Nick
Nick asked:

I would like to read the abridged version but I feel like I might be missing out on a big chunk of the story. Is this true?

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Nada Adel You will miss out massively if you read the abridged version. The Count of Monte Cristo has a million subplots, the most intricate character relationships and conflicts.
Reading the abridged version of any book is like eating the microwavable version of any meal. Absolutely get the full version.
Jeffrey The ONLY translation to read is Robin Buss's version from Penguin Classics. It has all of the original text, translated, including the parts that Victorian translators censored as being to risque'.

I put Buss' translation of Cristo in my top ten books to read for sheer pleasure.
Anna Cowan I read the abridged version first then the unabridged. You miss a little bit but not too much and you still get the point and plot of the story.
Gaurav Saxena I read the abridged version unknowingly. A huge part of the plot was missing and it made the ending look rather weird and discontinuous. Had to read a lot of stuff online for everything to make sense. Recommend reading the full version.
Christine Dunster A long read but I really enjoyed it. A good abridged version would give you the plot but you would miss out on the slower build up and a clearer understanding of the characters. Full version would be my recommendation.
Ellen Komp Accept no other than the full 117-chapter version! For one thing, abridgments omit the interesting hashish passages, and then it's just a revenge story without the style. Dumas's father was a general in Napoleon's army when the troops invaded Egypt and discovered hashish; Alexandre was a member of Le Club des Hashishins in Paris. More at: http://www.veryimportantpotheads.com/...
Saúl Girón I think this book is so much beautiful to miss one single sentence!
I'm reading it in my 2nd time...
ステファニー Depends on the version, they might just remove small portions of it... but I feel like its always better to read the full version. Sure, it takes more time, but thats how you get the most of it. By reading its purest, most faithful translation.
Sean Helms You may still get the overall story and plot, but the abridged version will cut the guts out of the story and steal away the suspense.
Patrick Umberto Eco has a good discussion on this in his introduction to the Everyman's Library edition of the book. Basically, he says that while the redundancies and irrelevant bits in Dumas' writing may cry out for editing, they also assist the "inattentive" or forgetful reader (since it was originally serialized), and help to build tension, making the extra reading worth the effort. It also reads pretty fast, which helps make up for it.
Corinne Tucker Honestly, this is my favorite book of all time. If you are able to keep the characters and locations straight, you will never want to put this book down. It is incredible.
Huck Flynn Don't do it Nick. Read the whole thing or don't read any of it. One of the greatest stories ever told - deserves to be savoured. It's frigging massive and I still didn't want it to end. Agree with recommendations for the Buss translation - unless you are a fluent French speaker of course !
Michael Gannon The abridged version should not even be listed as the same book. Doing so is doing a disservice to the literary community at large!
Peter Hupe I am absolutly with Nada. If you want an abridged version, watch one of the many film versions, if you want the real thing, read the full version and you will find yourself in a completly different world.
Zuzu I am a constant reader, and have been so for over 40 years. My favorite books have been mid-19th to mid-2oth c. I esp'ly like H. James, Edith Wharton, Balzac, Wilkie Collins and S. Maugham, T. Dreiser. (My introduction to this particular genre was prob'ly 'Sister Carrie'.

Also John O'Hara, (if you've never read his 'Appointment in Samarra' do so!) Daphne du Maurier, Graham Greene, D.H. Lawrence . etc.

BUT, I had never read any adventure fiction. When I was stuck in a rut for a 'goodread' my very well-read friend suggested 'The Count'.
I thought, 'What! me?'
BUT, that was @ 6 yrs. ago and it is still in my 'TopFive' list. By the way, I was over 50 when I read it!

I know I probably wd. not have read the unabridged version 'til I was in my 30's.Chunky adventure books were not very inviting. But, I was so wrong!

So, I think reading the abridged right now is better than nothing. And if you love the story as much as most readers do, you'll prob'ly run to your library or E-book and immediately dive into the 'real' thing. 'The Count of Monte Cristo' is a gem of adventure, unique, intelligent and it travels a long, checkered road to a well-planned ending. So rare, I think, are appropriate, satisfying endings.

So, dip your toe in the water or dive into a river of total immersion.

Your choice-you can always read the unabridged later or if you're up to it, dive in! Give the unabridged 50 pgs. If you're not totally hooked by then I'll be surprised.
P Yes. The original is always the best, especially a book with this much intrigue.
Avinash Kanade Go ahead and read the abridged version. If you like it, got for the full version. I read it as a translated short children's book in India when I was ten, then I read a more extensive comic version in English and was absolutely amazed by the story and then I read the full version when I was in college. I have read it end to end three times in last twenty years; it is a rollicking good story, carefully crafted and as a revenge tale, I have not yet found another to beat it.
Kathryn Absolutely true! I have read both versions, and they feel like completely different stories. Read the full one, it's definitely worth the extra time.

I just finished reading the Robin Buss edition, and compared it to the abridged one as I was reading it. The abridged version omitted numerous crucial scenes and whole chapters, which made it feel comparatively stilted. The unabridged version had more plot and character development, and was ultimately much more satisfying.

Regina Mcdonald I did the audiobook because it was so long and enjoyed every minute! I highly recommend the reading by Stephen Smith.
klf I would like to recommend highly the audio version narrated by John Lee. What a wonderful, mesmerizing, revealing experience. I would NEVER have gotten the meanings and nuances to the degree I did if trying the read the written word.

Lee is absolutely masterful, and after speaking to a CoMC fan who has re-read the abridged version many times, realized there were subtleties I would have missed (friend could not recall the lesbian scenes at all).

Stick to unabridged, and give Lee’s audio version a try if reading becomes a slog. Even if you’ve read the book multiple times, I think the audio is worth a visit (was able to download free from local library)
Mirko Gustic Please don't. There are certain ways, where you just don;t want to short cut.
Tom Dieusaert Well I was thinking about the same thing, somebody should make a shorter version of this book. it starts off really well but then at times the action becomes soo slow I just turned the pages. It was written as a contemporary soap apparently so readers were waiting for new material every week. the description of characters in 19th century French society is great though and sounds familiar. Dumas introduced revenge as a form of art.
Allie Yes please read the full version!! It might take more time but you can look up chapter summaries if you are confused. Shmoop is an excellent resource. I think I will finish the book today! I was lucky and found an unabridged copy at Barnes and noble. Sometimes it might be hard to find. If the book is over a thousand pages then you know it is unabridged.
Barbara Barry You may get the story line in the abridged version but you will miss so much of the details and interwoven threads of the story. Don't settle for anything less than the whole book!
Rick Presley My first experience with the Count was film, so when I read an abridged version, I thought it was just an extended revenge novel. At some point I accidentally got hold of an unabridged version and suddenly the entire novel transformed in my hands.

In the abridged version Edmund never questions his motives or his purpose. He is a relentless force of nature. In the full novel, the complexities, subplots, and misgivings he experiences are far more nuanced and present.

Depending on what you are looking for in the book - a simple revenge thriller or a deeper inspection and consideration of what constitutes true justice - that will inform which version you should read.
LJF As someone who, until about a year ago, loved books but almost never read classics, I understand who scary books published over 50 years ago can be- particularly really thick ones originally written in another language. What helped me escape my classic-phobia and become an avid reader of classics were the Manga Classics from Udon Classics. At over 300 pages each (over double the length of most manga adaptations) and extensively researched in order to get the setting and dress style exactly right, they are perfect for people who would love to read classics but are kind of scared to. Whenever I read one, I immediately want to go read the original novel- sometimes I even wait to read the adaptation until I finish the original. Either way, I never feel like the stories have any plot holes, and they are very careful about any elements they must cut out. There is a Manga Classic adaptation of The County of Monte Cristo, which I just read the other day, and I am now rapidly tearing through the original novel.
Ava totally worth it to read the unabridged! i haven't read the unabridged but i LOVED this book and wouldn't want to miss any of the details.
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