Matthew's Reviews > The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
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really liked it
bookshelves: classic, own, 2017, completist-book-club, revenge, at-home-reading

Over 1200 pages of suffering and revenge!

I enjoyed it. I did not like it quite as much as some of the other big classics I have read, but it was very good. The two things that brought it down a bit for me were:

- It felt a bit more drawn out than it needed to be. At a couple of points I was ready for Dumas to get to the point.
- Some of the plot was very convoluted. While this did lend itself well to the Count's intricate plotting, I would occasionally get to a chapter and say, "Wait, what!?" A few times I tried to reorient myself with chapter summaries online, but stopped after it became difficult to avoid spoilers.

With all the negative out of the way, I will say that is was definitely a great book. At times it was riveting. At others it was clever. At pretty much all times it was dark and seemingly hopeless. The unabridged is great because it has everything as Dumas wanted it, but it does require quite a bit of commitment.

Final judgement: A must for those who want to read all the classics, but probably a bit much for the causal reader.
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Reading Progress

December 18, 2016 – Shelved
December 18, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
December 18, 2016 – Shelved as: classic
December 18, 2016 – Shelved as: own
April 1, 2017 – Started Reading
April 1, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017
April 1, 2017 – Shelved as: completist-book-club
April 1, 2017 – Shelved as: revenge
April 1, 2017 – Shelved as: at-home-reading
April 1, 2017 –
page 33
2.59% ""Believe me, when a woman loves a man, you do not win her heart by crossing swords with him.""
April 2, 2017 –
page 51
4.0% "Bonapartist"
April 3, 2017 –
page 72
5.64% "Interrogation"
April 4, 2017 –
page 89
6.97% "Guilt, sorrow, and apathy"
April 5, 2017 –
page 111
8.7% "Family reunion"
April 7, 2017 –
page 131
10.27% "Number 34"
April 9, 2017 –
page 157
12.3% "Tunnels"
April 9, 2017 –
page 175
13.71% "That just threw a wrench into the plans"
April 12, 2017 –
page 196
15.36% "Death of a madman"
April 13, 2017 –
page 212
16.61% "Back to the sea like he was never gone"
April 15, 2017 –
page 241
18.89% "Let the plotting begin!"
April 16, 2017 –
page 273
21.39% "Must be nice to be able to throw a lot of money at your problems!"
April 18, 2017 –
page 285
22.34% "Shipwrecked"
April 19, 2017 –
page 300
23.51% "Death in order to preserve honor"
April 20, 2017 –
page 315
24.69% "A mysterious reception"
April 23, 2017 –
page 336
26.33% "Roman holiday"
April 25, 2017 –
page 371
29.08% ""But there are twenty-four hours in a day, sixty minutes in an hour and sixty seconds in a minute. A lot can be done in eighty-six thousand four hundred seconds"

I think Dumas saw Rent a few too many times!"
April 26, 2017 –
page 380
29.78% "Recognition"
April 28, 2017 –
page 395
30.96% "It's all in the execution"
April 28, 2017 –
page 413
32.37% "The flirting of the clown and the peasant"
April 30, 2017 –
page 436
34.17% "Doubting the Count"
May 1, 2017 –
page 456
35.74% "The legend and the mystery of the Count"
May 3, 2017 –
page 467
36.6% "Paris"
May 4, 2017 –
page 480
37.62% "Familiar faces"
May 6, 2017 –
page 492
38.56% "Murder at Auteuil"
May 7, 2017 –
page 514
40.28% "Caderousse and the jeweller"
May 10, 2017 –
page 525
41.14% "Things just got quite bloody, indeed!"
May 11, 2017 –
page 536
42.01% "Unlimited credit"
May 12, 2017 –
page 547
42.87% "Runaway horses"
May 15, 2017 –
page 558
43.73% "A heated discussion about -ologies, -osophies, -gions, and -isms"
May 16, 2017 –
page 572
44.83% "Satisfying results"
May 18, 2017 –
page 596
46.71% "Poison or medicine?"
May 19, 2017 –
page 621
48.67% "This book needs a flow chart"
May 20, 2017 –
page 642
50.31% ""Man proposes, God disposes . . .""
May 21, 2017 –
page 660
51.72% "Noirtier needs a notary"
May 25, 2017 –
page 677
53.06% "Disinheritance"
May 26, 2017 –
page 686
53.76% "Dormice"
May 27, 2017 –
page 705
55.25% "The last couple of chapters remind me of the beginning of the movie Clue.

"
May 28, 2017 –
page 733
57.45% "Financial and matrimonial matters"
May 29, 2017 –
page 760
59.56% "Investigating the Count"
May 30, 2017 –
page 784
61.44% "Death and marriage"
May 31, 2017 –
page 800
62.7% "Maximilien is quite melodramatic"
June 1, 2017 –
page 821
64.34% "Two funerals and a wedding"
June 2, 2017 –
page 832
65.2% "*Insert evil laugh here*"
June 4, 2017 –
page 861
67.48% "Slaves"
June 5, 2017 –
page 879
68.89% "Retraction"
June 7, 2017 –
page 895
70.14% "Does this taste funny to you?"
June 10, 2017 –
page 926
72.57% "Gotcha!"
June 11, 2017 –
page 949
74.37% "Secrets revealed"
June 13, 2017 –
page 969
75.94% "Verdict"
June 14, 2017 –
page 986
77.27% "Begging for forgiveness"
June 15, 2017 –
page 1004
78.68% "The past is the present"
June 17, 2017 –
page 1020
79.94% "Bitter medicine"
June 18, 2017 –
page 1051
82.37% "Revelations of guilt"
June 21, 2017 –
page 1062
83.23% "Run away!"
June 22, 2017 –
page 1078
84.48% "Begging for mercy"
June 24, 2017 –
page 1094
85.74% "Nighttime visitors"
June 26, 2017 –
page 1116
87.46% "Financial matters"
June 27, 2017 –
page 1128
88.4% "Revelations and promises"
June 28, 2017 –
page 1160
90.91% "Domestic disturbance"
June 29, 2017 –
page 1194
93.57% "Leaving Paris"
June 30, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 58 (58 new)


Mischenko Matthew, this book is great! I love the movie with Jim Caviezel too. :)


Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky) I read this book when I was 15. It gave me an inflated sense of what could be learned with a monkly best friend in a gaol cell. :p


Agnes Kalivoda This is my favorite book ever :) i read it 4 times already! Hope you're enjoying it.


message 4: by Sonja (new)

Sonja I read this for AP English in high school many, many, many years ago... perhaps I need to go back and reread it.... I'm finding that every time I do that, I actually GET why the books were on my read list for those classes! And I actually understand the book better.... what did we know as high schoolers anyway?! LOL


Matthew Sonja wrote: "I read this for AP English in high school many, many, many years ago... perhaps I need to go back and reread it.... I'm finding that every time I do that, I actually GET why the books were on my re..."

Did they have you read the unabridged in High School? Seems like a bit much to ask of a high schooler!


message 6: by Erin (new)

Erin I feel like you've been reading this for months. Are you enjoying it?


Matthew Erin wrote: "I feel like you've been reading this for months. Are you enjoying it?"

Ha! Yes - it has been 45 days since I began. With these big ones, I try and do at least 10 pages a day. My goal with this one is to finish before the end of June.

If only I had more time . . . . so much running around and yard work lately I am whupping up on my audiobooks, but my physical books are falling behind . . .


message 8: by Sonja (last edited May 15, 2017 02:59PM) (new)

Sonja Matthew wrote: "Sonja wrote: "I read this for AP English in high school many, many, many years ago... perhaps I need to go back and reread it.... I'm finding that every time I do that, I actually GET why the books..."

LOL it was! But then that was college-prep English so a little more advanced than your average English classes. And turned out good because when I took my college Lit class the following year, this book was on the list to read!


Sally This book is a masterpiece! I've read it like a million times when I was younger! Enjoy it!!


message 10: by Mei (new)

Mei Great review, Matthew! This book defines the word Revenge! I loved it too!


Matthew Sally wrote: "This book is a masterpiece! I've read it like a million times when I was younger! Enjoy it!!"

Thanks Sally! It was very good!


Matthew Mei wrote: "Great review, Matthew! This book defines the word Revenge! I loved it too!"

Thank you, Mei!


Jo (A follower of wizards) A great review! Definitely looking forward to reading this one!


Ginger Nice review Matthew!! You got it done. Woohoo!


Choko Great review! I loved the book when I read it back in the day ☺!


Matthew Ginger wrote: "Nice review Matthew!! You got it done. Woohoo!"

Choko wrote: "Great review! I loved the book when I read it back in the day ☺!"

Jo (The beauty lies between the pages) wrote: "A great review! Definitely looking forward to reading this one!"

Thanks everyone!


message 17: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Wonderful review! This has long been on my shelves, just waiting for the right moment (or long string of uninterrupted moments) to dive in!


david Michael, if you like a little fantasy mixed with historic fiction, I would recommend this.


message 19: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Thanks, David. I appreciate the recommendation! I am looking forward to it. I've got it on my shelves alongside Les Miserables and War and Peace. Clearly you can see how I organize my books. By heft.


david Ha. I, personally, would rate this below the other two. And of course you have read Quixote. Les Mis and WP, for me, are the apogee.


Julie Matthew, I couldn't agree more, on all counts (pun intended).


message 22: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Thanks, David. Of the three, I've actually only read War and Peace, and it became one of the all-time greatest reading experiences of my life. And yes, Quixote is marvelous, and hefty, though for some reason I have it stored on a different shelf. A different kind of heft, perhaps? I'll have to ponder that one.


david Michael-to me, insignificant as I am, Quixote is not a choice for you. It is a mandate. This is required reading for an intelligent adult male. The author made an exception for me.


message 24: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Oh yes, I couldn't agree more! I've actually read Quixote twice, once in college, though I forget the translator, and once again a few years later in the Burton Raffel translation, which now sits, heftily, on the shelf next to the newer and even heftier Edith Grossman translation, which will guide my next foray into the adventures of that sublime and wonderful knight.


david Edith Grossman is my Spanish translator of choice. No one comes close to her amazing ability. Also, a minor fact going into it, Don was approximately fifty years old in the novel. Food for thought.


david Sorry Matthew. Excellent review. I liked it also.


message 27: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Thanks, David. I've heard wonderful things about Edith Grossman's translation, so it's nice to get that affirmation. As for Don's age, you know, I think about that as I creep closer to it myself....


Matthew Michael wrote: "Wonderful review! This has long been on my shelves, just waiting for the right moment (or long string of uninterrupted moments) to dive in!"

Thanks - it does take up a rather daunting amount of shelf space!


Matthew david wrote: "Sorry Matthew. Excellent review. I liked it also."

david wrote: "Ha. I, personally, would rate this below the other two. And of course you have read Quixote. Les Mis and WP, for me, are the apogee."

No worries! I like when my reviews stimulate some conversation.

I have yet to read Don Quixote. I agree that Les Mis is the best big classic I have read!


Matthew Julie wrote: "Matthew, I couldn't agree more, on all counts (pun intended)."

Ha! Nice - love a good pun!


david @Matthew-I know but I read Monte Christo in about two weeks or less. I could not put it down. Just loved it.

@Michael-You may find the experience different now than when you read it as a 20 year old. I am guessing for me, in 25 years, when I become 50, I too, will enjoy Cervantes even more.


david Matthew-those French know how to write. I agree with you. Les Mis has to be one of my top three.


message 33: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Great review.


Matthew david wrote: "Matthew-those French know how to write. I agree with you. Les Mis has to be one of my top three."

I definitely plan to read more Dumas and Hugo


Matthew Teresa wrote: "Great review."

Thank you!


message 36: by *TANYA* (new) - added it

*TANYA* Yay!!! You finished it!!! Great review. 😉👏🏻


message 37: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Matthew I was looking at mine today. I must have the abridged version. It only has 1000 pages. Great review on your part.


Matthew Sarah wrote: "Matthew I was looking at mine today. I must have the abridged version. It only has 1000 pages. Great review on your part."

1000 is still pretty long - depends on the size of the type - you may have unabridged. The abridged versions I remember seeing have 400 or 500 pages.


message 39: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah I just added my particular book to my TBR list by ISBN number. It doesn't say on it abridged Or unabridged but it's a hardback and I wouldn't say the writing is big. So I guess it's hard to say. I still plan on reading it soon.


Matthew Sarah wrote: "I just added my particular book to my TBR list by ISBN number. It doesn't say on it abridged Or unabridged but it's a hardback and I wouldn't say the writing is big. So I guess it's hard to say. I ..."

I found this under the product description for this ISBN on Amazon:

Product description
Set in the years following the defeat-mot Napoleon in 1815, The Count of Monte Cristo held Europe in thrall when it was first serialised in 1844. This edition features the complete unabridged text of Alexandre Dumas' masterpiece, a novel of action and adventure that continues to thrill readers more than a century and a half after it was written.


message 41: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah So that means I get to suffer like you did ? Haha. Thanks for that information. I didn't know you could find that out like that


Matthew Sarah wrote: "So that means I get to suffer like you did ? Haha. Thanks for that information. I didn't know you could find that out like that"

I wasn't sure about that either. It took several searches and different websites before I found a good description of the edition.


message 43: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Thanks for your help. 😊


Candace Great review, Matt! I read this book a long time ago. I enjoyed the movie starring Richard Chamberlain. It's still one of my favorite movies.


Manas This was one book that I started without any hopes, but may well be my best read of the year. I was totally hooked into it.


Matthew Sarah wrote: "Thanks for your help. 😊"

My pleasure!


Matthew Candace wrote: "Great review, Matt! I read this book a long time ago. I enjoyed the movie starring Richard Chamberlain. It's still one of my favorite movies."

Thank you!

I have only seen a more recent movie version - the one with Jim Caviezel - and it is great!


Matthew Manas wrote: "This was one book that I started without any hopes, but may well be my best read of the year. I was totally hooked into it."

It was slightly slower than my hopes, but still very good.


message 49: by Art (new)

Art the Turtle of Amazing Girth the Caviezel version is an instant classic, it mademe immediately seek out the book and read it. Both great!


Matthew Art wrote: "the Caviezel version is an instant classic, it mademe immediately seek out the book and read it. Both great!"

I meant to watch it again after I finished reading this, I still need to do that!


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