Wednesday, June 13, 2012

10 things I learned after reading The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas! Capital!

So I finished Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo yesterday. Yes, the unabridged. Yes, all 1,100 pages of it. Yes, I die of melodrama.

While I did enjoy it and found it to be a remarkable work of fiction, I just can't help but think of some things.

  1. The French are not known for brevity. 1,100 pages! Really?
  2. It takes money, lots and lots of money (and gold coins, diamonds, and even slaves), to exact revenge.
  3. The French didn't say, "Awesome!" or "Great!" Instead, they blurt out, "Capital!"
  4. Good news if you find yourself in prison: Your cellmate just might be the raving lunatic who could make you rich.
  5. It's not enough that the novel focus on an adventure. There has to be a love story, and several women fainting for the slightest reasons.
  6. Only the rich can pull off a code name such as Sinbad the Sailor.
  7. If you find yourself forgetting a particular story line, don't fretDumas would provide a very detailed back story for your apparent short-term memory loss. 1,100 pages! Really?
  8. Only the rich can pull off a first name such as Valentine.
  9. If you want to read this, go for the unabridged. The dialogue is just capital!
  10. 1,100 pages in 117 chapters. That's about 9.40 pages per chapter. You can easily read 1 chapter while in the restroom, and possibly 2 or 3 if you're constipated.


Kaz said...

Hi Peter,

I'm guessing the numbered ist was a possible method of avoiding a 17 chapter review of this monster?! I've never read it - or got past the first few chapters of any of Dumas' books. I got indigestion! Same when I tried to read 'Les Miserables'...Victor Hugo is no better in that regard. As you say, the French are nor renowned for their economy of language. P'raps it's not such a bad thing that the movie makers are so able to burrow through the multiple back stories to find the essence of a story when they do adaptations - because the movies of The Count of Monte Cristo have been good fun - capital, in fact!!

Peter S. said...

Hello, Kaz! LOL!

I've read Les Miserables too, the unabridged. Lots of melodrama there as well.

Ryan said...

Anything over 1000 pages is borderline egomaniacal. I've not yet read this and I suspect it's the length that is holding me back.

Peter S. said...

Hello, Ryan! Yes, the length is a big factor.

Anonymous said...

Whoah, the look on his face seems to say, "So, are you gonna take the challenge?" Congrats, by the way, for finishing this one. Regards!

Peter S. said...

Hey, John! Thanks for dropping by!

Stepford Mum said...

Peter, I tried to comment earlier, but some sort of error kept appearing. Anyway, take two! This post was spot on - hilarious and very true. The melodrama, indeed. But well worth reading, no?

Re: your Lichen post, I envy your John Wyndham collection! I have yet to acquire another title besides Triffids. And to think I only decided to reread that one out of nostalgia, since we read it in school when I was 12!

Peter S. said...

Hello, Stepford Mum! Yes, it was definitely worth it.

On the Wyndham, there's still one book that eludes me -- The Kraken Wakes. I tried to check out the two Kinokuniya in Bangkok, but they didn't have it. When I went to Singapore before the Bangkok trip, I completely forgot to get a copy. And to think I spent a good amount of time in Kinokuniya in Takashimaya!