Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Dantès is locked away for life in the infamous Chateau d'If prison. But it is there that Dantès learns of a vast hidden treasure. After 14 years of hopeless imprisonment, Dantès makes his daring escape and follows his secret map to untold fortune. Disguised now as the mysterious and powerful Count of Monte Cristo, Dantès seeks out his enemies - and nothing will stand in the way of his just revenge.
Filled with thrilling episodes of betrayal, romance, and revenge, The Count of Monte Cristo is one of the greatest adventure stories ever written.
(P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I have "meant" to read this book for many years, but the length seemed daunting and the language stilted, at least by 21st century terms. What a mistake it would have been to miss it! After a little "attitude adjustment", I found the flowery language elegant and fascinating and the character development is superb. One can only marvel at the decades-long plan that The Count, Edmund Dantes, has carefully set in motion to serve as suitable revenge for those whose greed and self-interest caused him to spend 14 long years in a dungeon. This review relates to the whole book, not just Part I, but each section was a new adventure and looking back, you can see how Dumas has not wasted a character or scene that does not justify the plot and the outcome. Yes, there are some slower sections (characters, in accordance with the era, sometimes take 30 words to say what could be said in 5), but overall I found myself wanting to get back into the car or back on to the plane as soon as possible. It is a bit like watching "Masterpiece Theater"--not for everyone or every taste, but it's not an acknowledged masterpiece for nothing. And excellent narration.
At first I didn't want to write a review because so many have done that before me.
But I just can't help myself from expressing what this book did to me.
It is not only a story that transports you instantly back to a very interesting and tumultuous time in European history, but its also a story that is very confined to a specific group of people.
It is a story that has it all, love, romance, grief, hate, envy and on and on... The length of the book seems like to much of a commitment, but when I finished it I was sad that it had ended.
It was a joy to listen to John Lee's voice which took me back to Europe and to places I have wandered endlessly, he gives all characters their own identity and makes you forget that its a book and not a dream or fantasy your in the middle of experiencing.
If you are thinking about reading a classic or just want to check out Dumas... Read this book, it is like one of those dreams that you hope will never end.
Retired to mountains of California. Sell on eBay as Prsilla. No TV. Volunteer in wildlife rehab. Knit, sew or embroider while listening.
You major in literature and you get over 60 and find time to catch up on all the "classics" you should have read. Hey, some of them are a real crock! This is the story I've been waiting for. How I wish my French were good enough to read the original. No wonder the French have taken it to their hearts! Most of us would like to get revenge or prove something. Most of us think we would enjoy unlimited wealth. This story is about a bright and good-looking hero who has been betrayed terribly by his closest friends. He has every reason to want revenge. He comes into great wealth. He gets his revenge very slowly after a decade of preparation. The bad folks are caught mostly by their own evil, even when the hero gives them a chance to improve. This book is delicious! It is set in a period of French history but the same story can be told many ways. Everyone wants a good address, the prettiest girl, plenty of bling-bling. In the first listen you are trying to keep everyone straight. The hero's friends become nobility with fancy titles and you have to recognize all their names. The Wikipedia article on this helped me. In the first listen you're in suspense. In the second listen, you remember being in suspense and hear new details. It must be said that the narration is absolutely top drawer, so good that you don't notice it. I love the way this author describes the decor and clothing. And I love Dumas for not digressing to show off his knowledge of whales or understanding of what went wrong in a certain battle, or any sort of fancy talk to prove he's smart and in the know. He simply tells a wonderful story with many details and many twists and turns. The ending leaves one in a good space, able to imagine all the good characters sailing off into the sunset.
I have listened to this four times now and love it more each time. The plot twists, intense emoting and descriptive language made this a book I repeatedly found myself standing motionless in the middle of the room, seeing what the author wrote instead of the room around me. Totally engrossing.
The narrator, too, read it so passionately that it totally draws me in every time. If I have a day of housework, this is what I put in my mp3 player.
Though the fainting ladies and overblown emotion can be tiring in this day and age to read, it was the style of the time and if I had been laced up as tight as those women were, I'd probably faint every time my heart rate rose too. Even so, Dumas treated that tendency with humor, which made me chuckle and roll my eyes during those scenes where "she tried her best to faint but couldn't", as he put it. The narration made up for it 95% of the time- the last 5% only during the love scenes, which were sickeningly sweet compared to romance of our age.
Every fan of classic literature should read this at least once.
Not only is the story magical, but the narrator John Lee was nothing short of sublime.
This is the first time I've listened to the narration of John Lee, but it will certainly NOT be the last. It was as if someone had kidnapped his mother and told him "if you don't pour out every last ounce of your soul into these characters, you'll never see her again". Had that been the case...Lee would have had his mother returned to him without a scratch.
To rate this experience a 5.0 is not enough.
Don't miss this gem.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
One has to believe that truly, for many of the reviewers of this book, this one is maybe the best they have read. Decidedly, this is the case for me. It is cleverly funny, mesmerizingly beautiful and intelligently written. Some have commented on its length. For this reader, the length only made the savoring longer and more delicious. Each character is beautifully developed by Dumas and flawlessly rendered by John Lee. The story is complex but simply conveyed. I could not more highly recommend a book and its narrator than this one.
It's been over a year since I've listened to this book and it still rings in my ears. With 30-some books read from Audible, this is my favorite. John Lee did an amazing job making this story absolutely engrossing! I recommend this book to anyone that will listen.
I like to catch up with missed classics through Audible.com. While an excellent book, the Count of Monte Cristo can be a difficult audio book to listen to because many of the characters have several different names and their lives are intertwined in convoluted and complex ways. Since paging back and forth in audio is really hard, I highly recommend some sort of Cliff's Notes to familiarize yourself with the characters. Also, remember that Dumas wrote the novel in serial form which is why some points may seem to be belabored - he had a quota to fill!
...and the guy says, "With a lawn as big as yours, you really need a riding mower." I smiled, knowing I had the perfect counterargument to his sales pitch. "That's ok, I have an iPod and I just started The Count of Monte Cristo."
As the words left my mouth I realized I just forfeited any chance I had that this guy would treat me as a man and a brother. In the horsepower-and-self-propulsion world of your average lawnmower shop, literary discussions are not the ticket to respect. I imaged the thought that was forming under his feed cap: "What a dweeb."
Instead, his jaw dropped, his eyes popped and he said "That's a great book! I read the unabridged version, and there's a lot of detail, but it's just fantastic!"
A few weeks later I was catching the train to work. A guard I've become friendly with was supervising the restocking of the vending machines. My train wasn't for a few minutes so I made a detour. After a few casual remarks about the weather the guard noticed the iPod clipped to my jacket and asked what I was listening to. I said The Count of Monte Cristo, with that same shrinking feeling I had at the lawnmower emporium. But the vending guy stood bolt upright, his eyes wide and his hair a-bristle: "That's a great book!"
I was now convinced I was the only person in the universe who hadn't read The Count of Monte Cristo. And thanks to John Lee and Audible, that flaw in an otherwise blameless upbringing has now been repaired.
Yes, it includes everything I don't like about 19th Century novels (Jane Austen excluded): it is sloppily, even glutinously sentimental. It is overwrought. It is insanely improbable. It is Gothic. It is Romantic in that overly-ripe, Victorian/Dickensian way that gets under my skin.
And it is also one of the greatest books I have ever read. Or listened to.
For all its improbabilities it is true to life. For all it's sentimentality it almost moved me to tears. For all its Gothic cloak-and-dagger antics it is a profoundly, even beautifully Catholic work of literature. It is a big, baggy story full of cul-de-sacs and blind corners, memorable characters and quotable sentences. Yes, the good people are a little too saintly and the bad ones a shade too bad. But what holds it all together is the Count himself. What he suffers, what he does and, finally, what he learns about revenge, forgiveness and redemption are well worth the 56 hour journey. And the lawn looks really good, too.
John Lee's clean, clear delivery seldom falters. In a six-part audiobook I needed to back up and re-listen only a handful of times to catch something I'd missed. Sometimes the male characters get a little mixed, but that's to be expected in conversations where 4 or 5 are speaking at once. And an invaluable aid to keeping the story straight is supplied by Dumas himself. Since the novel was originally serialized, he's always reminding us of when we last saw a character he's reintroducing to the story--knowing that the newspaper with that vital information has long since been wrapped around a fish in a Parisian gutter.
I got this one on sale, but even at full price it is a bargain.
I have read the Count at least 3 times, not including the audio version I just completed, and this rendition is wonderful. The narrator does a very commendable job, I will listen to this again and again.
"A MUST LISTEN!"
This tale has been chopped about over the years until the true essence of a wonderful writer has all but been lost! Here, though is the complete story. Anyone who wishes to know just how to write should study this!
John Lee is one of the most talented narrators I have ever listened to. As I have said before, with other stories, his characterisation is perfect!!
"Long but enjoyable"
This book unabridged is long - but the detail is brilliant and vital. Before Dantes escapes prison, Dumas mostly writes at the speed and from the view of Dantes which means that sometimes you are just as confused as Dantes as to why something has happened or not happened. Thankfully you're not kept waiting for the solution for long! Later you are at the mercy of what the count is willing to allow you to know and again there are moments when you wonder how one or more characters are going to get their come-uppance. I love the numerous identities of the count and found I frequently couldn't stop listening. John Lee does a fabulous job of the reading and if it wasn't for the family names and titles getting muddled at the beginning in my mind I am sure this would have been a 5 star book and reading
"Wonderful story brilliantly narrated!"
It's a long, long story, but the time flies by and the narrator is positively excellent! He tells it in such a wonderfully engaging way that you can't help but get carried away with the plight of each character. In short, it's a brilliantly interesting tale of a man wrongly imprisoned and his cleverly calculated revenge...! I couldn't put my headphones down!
"my favourite book"
this epic tale is my favourite story and I was delighted to find it available on audible, the narrator does a fantastic job of bringing this story to life and I am now able to enjoy The Count even when I am busy doing other jobs.
"One of the best stories in the World"
This is a wonderful story and well read by John Lee. Some narrators are difficult to listen to for a long time but I really had no problem during the 47 hours that this book is read over. The Count of Monte Cristo has to be Unabridged to be fully appreciated, any cutting would ruin the story and the understanding of the character development. There is really no other way to "read" a classic like this. Easily a multi-listen book.
"Huge and so enjoyable"
This was one of those classics that seemed too daunting to begin, but this format fits like a dream.
Sit back and let this marvellous story grab you.
Abolutely loved this book. The narration took me a little while to get into (I had just listened to the brilliance that is Simon Vance reading The Three Musketeers) but once I did, I can't fault it. John Lee has the perfect voice for the Count of Monte Cristo. I listened to this on my iPod walking to and from work and would frequently be striding down the street with a big smile on my face. Have started telling everyone I know to read the book or listen to the audiobook! It is a long reading, but a great chance to 'read' a book that I might not have stuck with in its paper form - though I have now bought it!
Loved the structure, the plot and the characters. Absolutely brilliant. A work of genius.
"The book and a great reading"
The Count if Monte Cristo is one of the greatest stories ever written. This reading is an excellent quality that reflects the tension and suspense of reading it yourself.
"Excellent but sags a little in the middle"
I had always wanted to read this and have no regrets at listening to the 40+ hours. I would only recommend this if you have a lot of time on your hands and are prepared for it to go a little off the boil in the middle third. It is still an excellent story and full of twists and turns that should keep you interested until the end. I loved it and as I do have a lot of time on my hands (3hrs car commute every day) I found it a very enjoyable listen. You would benefit from listening to it in large chunks as keeping track of who is who over the many years of the story, with early family names changing to the "Count of X" and "Baron Y" confused me a little.
Exellent, I love this book and the reading is perfect. A bit wordy but entertaining.
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