancée Mercédès. Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantès is confined to the grim Château d’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.

Personally, I didn't know anything about this novel. I know it's hugely popular and referenced in other media very often, but somehow I wasn't aware of any of the plot points, not even the prison break. :D So, you can imagine my surprise by how fast paced and multi-faceted this tale was. Every chapter came with new surprises, intricate plot points, and overall, this was just such a fun ride. Early on, I started rooting for Dantès and I was totally on board for him to get his fucking revenge.
But Dantès cannot stay in prison for ever; one day he will come out, and on that day, woe and betide the one who put him there!
Written around 1844, The Count of Monte Cristo is one of Alexandre Dumas's most famous and beloved novels and was a huge bestseller back in its day. The Count was originally serialized, which attributed to the fact as to why there are so many plot twists, turns and cliffhangers in this story. Dumas had to hold his readers' interest, so that the newspaper would keep on publishing his book. So, if The Count starts to feel like a soap opera as you are reading it, you know why.

On the day of his wedding to Mercédès, Edmond Dantès, first mate of the Pharaon, is falsely accused of treason, arrested, and imprisoned without trial in the Château d'If, a grim island fortress off Marseilles. A fellow prisoner, Abbé Faria, correctly deduces that his jealous rival Fernand Mondego, envious crewmate Danglars, and double-dealing Magistrate De Villefort framed him. Faria inspires his escape and guides him to a fortune in treasure. As the powerful and mysterious Count of Monte Cristo, he arrives from the Orient to enter the fashionable Parisian world of the 1830s and avenge himself on the men who conspired to destroy him.

I was not only positively surprised by the ridiculousness of the plot, but also by the accessibility of the writing. Robin Buss did an amazing job at translating this literary masterpiece and he can honestly have all of my money. I underlined so many passages, because they were either beautiful as fuck or downright savage. Overall, Dumas' writing style gave me serious Oscar Wilde vibes. (I know, that Oscar wasn't even born yet at the time The Count was written but pshhh, let me have my Oscar moment, please!)
“Yes, devotion. That is the honest way to describe ambition when it has expectations.”

“And whatever philosophers say, it’s marvellous to be rich.” – “And, above all, to have ideas.”

“I know that the world is a drawing-room from which one must retire politely and honourably, that is to say, after paying one’s gaming debts.”
These are just a few examples of the wittiness that all our characters displayed. The dialogue was sharp and engaging, and kept me interested in all of the characters, whether villain or hero (because Dumas keeps it quite black and white, if we're going to be real here), I was invested into all of the characters' fates.

Another reason why I was immediately sucked into The Count was Dumas' ability to make his setting and scenery come to life. I was amazed by how authentically Dumas interwove the historical and political context, as well as the atmosphere of his chosen locations into the narrative. Strap on your traveling shoes, because the Count's going to take you all over the world. The story takes place in France, Italy, and islands in the Mediterranean during the historical events of 1815–1839: the era of the Bourbon Restoration through the reign of Louis-Philippe of France. It begins just before the Hundred Days period (when Napoleon returned to power after his exile).

And even though I knew only very few about France's political landscape of the time, Dumas makes it incredibly easy to navigate through and engage with his narrative. I am by no means a history geek, but I was so fucking invested in the historical setting of the book, as it was such a fundamental element of it. Dantès' adventure is based primarily on the values of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness. It is important to understand why Dantès was imprisoned, what was the nature of his alleged treason? Why was Villefort so afraid of his father being a Bonapartist?

Separating the historical and political scene from The Count of Monte Cristo is like trying to separate salt from the ocean. In order to really understand what The Count's all about, we need to take a look at what was going on in France at the time. We know that Edmond Dantès's story spans from around the 1815 until around 1838. We know from Danglars's report at the very beginning of the novel that Edmond has stopped at the island of Elba to retrieve a letter on his way back to Marseilles which is addressed to Noirtier. Guess who was exiled to the island of Elba? Right! Napoleon Bonaparte.

Following the French Revolution, Napoleon was elected First Consul of France. The French citizens loved him, but there were many members of the French nobility with ties to the former kings of France who hated Napoleon's guts and who wanted him out. Many of these royalists plotted to kill Napoleon in various ways, to reestablish the monarchy. (That's were the clinch between the Royalists and Bonapartists comes in.) In April of 1814, Napoleon was officially exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Italy. However, a year later, he escaped Elba and fled to France. He returned to Paris and ruled the French for one hundred days. He was still very popular among the French. But Napoleon's smallish army was defeated again by European powers, and Napoleon was exiled to the island of Saint Helena, far, far away in the Atlantic Ocean.
The difference between treason and patriotism is only a matter of dates.
The Count of Monte Cristo begins right before Napoleon's first exile to Elba, and throughout the novel, we hear about Napoleon's armies, his escape to Paris, and about the royalist parties. Villefort, for example, is a royalist, but his father (Noirtier) fights for Napoleon. The country is in political turmoil, and corruption is everywhere (recall how Dantès ends up in jail in the first place). Following Napoleon's second downfall, France was ruled by a series of monarchs. The novel ends around the time when Louis-Philippe I ascends the throne and when things are starting to calm down in France.

I found it incredibly interesting to learn about French history in such a fun way. On top of that, having been fortunate enough, to have roamed the streets of Paris and Rome myself, I really have to say that Dumas did an amazing job at encapsulating the atmosphere of those places. I'm aware, that 200 years ago both cities were very different from what they are now, but I cannot help but feel that Dumas really managed to depict their spirit. I felt like being there myself, breathing the same air as our characters. Additionally, Dumas never failed to include actual places (like hotels or streets) and even real people (like Countess G, who was Byron's mistress) in his narrative to make it seem more authentic.
“Fool that I am," said he,"that I did not tear out my heart the day I resolved to revenge myself".”
Funnily enough, The Count could've done with a little more romance. Yeah, shocker, I know. I thought that the Count's failed relationship to Mercédès would play a bigger role, although, in the end, I really appreciated that they didn't end up together, because it was much more realistic. Nonetheless, the romantic subplot that we did indeed get, concerning Valentine and Morrel, really did deliver. Dumas went full Romeo and Juliet on us. He basically rewrites that play. :D

According to Valentine's dad, Morrel is not rich enough to be considered a worthy suitor for her. The two must meet secretly in the garden (OK, no balcony scene, but still – a secret garden!), for Valentine has been promised to another, more eligible bachelor. The two promise to marry anyway, and with Valentine's grandfather's help and the Count's help, they do. The Count's plan involves secret and super hardcore sleeping pills that Valentine takes. Morrel and the rest of the world thinks that Valentine has died as a result of being poisoned, but really, she's just asleep. The Count convinces Morrel to wait for one month before committing suicide (which Morrel really wants to do, because life isn't worth living without his Valentine, duh). When that month is over, the Count gives Morrel a pill he promises will kill him. But the pill merely puts Morrel to sleep, and when he wakes up, Valentine is there to kiss him on the lips.

So yeah, they do get their happy ending, which makes this the somewhat happy version of Shakespeare's play, but I honestly couldn't make that shit up. As much as I enjoyed the silliness of their relationship, I have to say, that the cheesy and overall too happy ending of The Count kind of killed the mood for me. This is also the main reason why I rated this book 4 stars instead of 5. I wanted more blood and more revenge at the end. Instead, the Count kind of grew soft and spared his biggest enemy to focus on the reunion of these two love birds above. CAN'T RELATE!
I want to be Providence, because the things that I know which is finest, greatest and most sublime in the world is to reward and to punish.
Although, I appreciate that Dantès finally realised that he cannot play God without severe consequences. Since, by the end of his hardships, Edmond has grown a serious God complex. He's built himself up so high that he can't help but picture himself in the most grandiose terms. Our naive poor boy, for whom we have rooted for from the start, has become quite unlikeable in his quest to seek revenge on his tormentors, not least of all because he has so few visible flaws that would make him appear more human. I always appreciated the moments in which Dantès came through again and the Count displayed some serious emotions.

However, where the Count sometimes may have seen a little devoid of emotion, the other characters of this tale really made up for it. I think my favorite ones were definitely the whole Danglars family. They were all such a mess. First and foremost, Mlle Eugénie is a gay icon and you cannot convince me otherwise. Dumas made so many allusion to her being lesbian, she is basically the Sappho of this tale. Amongst my favorite moments of her were definitely her elopement with Mlle d'Armilly, her cross-dressing and her complete and utter disinterest in marrying the men her father propositioned to her. Eugénie was so headstrong and independent (she basically said that she just wants to be free in heart, body and soul, LIKE YAS BITCH), which was such a breath of fresh air compared to the other female characters who were either quite pure and angel-like (eg. Valentine) or very hysterical.

And even though they were little shitheads, I absolutely adored the relationship of Eugénie's parents – the Baron Danglars and his wife Hermione. The two of them basically hated each other's guts and the only reason why they stayed together is for prestige and to not offend the public's opinion. They are both super rich (and pretty much into gambling). :D Danglars knows that his wife is cheating on him and he truly doesn't care but as soon as he realised that Hermione was trying to get to his money for her lover, he fucking snapped, and served me the most scalding hot tea I ever saw: "I let you. You see, it doesn’t matter to me, as long as you are paying for your lessons out of your own pocket. But I now see that you are dipping into mine and that your further education might cost me as mich as seven hundred thousand franc a month. Woah, Madame! It can’t go on like this. Either the diplomat will have to start giving his … lessons for nothing, and I shall put up with him, or he will not be allowed to set foot again in my house. Do you understand?" LIKE OMG, if words could kill, Hermione would be six feet under by now.

On top of that, I liked how cleverly Dumas spun this web of characters. Everyone was somehow connected to one another, which made the stakes even more higher and made his various reveals and plot twists even more exciting.
When you compare the sorrows of real life to the pleasures of the imaginary one, you will never want to live again, only to dream forever.
As for our author, Dumas' dad was a soldier in Napoleon's army, but he fell out of favor there when new racist laws were established barring men of color from serving, and the family became very poor. Dumas’ paternal grandparents were a French soldier who was stationed in Haiti and a former slave. Dumas' dad died when he was three, and his mother struggled to make ends meet. She didn't have enough money to give Dumas a really good education, but Dumas learned to read and then read as much as he possibly could. Despite their poverty, Dumas' family still had connections to French nobility, and so, when Dumas was twenty years old, he moved to the big city of Paris and started working for the Duc d'Orleans at the Palais Royal. (The Duc d'Orleans was kind of a big darn deal, since he, in 1830, tok the throne, becoming King Louis-Philippe I. ;))

Just like his Victorian pendant Charles Dickens, Dumas became one of the first French writers who could actually be considered a celebrity of his time. He made a shitton of cash, which he spend so lavishly (by even ordering the construction of his own Château de Monte Cristo), that he was actually in debt very often, which he tried to avoid paying by going abroad. #MOOD! His life was as tumultuous as the plot of his novels. I can definitely see myself reading more from him.
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
902 reviews1,811 followers
May 27, 2018
I generally don't read classics. it's only in last 2-3 years that i have started collecting these lovely penguin classics editions and i emphasis here on "collecting" as it is easier than reading. But now i have been slowly going through my physical bookshelf. last year I read David Copperfield and this year it's Idiot and now this. Okay, I started Idiot and Cristo last year and finally finished reading them this year.

Finishing this tome was a real challenge as you get to know within few chapters that it will be a revenge story. There are plot twists that one would guess about miles ahead, the character at times felt shallow and sometimes it seems like things were exaggerated for no reason. but would i change this for anything else? No. because it would feel like you have cut an essential limb from the body.

it is scary to see how close Dumas has come to predict the future through this story. He talks about betrayal, corruption, jealousy, politics, and love in this book and even after 170 years society has not changed, if possible things has gotten worse.

With a length of 1276 pages and utterly predictable, this book is still an amazing adventure to go on. I rolled my eyes at times, giggled like a child, felt angry for injustice, and fist bumped in the air yelling "YES". this story made me feel so many emotions and it's a story that will stay with me forever.
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,480 reviews79k followers
February 6, 2019
2019 is the year I get to my backlist and re-read some of the classics I haven't visited in years. It's been over a decade since I last read The Count of Monte Cristo, which is easily my favorite classic novel to date. Looking forward to taking my time through this one alongside my other reads!
Profile Image for Orsodimondo.
2,190 reviews1,813 followers
March 2, 2023

Ho contato almeno una dozzina di adattamenti per il grande schermo. I primi due apparvero nello stesso anno, 1908, e furono entrambi cortometraggi (nonostante la mole del romanzo! In pratica, un Bignami), dei quali uno italiano diretto da Luigi Maggi.

Il conte di Montecristo è uno dei romanzi più mal scritti di tutti i tempi e di tutte le letterature.
È così che si esprime Umberto Eco, riportato perfino sulla quarta di copertina.
Ma la frase non è intera, ne ho riportato soltanto la seconda metà. Perché voglio iniziare queste note dalla pars destruens.
Continuando ad appoggiarmi allo stesso Umberto Eco, che ha dedicato tante parole al romanzo di Dumas, come le ha dedicate a millanta altri soggetti, e ogni volta incidendo, lasciando il segno.

L’infinito libro di Dumas (oltre mille duecento pagine nella mia edizione) uscì a puntate tra l’agosto del 1844 e il gennaio del 1846 sul settimanale Journal des Débats, e credo che questo spieghi molto di quanto sto per dire, o meglio riportare.

Nel 2002 arriva il film diretto da Kevin Reynolds: Jim Caviezel è Dantès e Guy Pearce l’odiato Fernand, il catalano.

Il conte di Montecristo è pieno di zeppe, spudorato nel ripetere lo stesso aggettivo a distanza di una riga, incontinente nell’accumulare questi stessi aggettivi, capace di aprire una divagazione sentenziosa senza più riuscire a chiuderla perché la sintassi non tiene, e così procedendo e ansimando per venti righe, è meccanico e goffo nel disegnare i sentimenti: i suoi personaggi o fremono, o impallidiscono, o si asciugano grosse gocce di sudore che colano loro dalla fronte, o balbettando con una voce che non ha più nulla di umano, si alzano convulsamente dalla sedia e vi ricadono, con l’autore che si premura sempre, ossessivamente, di ripeterci che la sedia su cui son ricaduti era la stessa su cui erano seduti un secondo innanzi.
Perché Dumas facesse così, lo sappiamo bene. Non perché non sapesse scrivere. Dumas scriveva così per ragioni di denaro, era pagato un tanto a riga e doveva allungare.

Scriveva in coppia e contemporaneamente ne scriveva altri tre o quattro.
Prosegue l’Umberto gloria nazionale:

Nel 1961 la versione di Claude Autant-Lara.

Ecco che si spiegano così quelli che altrove ho chiamato “dialoghi a cottimo”, dove gli interlocutori, andando a capo a ogni battuta, si dicono per una o più pagine frasi di puro contatto, come due scioperati in ascensore: allora vado, bene vai, addio allora, addio, ci rivedremo?, forse stasera, lo spero bene, posso prendere congedo?, ti prego, sei sui carboni ardenti, buongiorno, grazie di tutto, allora vado, vai, addio.
Per non dire dell’esigenza, comune a tutto il romanzo d’appendice, anche per ricuperare i lettori disattenti da puntata a puntata, di una ripetizione ossessiva del già noto, così che un personaggio racconta un fatto a pagina cento, ma a pagina centocinque incontra un altro personaggio e gli ripete paro paro la stessa storia – e si veda nei primi tre capitoli quante volte Edmond Dantès racconta a cani e porci che intende sposarsi ed è felice: quattordici anni al castello d’If sono ancora pochi per un piagnone di questa razza.

E qui un emoji sghignazzante ci sta proprio bene, perché il grande Umberto (grande sotto tutti i punti di vista) sapeva davvero far ridere.

La mole del romanzo si presta bene alla serialità televisiva. Qui Andrea Giordana interpreta il conte diretto da Edmo Fenoglio per la RAI nel 1966.

Di nuovo a lui la parola:
E poi gli equilibrismi metaforici, da circo, da vecchia nonna arteriosclerotica che non riesce a tenere la consecutio temporum... C’è per esempio una sequenza di similitudini mirabile (ma se ne potrebbero trovare a centinaia) nel capitolo sul telegrafo ottico (LXII) dove la vecchia torre sulla collina, vetusta e slabbrata, è paragonata a una vecchietta.

Prima di abbandonare questa pars destruens riporto anche alcune osservazioni inserite nella mia edizione: Dumas è stato scrittore notoriamente poco scrupoloso, e sono numerose le incongruenze e le inesattezze del testo che dovette essere “adattato” per la pubblicazione (un mastodontico lavoro di editing). La trama presenta nel suo complesso incoerenze cronologiche, probabilmente imputabili al ritmo di composizione frettoloso e incalzante che è caratteristico del romanziere francese.

Gérard Depardieu è Dantès nella miniserie francese, coprodotta dalla RAI, diretta dalla regista Josée Dayan. Le “star” di casa nostra sono Ornella Muti (insieme alla figlia Naike) e Sergio Rubini.

E ora alzo il sipario sulla parte costruens e torno a Eco:
Detto questo bisogna tornare all’affermazione d’inizio. Montecristo è uno dei romanzi più appassionanti che mai siano stati scritti. In un colpo solo (o in una raffica di colpi, in un cannoneggiamento a lunga gittata) partendo dalla storia sciapa di Peuchet riesce a inscatolare nello stesso romanzo tre situazioni archetipe capaci di torcere le viscere anche a un boia.
Anzitutto, l’innocenza tradita.
In secondo luogo l’acquisizione, per colpo di fortuna, da parte della vittima perseguitata, di una fortuna immensa che lo pone al di sopra dei comuni mortali. Infine la strategia di una vendetta in cui periscono personaggi che il romanzo si è disperatamente ingegnato a rendere odiosi oltre ogni limite del ragionevole.
Ma non basta. Su questa ossatura si dipana la rappresentazione della società francese dei cento giorni e poi della monarchia di Luigi Filippo, coi suoi dandie, i suoi banchieri, i suoi magistrati corrotti, le sue adultere, i suoi contratti di matrimonio, le sue sedute parlamentari, i rapporti internazionali, i complotti di Stato, il telegrafo ottico, le lettere di credito, i calcoli avari e spudorati di interessi composti e dividendi, i tassi di sconto, le valute e i cambi, i pranzi, i balli, i funerali.
E su tutto troneggia il topos principe del feuilleton, il Superuomo. Ma diversamente che in Sue (I misteri di Parigi) e in tutti gli altri artigiani che han tentato questo luogo classico del romanzo popolare, Dumas del superuomo tenta una sconnessa e ansimante psicologia, mostrandocelo diviso tra la vertigine dell’onnipotenza (dovuta al denaro e al sapere) e il terrore del proprio ruolo privilegiato, in una parola, tormentato dal dubbio e rasserenato dalla coscienza che la sua onnipotenza nasce dalla sofferenza. Per cui, nuovo archetipo che si innerva sugli altri, il conte di Montecristo (potenza dei nomi) è anche un Cristo, dovutamente diabolico, che cala nella tomba del castello d’If, vittima sacrificale dell’umana malvagità, e ne risale a giudicare i vivi e i morti, nel fulgore del tesoro riscoperto dopo secoli, senza mai dimenticare di essere figlio dell’uomo. Si può essere blasé, criticamente avveduti, saper molto di trappole intertestuali, ma si è presi nel gioco, come nel melodramma verdiano. Mélo e Kitsch, per virtù di sregolatezza, rasentano il sublime, mentre la sregolatezza si ribalta in genio.
Ridondanza, certo, a ogni passo. Ma potremmo gustare le rivelazioni, le agnizioni a catena attraverso le quali Edmond Dantès si svela ai suoi nemici (e noi si freme, ogni volta, anche se sappiamo già tutto) se non intervenisse, e proprio come artificio letterario, la ridondanza?

Lo Chateau d’If.

Ed ecco che a questo punto sorgono dubbi preoccupanti. Se Dumas fosse stato pagato non a righe in più ma a righe in meno, e avesse accorciato, Montecristo sarebbe ancora quella macchina romanzesca che è? Se fosse riassunto, se la condanna, la fuga, la scoperta del tesoro, la riapparizione a Parigi, la vendetta, anzi le vendette a catena, avvenissero tutte nel giro di due o trecento pagine, l’opera avrebbe ancora il suo effetto, riuscirebbe a trascinarci anche là dove, nell’ansia, si saltano le pagine e le descrizioni (si saltano, ma si sa che ci sono, si accelera soggettivamente ma sapendo che il tempo narrativo è oggettivamente dilatato)? Si scopre così che le orribili intemperanze stilistiche sono, sì, “zeppe” ma le zeppe hanno un valore strutturale, come le sbarre di grafite nei reattori nucleari, rallentano il ritmo per rendere le nostre attese più lancinanti, le nostre previsioni più azzardate, il romanzo dumasiano è una macchina per produrre agonia, e non conta la qualità dei rantoli, conta il loro tempo lungo.
È una questione di stile, salvo che lo stile narrativo non ha nulla a che vedere con lo stile poetico, o epistolare. “Il grande Meaulnes” di Alain Fournier è indubbiamente scritto molto meglio del Montecristo, ma alimenta la fantasia e la sensibilità di pochi, non è immenso come Montecristo, non così omerico, non è destinato a nutrire con pari vigore e durata l’immaginario collettivo. È solo un’opera d’arte. Il Montecristo invece ci dice che, se narrare è un’arte, le regole di quest’arte sono diverse da quelle di altri generi letterari. E che forse si può narrare, e far grande narrativa, senza fare necessariamente quello che la sensibilità moderna chiama opera d’arte.
Ci sono epopee sbilenche, che non pongono capo a un’opera perfetta ma a un fiume lutulento. Può darsi che non soddisfino le regole dell’estetica, ma soddisfano la funzione fabulatrice, che forse non è così direttamente connessa alla funzione estetica. Sconnesse come una serie di miti Bororo, forse riscrivibili come il ciclo Bretone – e per questo poco importa se nel Montecristo conti più la mano di Dumas o quella di Maquet.
(Per la cronaca Maquet era la seconda mano, quella che aiutava Dumas come se fosse un ghost-writer).

La vera isola di Montecristo nell’arcipelago toscano.
Profile Image for Peter.
2,776 reviews495 followers
July 13, 2018
after the childrens' version I read the complete book, great, story of revenge, well crafted, full of adventure, a must read for everyone... what a page turning timeless classic...
Profile Image for Ginger.
786 reviews363 followers
June 1, 2019
WHEW!! I do believe this is the longest book that I’ve read!

Clocking at around 1316 pages on my ole Kindle, it’s a beast of a book. Honestly, this is not something to be taken lightly if you take on this masterpiece.

Not only is it HUGE but it’s a classic. So it’s going to be wordy my friends. They paid authors back in the day for every word that was written.
So my dear Alexandre Dumas, he got bank with this tome!

The Count of Monte Cristo has always been on my bucket list for completing. So late one night after drinking multiple glasses of wine,

I said, “Fuck it! Let’s do this!”
Yeah, it was a lot of liquid courage.

And it was a journey folks.

The Count of Monte Cristo is not a book to finish in a day or even a week. It’s a journey of revenge, redemption and hope. It’s a journey to take down your enemies in a frightening and calculating way. Does my beloved Edmond Dantès find love again? Does he get revenge for being betrayed and framed?

Well, if you’ve seen multiple movies of this plot over the years, then you already know some of these answers.

What I did not realize is that the movies are not remotely like this beast of a book. There is so much more calculating, more characters (good grief, the amount of characters...whew!) and plot points that are completely different.
Yes to books! Now that I've read this, I prefer this tale instead of the Hollywood version. It’s much more believable and the "too convient" plot is taken out.

Some word of advice.

You might struggle with this book if you’re not into classics. You might also struggle in the middle with all the characters and plotting.
You know why? Because you can’t see the ending and all the precise planning that the Count is putting into play.
It’s a dull blade being sharpening over and over again, until it’s finally ready to be plunged into a evil, dark heart.

Am I glad I finally read this? You bet your sweet ass I am.

Thank you Edmond Dantès for making me "wait" and "hope" to see what type of man you actually turn out to be.
Profile Image for Abby.
13 reviews22 followers
September 14, 2023
“Go back down the roads where fate drove, where misfortune lead and where despair greeted you.”

Tragedy, humour, vengeance, beauty.

The Count of Monte Cristo is nothing short of a masterpiece. The storytelling is intricate, with interweaving plot lines, characters and emotions. The depth of this narrative goes so beyond the surface level concept of revenge, it is so much more than I ever initially comprehended.

The mystery of the count, the anguish of Edmond, the transition between the two-the whole development of the illusive character is true brilliance. With each page, you feel his overarching presence, with a realness and moral profundity that is so special. Every character in this book is so planned, their role executed perfectly. You grieve for them, you laugh for them. You miss them the second it’s all over.

A poignant adventure, from start to finish.
Profile Image for Piyangie.
529 reviews489 followers
February 11, 2022
To say that The Count of Monte Cristo is the most widely read novel written by Alexander Dumas is no exaggeration. The Three Musketeers comes closely behind, but it is the former that comes to many minds when referring to Dumas. I've read an abridged version years ago, in my teens, and although I somewhat remembered the story, I cannot recollect how I truly felt about the book. So, a reading of the complete version was due. However, last year, I had a serious falling out with Dumas over The Man in the Iron Mask and vowed never to read him again. :) But here I'm, having broken my vow a year later, ready to sing his praises. :)

I'm very much pleased with my decision to read this complete version, for, in this book, I found another favourite classic and a character who is equally dear. There is no secret who that dear character is. Anyone who loved the book knows that it is none other than Edmond Dante/Count of Monte Cristo. I never envisioned Dumas as a creator of loving characters. He is more concerned with the adventurous story he writes than paying attention to the liking/disliking of his characters. And for my part, except Cornelius van Baerle and Rosa Gryphus in The Black Tulip, I cannot recall anyone I liked, or even respected until I came across Edmond Dante. Throughout the story, I felt his pain and suffering. His severe mental and physical agonies truly tormented me. Not for one minute of the reading that I felt Edmond Dante is a fictitious character, for he was made full of flesh and blood by Dumas's clever hands. So, it is no wonder that I felt such a connection with him. I supported his cause through and through, and though he did go a bit too far with his vengeance, I could still pardon him, for I understood the fire that burned within him - a fire to be even with those who destroyed his innocent life.

The story of The Count of Monte Cristo is that of justice and retribution. And even though Edmond Dante wrongfully believes him to be the hand of the God that brings destruction on his persecutors, Dumas, through his sensitive and intelligent writing, implies many justifications for his right to vengeance. The characters were crafted so well, especially those of the villains, that I felt pleasure at being a secret party to the Count's plots to secure their downfall. It sounds mean, I know, and I attribute the fault to Dumas's fine writing. :)

Thematically, the idea of justice and retribution goes beyond that of human justice and retribution. When Count of Monte Cristo says that "all human wisdom is contained in these two words - Wait and Hope", he knows that he has stretched too far in his vengeance and that God alone has the wisdom in deciding rightful justice and retribution. He understands the errors of human justice since some of his actions against the wicked, too, were in error.

Since I mentioned Dumas's writing, I must say that it is the key to the book's success. It is simply beautiful, passionate, sincere, and heartfelt. I met that passionate and heartfelt writer first in The Black Tulip. Then, I lost him down the way. But, in The Count of Monte Cristo I meet him again and am truly happy about that.

The Count of Monte Cristo is both plot and character driven, and I enjoyed that very much. It is not perfect. There were many implausible incidents I overlooked and boring and tedious sections I plodded on. But, whatever flaws it presented, the book commanded an overall sense of completion, which left me with a sense of utmost satisfaction. I feel I'm well rewarded for my time and labour, and for that, Dumas has my gratitude. And after my somewhat stormy literary relationship with him, I'm parting from him, this time, with a peaceful and content heart. :)
Profile Image for فايز غازي Fayez Ghazi .
Author 2 books3,894 followers
December 12, 2022
- من روائع الأدب العالمي وليس الفرنسي فقط، ومن القصص التي ستبقى خالدة لبساطة الفاظها ودقة حبكتها وتطور شخصياتها وسمو رسالتها الأخيرة!

- ظلم، فعذاب فإنتقام مروّع بكل ذكاء وتخطيط عالي الدقة، فوقفة مع الذات ثم خلاصة احداث قد تلخص الحياة ذاتها " قل للملاك التي ستشاركك حياتك ان تصلي بين حين وآخر من اجل رجل حسب نفسه - كما فعل ابليس من قبل - في مرتبة الله، لكنه يعترف الآن في خشوع ومذلة ان الله وحده هو الذي يملك الإرادة العليا والحكمة اللانهائية"...

-على الهامش: الرواية اعمق واوسع من الفيلم بأشواط...
Profile Image for Mark  Porton.
416 reviews366 followers
February 1, 2022
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas is a classic for a very good reason. One could easily write a 500-page review of this story, but for once I will keep this short. Most of you know the story, it’s been reviewed a million times.

I expunged a good dose of stale air from my lungs when I completed this colossus. These guttural expulsions were due to a combination of sadness, amazement, and approbation for this most wonderful of works. The Count of Monte Cristo has now displaced The Grapes of Wrath as my number one reading experience.

At well over 1000-pages it’s certainly a chunkster by any measure, the chapters are just the right length, everything is beautifully described, and Dumas skillfully includes only what the reader needs to know. There is nothing over-done about this work, everything is interesting, everything is relevant, nothing is superfluous. It is a real page turner.

The mantra, Revenge, is a dish best served cold doesn’t really apply here as The Count serves his revenge lasagne – frozen, deep frozen in fact. The Count takes an absolute eternity to make this dish, his planning is meticulous and the execution dazzlingly intricate and vicious. Indeed, most of the book is devoted to setting up the inevitable acts of vengeance.

This makes the final dish(es) oh so much more delicious.

The Count certainly is an interesting character. I am in two minds about him – of course he was maltreated initially, but there were times I thought “Whhhoooaaa hang on……Come on Dude, enough already!!” But there is no denying the likes of Danglers, Caderousse, Fernand and de Villefort were required to pay for their misdeeds.

But is The Count a decent guy? I don’t know. Probably. I do wonder though how Dantes, who was a good guy – no doubt, ended up being an absolute Superhero and he knew everything about everything. How did he know all that stuff? He did seem to possess super-powers. He even had a “Batcave” on the wee Island of Monte Cristo for heaven’s sake!!!

Dumas also hands out a bunch of good-guys like Nortier, the Morrels (lovely), Haydee, Mercedes (she is so beautiful in my minds-eye, even more so than Lori in Lonesome Dove, yes that gorgeous!!).

If you haven’t read this – you must, it could easily be called Pride and Extreme Prejudice.


Ps. If any of you are interested in my 500-page review of The Count of Monte Cristo, I can email it to you. In exchange, I will give you 3 free ‘likes’ and one constructive comment on any review of yours, of your choosing.
Profile Image for Brian Yahn.
310 reviews599 followers
June 3, 2019
This book is long. Everything about it feels long--from the words, to the sentences, to the scenes. Given that it was serially published -- meaning Dumas made his money by the word -- it's obvious why it's so damn long. But trust me, this story is NOT a waste of time.

What it is--is everything. What starts as a thriller, becomes a Game of Thrones-style soap opera, and finishes as a murder mystery. It's a revenge story, in theory, but more than anything it's about love. It's really an existential coming-of-age for adults. The length of seven books, The Count of Monte Cristo contains nearly as many themes and plots and characters. Probably, it covers twice as many subjects. It's basically a Bible.

Something tricky about it is that the first hundred and some pages are absolutely phenomenal. The story starts better than just about anything else, which kind of surprised me. For something of this length, I expected it to be slow--and at times it is--but the beginning is definitely a page turner, one that doesn't read dated at all, which again surprised me. This book is like two hundred years old and translated from French--and while at times it's as head-scratching as Shakespeare--the beginning feels like reading a really good Michael Crichton book.

Edmond Dantes / The Count of Monte Cristo is, logically, the first character introduced. He's incredibly likable from the start: he's 19, has his shit together, treats his father like gold, is madly in love, and excellent at his job. In short, there's a Disney story ahead of him. Just thinking about it is exciting, until in quick succession several extremely unlikable characters are introduced whom all conspire against him. They're jealous little evil bitches and they plot and scheme, and as their deeds unfold, the story becomes a thriller. Unfortunately, the characters that start the book are definitely the best, beside one or two others. Fortunately, after they throw a giant fork into Dantes' road, they don't just disappear. No, this is a revenge story. They come back and get what they got coming to 'em.

The problems start to arise after the first 300 or so pages, after Dantes gets screwed, suffers, loses hope, becomes bitter, and transcends into the Count of Monte Cristo. After this, about 15 new characters are introduced, only one of whom really measures up to the previous cast. Dumas spends the next 500 pages of the story predominately fleshing out these characters in the form of a soap opera, which is frustrating. The previous ones are so good, you're way more eager to learn about them. It feels like you're getting off topic, lost in new characters that only fit into the story tangentially by theme. And, although this part isn't necessarily bad or insufferable, compared to the thrilling first act, this soap opera seems that way. It doesn't help that this part of the story is when the language dates itself, the sentences grow to their longest, the dialogue seems like one soliloquy after another, and the words they speak are plain archaic. The story seems to go downhill, quickly picking up steam, ultimately headed for a nasty crash and burn.

It doesn't. If the first hundred pages aren't the best in all of literature, it's only because the last hundred are somehow even better. All of the crazy complexity Dumas writes into the second act of the story comes together in the third. What seemed to only tangentially fit into the story becomes the glue that holds together a masterpiece. And when The Count of Monte Cristo starts exacting his revenge you spent 900 pages eagerly anticipating, of course it's satisfying as hell. What makes it even better is seeing Edmond Dantes resurface himself in the ugly skin of Monte Cristo. After all his misery has made his existence merely to put others through worse (albeit somewhat justifiably), you start to love him again, and he shows that The Count of Monte Cristo isn't a simple revenge story that went on for way too long. No, it's much more than that.

But if you want to know, you'll just have to read it for yourself. Wait and hope, my friend, wait and hope.
Profile Image for Luís.
1,939 reviews603 followers
January 20, 2023
Dumas was a theatre man: he staged unforgettable characters and loved twists and turns. The poisoner, the former revolutionary, turned mute, and the traitor, and the cursed son, Benedetto, with an incredible fate. My great-grandfather loved this story, a just man who loses everything before taking revenge on his enemies who had become rich and powerful in the Paris of the Restoration. Dumas' storytelling art unfolds in his stories throughout history: Roman bandits, oriental adventures, and the crime of Caderousse told by a witness hidden in his inn on a stormy night. Above all these characters, the Providence's agent, the count and his doubles, the Italian abbot, and the English lord make this classic an absolute pleasure to read!
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