I read the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo late last year, and it quickly became apparent to me that I was reading my new favorite book. It is an amazingly intricate and complexly woven narrative, truly a marvel of planning and organization, while being so simple and pleasurable to read. As long as it is and as flowery and overblown as the language can be, I truly feel that none of it could have been left out without a real detriment to the story as a whole. I honestly think it is the perfect book, it's so beautifully written and with such an EXCELLENT plot and characters that you will truly come to both love and hate.
But, my recent excitement for this book is related to the audiobook version. I wanted to reread this book as soon as I finished it, so I figured listening to it would be much more time effective. I almost bought the version read by another narrator, because frankly Bill Homewood's sample sounded rather slow and boring to me and the other narrator sounded more lively. Then I read a review that said that the other narrator may sound more lively in the sample, but it's the same voice for all characters for 40 hours; while Homewood's got so much variety in his reading of the characters that you'll never be bored. This persuaded me to buy this one instead, and every time I listen to this book I am mentally thanking god for that reviewer!!
Homewood has such a gift with characters. He has distinct voices for each character, even minor characters like the jailers, complete with authentic and varied accents. Listening to him is such a treat, because he truly brings the characters to life. You can actually hear the anxiety and sorrow in his voice as Dantes in the early novel, or the slippery tones he uses for Danglars. It's so hard to describe the magic he works in this audiobook, but in all the narrators I've listened to I have NEVER come across one nearly so gifted. I can truly see myself listening to this book again and again and again. It's just such a pleasure.
Also, I listen to it on 2x speed and it is still perfectly intelligible (especially if you know the plot and don't have to think on it overmuch). It also makes the book half as long, of course ;)
stoic, sagacious, spellbinding
I would have a hard time believing anyone who didn't say the Count is their favorite, although Danglars is done so well that it is a pleasure to distain him. The Abbé Busoni is my next favorite if I had to choose. :)
Homewood's ability to voice each character uniquely is nothing short of mesmerizing. It's a different book hearing it told by the characters themselves and with proper French pronunciation.
Yes and no. I wanted to keep enjoying it a little every day but I always wanted to listen to more.
This classic work of French literature is 65% exciting and fascinating story, 15% interesting glimpse of a long-gone era, and 20% the over-wrought, melodramatic, purple-prose romanticism that was in vogue in mid-19th century Europe. To a modern reader, that aspect will seem tiresome and a bit ridiculous. Nevertheless, I listened to all 50-some hours of the Count of Monte Cristo with interest and pleasure, due to the excellent narration of Bill Homewood. Through dozens of characters, whether French, Italian, pseudo-Greek, English.... I never tired of his voice, which brought to life the drama,the excitement, and the sinister and majestic fate of the tale. Now I have to go see what else he has narrated.
Great narration and true to Dumas. Made the historic perceptive of France in the early 1800's live for me better than when I read it. Thanks Audible
Dumas never looses your interest as he adds another amazing twist in his brilliant tale of love & revenge .
The reader enhances this story with his telling. I have to say this is storytelling at its best.
Suggest writing down character's names from the beginning so as they re-occur, you can make the connection as the story weaves them throughout the story.
I remember reading the abridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo when I was in high school and back then I liked the book but since some important scenes where missing from the abridged version, I could not fully enjoy all that this book offers. However, now having listened to this book in its entirety, I can say that it is so much better than I remembered from high school.
I love revenge plots in the first place and the precision that The Count executes with each of his revenges is one of the reasons why this book is a classic. The sarcastic humor is another and there are certainly plenty more.
The narrator of the book was wonderful! I loved how Homewood was able to pronounce the European names of places and people correctly, especially the French ones. Each character had a distinct voice and it brought this old tale to life. I really enjoyed all 52 hours and 45 minutes of The Count of Monte Cristo.
Written in such an old, classic literature style that the pedantic lethargy with which the plot moves left it feeling like a chore to me to endure in parts. The reading couldn't have been better - Homewood's got a great voice for this epic and exotic tale. And even the plot is full of tension and drama and revenge. But the convoluted prose Dumas employs in his descriptions often rob the reader of suspense and charm. I know part of the problem is me and my impatient brain which is unschooled in the enjoyment of classic literature and seeks the more immediate gratification of modern fiction. In the end, I'm glad I made it through and found myself appreciating the characters and the Count's fine exploits but I know I'd have never made it through a paper version of this. Thank you, Bill Homewood, for getting me through so that I could savor some of the fine moments threaded into this complex weave.
The well done storyline. The age old good-versus evil with redemption was well portrayed. It took me a small amount of time to get straight all of the characters as they were introduced but all that required was paying close attention as it was being narrated. It is definitely one that you have to listen to whole heartedly to get the most out of it.
Each of the moments in which he exacted his "unveiling" were memorable, whether to the blessed or the cursed!
Mr. Homewood brings individuality to each character of the book. He gave everyone of them more character than I could have imagined by just reading the story. I also don't have enough time to give this lengthy of a book the undivided attention it deserved by reading it.
The devotion the Count was able to still impart after all of his adversity moved me throughout the whole story! I cannot pin it down to just one moment.
When I chose this book it was so different from anything I had read previously. I was truly surprised when I got "hooked" right away and COULD NOT put it down. It had opened up a whole new genre of titles to my interest!