Pauline Alama, September 7, 2013 (view all comments by Pauline Alama)
This amazing book, full of drama and adventure, passes the ultimate test of a classic: everyone steals from it. Mark Twain refers to it in Huckleberry Finn. Dorothy Sayers stole a murder plot from it, and The Princess Bride went right on and stole the same device. This kind of stealing -- like the kind in baseball -- is actually legit, and in fact, the highest tribute to the storytelling powers of the great Dumas.
Edmond Dantes, the hero, is falsely convicted of a crime he didn't commit (hmm, maybe Hitchcock also read this at a formative age). He is robbed of everything: his good name, his engagement to the woman he loves, and his youth, which he spends in an impregnable prison on a lonely island. There follows a daring escape, a new identity, a campaign of revenge -- and a surprisingly uplifting ending.
Today the book is, of course, dated -- above all in its view of women -- but it remains necessary reading for anyone who loves adventure stories.
mwgerard, September 4, 2013 (view all comments by mwgerard)
This may be my ultimate favorite book. Which is saying a lot. It is well over 1000 pages and at the end I still wished there were more.
It has everything -- pirates, bandits, mistaken identity, revenge, theft, and more.
What's sad is that the description is for another book entirely. This is nothing like Les Miserables -- other than, perhaps, it was originally written in French.
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