On the eve of his marriage to the beautiful Mercedes, having that very day been made captain of his ship, the young sailor Edmond Dantès is arrested on a charge of treason, trumped up by jealous rivals. Incarcerated for many lonely years in the isolated and terrifying Chateau d'If near Marseille, he meticulously plans his brilliant escape and extraordinary revenge.
Of all the "masked avengers" and "caped crusaders" in literature, The Count of Monte Cristo is at once the most daring and the most vulnerable. Alexandre Dumas (père), master storyteller, takes us on a journey of adventure, romance, intrigue, and ultimately, redemption.
Public Domain (P)2010 Naxos Audiobooks
There are two fantastic Unabridged recordings of this book on Audible.
* This one by Naxos Audiobooks, released in 2011, narrated by Bill Homewood, and
* Blackstone Audio's version, released in 2008, narrated by John Lee.
Now, at first glance, the John Lee version seems more energetic and might seem superior, but that's absolutely wrong. Listen to the audio sample of that version, and you'll be treated to a monotone reading where -every- -single- -character- -sounds- -exactly- -the- -same-. Most of the time you can't even hear the difference between him narrating the story or speaking a character's lines. I assure you that nearly 50 hours of the same monotone voice, where every character blends together, is not the best way to experience the book.
Now listen to THIS recording instead, by Bill Homewood. Listen to the sample all the way until the end, and you'll hear that he expertly crafts a UNIQUE voice for EVERY character, and gives each character a vibrant portrayal. It's an absolute joy to listen to him narrate the work with such talent for voices and accents, and it's really easy to follow along with what's happening since the voices are so distinct.
The book itself? It's a classic for a reason. If you have a taste for epic revenge and adventure stories, then this is for you. I suggest you choose this reading of the book and sit back, relax and enjoy. You'll be in for the ride of a lifetime.
There are plenty of other versions, but after listening to some samples I went with Bill Homewood. He's the man. A different voice/ characterization for each person in the story - different enough that sometimes I forgot their names but remembered them from earlier in the story by the voice!
It's a good story, and I'd tried to get through the book before but could never fight through Dumas' long winded prose. Mr Homewood battered it down for me in style and has a great dramatic style.
If you like the classics, you should give this a listen. If you're going to listen to The Count, you should listen to this one.
Thrilling, massive, fantastic
You MUST get the Bill Homewood (reader) version of this novel. The characters come alive, and his intonation and in-depth understanding of the characters enrapture the listener. I started to listen to a different version of this book, but that performance was not good. I'm so glad I tried again with Bill Homewood.
An epic tale of revenge, The Count of Monte Cristo is one of the most fun books I have read in some time.
The narration was skillfully performed, and the narrators voice sold me on this version of the book. HOWEVER by the time I finished the book the sound of his mouth had me squirming. He kept making squishy mouth noises throughout the book, which was likely related in some way to the mic.
"... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^
One of those grand epics like Les Misérables and David Copperfield that does more than create a world the reader temporarily inhabits. This is a novel which creates a whole grand myth. I would second Umberto Eco's take that this is one of the "most gripping novels ever written, and on the other hand one of the met badly written novels of all time and all literatures."
This is a story of an Übermensch/Byronic hero and the grandfather of all revenge and psychological thriller novels. I remember the first time I read 'Les Miserables', I almost read straight through. Now, 25 years older, I don't have the same reading endurance, but the feeling of urgency and addiction was close. I read this in 3 days (while working full-time and giving token attention to family duties). 'The Count of Monte Cristo's' plot doesn't just push you forward, rather it tosses you down cliff after cliff.
I give it four stars for the obnoxious writing, repetition of bad adjectives, and unnecessary descriptions of unnecessary events in a book that is already 1200 pages. While I'm not a big believer in editing or abridging a writer's work, Dumas would have been a bit better served with a modern, aggressive editor. For that I leave off one star ... perhaps one day I'll add it. For now, I will just 'wait and hope.'
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
This is the longest book I've tackled on audible--and the first classic. I don't think I could have gotten through this without the fantastic narrator, Bill Homewood, bring it to life.
I was worried that this book would be a 50-hour version of the movie that I liked so much. Indeed, it was not. The book offers a richer cast of characters, a much more nuanced protagonist, and countless ambiguities that turn the book into something very surprising and deep.
The age of the novel is very apparent. A lot of the science it employs does not stand the test of time. The use of poisons and drugs is just plain silly at times. Additionally, the the mindset of the french aristocracy is so foreign and bizarre that the motivations and emotions of characters is downright bizarre to modern listeners at times. This causes some of the impact of the drama to be nullified, which is a shame.
I was fairly captivated the entire time, which surprised me given that the language and setting of the novel provided many obstacles to true immersion in the story. Here is where the narrator did his job phenomenally well. I have to say that I truly delighted at his portrayal of Noirtier.
Listeners will probably need to follow along with a chapter summary at parts, as almost every character has two or more names, and some of the Dumas subtleties cause confusion that remains unresolved for long stretches. The language barrier led me to wonder if I misunderstood certain things, or if Dumas was just giving his readers credit by not spelling everything out (it was always the latter).
I highly recommend this book with this narrator.
Terrific insights into the human spirit.
You can't even imagine the deepth of The Count.
Well worth it!
The narrator for this book was amazing. He was able to give personalities to the dozens of characters in the book each with a unique European accent. Amazing!
The eventual redemption despite the relatively ambivalent and totally devastating sabotage to a mans life by those around him.
The prison scenes are the most memorable, thankfully none of the movie overdo is here.
The voice given to the emphatic blinking of a paralysed man is certainly something I could not have got from the written page.
I love long stories, this one is very good, but you would have to be very keen to do one 48 hr listen.
Very well drawn characters that are in no way black and white. Sad that so many of them have been lost from movie versions.
There is a comment that compares this rendition to that of Mr Lee, I would like to second that opinion. Even though I am very fond of that artists voice, this is a much more expressive rendition and I noticed some dumbing down of vocabulary in the segment of the other one, calling
I have just finished reading (on Kindle)and listening to this story. I had seen the Jim Caviezel movie, which was good, but has changed much of the original story. The drama ,, humor and and fascinating commentary on human nature was extraordinary. This performance was more than a narrative. He changes voices for certain characters and the most dramatic scenes are transfixing. This is truly a timeless classic that is under-appreciated. I had actually read the first half of the book on my new Kindle Fire, but mostly listened to the rest while reading along at some juncture. Due to the length of this novel- over 100 chapters, it is better listened to vs reading it. While I read it, I started to get confused because of all the characters and I was unclear if I was fully understanding the plot because I had to stop and start so often while reading. But I could not stop listening to the audible performance, which held my attention.
The drama of the poisoner and the reading of the letter by Franz of his father's death were the most memorable. However, I did not listen to the beginning of the story, so I may actually go back and listen to the whole thing again. This is my new favorite.
The emotion and drama between characters was clearer in his performance. All the complicated interactions and intention so the characters came to life.
I was stunned, amazed, and laughed at and cry with the characters. The spiritual insights were powerful and worthy of reflection. This is more than a revenge story, that is a very superficial reading of this story, but the prevailing view. This view of human nature is very insightful. Recently, I was made aware of
"The Count of Monte CristoNarrated by Bill Homewood"
I'm revisiting in audio form some of the classics which I can only just remember from old TV films. This is truly a another masterpiece, the detail of human greed, aspirations and dejections is superb and very moving, never boring I have been hooked from start to finish of this 52 hour delight and as for the narrator-I can't believe it could be read any better, his warmth and the humanity in his performance along with his acting capabilities are first class and have done credit to a terrific story..
"Long but really exciting"
I read this book very sketchily when young. Hearing it re-read to me by Bill Hammond was sheer delight. His 'acting' with his voice so well paced, enabled the huge number of characters to be sorted in my mind and Dumas' intricate plot unfolded wonderfully. I was able to enjoy being 'in the know' while the people who ruined Edmond Dantes life and love were unaware of what was happening to their world and their ill-gotten gains as disaster after disaster fell upon them. I was really sorry to get to the end!
I took the risk of listening to this story, as I have never read it, and loved it. This is firstly a great thriller and secondly a love story. How greed, honour, revenge, and love can drive you to your doom or destiny, how a man can walk to the edge of the abyss, and step back and walk away; and cheat death! This is a long book, and there are some low or dull moments, but overall a very satisfying story. Bill Homewood is excellent as the narrator. I certainly will listen to it again.
This was my first book chosen from Audible and I couldn't have chosen better. Quite a long listen so it's not for you is you're short of time. The narrator is brilliant; there's a different voice for every character and is very easy on the ear. If you like intricate, well written, full bodied stories this is for you.
"My All-Time Favourite Novel..."
I initially read The Count of Monte Cristo in 2003, in print, and it immediately became my favourite novel.
This story will take you on a rollercoaster ride, you'll cry, laugh, yearn and be thrilled and excited throughout. More than that, it has a wealth to say about human nature, what it is to be wronged, what it is to be a good person or a bad person, and the impact that revenge has on all concerned with it.
But more than these thems, essentially it's a ripping good yarn. Over 50+ hours it will keep you gripped, weaving a pattern with its many fascinating characters, drawing them all towards their inevitable destiny.
If you choose to read only one more book in your life, make it this one, you'll love it and be a more rounded person for the experience,
The story, the narration... This was my first ever audio book. I don't think I'd have enjoyed this book as much had I read it myself. The narration is superb. So is the writing. I'm dreading the day it's going to finish.
"best of a bad lot."
Great voice of Bill Homewood, despite Naxos doing their best to ruin things by not bothering to edit out the echo, or prevent it in the first place.
"Great book OK reading"
Great classic and generally good reading. However I found some mispronunciations of French and Italian recurrent names really annoying ( the word Peppino in particular, where the accent falls on the i and not the e). Why cannot reader do a bit of homework in that department?
"I couldn't take my headphones off!"
Having read this several times, I decided to give listening a try. This book is a timeless yarn that completely engages the listener and pulls you into it's web of narrative. It is beautifully written and captures me every time.
The development of the principle character, Edmund Dantes, is intriguing and compelling.
This is my first experience of listening to a performance by Bill Homewood, and he clearly defined each character and gave emphasis and appropriate emotion to the narrative.
Without giving anything away, the pulling together of the threads of story at the end of the novel is gripping.
This book is my favourite 'go to' when I want a classic, well written, proper yarn that engages. It is also a good length for travelling long distances!
"Long time wish list. Was not disapointed"
Bill Homewood's narration of the book is phenomenal. You instantly recognise each character the minute he start's speaking. He can immerse you and drag you in to the story in a way no other narrator has ever done (for me anyway).
I started speaking like a 19th century french after a few days listening. YESSSSS!!
I cant fully explain why but I truly loved Noirtier. At the beginning of the story you have him in your head as one of the bad guys, but you learn to love him.
See above! I think if I had read this rather than listened to Bill Homewood's narration I wouldnt have made it through the book. Truly brilliant!
I think the "is there, isnt there" duel between the Count and Albert de Morcerf really gripped me and had me sitting in the car outside work so I could hear how it ended.
If you have ever thought about it, but weren't sure, then all I can say is do it, do it now and dont look back.
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