Alexandre Dumas was a genius!
Published in 1846 as a serial novel, the end product has 117 chapters and 1,200 pages, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ is truly an epic tale. Translated from the original French, and set primarily in post-Napoleonic France, it tells the story of Edmond Dantes.
We witness Edmond’s transformation from wide-eyed 19-year old sailor, about to become captain of his own ship and marry beautiful Mercedes, the girl of his dreams, to a prisoner, a victim of treachery forgotten in a dungeons of the infamous Chateau d’If, to one of the most enigmatic and multi-layered characters ever written – fabulously wealthy, awesomely powerful and patiently bent on the cleverest, darkest revenge.
Spanning the course of 24 years, this is a saga so rich, so intricate and so enveloping, it makes movies’ attempts to capture masterpieces in the space of a few hours laughable. The reader is mesmerized from the very first chapter. We are sickened by the plots of Edmond’s jealous friends and colleagues plotting his demise. We sense the imminent danger that our guilelessly lovable protagonist is in, but we read on, because we know things will not end well for those who have done wrong as they are steered unknowingly along the inexorable course of fate.
With brilliantly rich characters and surprisingly interconnected events, the masterful plot develops seamlessly and with great eloquence and beauty. Dumas weaves a timelessly brilliant work that captures every facet of human nature and life; it is a story of intrigue, greed and revenge, but also of generosity and determination, self-examination and forgiveness, restoration, redemption and love. A masterpiece.
Having heard about this classic for some time, I decided to give it a listen. In the beginning of the book, the pace is quite good, and one feels there is some suspense. However, after the emergence of the Count, it almost slows to a halt, and turns into something akin to a soap opera. I also found it hard at times to keep all the french names apart, but that might be just me. If you can tolerate the old style, give it a try, but if you are looking for an action-adventure, you might get a bit bored.
I really tried. I love reading the classics - the longer the better. I was swayed by the rave reviews, and the length.
I have to say, I'm baffled by the gushing reviews- it was so cornball and over the top melodramatic. I stuck it out for 4 hours, and then realized - life is too short to suffer like this.
This is an excellent story and the reader's performance is superb! Be prepared, the book is quite different from the recent movie.
At first I was deterred of really getting into this novel by all the French names. But the character of Edmund Dantes became quite compelling, especially during his years in captivity. The second half of the book seemed to go off on long tangents as he seeks his revenge, but by then I felt bonded to the main character enough to enjoy it. I would, like another reviewer, recommend printing out a list of who is who as in the second half of the novel many of the initial character names had changed, and as I was listening it took me a spell to figure out who was who in the later narration. I do recommend this book to someone who wants to read a classic that has a compelling story. If you don't like long novels or stories that don't stick closely on a straight and narrow task, or if you dislike a great deal of verbosity that could be expressed more simply, perhaps pick a different novel. I also would add that while the character of Edmund Dantes was very well developed, there were a great deal of periphery characters that were hard to keep track of at times and were delivered through Edmund's perspective so we don't meet them with the same intimacy. The reading of this story by John Lee was excellent and is the reason I originally selected the novel.
Reader, listener, book consumer.
This classic story of love, betrayal and revenge is a winner in any format, but John Lee adds a whole new dimension to the pleasure one derives from this story through his superb narration. The speed of his reading, the intonation of his voice and the brilliant interpretations of the various accents all combine to become a listening pleasure. I found myself impatient for the next opportunity to block out the world and immerse myself in the narration.
After finally finishing the audiobook The Count of Monte Cristo (written by Alexandre Dumas and narrated by John Lee), I have to say it is an outstanding novel and the best classic I have ever read, or rather heard. The book itself has an excellent and complicated plot (another words, not predictable), terrific themes, and overall was a well written book. Once again I have to say it is the best novel and classic I have ever heard!
John Lee was a fabulous narrator! He has such a skill with changing his voice to suit the characters. I have to say because of his skills as a narrator, I went on to buy the audiobook The Three Musketeers (another novel by Alexadre Dumas). The story was excellant and a masterpiece in itself, but I am not writing a review on it now. With John Lee's talents as a narrator, he made the novel come alive from the pages of the book.
Overall, the audiobook and narrator are well worth it!
John Lee makes this audible book come alive... a great story to begin with is made even better by the way Lee "becomes" each of the character he portrays... Well done!!!
This is one of my favorite books of all time! To listen to this story being read was even more enjoyable than reading it myself. The narrator did an excellent job of bringing Edmond Dantes to life and of reading with variations of accents. Excellent narration and highly recommended!
John Lee is the reason I chose this title. I am glad I chose it, I feel smarter now. The vocabulary used by Dumas is very broad, though somewhat verbose by today's standards. The episodes can be a bit tedious with the flowery dialogue and detailed setting and costume description. However, having tried to write, I recognize brilliance when I see it.
Plenty of surprises if your only exposure to the story is movies. Excellent way to pass a daily commute. If used on long trips, your traveling companion should be a fan of literature and the written word.