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The Count of Monte Cristo

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(1844-45)



This is a dangerously fabulous read. Telling others that this novel is your favourite can reveal a malevolent side to your personality. Genius plot writer, Alexander Dumas, constructed a story so evil, so clever, and so violent that future reads will just be boring. The sum of the book can be understood in three simple words..."Pede poena claudo", or "retribution comes limping." To seek justice for the three men who so selfishly stole 14 years of his life, Edmund Dantes uses deception to emotionally and financially destroy his foes. The Count of Monte Cristo operates very much like the Russian mafia; if a wrongful act is committed, the wrong-doer's entire family and fortune is extinguished before his or her very eyes.

When this novel appeared for the first time between 1844 and 1846, it was instantly a huge success. The story speaks to the reader from the first page to the last and, although it consists of about 1600 pages, it never bores. A young ignorant sailor, Edmond Dantès, is sucked into the political games of the time just before the Hundred Days in the year 1815 that would bring back Napoleon. In prison, he discovers the truth and decides to take revenge on them. When he then finally discovers the treasure, he starts to prepare for the revenge he longed for all those years. The revenge is compelling, smart, admirably bad. Ironically the bad guys of 14 years before destroy their own lives because of the same characteristics they used to put Edmond in prison. In this book Dumas deals with very real feelings of people, addressing the treacherous circumstances people had to live in in France at the time of the revolution, but asks a very fundamental question as to justness. The book, ends on a high spiritual note.--Submitted by kiki1982

The story takes place in France, Italy, islands in the Mediterranean, and in the Levant during the historical events of 1815–1838. It begins from just before the Hundred Days period (when Napoleon returned to power after his exile) to the reign of Louis-Philippe of France. The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book. An adventure story primarily concerned with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy and forgiveness, it focuses on a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. However, his plans have devastating consequences for the innocent as well as the guilty.--Submitted by Anonymous

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Recent Forum Posts on The Count of Monte Cristo

If done as a series of movies, a miniseries.

Where would the breaks be if the book was done, faithfully to the book? For example, IMO, the first movie would end with Edmond meeting the Abbe. He is at the crest of despair and then finds a reason to live. The next would end with the finding of the treasure. How many two hour movies would it take to do it? Input?

Yacht

Where might I find an image that would be a fairly accurate representation of the vessel bought by the Count?

I felt like there was too much filler.

I just finished the book, but I felt it could probably be condensed to about 500 pages. I think some of the suspense is ruined by the middle dragging after his escape.

References and Allusions

Hi folks! I'm reading the Count of Monte Cristo, and have a question that seems irrelevant to the plot. In the Chapter called Italy: Sinbad the Sailor, we meet Baron Franz d'Epinay as he is treated to supper on the Island of Monte Cristo. During their discussions, we come across the following passage: "Ah!" responded Sinbad, laughing with his singular laugh, which displayed his white and sharp teeth. "You have not guessed rightly! Such as you see me, I am a sort of philosopher, and one days perhaps I shall go to Paris to rival Monsieur Appert, and the man in the little blue cloak." I imagine this is insignificant, or that maybe it refers to someone we will meet later, but I can't find who this individual is (assuming he was a real person). Most of the other allusions in the novel are traceable. When googling, the only reference to Appert I can find is Nicholas Appert, the father of modern food canning. Additionally, who is the man in the little blue cloak? The internet says Napoleon, but if I understand the chronology, Napoleon would already be dead. If Napoleon, does Dumas mean rival the legacy of these individuals? Most of the references and allusions have been easy to trace. So far, this has me stumped. Again, I don't think this detail is important to the general plot, but it's nagging at me. Any thoughts? Thanks for your time! Chris

God's Angel of Vengeance quote.

Hi, It's been a year or so since i've read through the book last, and i've been commissioned to draw some print artwork based on the novel. There's a quote that Dante says throughout, professing himself to be doing god's work, or something along the lines of divine providence/god's angel of vengeance, i'm certain he mentions something to do with him being the embodiment of God's revenge throughout, can anyone dig out the exact wording of this? I have scoured 'quote' sites to find it, but can't at all. Thanks in advance, -Alex

Eugenie Danglars and Louise d'Armilly

Best friends or a little bit more than best friends?

Unexplained inconsistencies

I've read The Count of Monte Cristo a few times now, and can honestly say it's probably my favorite book. And for the most part I understand everything that's went on. But there are a few things I'm confused about. First of all, when The Count meets Franz the first time, he introduces himself as "Sinbad the Sailor." When Franz sees him in Rome, The Count pretends not to recognize him. (Though, considering his skill at disguise, he could not have seriously expected Franz not to recognize him.) So why would he ignore this prior episode? Franz himself wondered this, but it was never resolved. Another thing is, the identity of Edmond's aliases throughout the book appears somewhat inconsistent. For example, when The Count talks to Julie and Emmanuel about Lord Wilmore, he says he's an old ACQUAINTANCE of his; a philanthropist (implying he may have been the one who saved M. Morrel.) And that he had "lost track" of him. Yet, later on when Villefort is inquiring about The Count, Lord Wilmore is easy to find, and instead of calling himself The Count's friend or acquaintance, he says he is his enemy. So why these inconsistencies? In all other matters The Count was almost impossibly exact and careful to conceal his identity and achieve his revenge.

When exactly did Renée died and when was Valentine born?

I'm deeply puzzled by something seemingly contradicting in The Count of Monte Cristo. In Chapter 43 Monte Cristo asked when Renée died and the concierge answered, "Yes, monsieur, one and twenty years ago; and since then we have not seen the poor marquis three times." In Chapter 48 (and later in the story also), it sounded Valentine at the time was scarcely 18. "His drawing-room, under the regenerating influence of a young wife and a daughter by his first marriage, scarcely eighteen ..." How is this possible? Can someone please help?

Help with The Count of Monte Cristo

Hi so I'm working on a study guide for English and for the like of me I cannot figure out the answer to this questions. Please please help, ill answer any of your threads. The question is this: What is the relationship between Monsieur de saint meran and valentine? Why doesn't he share the same family relationship with eugenie danglars?

Which Dumas book to read next?

I've read the count of monte cristo (The best book ever written I think) but I then read the three musketeers and was very disappointed as I felt it didn't compare to the count. Does anyone have any other favorites of his?

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