Touching, wry, succinct
This is like Catcher in the Rye. It has a profound undercurrent that builds subtly until its final pages. I think most adults will find it funny and moving. Any teenager would be engrossed by it; however, I think most teenagers' parents would not want them reading it due to its brief sexual portions and its prevalent drinking. There are consequences of these however, one of them leading to asking for forgiveness, and another contributing to a death and asking for forgiveness on a more profound level.
Better in many ways. I have both the print and listened. Having the different stories read by different performers really helped. And the language flows well.
Sonmi-451. It was the most gripping story, and I sympathized with her the most.
Timothy Cavendish was another great character. His story was well done and very funny, though completely different.
They all are very good stories on their own and different.
Sonmi and the statue of Siddharta
Wonderful puzzle of a book, interweaving the six very good stories in simple and complex ways.
It took me a while before I realized that the 451 in Sonmi-451 was a harkening to Fahrenheit 451 classic.
The reader did an excellent job with the characters, each having their own voice. The story is very good although it is a little slow after the hero has escaped from prison.
Edmond Dantes, pre-escape.
Post escape, the Count himself is not sympathetic - he is a demonic character through much of the book, having a vampire-like visage, knowledge of chemistry, poison, hashish, many languages including Arabic, legal knowledge, and incredibly sophisticated. Once he finally realizes that maybe his vengeance has gone too far, he once again becomes more believable as a human being and more sympathetic.
One of the things that is upsetting is that even when the Count is doing good things for people he loves, he drags it out usually risking their lives. It makes for better drama but makes him seem heartless even towards his friends. Not telling Maximillian that Valentine is not dead for a month or two is so strange but makes for a grand finale even though the reader has deduced it all along. The way the Count drags out his aid to Morrel, Maximillian's father, is also life-threatening.
A favorite secondary character is Noirtier, the paralyzed father of Villefort. Dumas manages to get so much drama and character out of this basically immobile man who uses his eyes to
The prison escape. The trial.
The middle portion of the book is too long. It is a wonderful read, and the stories in the middle portion and their building to the final results are well done, but could have been edited down, I think. (I had no reaction like this to The Three Musketeers.) The first part up to the prison escape is riveting, and the ending moves along at a great pace.
So it is a bit on the long side but a very enjoyable story.
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