Classic, page turning adventure story.
John Lee clearly studied and practiced the many characters of the book as he changed his voice and tone to reflect each one. He did this with seemly no effort on his part, furthermore he did it consistently through more than 1,000 pages of text.
I flipped between this audio version and a print edition (Barnes & Noble 2011) often repeating chapters in both. This story lends itself particularly well to an audiobook format and John Lee's reading is masterful.
John Lee's narration made this book come alive.
I could not wait to continue the book. I looked forward to listening.
Just getting started....
Review from someone that is not necessarily good at reviews (first one!). I will try to limit use of exclamation points, but no promises. No spoilers here, at the time of this review I’m only 2/3 way through the book.
This audiobook book is AMAZING on so many levels. I will try to explain some of my take on it, but guessing much or all has been mentioned.
First true classic piece of lit I’ve actually fallen in love with on audible!! Fairly easy to follow for a long 1800’s piece of work. Really dove into the rich storytelling and enjoying the plot twists. Actually learning stuff about the period and region around Napoleonic times. I’d love to have someone else tell me (confirm) if they think this is a gateway to classics audiobook that I think it is. I mostly like stuff like Ken Follett, Stephen King, Tom Clancy, non-fiction WWII stuff. Hopefully this book was not a fluke for my new interest in classic lit. Maybe my wheelhouse has expanded?!?!
Tip for dummies (like me):
I was struggling with all the French names but read a review where someone mentioned Cliff Notes for helping keep up with extensive list of characters. I use Sparqnotes online every time John Lee would say a “Villenewwarrr” or “Abbe” this or that and it works great. Also, I listen while working at office. Sometimes my work requires lots of brainpower and other times I can be on autopilot doing simple tasks. When my job is more demanding, I just hit the sparqnotes for a refresher after a chapter. Also. Also, I had fun searching the different places/regions in the book on google earth while listening.
Is this guy the best? I’m not smart enough to dissect why I gravitate towards him, but he had me with “Billy with Jesus…” beginning in Fall of Giants.
47 hours. Nuff said. Love me a good long book. I calculated if I download John Lee’s version of Dumas’ Three Musketeers, that equates to about $0.32 an hour with my platinum membership. I do wish there was an Audible Obsidian level, or double rainbow diamond ++ level. Two credits a month isn’t cutting it for me. Have to pause listening and mix in some podcasts frequently.
May be a stretch:
But if you read and enjoyed “Shantaram” I think you'll love this too.
If you’re on the fence, I’d pull the trigger and get this one. Shaping up to be my all-time favorite!!
The words were so beautifully knitted together that it was such a pleasure to listen. The reader was fabulous!
The plot was epic- the classic hero's journey.
YES! Pillar's of the Earth, Portrait of an artist as a young man, World without end. This one is just as wonderfully narrated as the others.
Wait and hope.
While this is not the longest book I have listened too, it is certainly the longest I have listened to without ever reading the book. I did find I had to go back a few times because with all the names and aliases, and unusual people popping up that you were not sure where they fit in the story. In fact I even asked my husband if he read the book and if he had to give me a quick synopsis. His was the same as mine before I purchased the audible book. So after I stopped thinking I had purchased the wrong book and just went back to re-listen a couple of times, and then when it still did not fit in I just had faith and plunged forward. It really does all come together. But what a story and so much detail & planning. So I would certainly recommend this audio book, but do not be to distracted while listening to it so you do not have to go back.
Patience is a virtue for both our hero and for the listener. I am still puzzled why it took 47 hours to tell this story. Most of the action happens off screen and the reader learns about it while secondary characters tell their stories to our hero. Who, but the way, isn't much of a hero in the end.
I can understand why the book was originally published in serial form. It explains the episodic appearance of characters and why so much general information (behavior in a Parisian opera house, for example) is repeated.
John Lee is not my favorite narrator though I got used to him by hour 20. His habit of placing an heavy stress on the last syllable of the names of foreign cities was annoying. Lee kept saying MarSEILLES with exaggerated emphasis. His characters from Italy sounded more like Russian emigres.
I haven't read the print version, but the blackstone audio edition is fantastic.
compelling, spirited, believeable
The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favorite books of all time, but the narrator killed it for me. John Lee barely differentiates among the characters' voices, so while he has a very pleasant voice to listen to (fall asleep to), the 47 hours droan on and on. I was very disappointed.
The writing is amazing, the story is thus terrific, and this version has a narrator that is certainly up to the task.
Whatever I'd compare it to, it'd have to be an epic, but most of Dumas' other works are equally epic!
John Lee is unforgettable in his portrayal of the story, in a good way.
There are film versions of this book already, I don't remember their tag lines.
As I listened to this I told friends and family how wonderful it is. Most replied by saying they had already seen the movie, or that it was too long.
Take the plunge. Sure, the films have covered the rough outlines of some parts of the story, but there is far, far more to the book. As for the length, as I continued to download and progress through the parts, my anxiety increased, for I was in no hurry for it to end. My first two reactions to finishing this were to search for more Dumas and to search for any other narrations by Mr. Lee.
One caution, though. It's easy to lose track of the characters in the audio format. One suggestion is to take notes. Another, what I did, is to simply Google: Count of Monte Christo characters.
Take the plunge, I say. You will be rewarded by many hours of pure enjoyment.