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Thread: I felt like there was too much filler.

  1. #1
    Registered User dratsab's Avatar
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    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.
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  2. #2
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
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    Well, even in his day, Dumas was criticised for his long sentences. I do have to admit that sometimes he does overdo it. Mainly due to the fact that he was writing in installments and got money per episode. A bit like Dickens...

    However, I also think that The Count of Monte Cristo benefits from this long and drawn out preparation of the climax. Although you are right that the story doesn't really get going until halfway (when he buys Haydée I think that was), and his time in prison frankly can be condensed as well, I found the suspense in the end all-encompassing and obsessive (at least in French, and I confess my French was more limited at the time). I believe that was due precisely to the long preparation of it, almost down to the most minute of details. Like a lion that has followed its prey for the last half day, has carefully planned its attack and then finally pounces. I think if you did condense it, it would not be so powerful because you don't have all the emotional and factual info. Particularly the bit where he confronts Villefort is fantastic, because you can hear the terror in Villefort's voice and the morbid satisfaction in the Count at that point. Not to mention the terror when he confronts Villefort and Mme Danglars (Villefort's ex-mistress) with the story of the baby in the casket (which the reader has heard in all its detail from Bertuccio) and then the déjà-vue he creates at the signing of the marriage contract of Mlle Danglars & Cavalcanti. It's precisely because Dumas has planted all the tiny little details into the head of the reader that you feel the full force of Monte Cristo's revenge, as the characters would have felt it had they been real, or maybe even more so because the timeframe is smaller than in real time.

    Or that's my view on this anyway. Though Dumas never writes concise, that's quite clear.
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  3. #3
    Clinging to Douvres rocks Gilliatt Gurgle's Avatar
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    Finally finished.
    My copy was found at my now deceased brothers house, a 1940 "Book League of America" publication.
    Lacking the gift of gab when talking bout books, i'd say kiki1982 take on it below pretty much expresses my sentiments to a T...

    Quote Originally Posted by kiki1982 View Post
    Well, even in his day, Dumas was criticised for his long sentences. I do have to admit that sometimes he does overdo it. Mainly due to the fact that he was writing in installments and got money per episode. A bit like Dickens...

    However, I also think that The Count of Monte Cristo benefits from this long and drawn out preparation of the climax. Although you are right that the story doesn't really get going until halfway (when he buys Haydée I think that was), and his time in prison frankly can be condensed as well, I found the suspense in the end all-encompassing and obsessive (at least in French, and I confess my French was more limited at the time). I believe that was due precisely to the long preparation of it, almost down to the most minute of details. Like a lion that has followed its prey for the last half day, has carefully planned its attack and then finally pounces. I think if you did condense it, it would not be so powerful because you don't have all the emotional and factual info. Particularly the bit where he confronts Villefort is fantastic, because you can hear the terror in Villefort's voice and the morbid satisfaction in the Count at that point. Not to mention the terror when he confronts Villefort and Mme Danglars (Villefort's ex-mistress) with the story of the baby in the casket (which the reader has heard in all its detail from Bertuccio) and then the déjà-vue he creates at the signing of the marriage contract of Mlle Danglars & Cavalcanti. It's precisely because Dumas has planted all the tiny little details into the head of the reader that you feel the full force of Monte Cristo's revenge, as the characters would have felt it had they been real, or maybe even more so because the timeframe is smaller than in real time.

    Or that's my view on this anyway. Though Dumas never writes concise, that's quite clear.
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