The Count of Monte Cristo
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The Count of Monte Cristo is an adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas, p¨¨re. It is often considered, along with The Three Musketeers, as Dumas' most popular work. It is also among the highest selling books of all time. The writing of the work was completed in 1844.

Customer Reviews:

  • This Classic is Too Much
    I read this in an unabridged edition (117 chapters, circa 1400 pages), which I don't regret. However, having plowed my way to the end, I am tempted to classify this along with "Dracula" as a "classic" novel whose reputation rests more on its great beginning than on its middle and end. It was great up to about chapter 30 (describing the betrayal, imprisonment and escape of the hero, and the reward of his friends). However, once the story starts to sink in to the prolonged revenge, it starts to lose its way for me.

    After chapter 30, the hero becomes a sort of divinely inspired madman, who imagines himself to be, and apparently is, a mere tool and agent of God's justice. His behavior transcends moral laws, his plans transcend human intelligence, and he becomes impossible to identify with as a character. Fortunately, there are plenty of other characters, and the story, from this point on, is rarely told from the mysterious Count's point of view. If you are willing to settle in and be patient, you can have some fun watching the weaving, interacting sprawling plot threads. Even so, when it was all said and done, it was wrapped up in a way that left a bad taste in my mouth.

    I would not, however, recommend reading an abridged version. Too many threads intersect, and you cannot trust an abridger to like the same parts that you will like....more info
  • Couldn't Get Better!
    I just finished reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I just could never put this book down. At night I refused to go to sleep, and when I finally did, I'd dream about the brilliant Count of Monte Cristo and the elegant Paris society that's inwardly so corrupted.

    Dumas is an author of a rare quality. Through Dante, he depicts the most exciting story of love, friendship, adventure, justice, and drama. From the very beginning to the last page, I was always curious and dying to know what was going to happen on the next page.

    Edmond Dante is a young man who is a good and innocent son, fiance, and a sailor. He is being envied by his collegues and, on his wedding day, gets arrested and later put in the most infamous prison for no good reason. After many many years Dante escapes the Chateau d'If miraculously and makes perfect plans to get revenge on his enenmies. It's fascinating to find out what a genius he is at fulfilling his heart's desires.

    It really is a masterpiece and would like to recommend it to everyone because it's impossible not to enjoy this book throughly. Just be careful NOT to read the abridged version since it leaves out too many details....more info

  • Great copy of unabridged Count of Monte Cristo
    We only recently found out that all our copies of The Count of Monte Cristo were abridged. We checked this out of our local library and liked it so much we bought a copy for our home library. The type setting is very readable and best of all, it's not abridged.

    The story is a classic and a great read. I recommend it for everyone....more info
  • A truly remarkable work!
    This is one of the best books ever written. The characterizations are remarkable. Certainly a "must-have" for anyone who likes to read. It is a long book, but the richness of the text will more than compensate you for the time spent reading.
    The characters all comport themselves with a dignity and nobility that cannot be seen or portrayed by people of our time period. It is as though all of the characters have the distinction of Anthony Hopkins(and this still does not do it justice!). This work is a feast for the mind!...more info
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
    I boutht this for my Grandson freshman class in World History. He enjoyed the book and recieved a good grade on his report...more info
  • Very disappointing
    Although the story is well known to me, the editing of this audio book was so confusing. I absolutely could not follow it. Too much is cut out....more info
  • So Sorry I Haven't Read This Sooner!
    NOTE: I really hate that Amazon includes reviews from several editions of the same book under one heading. Some editions are abridged for this novel, and that truly is an injustice and the reviews show that. The Oxford Classics version - which I read - is an UNABRIDGED version, and my review is based on that.

    This story revolves around Edmond Dantes, a young man who seemingly has everything going for him. His employer has much regard for him and is about to put him as captain of his own ship, he is about to marry the woman he loves, all is right in Dantes world. Unfortunately, this type of happiness and success breeds jealousy and envy, and Dantes finds himselft falsely accused and imprisoned. He does escape, and therein the true tale begins.

    The story weaves back and forth and entangles lives - but central is the thirst for revenge. Dumas certainly has a way of telling a story, even a long one, and keeping it interesting a fresh. There are twists and turns and an entire host of interesting characters. One moment I found myself cheering for Dantes and the next I was hoping he wouldn't do what I thought he would. However, one can never be too sure of what might happen next or where the story might go.

    I had put off reading this novel because of the length for so long, and I now regret having done that. Although the tale of revenge is an old one, Dumas has managed to weave a story filled with mystery, adventure, and excitement with just a touch of romance - what more could a reader possibly want?...more info
  • It's All Good
    The book arrived in excellent condition and it has been a delightful book to read.

    ...more info
  • the best book I ever read
    you must read this bokk, je vous conseille de lire en fran?ais, c est beaucoup mieux.
    The story is great, there is a lot of suspence and action. It's not boring because there isn't a lot descrptions. You learn alot of things because there is a lot of history : the french one, italian greek spanish....
    So read it!!!!
    Vive alexandre dumas, le meilleur ¨¦crivain!!!...more info
  • Available Free Elsewhere
    This book is long out of copyright and so is available free for your Kindle elsewhere on the net.

    (Great book though!)...more info
  • A Great story that reads quicker than it's length suggests.
    I hope the reader will forgive me, but since other reviewers did a fine job of commenting on this wonderful story, I'd like to dwell more on this books author, the great Alexandre Dumas. The man is an incredible writer who, despite the length of some of his novels, is able to entice the reader on and on and when the story ends they put down the book wishing that there was more to read. The reader by the end is won over by the enduring characters, good, bad, and in between, by the intricate and exciting plot, and by the wonderful wit of the author who is almost another character himself because of the flair of his writing.

    All I can say is that if you are the type of reader who can be scared off by the length of a novel, you should realize that Dumas' books usually move along at a wonderful pace and that everything in them is essential reading, and everything cut out of the abridged editions is a loss to the reader.

    So that being said I recommend The Count of Monte Cristo very highly, and recommend also that if you choose to read it that you are sure to get an unabridged copy. To cut out parts of this wonderful story is a crime, and a needless one considering how wonderfully told this story is....more info
  • Who is the count?
    The count of Monte Cristo is actually based on a real life character, The Jesuit General. When you read the book in parallel with the Jesuit order all becomes apparent. The Jesuit General is the guy behind the scenes of the Vatican church....more info
  • A Must Read!
    This is honestly one of the greatest novels I have ever read. I absolutely loved this book. I could not put it down! This is a must read for anyone.When I first started into this novel, I had in my memory the 'movie' that was made for the big screen. So of course, I expected the book to be very similar to it. Well, I was very wrong! Other than Edmond Dantes being betrayed by his 'friends' and finding the treasure, this book takes on a different route.
    Believe me, the book is much more superb. The way the Count exacts his revenge is astonishing. I cannot fathom how Dumas came up with such a scheme. At times, one cringes for the those who wronged the Count.

    This book made me laugh and cry. There are many poignant moments throughout the book that make you feel good. Anyone who says that Dumas is not up there with the 'classic' writers, does not know what they are talking about. This book is rich in dialogue, mystery, suspense and storyline. All in all, this is an amazing classic, and I recommend it to anyone wanting a good read....more info

  • Man of mystery with a mission
    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas p¨¨re. Highly recommended.

    As translator Robin Buss points out in his introduction, many of those who haven't read The Count of Monte Cristo assume it is a children's adventure story, complete with daring prison escape culminating in a simple tale of revenge. There is very little for children in this very adult tale, however. Instead, the rich plot combines intrigue, betrayal, theft, drugs, adultery, presumed infanticide, torture, suicide, poisoning, murder, lesbianism, and unconventional revenge.

    Although the plot is roughly linear beginning with Edmond Dant¨¨s' return to Marseille, prenuptial celebration, and false imprisonment and ending with his somewhat qualified triumphant departure from Marseille and France, Dumas uses the technique of interspersing lengthy anecdotes throughout. The story of Cardinal Spada's treasure, the origins of the Roman bandit Luigi Vampa (the least germane to the novel), Bertuccio's tale of his vendetta, and the account of the betrayal and death of Ali Pasha are few of the more significant stories-within-the-novel. While Dumas devotes an entire chapter to bandit Luigi Vampa's background, he cleverly makes only a few references to what will remain the plot's chief mystery-how the youthful, intelligent, and naive sailor Edmond Dant¨¨s transforms himself into the worldly, jaded, mysterious Renaissance man and Eastern philosopher, the count of Monte Cristo, presumably sustained by his own advice of "wait" and "hope."

    This novel is not a simple tale of simple revenge. The count does not kill his enemies; he brilliantly uses their vices and weaknesses against them. Caderousse's basic greed is turned against him, while Danglars loses the only thing that has any meaning for him. Fernand is deprived of the one thing that he had that he had never earned-his honour. In the process, he loses the source of his initial transgression, making his fate that much more poignant. The plot against Villefort is so complicated that even Monte Cristo loses control of it, resulting in doubt foreign to his nature and remorse that he will not outlive.

    This long but generally fast-paced is set primarily in Marseille, Rome, and Paris. It begins with Dant¨¨s' arrival in Marseille aboard the commercial vessel Pharaon and ends with his departure from Marseille aboard his private yacht, accompanied by the young, beautiful Greek princess Hayd¨¦e. What gives The Count of Monte Cristo its life, however, are the times in which it is set-the Revolution, the Napoleonic era, the First and Second Restoration, and the Revolution of 1830. Life-and-death politics motivates many of the characters and keeps the plot moving. Dumas also uses real people in minor roles, such as Countess G- (Byron's mistress) and the Roman hotelier Signor Pastrini, which adds to the novel's sense of historical veracity.

    The most troubling aspect of The Count of Monte Cristo is Edmond Dant¨¨s himself. His claim to represent a higher justice seems to justify actions and inactions that are as morally reprehensible as those that sent him to prison, for example, his account of how he acquired Ali and his loyalty. Had he not discovered young Morrel's love for Valentine Villefort, she too might have become an innocent victim. As it is, there are at least two other innocents who die, although one clearly would not have been an innocent for long based on his behaviour in the novel. One wonders of Dant¨¨s' two father figures, his own flower-loving father and fellow prisoner Abb¨¦ Faria, would have approved of the count.

    The translation appears to be good, with a few slips into contemporary English idioms that sound out of place. In his introduction, Buss states that the later Danglars and Fernand have become unrecognizable and that Fernand in particular has been transformed "from the brave and honest Spaniard with a sharp sense of honour . . . to the Parisian aristocrat whose life seems to have been dedicated to a series of betrayals." There is never anything honest or honourable about Fernand; his very betrayal of Edmond is merely the first we know of in his lifelong pattern.

    What seems extreme and somewhat unrealistic about Fernand is his transformation from an uneducated Catalan fisherman into a "Parisian aristocrat," hobnobbing with statesmen, the wealthy, and the noteworthy of society. This, however, is the result of the milieu that the novel inhabits. During these post-Revolution, post-Napoleonic years, Fernand could rise socially through his military and political accomplishments just as Danglars does through his financial acumen. Danglars is careful to note that the difference between them is that Fernand insists upon his title, while Danglars is openly indifferent to and dismissive of his; his viewpoint is the more aristocratic.

    Countess G- is quick to point out that there is no old family name of Monte Cristo and that the count, like many other contemporaries, has purchased his title. It serves mainly to obscure his identity, nationality, and background and to add to the aura of mystery his persona and Eastern knowledge create. What is most telling is that his entr¨¦e into Parisian society is based primarily on his great wealth, not his name. Dumas reinforces this point with Andrea Cavalcanti, another mystery man of unknown name and reputed fortune.

    I have read The Man in the Iron Mask and The Three Musketeers series, both of which surprised me with their dark aspects (the character and fate of Lady de Winter, for example) and which little resembled the adventure stories distilled from them for children and for film. When I overheard a college student who was reading The Count of Monte Cristo on the bus tell a friend that she couldn't put it down, I was inspired to read it. I couldn't put it down, either, with its nearly seamless plot, dark protagonist, human villains, turbulent historical setting, and larger-than-life sense of mystery. At 1,078 pages, it's imposing, but don't cheat yourself by settling for an abridged version. You'll want to pick up every nuance.

    Diane L. Schirf, 12 September 2004....more info
  • The 2nd best book ever!
    except for the Bible, this is the best.
    It is the full and undiluted version from the first english translation.
    read it, learn it,live it.
    j...more info
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
    I bought this book for one of my children for a summer reading project. I needed a specific version and was glad I could search Amazon by ISBN. The book arrived quickly and the price was reasonable. I'm sure other family members will enjoy the book when the projcet is complete. ...more info
  • Definetly a Classic
    Look, if you've seen the movie, it's a good adaptation, yet, as often with movies, it is diminished when compared to the book. THis is even more so with Monte Cristo, the book is quite long, but filled with intrigue, if you think Dantes could be cruel on the film, just read the book. Also, it has a less corny ending, which I appreciate.
    Truth, the book is quite long, but it is completely absorbing, I just couldn't put it down, I finished it on 12 hours of straight non stop reading, just couldn't stop until the end. I most definetly recommend this book, and would consider it as a Must read for anyone who claims to be at least moderately knowledgeable....more info
  • Count of Monte Cristo
    Story has good twists, but there are too many French places and people which makes the audio confusing....more info
  • Get the MOBI Version (The only Full version! at $.99)
    I must say that I have read the abridged version of this book and it is nothing compared to the full version ($.99 mobi version of the book).

    This book is a wonderful read it flows much better in the unabridged version. Go for the gusto and read all 1600+ pages it is worth it.

    Enjoy....more info
  • Now I know why it's a classic
    I've often heard of references to this book, but never had an occasion to read it. After reading "Lone Survivor", I was curious to read "The Count of Monte Cristo". Dumas certainly set the bar high for all those to follow in this genre. The intrigue and twists are exceptional. A classic which should be a "must read"....more info
  • Triumphant Revenge
    Edmond has everything going for him. He is handsome, young, and popular. He is engaged to the girl of his dreams, and has just been appointed captain of a ship. Life couldn't possibly get any better for Edmond.

    But every likable and successful young man has enemies. Edmond's conspire to get him arrested as a spy, at a time in France when the political situation was very touchy. On trumped-up charges, he ends up in prison, in confinement alone in the dungeon.

    For awhile Edmond thinks he will die. He thinks he would like to die, and begins starving himself to death. But then a chance interaction with another prisoner allows Edmond to gain some insight into his situation. Despair gives way to fury, and Edmond decides to get himself out of prison and take revenge on those who did him wrong. Through a fortunate set of circumstances, Edmond begins to put his plan into action.

    I really liked the plot of this book; I loved the idea of Edmond having the mental strength as well as the financial resources to ruin the lives of those who had him locked away in his youth. I enjoyed watching the worlds of Edmond's enemies crumble.

    The book was rather simplistic, though, with far too many coincidences that allowed the characters to get what they needed to get, from stumbling into a fortune to being in the right place to eavesdrop on a critical conversation. The author's hand was heavily felt in this story, when things just happened to work out exactly right for the characters....more info
  • A Masterpiece for All Times.
    Every year amusement parks around the world spend millions of dollars trying to build the biggest and fastest roller coasters. These parks seek to give their visitors the greatest thrills possible on these rides without actually endangering the riders and thrill seekers flock to these parks by the thousands in order to take what they hope will be the ride of their lives. My advice is to skip the long trips and even longer lines and take a ride with Alexander Dumas and Edmond Dantes. No technology known to man can match the excitement and adventure you will thus find.

    Make no mistake; this will be a long and sometimes bumpy ride. Dumas occasionally will drop his reader into a chapter that seems to have no relevance to any of the chapters before it. After a while though, it will all become crystal clear as this master storyteller weaves his magic. There will be twists and turns that the reader will not be able to foresee and in the end you will marvel at the scope of the story and the extent of both the vengeance and kindness of the story's hero.

    As with many great works of literature, there have been many film adaptations of this book. Some were of course better than others were but none of these films come close to doing this book justice. If you have watched any or all of these films, be prepared to find that the book will often only resemble the films in that the characters have the same names. At least the characters that make it into the films will have the same names but many of the characters in the book never make it into the films. This book is simply too rich and too deep to be captured on film. To really experience Dumas' work you simply must read the book.

    This is a story of love lost, of deception, jealousy and murder. Within this book the reader will find villains so vile that they seem almost inhuman but when their downfall comes it is so terrible that one almost feels for these wretched creatures. All through the book the reader sees the story building to a climax, but it builds slowly. So slowly in fact that the reader will be almost on the edge of his or her seat as they wait for the inevitable falling of the ax. When the final act does finally come, the reader will know the characters so well that they will almost be able to feel their agony. On the other hand, the reader will also see that the Count's victims would not have become victims but for their own greed and pride. The traps laid by the Count simply would not have worked had not his victims been ruled by same vices that led them to wrong Dantes in the first place. As with all great works of fiction, the moral lessons are there, but buried under the surface so that they don't interfere with a great story.

    This is indeed a great story....more info
  • A Well Done Abridgment
    I can't tell you the number of times that I have read The Count of Monte Cristo. I have studied several translations and many abridgments. Although nothing is a truly adequate substitution for the unabridged version, this the by far the best that I have read. The story flows nicely, and unlike some abridgments, there is not the feeling of having missed something. The major details and plot lines are all present, and the characters are as genuine as in the unabridged versions. I would highly recommend this abridgment over the others on the market....more info
  • This is NOT the Modern Library edition for kindle ...
    This is a must reading for any reading lover. It easily ranks among the best 20 novels ever in any language. Just one piece of useful information for kindle users. This is NOT the Modern Library edition. I downloaded the free sample from my kindle and I am glad I did. This is a mobile 'cheap' edition with the text only that I can get for free some place else. Amazon should be careful in listing books, because not all editions are the same. If this was the Modern Library edition, I would happily pay the $0.99 they are asking for....more info
  • As good as it gets...
    Having never read The Count of Monte Cristo and only faintly recalling a movie of some years ago, I was prepared for a swashbuckling epic of swordplay and derring-do. My expectations were entirely inadequate. The Count of Monte Cristo is rather a tale of revenge through the artifice of intrigue and cold calculation. Dumas creates a broken man, betrayed by a trio of duplicitous schemers, and devotes the bulk of the book to the complex machinations employed in retaliation.

    The phrase "intricately detailed" does not begin to describe the plots and sub-plots which carry this classic forward. Like all novels of its period, the author relies on what the modern-day reader would consider implausible convenience. This doesn't detract from its worth. To create such a tightly-laced weave, some liberties must be granted. The reader gladly forgives Messr. Dumas.

    On par with The Brothers Karamazov, Anna Karenina, and the works of James Fenimore Cooper, The Count of Monte Cristo is wonderfully thick and magisterially constructed. Set primarily among the preening social elite of post-Napoleanic Paris, yet ranging from Rome to Normandy, it is a 5-star reading experience.
    ...more info
  • The Count Of Monte Cristo
    This book is outstanding. I receved it without delay or any other problems. It is also in good condition....more info
  • Abridged For Children
    I saw the recent movie, (The Count of Monte Cristo - 2002, staring - James Caviezel) and loved it so much, I ordered the book, and this is the version I choose. Unfortunately, this is the first book I've ever read that the movie is actually better! The abridged version is so limited it misses the very crucial points in this wonderful insightful story. If you're an adult I suggest reading an unabridged version in order to get the profound message this book addresses.

    ...more info
  • My Favorite Book
    The Count of Monte Cristo is my favorite book of all time. I read the abridged version in Jr. High and named it #1. I picked up the unabridged version of my own accord in college and fell in love all over again. I will read it again and again. Please read the full story of Edmond Dantes. You will thank yourself... ...more info
  • Excelent story, short version
    The book is excelent reading but please get a different version.
    This version only has 580 or so pages where as other versions have over 1,300 pages. That means that this version is only half the story.
    So much gets lost in translation already don't cheat yourself even more....more info
  • Difficult to read but well worth it.
    How does one review a classic? Especially one so noteworthy as to have demanded the creation of 11 or more film variations, numerous adaptations, and even television series? I long avoided reading this novel due mainly to it's daunting size, and the fear that it's translation would cause the reader more work than I was willing to put into it. However my burning desire to know the true tale of Edmond Dantes overruled my hesitation.

    The story, for those of you who are unfamiliar, follows Edmond Dantes in his wrongful imprisonment at the hands of his friends, his 14 years in the Chateau D'If, his escape and rebirth as a self proclaimed hand of vengeance against those who had wronged him. If you have only seen the movies, the book, particularly the ending, is far different than what Hollywood has created. There are no dramatic duels, no massive swordfights with brigands, and not everyone who we believe should, lives happily ever after. This is instead a slow but genius work of Dantes methodically stripping away all that his enemies held dear to them, at whatever cost. None die by his hand, but are rather destroyed by his influence, and their own evil choices come back to haunt them.

    The story itself is genius, interesting and very fun. The writing, particularly the translation that I read, is an often difficult and sometimes tedious work that one may need a notebook to keep straight. The cast of characters is very large and they are often referred to by different names, making it a bit more difficult to keep track of who is who without some sort of note taking. I was not smart enough to take notes, and thus had to spend quite a bit of time searching my brain to make sure I was thinking of the correct person as I read, particularly with some of the more minor story lines and the characters that weaved in and out of the story with multiple chapters between their appearances. Also, this book will probably be disappointing to those who are interested in the action that the movies provided. The Count of Monte Cristo, does not come in with guns blazing, but rather plays a very well thought out and disturbing game of mental chess against his opponents. As readers we hope for their downfall, but also wonder how far the Count will go... his years of imprisonment have left him hardened and disturbingly without remorse at the use of innocents to gain his vengeance. As he plays his pieces we wonder just who will be sacrificed, and who will have the chance to live happily ever after in this dark world of Dumas.

    Readers of more modern novels may have trouble with this book because of the sheer volume of concurrent story lines, all of which are necessary for understanding the strings being pulled by the Count. But to remember the tale of the lovers, the orphan, the bandit, the banker, the ship builder, the assassin, the count, the princess, the steward, the military man, the lawyer, the cheating husband and wife, the lost love, the musician, the buried baby, the dying father, the paralyzed grandfather, the murderess, the thief, the countess, the emperor and all of their relations, can be quite a daunting task for any reader. Still each of these stories could be a book of their own, keeping the reader quite entertained, but Dumas has managed to weave them all together into one, brilliant and shining tale... if you can keep them straight through the end.

    What surprised me most was the ending of this story. It was not what I wanted, or hoped for. True I loved Haidee, and wanted nothing but her happiness... but many seemed to be left in suffering that did not deserve the fate that they were bound to. I will not elaborate for fear of spoiling the ending... but this does not end on a Hollywood, "they all ride off into the sunset" ending. Perhaps the meaning of the story is not all about revenge, but rather what damage the hunt for vengeance can bring to not just those who have wronged you, but to all those that surround you. The downfall of selfishness; be it falsely imprisoning someone to gain what you may, to the selfishness of vengeance... there is so much meaning in this book, I can see why it is so often "required reading." Though I highly recommend this book, I would advise you attempt to read it with others either in a class or a reading group so that you can discuss all of the rich meaning behind Dumas's words.
    ...more info