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The Three Musketeers (The D'Artagnan Romances, #1)
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message 1: by Loretta (last edited Jul 31, 2011 03:54PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Loretta (lorettalucia) Schedule for The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.

I am setting the schedule based on this edition:

Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Week 1: July 31 - Chapters 1-5, pages 1-54
Week 2: August 7 - Chapters 6-10, pages 55-105
Week 3: August 14 - Chapters 11-15, pages 105-155
Week 4: August 21 - Chapters 16-20, pages 155-204
Week 5: August 28 - Chapters 21-25, pages 204-258
Week 6: September 4 - Chapters 26-29, pages 259-312
Week 7: September 11 - Chapters 30-35, pages 312-360
Week 8: September 18 - Chapters 36-41, pages 360-410
Week 9: September 25 - Chapters 42-47, pages 410-460
Week 10: October 2 - Chapters 48-53, pages 460-512
Week 11: October 9 - Chapters 54-59, pages 512-565
Week 12: October 16 - Chapters 60-66 and Epilogue, pages 565-627 (End of the Novel)

This is the same thread we will be using for discussion

Discussion leader: Loretta

Discussion participants:
Amanda
Anne
Jackie
Lyn_M
Diana
Jolene
Judy
Juliette
Liz Vegas
Tracy
Kathy
Stephanie
Shea

Please note: I will attempt to post discussion questions every Sunday morning (U.S. Eastern time), so it will probably be in your best interest not to read the thread until you've done that week's reading.

Also, as I'm sure you all know, the quality of the discussion is determined purely by the willingness of the readers to participate and join the discussion. To that end, both falling behind and reading ahead can be harmful to the discussion. If you find yourself unable to keep up, or if you have difficulty not reading ahead, please let me know and I can adjust the schedule accordingly.


That's it. Have fun, all.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Discussion questions for Part One (Chapters 1-5)

1) What does everyone think of the introduction of D'Artagnan? How does his personality strike you?

2) How did you react to D'Artagnan's selling the horse his father gave him, after his father told him not to sell it? Was your reaction affected by D'Artagnan's earlier anger at the horse being mocked?

3) Is the tone of the novel what you were expecting, considering its reputation? If it's not, what kind fo tone had you been expecting?

4) How did you react to the scheduling of the three duels? What did you think of the motivation of each of the participating characters (Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D'Artagnan)?

5) What do you think D'Artagnan's motivation was for siding with the musketeers in the fight against the Cardinal's guards?


Please feel free to add your own discussion topics; these were just some I thought would be interesting.


Anne | 137 comments Judy wrote: "1) D'Artagnan strikes me as an immature, but lovable kid who hasn't learned the need for self-control where his temper/pride is concerned.
That was my impression of his as well. He's an intelligent young man, but very impulsive. When he stops to think, he realizes just how rashly he has behaved. He reminds me of a lot of guys I knew in high school and college- they sometimes thought with their muscles (or other parts of their anatomy) rather than their heads.

3) I didn't know what to expect from the novel. I know I had tried to read it when I was I kid and couldn't get into it. But I love it now. I can't wait to get back to it. It could have been the translation. I've read it twice before, and it has certainly made a difference to me. I loved the first one, was bored by the second, and love my current one (so far). The one translator managed to suck all the humor and excitement out of the story. It was terribly dry instead of being the fast-paced adventure Dumas wrote. I only know a few words of French, so I am completely dependent on the skill of the translator.

2.I'm not sure what I think of his selling the horse. It seems like he let his own pride get in the way of doing what his father asked.

I don't have anything new to add on 4 and 5.


Loretta (lorettalucia) @ Judy: I agree that D'Artagnan seems immature. Right now, he seems more in love with the idea of bravery than in actual bravery, but I imagine he might lear something as time goes on.

I also think that you're right that he's eventually going to come to regret giving that horse up. His father doesn't seem the wisest man, necessarily, but it certainly seems like there was love between them, so I think D'Artagnan will regret giving up the gift.


message 5: by Liz (new)

Liz   (lizvegas) I expected this to be a rather dry read. I'm pleasantly surprised that, thus far, it has made me smile in a corny sort of way. When we were first introduced to the Three Musketeers I couldn't stop thinking about the Three Amigos, and that gave me a visual that made it even funnier.
I think D'Artagnan is a bit naive, and quite ostentatious. His father did tell him to have lots of adventures, so I don't really feel bad that he sold the horse. I mean, an ugly horse with no tail?! How could he maintain his bravado while riding that thing! :)

Will this become a coming of age story, of sorts, for D'Artagnan? What do you think D'Artagnan might learn from the Three Musketeers, or vice versa?


message 6: by Loretta (last edited Jul 31, 2011 06:26PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Loretta (lorettalucia) @ Liz: Yes, I expect this will likely be a coming of age tale for D'Artagnan.

I'll admit, I was expecting a lot of romance and a lot of adventure, but I wans't expecting the book to be as funny as it is, in a goofy sort of way.

But Dumas is NOT dry. I read The Count of Monte Cristo earlier this year and LOVED it. Total 5 star read for me, which of course is why I suggested this group read. I'm still expecting that I'll like TCOMC better, but The Three musketeers has been quite good so far.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Also, leaving aside the goofy bit of business with the three duels being scheduled one after the other, what did everyone think of the characters' motivations for the duels?

- Athos was insulted because D'Artagnan hurt his shoulder... but of course a duel would probably make it ache more.

- Porthos seemed to want to duel... just because. But I guess that's in keeping with his character.

- Aramis seemed to have the most interesting reason. He was supposedly trying to protect the reputation of a lady... but of course he's the one who risked it in the first place by even carrying the handkerchief. And D'Artagnan, though foolish, was really just trying to do a good deed (and perhaps earn himself some credit with the musketeers) by picking it up. I'm finding myself the most intrigued by Aramis as a character so far.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Judy wrote: "15) It was a made-to-order way to get their acceptance, not fight duels that would probably end in his death, bring some pride to the musketeers (after the talk by Treville about losing to the Cardinal's men) and possibly get into the musketeers without all the preliminary hassle. wished he hadn't sold his horse. It was surprising t..."

Do you really think his thought process was that cunning? I thought it was a bit too impulsive for that kind of thought... for me, the reaction seemed to be more that "Hey, these Cardinal's guards seem like jerks... so I'm going to stand on the side of musketeers."

I just don't know that D'Artagnan puts enough deliberation into his actions to have thought through how siding with the musketeers would raise him in their estimation. But maybe I'm not giving him enough credit?


message 9: by Kathy (last edited Aug 02, 2011 07:52AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) 1. I find that d'Artagnan is very much a headstrong child still. Sure, he might be of age, but he's very immature. His challenging the man in the beginning, I felt, was simple posturing to show off. Don't get me wrong, I like him and feel he was sincere in feeling he was standing up for his (and by extension his horse's) honor.

2. I was very surprised that he sold the horse that his father gave him and with very little thought to it. I agree that, I'm sure he will regret it later.

3. So far, I'm very surprised also at how readable the book is so far. Alot of times, I find "classics" are very daunting in their language.


message 10: by Loretta (last edited Aug 02, 2011 10:20AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Loretta (lorettalucia) @ Judy: Isn't TCOMC amazing? I'm already looking forward to rereading it. I think it started a lifelong addiction to Dumas.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I would love that. I am thouroughly enjoying 3M, and TCOMC is one of my favorite books of all time. I just finished the first weeks reading and will come back this afternoon with comments.


Juliette I also love TCOMC (just finished it a few months ago) and I fully intend on reading the whole "D'Artagnan" series that Dumas wrote (three books total?) and was so excited to start this one with the Chunkster group.

I just think D'Artagnan is young and he is after all a Gascon (which Dumas does not let you forget). I gathered from the definition I found that it is someone who acts precisely the way D'Atagnan does and if you're raised in a particular community how are you to know any better until you see differently?

My feeling on joining the Musketeers in the duel is that if he didn't then he was dismissed from the area by the Cardinal's men. He would have reneged, or squelched on the duels he was to fight and that is not okay for any man's honor (let alone a Gascon). He fought with the Musketeers to keep his honor, how would he have viewed himself if he walked away from that scene?


Loretta (lorettalucia) @ Juliette: I think the D'Artagnan books are:

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas

Also, D'Artagnan wouldn't have been dismissed from the area if he had joined the Cardinal's men... so I thought that was the choice he was making.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Juliette: I plan on reading all three at some point, too. As for this one:

I have to say, the book does seem to have the tone that I expected. After reading the first few pages, I felt like I was slipping on an old familiar glove. I just love the cadence and tone that Dumas uses in his writing. His characters are so alive.

As for D'Artagnan, he does seem a little bit immature so far....Or at least impulsive. One minute he is acting rash and agreeing to duels, the next he is regretting his behavior and trying to come up with ways to get around it. I was surprised that he sold his horse so quickly upon reaching Paris. Especially since his father asked him not to. I am thinking that might be a significant act, but just not sure what yet.

I am really enjoying getting to know Porthos, Athos, and Aramis, too. They are all so different from each other. I really expected them to be more "cut from the same cloth" types of characters. So far, I think I like Aramis the best, and know the least about Athos. I liked that Aramis was willing to "teach" D'Artagnan and only agreed to a duel as a last resort. He seems like he might be a good mentor...of course it is still way to early to tell. As for Porthos, he seems like he is very much about appearances. Hence the fighting just to fight and the gold front, but cloth back to his baldric. I look forward to getting to know the three of them more as the book progresses.

There are many reasons why D'Artagnan would join the Musketeers and not the Guards for the fight. The ones that I can see range from very calculated (so as not to renig on his duels) to very shallow (because he wants to BE a Musketeer). Given what we see so far of his headstrong character, I am leaning away from any of the reasons that seem to be more calculated and reasoned and leaning more toward a less thought out reason. I honestly don't think it would have ever occurred to him to join the Guards in the fight. The Musketeers are who he wants to be and joining their side just seemed to be a natural to me.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Judy wrote: "It could have been the translation. I've read it twice before, and it has certainly made a difference to me. I loved the first one, was bored by the second, and love my current one (so far). The on..."

I agree with Judy. The translation can make all the difference in these types of novels. One of my favorite books by Dumas (or anyone for that matter) is The Count of Monte Cristo, but there are some REALLY bad translations of it out there that just ruin the whole story.


Loretta (lorettalucia) @ Lyn and Judy: Yep, I tried the B&N translation that I used to make the schedule, and it kind of sucks. So I've switched to the Oxford World's classics translation.


Loretta (lorettalucia) @ Lyn: I think you're spot on about D'Artagnan's decision to side with the musketeers. He doesn't put enough thought into things to have made the split-second decision that siding with the muskleteers would benefit him in the future. It was instinct--he always looked up to musketeers, aspired to be one, so his gut made him side with them.


message 18: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne | 137 comments Loretta wrote: "@ Lyn and Judy: Yep, I tried the B&N translation that I used to make the schedule, and it kind of sucks. So I've switched to the Oxford World's classics translation."

The Oxford World Classics edition is supposed to be one of the best. The Signet Classics and Bantam Classic editions also get good reviews. I have the Bantam Classic version, and I'm loving it. Beware of abridged versions since they leave out lots of the interesting stuff.


Loretta (lorettalucia) @ Anne: It's funny, because I think it's a very old translation too--one of the unattributed ones from the 19th century. But I read an unattributed translation for TCOMC as well, and loved it.


message 20: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne | 137 comments Oxford World Classics had a new translation not that long ago (1999 maybe?). You must have the previous one. It was supposed to be pretty good too.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I have the Oxford World Classics Edition, too and it is quite good. As for TCOMC, the Penguin Classics Unabridged edition is the best.


Loretta (lorettalucia) I sampled the Penguin TCOMC and didnt love it, though I know it gets good reviews. Translation choice tends to be pretty personal, I guess, except for the rare occasions when a translation is just awful.


message 23: by Amanda (last edited Aug 05, 2011 02:12PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amanda I agree with most of the points people have already made here regarding 3M. I love how d'Artagnan is compared with Don Quixote, but immature and headstrong as he is, he is not stupid. I very much got the impression he regetted having to duel the musketeers and was looking for an honourable way to bow out without losing face (after all, couldn't killing/wounding three musketeers damage his career aspirations as much as dying would?), although he was willing to die that day if there was no suitable alternative. Encountering the cardinal's men was a blessing in disguise that allowed him to win the esteem of those he was eager to impress.

I was also supremely surprised he sold his father's horse and apart from the obvious financial motivation can't quite fathom why he went so against his father's direct and heartfelt instructions. I can only assume this is supposed to show us how d'Artagnan struggles to follow the advice and wishes of his elders. I also expect his decision to bite him in the backside at some point, or if it doesn't, this particular personality trait certainly will.

One thing that struck me about the tone was its violence. 3M is often portrayed as a safe classical adventure, often marketed to children, but in chapter 5 we have people thrusting their sword through their enemys' throat and taunting the man they are trying to kill with gallows humour. This is not at all like that nice Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds I used to watch as a child! Some preconceptions have been shattered, but I'm really enjoying it!


message 24: by Lyn (Readinghearts) (last edited Aug 05, 2011 04:40PM) (new) - added it

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) @Amanda - I know what you mean about the violence. When I was looking at what copies of the book were out there and who did the translations, I saw one that said - "translation for readers under 13". I would imagine that meant it was cleaned up quite a bit.

@Loretta - What was it about the Penguin Classics edition of TCOMC that you didn't like? Just curious. :)


Loretta (lorettalucia) The recent Penguin translation (past 5 years or so)? I thought it modernized the language too much. It came across as anachronistic.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Hm, mine might be earlier than that, or else I just didn't pick up on it. I loved it, especially all of the translator's notes in the back giving the historical perspective of the time.


message 27: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne | 137 comments Judy wrote: "It would be fun to read through the other books together, even if there were just a couple of us. "

I'd be interested in doing that. I've never read the other 2 books in the series for some reason. I own
Twenty Years After, but I only have part 3 of The Vicomte de Bragelonne. I'm sure I'll be able to find a complete version at the library or a bookstore by the time we get to it.


message 28: by Loretta (last edited Aug 06, 2011 09:28AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Loretta (lorettalucia) I could continue to lead the discussions if/when it comes to that though we'll have to see if interest is still there after we finish the Three Musketeers.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I'm in for seeing how we feel when we finish 3M.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Yes, and it'll probably be better if we take a break in between too. Don't wanna get burned out by reading the same author and about the same characters for months on end.

I've finished the reading for tomorrow, and I'll post some questions/discussion topics tomorrow morning (U.S. Eastern time), same as I did last week.


Ellen Librarian (ellenlibrarian) | 169 comments Hi, all,

I've been struggling to read this book forever - I kept rereading the first several chapters because I kept losing my train of thought or I'd miss something. Reading the comments about translations prompted me to find a new version at the library and it's now much easier going for some reason. I just caught up to the reading for this week plus extra for tomorrow/next week.

Why D'Artagnan sold the horse is a great question. I took it as a symbol of his leaving the country life of his father and entering the world of the musketeers and all that entailed. It will be interesting to see if there are any ramifications.

As for the duel and then staying with the musketeers... that seemed perfectly in character. I think D'Artagnan wanted to be a musketeer more than anything - even more than following his father's advice not to sell the horse. I don't think he wanted to fight the duels but I think he did it because he wanted to be one of them - even if it killed him. I don't think it would ever have occurred to him not to fight with the musketeers once the guards showed up.

Lastly, I did not expect the tone to be so cynical and satirical. I expected the book to be a swashbuckler and adventure story but there seems to be a real Don Quixote motif to it all. At least so far.


Amanda Ellen wrote: "Lastly, I did not expect the tone to be so cynical and satirical. I expected the book to be a swashbuckler and adventure story but there seems to be a real Don Quixote motif to it all. At least so far. ..."

I've certainly found this to be true too and Don Quixote is actually directly referenced when d'Artagnan is sitting on his horse outside the inn and the customers are making fun of him. I expected Dumas to portray d'Artagnan and the other musketeers heroically (this is certainly how the story is recalled in popular imagination), but in reality Dumas seems to be mocking his characters (d'Artagnan's horse, Athos' inability to back down from a fight despite being badly injured, Porthos' baldrick and Aramis' poorly-concealed love affairs combined with a desire to become a priest) as much as he accentuates their foolhardy bravery.


message 33: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne | 137 comments Unlike seemingly everyone else here, I was expecting this kind of tone when I read it the first time. I was reading it back in 8th or 9th grade, so at the time my only exposure to the story was the 1993 movie with Kiefer Sutherland and Charlie Sheen. It wasn't great cinema, but it was funny, action-filled, and rather mocking of the characters. I was basically expecting a humorous adventure story full of interesting and flawed characters, and that's what I got.


Jackie I don't have much to add but here are my answers:

1)He seems very young, immature, and a little foolish but good-hearted.

2)I believe the horse being mocked was the primary reason he sold it. As a young man trying to make his way in the world and being very sensitive to the mockery, he wanted to disassociate himself from the source of mockery. I do believe it will come back to "bite him" later on.

3) This is much more humorous that I thought it would be. I expected swashbuckling adventure. So far I've thoroughly enjoyed it, however.

4) I thought it was very amusing but it was a way of giving the reader a look into the personalities and motivations of all four.

5) His desire to be a musketeer, I believe, was the main motivation. This appeared to be his lifelong dream, therefore, an easy decision.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Discussion Questions/Topics for Part Two (Chapters 6-10)

1) What is your impression of Louis XIII? Does he seem like a good/wise king? Do you think the title of "Louis the Just" is deserved?

2) What do you think of how M. de Trevillie has to deal with the Musketeers? Does this relationship remind you of any others in literature/pop culture?

3) We are told that Athos is taciturn and somewhat misogynistic. Do you have any theories for why that is so? Or what his background/upbringing might be?

4) What are your thoughts for why Aramis insists that he will take holy orders when he, apparently, has so much difficulty not succumbing to the charms fo women?

5) Does anyone have any theories about who the "Man of Meung" might be? Or what his motivations are? We've so far seen him a) steal D'Artagnan's letter and b) organize the plot to kidnap Bonacieux's wife as part of a plot involving the Duke of Buckingham and the Queen.

6) What do you think of D'Artagnan taking a leadership role in the dealing with this mysterious man? Why do you think the Musketeers followed his lead so readily?

7) Do you think the tone of the novel has changed at all as we get a little further into the plot?


Again, these are just some questions/topics I came up with as I was reading. Feel free to bring up anything you noticed as well. And thanks everyone for participating so actively!


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Ellen wrote: "Hi, all,

I've been struggling to read this book forever - I kept rereading the first several chapters because I kept losing my train of thought or I'd miss something. Reading the comments about tr..."


One of the things I like about Dumas' writing is his keen use of satire and his mocking wit. Sort of like one of my other faves, Mark Twain.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Judy wrote: "2) What do you think of how M. de Trevillie has to deal with the Musketeers? Does this relationship remind you of any others in literature/pop culture?
He reminds me of a salesperson, always out marketing the product to the point where they discover what is happening through other channels than their own."


For some reason, this relationship really reminds me of the "buddy copy" paradigm. You have a small group of cops/soldiers/guards, who get up to a great deal of shenanigans, and then you have their exasperated boss who has to cover for them and try to get them to toe the line. It's been done in dozens of movies over the years, from Lethal Weapon to Beverly Hills Cop.

I'm assuming that The Three Musketeers is an early example of this archetype, but perhaps not the first one?


message 38: by Kathy (last edited Aug 09, 2011 09:17AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Ok, here goes. I didn't finish the first group of questions:

4) How did you react to the scheduling of the three duels? What did you think of the motivation of each of the participating characters (Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D'Artagnan)?
I found the scheduling of the three duels to be almost comical. Poor D'Artagnan just kept on getting himself more and more in trouble. He totally kept putting his foot in his mouth. lol. And the more he tried to undo it all, the worse it got. First with Athos, I thought the injured Musketeer's pride was injured as well as his shoulder, and perhaps that's why he was so "up-in-arms" But also, D'Artagnon thought that a simple "excuse me" was sufficient. Sheesh. You just ran into an injured man, I don't care if you're in a hurry! Porthos, was humiliated because of his sword, I feel. He looked "rich" for the world to see, but behind the facade was a very average man and sword. And this he did not want to be seen. Not only did D'Artagnon unwittingly expose him, but he then ridiculed him. As for Aramis, he was cought with his "pants down", so to speak and was trying to save face. D'Artagnon's handing him the handkerchief really put him on the defensive. Actually in all three situations, their pride and egos were hurt more than anything. Very comedic, I thought.


5) What do you think D'Artagnan's motivation was for siding with the musketeers in the fight against the Cardinal's guards?
In D'Artagnon's heart, he is a Musketeer, and he had been trying unsuccessfuly to make emends to each of the Musketeers, but failing miserably at each attempt. This situation gave him the answer he had been looking for.


Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Discussion Questions/Topics for Part Two (Chapters 6-10)

1) What is your impression of Louis XIII? Does he seem like a good/wise king? Do you think the title of "Louis the Just" is deserved?
Louis XIII, I don't feel is a bad King. I do think that he tries to live up to his title of "Louis the Just", but he's easily swayed and prejudiced.

2) What do you think of how M. de Trevillie has to deal with the Musketeers? Does this relationship remind you of any others in literature/pop culture?
I'm not sure about in literature or pop culture, I will have to think about that. But I do feel like M. de Treville is like a doting parent. Scolds the children on one side and then laughs and "high fives" (so to speak) them on the other. lol.

3) We are told that Athos is taciturn and somewhat misogynistic. Do you have any theories for why that is so? Or what his background/upbringing might be?
It is mentioned that he was hurt in love previously, and I know from personal experience how that can really "scar" you.

4) What are your thoughts for why Aramis insists that he will take holy orders when he, apparently, has so much difficulty not succumbing to the charms fo women?
I wasn't sure how to answer this, but Judy's response as his taking holy orders as possibly being a way he can "escape" from his bad behavior if caught, really makes me wonder. Good point.

5) Does anyone have any theories about who the "Man of Meung" might be? Or what his motivations are? We've so far seen him a) steal D'Artagnan's letter and b) organize the plot to kidnap Bonacieux's wife as part of a plot involving the Duke of Buckingham and the Queen.
At first my theory was that it was possibly the Cardinal, himself, but I'm sure Madame Bonacieux would recognize him if he was. Either that or my guess would be someone working for The Cardinal.

6) What do you think of D'Artagnan taking a leadership role in the dealing with this mysterious man? Why do you think the Musketeers followed his lead so readily?
D'Artagnan has earned the Musketeers trust and faith on several circumstances. He has proven himself as a fighter as well as a friend and that means alot to them. Plus, Bonacieux did go to D'Artagnon, so he was the one first approached.

7) Do you think the tone of the novel has changed at all as we get a little further into the plot?
I haven't notice a tone change either.

Really good though-provoking questions! Thanks.


Ellen Librarian (ellenlibrarian) | 169 comments 3) We are told that Athos is taciturn and somewhat misogynistic. Do you have any theories for why that is so? Or what his background/upbringing might be?

I have to admit my knee-jerk reaction to his description was that he was a closeted gay man. But given the period in which this book was written, I quickly realized this was unlikely. So I'm guessing there's some deep, long-lasting hurt from a woman he's nursing.

6) What do you think of D'Artagnan taking a leadership role in the dealing with this mysterious man? Why do you think the Musketeers followed his lead so readily?

I didn't have any problem with this. D'Artagnan is the one who has the most experience with the "Man of Meung" and he has the biggest grudge. Maybe more importantly, D'Artagnan had already proven himself to be of great courage and ability as a Musketeer. So I think it's a natural that the others would let him take the lead. Plus, I'm not sure there was any other choice as it seemed like D'Artagnan was going to seize the lead no matter what.


Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Did I miss something? Where did they get the term "Man of Meung"?

Thanks.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Kathy wrote: "Did I miss something? Where did they get the term "Man of Meung"?

Thanks."


That's how D'Artagnan refers to him a couple times, since that's where he first met the "Man" (and where the Man beat him).

Perhaps he's called something different in different translations?


Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Thanks Loretta. He is called that in my translation, as well, but I was trying to figure out why. I must have missed what the name of the place was where D'Artagnan first encountered the man. That definitely explains it. Thanks again.


Loretta (lorettalucia) @ Judy: But doesn't it seem to you that the Three Musketeers have grown somewhat complacent in their lives? Certainly, they're still skilled in a sword fight, etc, but they mostly seem to be wrapped up in their own "stuff" to really focus and take charge to help Mr. Bonacieux. Aramis is distracted by his affairs, Athos by his general misanthropy/unhappiness, and Porthos just doesn't seem focused on anything but having a good time.

D'Artagnan, on the other hand, is obsessed with the idea of becoming a hero and musketeer, so it makes sense that he'd jump at the chance to be the hero.


Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I think Ellen's referring to D'Artagnon's "grudge" as the reason why he took the lead made alot of sense. Good point!


Loretta (lorettalucia) Kathy wrote: "I think Ellen's referring to D'Artagnon's "grudge" as the reason why he took the lead made alot of sense. Good point!"

That's also a good point. He's more motivated than the others, what with the grudge and M. Bonacieux being his landlord. Even if that's not a friendly relationship, it helps D'Artagnan financially to be in his good graces.


message 47: by Juliette (last edited Aug 10, 2011 07:17AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Juliette "I agree that he would jump at the chance to be a hero, I think it is somewhat unrealistic that the 3M would accept him as their leader so easily. However, like you said, they are so preoccupied with their own troubles that maybe it is nice to have someone else lead."

Don't forget prior to D'Artagnon's meeting with M. Bonacieux he was contemplating how best to utilize the talents that he and his friend's possessed in order to make money, and was surprised they hadn't thought of it as well.

Then there is the fact that they have already shown they have no problem letting D'Artagnon have some glory when they've had so much of it themselves already. Why not let him take the lead on a project, as M. Trevillie has pointed out if D'Artagnon is to become a Musketeer before his two year service, he must do something on a large scale for the King.

Hopefully my thoughts have come out making sense, it all makes sense to me, but sometimes getting it written out doesn't happen.


Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Juliette, you made perfect sense. Thanks for reminding me about M. Treville's promise to make D'Artagnon a Musketeer before his two years of service if he did something for the King. Good point!


message 49: by Kathy (last edited Aug 10, 2011 07:36AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I think it's true that Aramis, Athos and Porthos are (as previously stated) very distracted by their own personal lives and at the same time I find them perhaps a bit "lazy". Almost with a "been there, done that" attitude. It's much easier to let D'Artagnon lead, who is so eager and willing to do the extra work.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Okay, time to answer my own questions, now that I've given others a chance.

1) What is your impression of Louis XIII? Does he seem like a good/wise king? Do you think the title of "Louis the Just" is deserved?

I'm mostly listening to this on audiobook and also reading along a bit if I miss anything, etc. So maybe I'm being colored by how the narrator is reading the voice of Louis, but it does seem like so far, the title of "Just" is meant to be just as satirical/humorous as the rest of the novel has been so far. I will have to wait and see if my impression changes as the novel moves along.

2) What do you think of how M. de Treville has to deal with the Musketeers? Does this relationship remind you of any others in literature/pop culture?

As I mentioned a bit earlier, I was reminded of the commanding officer figure in many "buddy cop" comedies--the guy who gets frustrated at the tactics of his cops/musketeers, has to cover for them, but appreciates their results. I feel like perhaps 3M started this archetype?

3) We are told that Athos is taciturn and somewhat misogynistic. Do you have any theories for why that is so? Or what his background/upbringing might be?

Yep, I came to the same conclusion as all of you, that he was hurt in love, and this has led him to become bitter. That being said, did you all note that he seems to come from a wealthy/noble background? Any thoughts to why he might've left it behind? Perhaps for the same reason as he now dislikes women?

4) What are your thoughts for why Aramis insists that he will take holy orders when he, apparently, has so much difficulty not succumbing to the charms of women?

Perhaps I'm just less cynical on this, but I don't know that I agree that he would use taking holy orders as a way to escape his affairs. I sort of think that maybe he really does want to become a priest, but his "weakness" for women has prevented him from doing so. Yes, it's still sort of funny, but Aramis doesn't strike me as manipulating public perception that much. I think he's validly struggling with his own desires (though, clearly, not struggling that hard).

5) Does anyone have any theories about who the "Man of Meung" might be? Or what his motivations are? We've so far seen him a) steal D'Artagnan's letter and b) organize the plot to kidnap Bonacieux's wife as part of a plot involving the Duke of Buckingham and the Queen.

I actually asked this one to see if maybe you all had caught something that I had missed. It's all still a little confusing--I'm really not certain what his motivation is, other than he seems to want to discredit/harm both the Queen and Buckingham.

Okay, I think I discussed the other two enough already...


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