Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

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Book Discussions > The Count of Monte Cristo

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message 1: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5885 comments Mod
I’m going to finally try to read this behemoth. It’s going to take me a loooong time ;-). Is there a preferred English translation?


message 2: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (goodreadscomrumbelle517) I need to get back into reading this, but in my defense I'm farther than my first attempts. It's a big commitment, especially for someone like me, who for the longest time read YA fantasy. I just need to sit down and focus only on that.


message 3: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 836 comments Thanks for asking about the translation, Nadine. I just have whatever free Kindle version I got from Amazon.


message 4: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5885 comments Mod
There used to be an easy way to search for free Kindle books on Amazon, but maybe they’ve taken that away? Because I’ve had no luck with my search ... and I’m struggling to download the .mobi file from Gutenberg on my phone too.


message 5: by Bree (new)

Bree (breemw) | 92 comments Ooh, I’m in! I got a copy for Christmas ten years ago, it’s probably time I read it. I have the Robin Buss translation.


message 6: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 836 comments Nadine wrote: "There used to be an easy way to search for free Kindle books on Amazon, but maybe they’ve taken that away? Because I’ve had no luck with my search ... and I’m struggling to download the .mobi file ..."

I did it like 8 years ago, I am sorry to hear that they took that option away. How annoying.


message 7: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 738 comments I dubiously grabbed it for 50 cents on amazon, we'll see. haha. It's one of those books I always feel like I "should" try but I never have. But maybe if a bunch of us are wading in together that'll be incentive


message 8: by poshpenny (new)

poshpenny | 1763 comments I have an audio version of The Count of Monte Cristo narrated by Bill Homewood. Oddly, I know I've read this, I think twice, but I don't have it marked as read here. Hmmm... Perhaps it's time to listen to those 52 hours.


message 9: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 834 comments Good luck guys! I read it a few years ago in small chunks at a time.


message 10: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments From a friend who is really into translations:

Translation Review: Robin Buss's unabridged translation for Penguin is universally considered the gold standard. Don't mess with anything else. (less)


message 11: by Trish (last edited Jan 21, 2020 11:17PM) (new)

Trish (trishhartuk) | 163 comments Yep, I'm in (given I guess it was my idea!)

Prior to this, my only Dumas has been The Three Musketeers, but Monte Cristo has been on my list for a long time.

Milena wrote: "Thanks for asking about the translation, Nadine. I just have whatever free Kindle version I got from Amazon."

I'm not sure there is a free one, bizarrely - I checked. But the Penguin one is only £3.99 - at least in the UK - which isn't bad for a huge book, and there are several in the £2-2.99 range.

So, my aim is the end of February - I'm doing something called the Twelve Towers challenge (https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...) for a different group, which I have to finish by then, and the last prompt is "a book that intimidates you"!

Do we want to do this as a formal buddy read, with a set number of chapters a week? Or shall we just see how we go?


message 12: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 850 comments Aaaaahhh I love that you're all starting this :D!

I am listening to the Naxos version with Bill Homewood and I'm enjoying it. The other narrators were terrible in terms of sound quality. I do want to read it in physical form one day as of yet, so fingers crossed it'll stay that way!

I listen to it on 1,5x speed so it's "only" 37 hours haha! 16 more to go, so I can't wait to hear all your thoughts!


message 13: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 850 comments Trish wrote: "Yep, I'm in (given I guess it was my idea!)

Prior to this, my only Dumas has been The Three Musketeers, but Monte Cristo has been on my list for a long time.

Milena wrote: "Thanks..."


That challenge sounds like so much fun! Such a shame it's probably too late to join, or I would! Though I could of course always do it just for me :)


message 14: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5885 comments Mod
I borrowed an ebook from my library but haven’t started yet. It DOESNT SAY who translated it!!! A glaring oversight. There is an introduction (which I skipped, to avoid spoilers), and then a note from “G. E. MITTON” (maybe that’s the translator???) that says part 1 is awesome, yadda yadda yadda, but:
It is the second part, recounting his revenge on the trio who had wrecked his life, that becomes insufferably tedious and complicated. In the present book an attempt has been made to cut away all that is redundant and allow the story to stand out clearly. It would have been impossible otherwise to bring the matter within the compass of a single volume of reasonable type.
. 😧. So it sounds like I’ve stumbled upon an abridged edition that does NOT call itself “abridged.” It’s ok, I doubt I’ll get to part 2 before my loan expires. Maybe I’ll try switching to audio at some point, too.


message 15: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 850 comments Okay it might just be me, but I find that that is an unforgivable thing to say about the book you've translated/edited/published IN THE BOOK ITSELF. This book is a favorite of so many people. Wow.


message 16: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 836 comments Carmen wrote: "Okay it might just be me, but I find that that is an unforgivable thing to say about the book you've translated/edited/published IN THE BOOK ITSELF. This book is a favorite of so many people. Wow."

Right? Insufferably tedious? Wow.


message 17: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 850 comments Also, apparently cutting books in half when they're too big is a thing so their argument of it being too long otherwise is invalid. Especially since they've been able to publish this book in one volume for almost 200 years.


message 18: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5885 comments Mod
Yeah it really surprised me.


message 19: by Linda (new)

Linda (linnola) | 37 comments This is a book that's been on my TRB for a while. I would like to join in.


message 20: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments You all tempt me! :) I just check the Danish translations and there is an unabridged audio that lasts 26,5 hours... I wonder about that.


message 21: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments *checked


message 22: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 850 comments Johanne wrote: "You all tempt me! :) I just check the Danish translations and there is an unabridged audio that lasts 26,5 hours... I wonder about that."

That seems very short indeed!


message 23: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 738 comments How long SHOULD it be? I grabbed the 50 cent version on amazon, the penguin one was 9 bucks on kindle which was more than I felt like spending on a "who knows if i'll actually get through his" title. my version doesn't say abridged, it's about 850 pages which sounds plenty long to me. The info doesn't say who translated or anything. The library, digitally, only has duke classics. It also doesn't list translator. I don't think I can get through it in two weeks so I don't really want to borrow it.


message 24: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments So I am asking myself: Is Danish a language that tends to be shorter than English? How long is the French audio? Do they speak really fast? Is it a hidden unabridged?


message 25: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments Oh sorry, I meant hidden abridged...


message 26: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments The printed version is around 850 in Danish.


message 27: by Hilde (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 4 comments I’m pretty positive it must be abridged, Johanne. It’s much, much longer in Norwegian at least, which should be approximately the same as in Danish.

I read the book last year (or maybe it was two years ago?) Absolutely loved it, all 1200 pages flew by really fast as each chapter tended to end with a cliffhanger, making me read on!

Hope you all enjoy it!:)


message 28: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments I just checked - it says the 850 page ed. is translated from the unabridged French ed. so that's not shortened. It seems the audio might be a reading of a book 1 of a 2 book edition, which makes sense. I may look further when I am with a computer and the library catalogue. Or I may not since I have too many other books going on at the moment.


message 29: by Deborah (new)

Deborah (dg_reads) | 83 comments Just chiming in because I just recently read this one with a group a few months back. Most of the standard editions I found to be abridged without telling you they are abridged. Different translations also have different numbers of chapters even when they are both unabridged. It made for a complicated buddy read trying to make sure we were stopping at the same points.

When I was researching a lot of folks recommended the Robin Buss translation. His name isn't always prominently shown on the edition, but I found that if I searched for that name I founds his editions. The Penguin Classics edition uses his translation.

It is very much worth the read (there were a few slow parts early on so I can see why it is a book often abridged, but SO glad I kept going on it).


message 30: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 738 comments it's sounding like maybe i should just suck it up and pay the 9 bucks for the penguin version. maybe actually paying for it will make me stick with it instead of giving up when it's slow haha.


message 31: by poshpenny (last edited Jan 22, 2020 01:20PM) (new)

poshpenny | 1763 comments Oh gosh. I have been trying to see if I could find which translation Naxos used somewhere on the internet (no luck yet) but I did come across this horrifying review of one of the Kindle edition translations

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-re...


message 32: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 850 comments poshpenny wrote: "Oh gosh. I have been trying to see if I could find which translation Naxos used somewhere on the internet (no luck yet) but I did come across this horrifying review of one of the Kindle editions tr..."

Ohmygod that is amazing hahaha! How does stuff like that get published???


message 33: by poshpenny (new)

poshpenny | 1763 comments An intense lack of proofreading


message 34: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments Wow, just wow! definitely looks like autotranslation.


message 35: by Eva (last edited Jan 22, 2020 01:33PM) (new)

Eva All older English translations (and some other languages, too) are abridged and censored, because they cut all the sexual content present in the original French. I'd recommend one of the newer translations if you don't want to read your books censored. And oh my god yes that kindle edition sounds horrifying (but at least good for a laugh).


message 36: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 850 comments I haven’t come across any sexual content as of yet, but if that’s all that’s been cut I can live with that!


message 37: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5885 comments Mod
Hahaha when I was looking for the Gutenberg free ebook on Amazon (because it’s just so much easier to download directly from Amazon than from Gutenberg) I did see one edition that was no longer available due to severe proofreading errors. Sounds like this one !!!


message 38: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 834 comments I don't remember any sexual content when I read it. Maybe I read an abridged version without realising


message 39: by Eva (new)

Eva I had only read that early translations had censored out some sexual content but had not researched what exactly was cut. I've now done so: there's nothing explicit in the original, but the early Victorian translations (which are usually used for Kindle editions and Project Gutenberg) censored out all references and hints about Eugenie's lesbian love and toned down her feminist notions, and one scene in which the original makes it pretty clear that sex happened whereas the translation makes it sound as if the protagonist merely flirted with the lady. Franz' hashish-fueled sexual fantasies are also omitted, and insults and swear-words are toned down. (The old translations also sound very stuffy in comparison.) Especially the omission of Eugenie's sexual orientation and views seems pretty annoying to me.

In terms of uncensored unabridged translations, the Penguin Classics edition is usually recommended, whereas the Barnes & Nobles classics etc. contain the alterations mentioned above.


message 40: by Eva (new)

Eva Interesting tidbit: the character of the count as a self-made man and swash-buckler was inspired by Dumas' father, who was born on Saint Domingue to an enslaved African mother, was sold by his father and taken to France by his new owner, was then bought back by his father and freed, got an education, joined the army (where he was only allowed to serve as a private, not an officer due to his skin color) and nevertheless rose slowly through the ranks until he reached the rank of General - which still remains the highest rank a person of color has ever held in a continental European army. When returning from wars overseas, his ship took damage in a terrible storm and he was forced to go to land on a small island he believed to be in friendly hands - but which was actually occupied by enemies, who imprisoned him for two years. When he was released, the formerly strong man was paralyzed, half blind and almost deaf in one ear - a condition he attributed to having been poisoned.

It's quite easy to see how these experiences of his father may have inspired Dumas to write this story.


message 41: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5885 comments Mod
Eva wrote: "I had only read that early translations had censored out some sexual content but had not researched what exactly was cut. I've now done so: there's nothing explicit in the original, but the early V..."


I'm here for **ALL** the Victorian sexual content and lesbian love interests and hashish dreams!!! Sounds like I need to give up on MY pipe dream of reading the Gutenberg edition and shell out a few bucks for the Penguin edition. I think I might have an old Kindle gift card lying around somewhere ...


message 42: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 5885 comments Mod
Eva wrote: "Interesting tidbit: the character of the count as a self-made man and swash-buckler was inspired by Dumas' father, who was born on Saint Domingue to an enslaved African mother, was sold by his fath..."


that's fascinating, thank you!!


message 43: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 850 comments Ohwow that is some amazing background info! I had no idea about Dumas at all and just assumed him to be 100% caucasian. Shame on me.

I just hit 67%, 11h43 left to go! I’d love to listen to another chapter because I am *very* invested in this particular storyline, but I’m just too tired. Cannot wait for tomorrow!

Have to admit, though, if I’ve already met our Victorian lesbian, I completely forgot as the name means absolutely nothing to me. That’s the downside of audio-names are a bit of a thing 😅 But then, I still have almost 12 hours to go, so there is plenty of time for things to happen!


message 44: by Hélène (new)

Hélène | 17 comments Johanne wrote: "So I am asking myself: Is Danish a language that tends to be shorter than English? How long is the French audio? Do they speak really fast? Is it a hidden unabridged?"

The French audio version lasts almost 50 hours...


message 45: by Milena (new)

Milena (milenas) | 836 comments This discussion is so interesting. I am also going to buy the Penguin version, even though I already own a free version.


message 46: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments @Helene - I found out it's the first in a 2 book edition so then the length makes sense.


message 47: by Steven (new)

Steven Perry | 47 comments love this book


message 48: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen) (thereadingtrashqueen) | 850 comments Eugenie is definitely at least bi- loving this little tidbit :D !


message 49: by Mahi (last edited Jan 26, 2020 11:30PM) (new)

Mahi | 87 comments I've decided to join in on this, though I have no idea when I'll be able to get ahold of a Penguin Classics version and have the time to read a book longer than anything I've read before.

My very reasonable goal is for it to be this year!


message 50: by Eva (new)

Eva The Penguin Classics is also available on Kindle if you have trouble finding it at the library/bookstore: https://www.amazon.com/Count-Monte-Cr...


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