Joe's Reviews > The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
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's review
Feb 05, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 101-of-1001, classics, favorites, mlis-book-club, own

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. (view spoiler)! (view spoiler)! (view spoiler)! (view spoiler)! 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.
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Reading Progress

February 5, 2011 – Started Reading
February 5, 2011 – Shelved
February 18, 2011 –
page 102
6.98% "This is going to take forever. Good thing I love it so very much."
March 1, 2011 –
page 204
13.95% "Chugging along. Still loving it."
March 31, 2011 –
page 430
May 2, 2011 –
page 521
June 1, 2011 –
page 723
September 12, 2011 –
page 1009
69.02% "After tragically losing my Kindle in Europe, I'm back in the saddle with TCoMC! Yay!"
October 22, 2011 – Shelved as: 101-of-1001
October 22, 2011 – Shelved as: classics
October 22, 2011 – Shelved as: favorites
October 22, 2011 – Shelved as: mlis-book-club
October 22, 2011 – Shelved as: own
October 22, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-19)

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message 19: by Angela (new)

Angela I started this last week but my book is so huge that I can't carry it round with me so it's taking me a long time to get through it.

Sarai - Sarai Talks Books Holy shit. This makes me want to read the book right NOW. Forget Rebecca. I need to meet this badass.

message 17: by Leah (new)

Leah Wescott I heart Doumas, even if he did inspire this horrible looking new Three Musketeers. He was the original king of antiauthoritarian snark.

Alice Great insight Joe! Perhaps Dumas was possessed by the same evil demon that Marlena was in DOL a few decades ago.

message 15: by Joann (new)

Joann Buchanan This is an awesome book!! Just had to tell you :)

message 14: by Kate (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kate Your review is awesome...

message 13: by Joann (new)

Joann Buchanan Oh and I forgot to tell you I loved the review!!

Hayat Brilliant review! And for some reason it made me think of 3 lines in a Poem 'When she was good, she was very, very good, and when she was bad she was horrid'. Edmond Dantès is one scary dude with the patience of a spider!

Kathy Taylor One of the best reviews I've ever read on this book hands down! This is one of my favorite books of all time.

Preet WoW. I'm gonna read it again! Let the bitchslaps begin.

message 9: by The (new)

The Slackman The Monte Cristo bitchslap has now become a term in my day to day life. Easily my favorite book of all time and I don't think I could review it better than your description.

message 8: by Pam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pam Morris Awesome review for an awesome book!

Rebekah Funny stuff, yet so true. Great job selling the book to a blood-thirsty 21st century audience. Forget Batman! Forget the Terminator! forget the Avengers Count of Monte Cristo all the way!

Allison You are a genius, this is the best possible review for this epic!

Cydney Smith The most perfect review I've ever read.

Tammy Wahl Quite possibly the best review that has ever been written. Seriously brilliant!

message 3: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob try The Mysteries of Paris - Eugene Sue next, Penguin Classics

Brex (Bookosaurus_Rex) “Bitchslap fest” LOLL

Eric Preister It has been so long ago I read this book I could not do a long review justice, so here is my comment.

When I first read this book, I finished and went, WOW! Dante went sorched earth on everyone. No one was spared. The destruction was absolute. No punches were pulled.

If you are looking for an ounce of remorse or restraint the author throws in to get you to "identify" with his character stop, go read a book written this century if that is what you want. Dante is 100% BA.

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