Graham's Reviews > The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
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Dec 30, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read in December, 2010

Like life itself, a book filled with contradictions and improbabilities. All somehow made strangely real at times through skilled craftsmanship. Fun reading with some memorable moments. Definitely not a children's book, although for some reason (probably Disney) it had that reputation for me. See the final paragraph of my review for more thoughts for parents.

I almost gave it a three out of five - but changed my mind.

"...so powerful is the influence of a truly great character on all that surrounds it." - in a critical moment in the book, D'Artagnan, of course the hero of the story, must make a decision. His great ambition and personal pride is held in check by the esteem in which he holds one of the older musketeers.

This theme of D'Artagnan becoming a musketeer through essentially being apprenticed by the Three is for me the most striking of the book. Their friendship and fellowship is idealised ("The Inseparables") and it is this theme that causes me to somewhat sentimentally rate it a four out of five. Who doesn't dream of being part of a band of brothers like this?

If the story feels a little "soap operatic", then it can surely be forgiven, because that is what it is. Stories such as this were published serially in newspapers, like so many other great novels of the time. If only the plots of our modern day soap operas were so easily confused with great literature.

The progression of D'Artagnan moving from young lad to seasoned Musketeer is at times tragic and at times lyrical - like life itself. I found myself disappointed and at times repulsed by his choices and his character flaws - he shows little or no remorse for some of his most shocking acts of selfishness. Isn't that so real and so typical of us humans?

I wouldn't want a kid younger than about 15 or 16 to read this. As a parent, I would be a little cautious on a couple of different grounds - for example it has almost a disrespectful tone towards God, that I would want to talk to my kids about, not to mention multiple adult themes.

I think it is a positive book overall- and worth the read!
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