The Count of Monte Cristo
3 journalers for this copy...
(Note of explanation to anyone reading this: When I really want to read something, all this means is that I put it on an imaginary Must Read list that makes me grab the book if I ever come across it by chance, be it in a bookshop, in a library, or when visiting a stranger - it does not, however, make me go out of my way to buy or borrow the book.)
So when I saw it on display at Jokers' shortly after joining BC for a mere 3.95 €, of course I took the chance. Turns out the writing is rather small but the overall quality of the paper and such is okay, so it's a good bargain.
With Bookcrossing rings and books to be released and many other books passing through my hands a lot of time passed until I finally got around to reading it this spring sometime around Ascension Day (I think, at least sometime in late April or early May) when I was spending family time with my mother at the Baltic Sea.
At first, the story was just as exciting as I expected if not more so and so I got into the story quickly. Hmm... probably "more so" since (mild spoiler ahead! highlight to make them readable) when watching the film I only entered late when Dantes was struggling underwater and then broke through the waves, and I never got told about the backstory, so that was fascinating to read about. Then he returns to reward those who stood by him in his time of need, and that was also rather touching, if a bit too much sometimes. What followed were some really boring chapters about Italy and two young and unsympathetic guys that were mostly filler, well, that, and introducing whathisname... er, Albert, right. And then we cut over to Paris where there's a lot of boring stuff about society and such, with some intermittent revelations about the villains and their families. To cut a long story short, I found the rest of the story sufficiently disappointing to cure me of my hero worship of the author, and have really no interest at all to reread the book. Rather sad, that.
Characters I liked/found interesting: young Dantes, the abbe Faria, late-story Villefort (yes, I had to look up the name), Julie, Valentine's grandpa - old ... er, Noirtier, and ... oh, I also rather liked Albert as he grew into the story (i.e. not at the beginning).
Characters I disliked/found boring: Haidee, Franz, the different wives, Caderousse, Benedetto, and most everyone else.
*sighs* The way I keep forgetting the characters' names is rather telling when it comes to the amount of exasperation I felt while struggling through the story.
I found the romance between Valentine and Maximilian rather sweet but of course the whole Romeo & Juliet thing was not at all original and got more and more annoying the longer it went on. The role of old Noirtier kept the whole thing bearable, though. In the second half of the story he was my favourite character. On the other hand (speaking of romances), I couldn't stand Haidee (was that her name?) - I found her boring and clingy and ... *shudder* yeah, overall can't stand the ending. And on that subject, the ending was a bit confusing - was he counting on a sequel? ("The Return of the Count"?)
Really, I much preferred the film's clearcut happy ending. Yes, I am that shallow! :p
I'd be extremely glad to pass this book on to someone else, and soon. *shoots angry glances at an innocent book*
EDIT: I completely forgot to mention the introduction which is just wonderful, both when it comes to explaining the historical background and analysing the story. The explanations for the book's shortcomings really make sense.
All in all the book was not completely bad: it was suspenseful and exciting, and as a reader of course I hoped for revenge (though in the end I felt cheated even there). Some of the characters were interesting (though they all remained flat and showed little to no development). Mostly I liked the beginning (that was utterly brilliant, but sadly only took up about 213 pages out of close to 900), a few later parts revolving around an old invalid, the introduction and the appendices, all of which which amount to an estimated 6.5 points out of 10.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Left in the kitchen of one of the departments when nobody was looking. My first release in over 8 months - whoopee!
For the first time I used the "treasure" label by fizzfred (?) - I always thought it was a bit cheesy but it fits this book perfectly and actually looks rather nice in black-and-white. In addition, I placed the nice Q&A bookmark by mivox into the book because it pretty much answers the most important questions, or so I hope.
To the finder:
You've found a wandering book! Please leave a short (or not so short ;) ) journal entry, so I know that the book's well and safe in your hands. For example, you could write where you found it, how you like it, or what you are planning to do with it.
Thanks a lot!
PS: While I enjoy writing these texts in English, there's no obligation for you to do the same. If you like, you could make an entry in German, or whatever your mothertongue may be.
I read it years ago, and really enjoyed it. It's a powerful tale, although somewhat dark.
WILD RELEASE NOTES: