The Count of Monte Cristo The Count of Monte Cristo question


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Abridged vs unabridged
Li Li May 19, 2011 02:55PM
So I was at the book store earlier today since I was in the area and I saw Count of monte cristo on the shelves. At first I was excited and wanted to buy it, since it had been on my to-read list for quite a while now, but then I noticed that it was abridged. I was disappointed to find that was the only copy the store had and ended up getting Les Miserables instead (so it wasn't all bad) I was wondering for those of you out there that have read it think I should have just bought the abridged version. Is there a huge difference between the two or will I get just as much out of the abridged that I would the unabridged?



Always, always, always do unabridged. Abridgements of anything are completely unnecessary. And Monte Cristo isn't that long anyways.


Why would anyone read an abridged version of anything? If you don't want to read a heavy book, read something else. Les Miserables is excellent by the way.

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Ann A. Amen to reading unabridged. Why WOULD anyone want to even bother reading a book someone else cut up? Agree, unabridged every time! The Count was one o ...more
Nov 07, 2013 09:37AM

Don't be tempted to read the abridged version. The page count on the original version may seem daunting but trust me. It's worth it.

The abridged version misses much crucial details, making the story seem odd and full of plot holes or missing information. They also seem to have done a some selective political and 'moral' censoring while they were cutting it down, such as the missing lesbian love story.

This is one of the greatest books ever written. Either read the real book, unabridged, or not at all.

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Fran Parker It is one of my all time favorite books! I would not want to miss a single word!
Oct 27, 2013 01:51PM

Big difference. Re-read this after many years, and kept thinking that something was missing. Didn't realize the library book I selected was abridged.


Abridgement should be illegal.


I echo all the endorsements of the unabridged version, and add one for the Buss translation. I started reading the older "standard" translation, but switched as soon as I found the Buss. So much more lively and not bowdlerised. Made the book fly, even at well over 1000 pages.


Generally speaking, I would go for the unabridged version EVERY time — especially when reading a highly esteemed classic. Specifically, for books like The Count of Monte Cristo, abridgement is a sacrilege in my opinion. What a book! Second favorite of all time, behind The Lord of the Rings.


You are simply wrong. The abridged version bowdlerizes the novel to take out the portions that certain people didn't approve of such as plot lines about illegitimacy and cross-dressing.


I get my books from the Library so I was a bit surprised to find it was the abridged version. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I guess I am not the purist that many commentators are here. Maybe, one day, I'll be able to read the unabridged version so I can see the difference.

What's that old saying? "What you don't know can't hurt you" or something like that.


I have to go with unabridged. The abridged version looked much shorter and I'd worry about what they cut out. The first time I read this I had the unabridged version so now I would worry about missing something. Yes, the book is long but it's definitely worth it- you don't want to miss the details of how he gets his revenge!


Oh hey, I only just read the unabridged version from early December to early January (roughly 1470 pages of story takes me a bit long) and I can tell you probably only that: Unabridged all the way!
I guess if you're able to read the original French version you'll be delighted. If not, look out for a great translation. The author is a genious with words and the time this was written was one in which even men said of other men that they loved them - in a friendly platonic way (without adding that but you just know that). I don't know if that's even included in the abridged versions since there are so many.
When I was a kid we had one extremely short abridged version that even changed the plot so much that the main character fled differently from his prison. That was stupid. Of course not every abridged version is like that.
The point I'd like to make is: you'll lose to much in an abridged version. Be it the writing style of the author, or things in the plot that just make you smile. Some people say that when you read the Count of Monte Christo you'd need to keep track of the names. I don't have this opinion since the characters are very memoriable. I had no trouble knowing who was who.
I can't imagine that any abridged version could actually bring the following across as perfectly as the original version:
All of the important characters, their part of the story, everything surrounding Dantès revenge. This is an highly intelligent book so yeah ... if you can, please read the full version.


Actually, yeah. The abridged is good enough for high school, because I don't think many kids would be interested in reading a huge 1000 page book. A shorter version with modern prose would introduce the story, and later on the unabridged can be read. I feel this because I read the abridged version of this book in 5th grade, and LOVED it. I've been wanting to read the book again, but all the bookstores I explore in don't have the complete unabridged book. So I haven't bought it yet lol.

Still waiting. :D


I read the abridged version; I picked it up at the library and didn't realize it was abridged until after I got it home. I wish I'd read the full version, because I missed out on the whole Andrea Cavalcanti-as-long-lost-illegitimate-son subplot, not to mention the Eugenie cross-dressing lesbian elopement episode. Always go unabridged if you can help it.


Marina (last edited Oct 08, 2013 09:28PM ) Oct 08, 2013 09:28PM   0 votes
I cannot imagine reading anything abriged.
I feel bad enough when unable to read a book in a language it was written in. If abriged, I'd feel I'm missing half a story....


There is a huge difference. I enjoyed the unabridged version much better. How good an abridged version is, of course, depends on who did the abridging, and how much they took out.


Edmond Dantes waits over 20 years to fulfill his revenge. Share the journey, read the whole thing. It's much more rewarding.


I'd definitely recommend the unabridged, but the assertion that it's "not that long" is off. It goes quickly, but at over 1000 pages it would be considered quite long by most readers!


Dumas is yet another example of an author who is not only a brilliant writer but also a great business man. Fantastic for him - not so much for us! Dumas was paid based on the length of his work. The more he wrote the more he earned. So the Count of Monte Cristo is as long as it is partially because the storyline requires it and partially because Dumas wanted to make more money. Long story short get the abridged version. There is a lot of repetition and unnecessary wordiness in the original. These extra words only served one purpose, make Dumas money. So having served their primary purpose they are now unnecessary. I have read both versions, you will not miss anything in the abridged version. Save yourself the time!


The unabridged version is always much better.


I found that even though the unabridged version is quite long, it is very fast moving so why read the abridged version?


If you are going to read the abridged version,
Than either don't read this book at all or just go straight to the off track movie. The thought that someone will choose the abridged, without all the details, makes me angry. Granted, the high volume of pages can be intimidating, but I promise once you start, you will be captivated by the story. The unabridged version I read,
Was written so well. I never wanted this book to end. I remember when I finished the Count Of Monte CRisto, I had this sudden void,
Of missing the story, the characters, the adventure. For all the classic lovers, this is a must read. Right next to east of Eden.


I usually go for unabridged versions. However, I do think that abridged books are good because they introduce the book. As a high school sophomore, we read both Les Miserables and Count of Monte Cristo abridged versions. In college I wanted to read the unabridged versions, and since I had read the basic plots of both previously, I was able to focus on the intricacies of plot in the unabridged versions. I also know several people who like to read but are really intimidated by a fat book, perhaps because they are slow or average readers--so abridged books get them to read some of these great books without their being miserable the whole time.


I read the abridged version and just used spark notes as a companion and it worked out great. I don't feel like I missed anything important and didn't feel confused while reading it.


ALWAYS unabridged. In my personal opinion, it is untruthful say you have read The Count of Monte Christo (or any book) if you haven't read the whole thing. Besides, this book is too glorious to read the butchered up version.


This is one of my top three favorite books. I would strongly recommend the unabridged version. The historical background and detailing of the complete novel is part of what makes the story so compelling. Enjoy!


I have read the unabridged version and two abridged versions. The abridged versions leave out entire story plots. The book still flows, but there are very interesting pieces of the story that, in my opinion, need to be told. ALWAYS go for unabridged. Always.


I just finished reading the Count and did not realize it was the abridged version, though I initially felt a bit ripped off, the version I read by Bantam which was just over 500 pages does include all of the story components that are mentioned in some comments as missing. I found it flowed well. Though I really enjoyed this version and recommend it, I will probably try to find the unabridged one at some point.


Is there any way to tell whether or not any of the kindle editions of classic novels are abridged or unabridged?


I cannot condone reading an abridged version of any book, let alone my favorite book of all time.

Novels are works of art, and abridgment is an affront to the artist, in my opinion.

It is The Starry Night without the town, or The Scream without the bridge


I'm not even against abridgement (though I can't think of any examples where I'd recommend it), but the abridged version I tried to read was boring. It's like the abridgers did the opposite of what a abridged version should do, and took out interesting parts instead of boring parts. The unabridged is thick, but absolutely worth it.


Paul (last edited Oct 09, 2013 02:24PM ) Jul 24, 2013 08:06PM   0 votes
Since the book was so long, I expected it to be better. I can't say anything about any abridged version because I haven't read them. The plot is pretty intricate so it's kind of understandable why the book is so long. But I will say that there were some sections that weren't necessary for the plot. (Did we really need to know all about Cucumetto and Luigi Vampa, for instance?) Dumas also drags out conversations by having characters take many words to say what they could have said in a few. It took me a long time to read this book but I'll admit I don't really like long books and I've got a pretty short attention span. If you have a longer one than I do, I guess the unabridged version wouldn't be too bad. But to say that you must read the unabridged or not read it at all, like some other posters have said, sounds really, really, really, really, really snobbish. (Yeah, I thought that needed at least 5 reallys.


Tyler (last edited Dec 08, 2012 07:39AM ) Dec 08, 2012 07:36AM   0 votes
I read the abridged version. It was still around 500 pages. That's enough for me. It was good but it started to drag and repeat a ton. I hate abridged versions but in the case of these 1000+ page novels from the 18th or 19th century I think they do a service to humanity.


My large-format hardcover French version (undated, but certainly 19th century) has 1389 pages. Abridged to 500 pages would certainly remove a lot.


Definitely the unabridged version. I just listened to this a few months ago and agree with those that said they could not imagine how you could cut out parts of the story and still have the same novel.


if you are going to read it read it, don't go the abridged version

admittedly Dumas was paid by the word so he used to bulk out his books, but Monte Cristo is a worthwhile yarn.


I've only reading the unabridged version and can't imagine what could be left out without distorting the story. Maybe someone out there has read the abridged version and tell us,...


The only difference between the Unabridge and Abridge versions is that the Unabridge version has all the historical background information, which relates to the story included in it. While the Abridge version has all those parts cut from it and just focuses on the story itself. While the Abridge version of The Count Of Monte Cristo is a excellent read then Unabridge version offers so much more background into the era when they story is set.


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