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.
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.
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
I read science fiction and fantasy, but I also like literary fiction, the classics, the occasional mystery/thriller, and non-fiction.
Mon dieu! This was 53 hours as an audiobook, guys! I listened to the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo in my car, and my commute isn't that long, so it took about two months.
Don't make fun of Dickens' wordiness until you've read Dumas. He is wordy as heck and makes up a hundred little side-stories and indulges the reader who wants to know the final fate of every single minor character. But if you want to dive into a big thick juicy scheming revenge novel with a moral at the end, The Count of Monte Cristo is full of more adventure and spectacle than Dickens would ever deign to write. (Though Anthony Trollope's "The Way We Live Now" did for greedy scurrilous English bankers and hoity-toits what Dumas does for the French.)
So, you probably know the bones of the story, because Edmund Dantes is the original Batman. No, his parents aren't murdered in front of his eyes, but two "friends" set him up as a traitor by sending an anonymous letter accusing him of being a Bonapartiste. (19th century French politics play a role here, as the first part of the novel is set during the period when Napoleon was confined to the isle of Elba, and then staged a dramatic return during which he briefly tried to regain the throne.) One of his friends wants his job, the other wants his girl, and Dante has the misfortune to go before a public prosecutor named Villefort, who initially wants to let Dantes go, realizing he's just a poor sap who was set up. However, when it turns out that Dantes unknowingly possesses evidence that Villefort's own father is a Bonapartiste, he instead consigns the hapless sailor to imprisonment in the Château d'If, an island prison off the coast of Marseilles. There, Dantes spends the next fourteen years, during which time he meets another prisoner, a "mad" priest who has been unsuccessfully trying to bribe his jailers to let him go with promises of a fantastic fortune he knows the location of.
To make a long story short, Dantes escapes, after having spent fourteen years learning all worldly knowledge from the Abbé Faria. He goes and finds the Abbé's fortune, an ancient Roman treasure, and soon reemerges in Europe as the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo. He's fantastically rich, an expert with all arms, poisons, and finance, he has Muslim servants and a beautiful Greek princess as his slave/ward, and he's buddies with Italian bandits and Mediterranean smugglers. He's a master of disguise and he has an indomitable will. This former sailor now moves as easily among French aristocracy as he does among Italian brigands. Everyone admires and fears him.
Seriously, guys, he's freakin' Batman.
He spends years acting as an angel of mercy and vengeance, rewarding the deserving, while planning his revenge against the three men who sent him to the Château d'If. The plot is intricate and there are dozens of characters, some of whom wind up interacting in fantastically coincidental ways. Since Dantes has returned from prison as the Batman, of course all his former enemies, who were once just poor scrubs themselves, are now fabulously wealthy and powerful as well, the better for Monte Cristo to bring them down.
It's an exceptional story, and a classic adventure. Kids should love it, if you can find a kid with the patience to read almost half a million words of flowery 19th century prose. Adults should also love it. But it's definitely over the top with all its coincidences and larger-than-life characters. Over the top, but a literary masterpiece. You get revenge and adventure and justice and a view of European high and low society in the post-Napoleon era. What elevates it above simple adventure and melodrama, besides the fine storytelling? It's not just Dantes getting even with those who did him wrong (which is how most of the movie versions portray it). In the end, his enemies undo themselves, and the Count of Monte Cristo finally faces the question of whether what he did was right and whether it was all worth it. Like Batman, he's never really going to find peace.
This book is totally worth reading -- and don't wimp out with an abridged version. Read the great big whomping unabridged doorstopper. That said, I have to give it only 4 stars, because while it's a classic that deserves its place, I wanted to start a drinking game for every time Dumas describes an "indescribable" expression or someone expresses an "inexpressible" emotion.
Okay, here's some word counts:
I don't know what French words they were translated from, but Dumas's writing does get quite purple by modern standards. Where Dickens crafted prosey, clever wordiness, Dumas is just wordy. And all those sordid coincidences! And entire chapters on the origins of various bandits and smugglers and where the asexual lesbian niece runs off to. And let's face it, an uneducated sailor spends fourteen years in prison and comes out as Batman? Come on now, guys. But it's still awesome.
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
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.
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.
Terrific insights into the human spirit.
You can't even imagine the deepth of The Count.
The narrator has a great voice and good pronunciation of french. It was a pleasure to hear the tale told, my french is not at all good so when I read the book years ago I would stumble over all those french names in my head.
I found I kept finding all kinds of opportunities to listen when normally I only listen to books in my car. Even though I knew the story it kept me enthralled and I just wanted to keep listening and hear it unfold.
Well worth listening too!!!
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