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The Count of Monte Cristo
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Count of Monte Cristo Q2 2019 > 6️⃣ Count of Monte Cristo- Chapter 110 through the end- Part 6 (of 6)- SPOILER THREAD

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message 1: by J., Your Obedient Servant (last edited Apr 02, 2019 08:05PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

J. (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
Congrats!! You made it to the end.

Discuss anything from Week 11 or the whole book here. This thread covers EVERYTHING. Please click the (some html is ok) link above the comment box to learn how to add a spoiler cover to your post for any major spoilers in this thread.

If you haven't finished the book, STOP NOW to avoid spoilers.


Mandy | 41 comments I have found this character/relationship chart helpful in following the last several chapters:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...


Mandy | 41 comments Just finished. I have a sudden urge to start over from the beginning! What a fun ride.


message 4: by NancyJ, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Mandy wrote: "I have found this character/relationship chart helpful in following the last several chapters:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..."


Wow that's an awesome chart! It's like a social network analysis.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) I loved reading the unabridged version of this book! The first time I read it I was in the sixth grade. I suspect it was an abridged version. I also have seen several movies based on TCOMC. I had no idea how little these movies actually captured the Count.

Edmond is far more obsessed with revenge than I was aware of, not that it was beyond understanding. However, his plots cause collateral damage. Some of the people who become impoverished didn’t deserve it, and I found their lack of animosity toward Edmond strange. The gratitude of some characters towards Edmond after he set in motion events which tore apart their lives was unbelievable.

Edmond himself was very believable - he developed a messianic monomaniacal belief to sustain him in moving forward which is common among some survivors of trauma. I feel it is on a spectrum of madness, but I think it helps hold off complete insanity. It comes from both survivor’s guilt and terrible painful losses of everything important, not just of family.

The early stages of losing faith in the protective tropes we learn in childhood - that everything will be ok because the Good in the world outweighs the Bad - is part of the usual angst of teenagers discovering parents lied about that, right? The ripping away of veils which expose the hard cold cruel world is a difficult passage for most young people, not just for the victims of horrible cruelty and loss of everyone who loves them. Without the feeling of numinous purpose, Edmond would have been a hollow shell, I think. If Haydee hadn’t stayed after it was all over, offering a new purpose, I think Edmond would have felt too empty inside to want to continue living.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) Edmond often sets up temptations - people are given choices of who to be: good or evil, helpful or hurtful, positive or negative. That was very amusing to me.


message 7: by J., Your Obedient Servant (new) - rated it 3 stars

J. (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
Mandy wrote: "Just finished. I have a sudden urge to start over from the beginning! What a fun ride."

Same!! It was a lot of emotions and I wonder if reading it a second time will make me notice clues I missed the first time around


message 8: by J., Your Obedient Servant (new) - rated it 3 stars

J. (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "I loved reading the unabridged version of this book! The first time I read it I was in the sixth grade. I suspect it was an abridged version. I also have seen several movies based on TCOMC. I had n..."

He was a much more complex character than I anticipated knowing that it was written as a serial.


Ella (ellamc) | 300 comments I'm so glad I finally read the complete version. I was very tempted not to just b/c it's so huge, but I'm so glad I did.

I do wish I'd have had Mandy's helpful chart while reading it - great resource! I may print it out and stick it between the covers b/c I'd like to go back and do a deep dive into some parts of the book.

Edmund scared me a bit and became pretty unlikable at times, but what a relief when I realized he hadn't allowed women and children to die on his watch. Phew. Interesting to watch his character change through the book and the descriptions of that change were very well done - not loads of words about interior just little sentences about his eyes or the cut of his jaw clue us into what's going on.

I had a hard time with the schedule b/c what would happen is I'd read parts then stop then pick up and be a bit lost b/c I'd let weeks go by. I think I will try a different approach with our next big read. Anyway - thanks everyone for a great book now read entirely, which I seriously doubt I'd have done w/o this group.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) We all deserve pats on the back on finishing the read! Plus, I made myself a celebratory root beer float, with twice the ice cream than usual.

:)


message 11: by Ella (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ella (ellamc) | 300 comments Oh, April - what a wonderful idea!


message 12: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Jun 15, 2019 09:49PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Ella wrote: "I'm so glad I finally read the complete version. I was very tempted not to just b/c it's so huge, but I'm so glad I did.

.."


This book is one of the greatest revenge stories of all time, and the last third of the book is really exciting. Even though the book technically ends with him sailing away in the sunset with a beautiful girl, overall, I was left feeling very sad for everyone. And I guess that's exactly as it should be.

This book does send a message that 1) It's fun to see bad guys get punished in some way, but 2) taking revenge on someone probably won't make you happy when it's over. Also, 3) sudden wealth (or a diamond) won't necessarily make you happy either. (But I'd be willing to take the chance.)

Note - He did allow women and children to die on his watch, even a child. Madame Villefort killed five people, including herself and her son at the end. I'm sure he didn't think it would go that far, but poison was a part of his initial plan somehow. He met Madame Villefort (when she was on a trip I think) in the guise of an Abbe, before he went to Paris. He talked to her about chemicals and poisons then, and again later as the Count. He didn't have any personal reason to ruin Madame Villefort, but I think it helped her to become a murderer. (Or maybe he knew she had the potential to do that already? I don't remember anything about her early in the book.)


message 13: by NancyJ, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "Edmond often sets up temptations - people are given choices of who to be: good or evil, helpful or hurtful, positive or negative. That was very amusing to me."

I agree. This is the most clear with Caderrouse. This was the most satisfying case because he really did it bring it on himself.


message 14: by NancyJ, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "I loved reading the unabridged version of this book! The first time I read it I was in the sixth grade. I suspect it was an abridged version. I also have seen several movies based on TCOMC. I had n..."

Yes, the collateral damage was bad, and I think that made him think about God more. It seemed like he was using God to justify all that he had done. At one point he questioned whether he really was doing what God wanted, but he talked himself out of thinking about that. I don't remember him praying or talking about God much earlier in the book. Did he?

He did feel some remorse over the death of the child, and he felt a real emptiness when most of the revenge plans were completed, but his sadness and remorse were short lived. He actively took steps to ease his regrets by taking the trip to the prison to refocus his mind on the reasons for the revenge, rather than the harm that he did. It was a way for him to ease his current pain and guilt. There was an interesting paragraph or two about his conscious choice to do this. (I think it's an example of cognitive restructuring - where you refocus your thoughts or look at things from a different perspective.) He also focused on the few people that he actually helped and that were still with him. I think he would have to pursue distractions his whole life to keep from thinking about it too much. The beautiful young girl should help a little.

Another moral issue I had with the Count... At the end we're reminded of Vampa, whose group had killed many people early in the book. The Count continues to aid and utilize his group of criminals, and perhaps he is leading them and gaining profits from their enterprise. We don't know if Vampa is still killing people, but the group was apparently still stealing, kidnapping, and holding people for ransom, as they did with Danglars at the end. They even had an insider who helped them steal from bank customers (including Danglars).


message 15: by NancyJ, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "We all deserve pats on the back on finishing the read! Plus, I made myself a celebratory root beer float, with twice the ice cream than usual.

:)"


I finally finished today. I made an easy salad for dinner just so I could keep reading, but I had ice cream when I was finished with the book.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) Today, I am eating broccoli. So, I guess I had better do the next Big Read and finish in order to earn another reward of ice cream!

: D


message 17: by Ella (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ella (ellamc) | 300 comments I guess I was thinking of the women/children I cared about... (I'm an awful person.)

I keep wishing they'd do something like this with newspapers today -- write a year-long piece in installments. (I'd, of course, wait for the book to come out, but I still want it to happen.)

It's a very moral book if you look at it from one angle, and a big adventure from another angle. Revenge and choices about how to deal with nearly every issue in life threaded throughout. I do think Dumas had a point he was making. I'm just not entirely sure which point it actually was.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) Forty years ago I followed a serial in the newspaper, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tales of the City. Later, it was published as a book. At the time, I had never heard of book serials.

It. Was. Cool!

I wish they could do serials again, too. Sometimes the short story magazines, like Analog or Asimov’s will run a book printing it in parts, not quite the same, as the constant cliffhanger chapter after chapter is missing.

Dumas’s point, I think was, Life is complicated, and people are always self-interested, so try to watch your back and think about how what you are doing could bite you, and being rich is grand.

: D


message 19: by Ella (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ella (ellamc) | 300 comments aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "Forty years ago I followed a serial in the newspaper, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tales of the City. Later, it was published as a book. At the time, I had never heard of book serials...."

Yep, I too followed Tales of the City, but I caught on a bit late -- possibly it wasn't even possible from where I was early on to follow it. I did catch on by the end of what we now know was the first book. I love that series - which is also a GAR series, I think.

You're, of course, right, April. It's the point of almost every good book, actually.


message 20: by NancyJ, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Ella wrote: "I guess I was thinking of the women/children I cared about... (I'm an awful person.)

I keep wishing they'd do something like this with newspapers today -- write a year-long piece in installments. ..."


Yes, maybe it would help them with circulation. It would have to be a pretty popular author.

My local library used to do something like that. Though I'm pretty sure the books were finished before we started. They would email a section of the book each week.


message 21: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Jun 26, 2019 11:22PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "Forty years ago I followed a serial in the newspaper, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tales of the City. Later, it was published as a book. At the time, I had never heard of book serials...."

YES! Everything you do could bite you in the butt later.

In business they say, be careful how you treat people as you move up, because you may meet those people again as you go down. Or maybe it was... because those people can work against you and bring you down.

I think some people are really careless about how they treat people, and they make enemies easily. (Which makes it even harder to believe that Trump got where he is today, despite all the people he swindled over the years. Did he make a deal with the devil?)

What other Revenge books are there?


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