Monday, April 19, 2010

Count of Monte Cristo Book Review

Recently, I read the book the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. The book opens with and follows the story of Edmond Dantes, a young man about to be married and named captain of his first vessel. He is betrayed by men he knew, and who hoped to gain from getting Edmond out of they way; one to become captain in his place, and the other to marry Mercedes, whom Edmond is engaged to. Edmond is arrested on his wedding day and taken to the judge. Edmond has a letter he obtained on his last voyage from the Isle of Elba where Napoleon is in exile. The captain as his dying wish had asked Edmond to get this letter for him. This was the cause for Edmond’s betrayal and the judge asked Edmond to give him this letter. The judge reads the letter and finds that it is addressed to his father who is a conspirator with Napoleon. The judge fearing that Edmond would find out his secret and ruin him condemns him to prison.

Edmond does not know what he is accused of or that he was going to prison until they reach the Chateau D’If, a prison built on an island. In prison he eventually meets another prisoner; an Abbe named Faria, who was attempting to escape by tunneling, but tunneled into Edmond’s cell instead. Faria teaches Edmond many things including how to read and write and speak other languages. Faria also deduces how and why Edmond was betrayed and who did it. The two men continue tunneling for their escape, but before they can finish Faria falls deathly ill. He tells Edmond of a vast treasure that his is buried on the island of Monte Cristo and how to get it before he dies. Edmond then escapes by sewing himself in Faria’s burial shroud, and when he is thrown into the sea he swims to a nearby island. He finds out that he has been in prison for fourteen years; he was nineteen when he was arrested and thirty-three when he escaped.

Edmond eventually goes to the small island of Monte Cristo and finds the massive treasure hidden there. Then he sets out to revenge himself on all those who made him suffer, using his new found wealth, which takes up only the last 1,200 pages of the book! He also uses his money to help those that had helped him and cared about his well being and his father’s.

This book shows to some extent that revenge is bad by the death of innocent people caused by Edmond’s actions. And Edmond also goes about his revenge by using the people’s own actions for their undoing. Edmond also thinks that he is doing God’s will in his revenge, reasoning that he escaped from prison and literally got rich quick to enforce and be God’s tool for justice against these men. For the most part the book’s story flowed well but it had quite a few sections that became hard to read, because they were slow and became boring. You can really see how selfish and sinful people can be in their ambition for themselves or others dear to them; and to what lengths they go to get others out of their way and cover up what they have done. Overall it was a well told story with a good plot that keeps you reading.

Posted by ME