The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (review by Sean K. ’14)

The Count of Monte CristoThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dumas’ second masterpiece is a work of gothic brilliance and has become the quintessential novel of revenge. The eternal protagonist, Edmond Dantes, begins as an ambitious, accomplished sailor in the service of an esteemed trading company in France. He is brutally betrayed, resulting in a wretched 14 years of imprisonment, only to escape, stumble upon an immense fortune, and return to France to pursue a ruthless path of retribution against his perpetrators. Originally written in French, the English translation is in itself a display of eloquent language. A certain level of density accompanies this sophistication, through which some impatient readers may have difficulty traveling. However, action and adventure abound, and the long-awaited moments of revenge stemming from Dantes’ tortuous plans imbue a vindictive ecstasy unsurpassed in literature. Furthermore, Dumas’ periodic philosophical questions on power, fidelity, and revenge offer pensive breaths in between sequences of high suspense. The Count of Monte Cristo is a lengthy read, and many will have to persevere to traverse its many rich pages. But those who do will be enriched by one of the greatest novels of all time and the lessons that it relays. “Only one who has undergone ultimate suffering may experience ultimate bliss.” – Sean K. ‘14

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