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.
...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.
This is an amazing book. If you have watched the movie(which was also awesome!) you'll find the book a little different. Of course it's impossible to fit a 47 hour long book into a 2.5 hour movie. The book is 47 hours long and has 119 chapters. So I recommend you listening to this book as if you're watching a tv series otherwise it may take over your life - so expect to listen to it over a period of time. The narrator is as good as the story itself. This will be one of the best books you'll have listened to. Download it and enjoy! :)
I've always wanted to read this book. Since I was 17 years of age. Finding a copy was the hardest part. Most copies were in abridged form or else French, which I only recently learnt to speak. So this recording was a godsend. It's well read, extremely interesting and inspiring. Well worth a listen and the pace and content, although belonging to another era, bring a wonderful sense of authenticity to the story.
I've now listened to three marathon audiobooks narrated by John Lee: this one and Ken Follet's two medieval historical novels. Easily over 100 hours listening to one narrator, but I keep wanting more. In this instance, Monte Cristo is one of my favorite novels, and this is unquestionably the best way to experience it.
48 hours of a Classic French literature, translated into impeccable English prose, convincingly delivered by narrator John Lee, all for 1 Audible credit? Clearly, one of the best values in audiobooks to be found anywhere.
Choosing the unabridged version was a good choice. I could have missed out a lot if I did otherwise. It's a fairy tale, and yet, it is so real, full of life saga and wisdom. Already I knew the story through movie, and yet, the book still brought incomparable joy. After listening to the book, I decided to find myself a hard copy. The text is so poetic. I would read it again. Alexandre Dumas is unique in the way he can make us pondering about life, without having one word of dry preaching. Life comes out of his book full of love and sufferings. As it's been said, once one started, one cannot stop reading until reaching the end.
Last but not least, the narrator is truly a great one. He too, deserves a lot of credit.
Awesome listen. Wordy and flowery but delicate and spell binding all at the same time. Loved the movie and the book as always is much better.
This is one of the longest audiobooks I've tackled, and it was worth every minute. John Lee keeps things roaring along at a fast pace throughout; and Alexandre Dumas packs the story with more incident than any one story has a right to have. (The various film versions have only scratched the surface.) It's more than an adventure story. It's a gripping morality tale as well, and it doesn't end quite the way you'd expect.
One of the more gripping parts of the story is actually one of the most static, in terms of external action: the account of the paralyzed revolutionary Noitier and his efforts to communicate with his granddaughter by blinking his eyes. John Lee gives "voice" to this effort, and to the character, with great determination and compassion. A terrific listen.
Having read The Count of Monte Cristo many times, I was skeptical that an audio book with only one narrator would be able to capture the book's depth and subtlety entirely. I assure anyone thinking of buying this version that the audio book delivers well beyond expectations. While the narrator is not always consistent with his intonation for specific characters' voices, he still makes listening to the story almost as enjoyable as reading.
This is a wonderful book read by one of my favorite narrators. This story is so full of love, hatred, revenge, nobility, and friendship. It keeps you enthralled through its long hours and meandering twists and turns. Do not be put off by the time investment required to get through the many hours of listening. What a great way to spend 40+ hours, and what a bargain for that credit you are looking to spend!
Exellent, I love this book and the reading is perfect. A bit wordy but entertaining.
As my second sortie into the classics after Les Miserables, this did not disappoint. The characters were beautifully drawn and I loved Dantes from the start - what an astonishing character. The narrator used his voice to full effect and brought all the characters to life so well. Its another long listen, but the time just passed so quickly and I couldn't wait for the working day to end so that I could get in the car and immerse myself in this story again. An awesome listen and I was left wanting more. I felt like I was waving goodbye to an old friend at the end.
"Epic tale of revenge"
To be able to listen for longer periods. I was only able to listen for short periods and I would lose continuity
If you have untold wealth you can do anything and I think the Count of Monte Christo lacked imagination, he wasn't very creative with his plans for revenge which would have made for a more satisfying ending.
"Long, long, long, but a superb narration!"
I would recommend the book, and this particular audio book, to any would be listeners of audio-books and, in particular, classic fiction.
The depiction of extremes in despair, through imprisonment, and seemingly eternal damnation, on to escape, towards a subsequent, aided, rise in status, and absolute, beautifully crafted revenge.
John Lee provided a fantastic narration for this epic novel. I have only heard his part in Audible's Dracula otherwise, with Alan Cummings and Tim Curry. His articulation is very clear and easy to follow, and his characterisations are very well portrayed!
'The film that should have always stayed a book!' (I watched a 2002 film portrayal of the story, I don't know why, I should have known better. A 2hr movie couldn't do it justice, which should go without saying. I believe there is a french series with Gérard Depardieu as Edmond Dantes which, if I am to believe the ratings, should be better, but who knows?)
It really is a very long listen, of course a longer listen than a read would be for most people, however it is well worth going through, with John Lee at the helm.
This is such a difficult book to review. Other reviewers have said this is the most amazing epic story.. It definitely is long, and very complicated. I expect monsieur Dumas had many a family tree, flow chart and spread sheet pinned to his wall as he was writing this to keep track. You may wish to keep notes as you go along.
Fairly simple to explain, a wronged man escapes from prison and cleverly wreaks revenge on his enemies. The plot however is so intricate, but sometimes doesn't flow very well. Some parts jump ahead too far, with the Count changing his name, that you get confused, then other scenes which only consist of one evening being spread over pages. There are some excellent swash-buckling parts, then it seems to suddenly slow down. Not an even pace.
I did not find the narrator easy to listen to. His voices are not different enough to differentiate between two characters if the text doesn't tell you '...said such-a-body', hence losing the gist of the conversation by not knowing who says what.
I was really keen to like this book, sure I would, so am surprised I didn't like it more. Personal taste?
"Wonderful story, brilliantly narrated"
This is a classic. I suppose many are familiar with the basic story, but really abridged versions and hollywood films do not do justice to this tale of betrayal, revenge, cunning, intrigue and ultimately resolution. Hard to do it justice in a review, but will definitely be listening to this again.
Although the story is around 40 hours long, but it is so well paced, that you don't notice. And in fact, do not want the book to end, yet at the same time are keen to know how the story eventually ends.
Great piece of narration. I particularly like the way John Lee does the voice of Monsieur Noitier, who can only speak with his eyes.
"Wrath of The Wronged"
As gripping a tale of betrayal and revenge as one could hope for. The rich cast of characters, ranging from the morally decrepit to the unerringly loyal, are in turns savagely exposed layer by layer or enriched with further depths and histories as the plot progresses.
There's a lot on offer here, satire of courtly power struggles and royal loyalties, family ties, greed, old vendettas, the desperation of the falsely accused... All of these aspects and more are explored through the ever evolving central figure of Edmond Dantes, as his many tiered plans of revenge are revealed piece by terrifying piece.
Wonderfully and forcefully read by John Lee - A great production.
"Unexpectedly one of my best audible books"
Not the sort of book I would normally listen to, but I enjoyed it so much (all 52 hours) that when I reached the end, I went straight back to the start and listened to it again. Something I have never done before. It was even better the second time. The story is so clever with every chapter being of significance to the plot. I will certainly listen to more by Alexandre Dumas.
The narrator, John Lee, is brilliant. His speech is clear and easy on the ear and his French pronunciation added so much to the enjoyment of this epic book.
"Outstanding Monte Christo"
I have been totally enthralled by this version of the classic Count of Monte Christo, it is truly spellbinding and the descriptions are so evocative that you would think you were there, I find myself making excuses to listen to more and more.
A really outstanding listen.
"A great classic"
I really enjoyed listening to this great classic about the determination of the count to devise appropriate retribution for the people who wronged.
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