J.G. Keely's Reviews > The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
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Aug 16, 07

bookshelves: novel, reviewed, french, swashbuckling, favorites
Read in May, 2005

Remarkable book. I have been, on occasion, accused of some sort of self-set elitism which suffuses my opinions and critiques on literature. It seems people are often more likely to think one has an ulterior motive for liking or not liking a book rather than looking at the presented arguments. In any case, I would posit this book as the countermand to that sentencing. It is not a literary book, as such, as it does not place itself in a deep referential or metaphorical state. Though it is certainly influenced by many great works, it is, in its whole, no more nor less than the reigning king of the pulp adventures.

Built on the ridiculous, the humorous, the exciting, and deeply in the characters, this work creates a world of romance (in that oh-so-classic sense) and adventure which conscripts the reader and delivers him to the front lines. I am alway amazed by this book's ability to invoke lust, pity, wonder, respect, scorn, and hatred, all while driving along a plot filled with new events and characters.

Should there be any future for Fantasy, it lies not in the hands of Tolkien-copying machines, nor even in Moorecock's 'un-fantasy', but in whatever writer can capture Beowulf, The Aeneid, The Three Musketeers, or The White Company and make a world which is exciting not because everything is magical and strange, but because everything is entirely recognizable, but much stranger. Of course, one may want to avoid going Mervyn Peake's route with this, and take a lesson from the driving plot and carefree frivolity that Dumas Pere and his innumerable ghostwriters adhered to.

It is amusing here to note that Dumas has accredited to his name far more books than he is likely to have ever written. As he was paid for each book with his name on it, he made a sort of 'writing shop' where he would dictate plots, characters, or sometimes just titles to a series of hired writers and let them fill in the details.

So, praises be to Dumas or whichever of his unrecognized hirees wrote such a work.
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message 3: by Eric_W (new)

Eric_W It's really very cool to see how well Dumas has held up here in the 21st century. I read as much Dumas as I could years ago. All this chatter recently will force me to dust him off again. Thanks.


Anirudh Remarkable book. I have been,
on occasion, accused of some sort
of self-set elitism which suffuses
my opinions and critiques on
literature. It seems people are
often more likely to think one
has an ulterior motive for liking
or not liking a book rather than
looking at the presented
arguments. In any case, I would
posit this book as the
countermand to that sentencing.


Excellent :-D


Richol "I am alway amazed by this book's ability to invoke lust, pity, wonder, respect, scorn, and hatred, all while driving along a plot filled with new events and characters."

I concur entirely.


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