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Friday, September 14, 2007

The Count of Monte Cristo

Since I did a post earlier this week about how I'm no fan of Jane Austen, I thought I'd share the book that I consider my favorite of all time.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas.

I'm kind of a purist and will only read the unabridged version. In my opinion, there is too much history and detail that you miss out on if you read an abridged version. For me, it takes away from the amazing story.

The main theme of the book is revenge. A young sailor, Edmond Dantes, is framed for a crime and stripped away from his true love, Mercedes, just as he has been named Captain of his own ship. He is imprisoned in the Chateau D'If (a real place in France that I really, really want to visit someday) for years and through some extraordinary circumstances, comes to know a man that will change his life forever.

The 2002 movie starring Jim Caviezel was really disappointing. But, I don't know how I could expect them to make that kind of book into a feature length film.

The best adaptation I've found is a French miniseries starring Gerard Depardieu. Apparently, he's the only actor in France. He's a little unbelievable as Edmond Dantes but as the Count of Monte Cristo I found him to be right on point. This miniseries is long enough to include most of the plot twists and turns that I love and is able to give me a "quick" Monte Cristo fix if I don't have time to read the book.

Now I have a question for my readers--what is your "go-to" classic that you can read over and over again?


  1. Julie Garwood"s Ransom is my go to book. I'vemnbms always thought it would make a great movie. Its a quick read full of humor, mystery and romance. Just a really good entertaining book...I think I have read it like 15 times in the last three years.

  2. I haven't read all the books I would like to read even once so rarely go back and read a book a second time (other than scriptures!). But I do have a theme-- I love reading American history books (revolutionary war, civil war, Lewis and Clark). Years ago I read a book 3 times (I think it was War and Peace, that's a Russian book isn't it?) I was trying to understand it and not sure if I finally came to terms with it or not!!

  3. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck!

  4. Definitely Gone with the Wind. The book and the movie.


  5. Ok, I know this isn't answering your question, but I would like to discuss the book version of the Counte of Monte Christo. Isn't it a little dissapointing that he ends up with the idian girl that he picked up over his travels who is clearly quite a bit younger than he is? That part always bugged me a little bit. But, I am a Jane Austen Fan, who loves it when true love wins out in the end. Now I only read this book once, so maybe you can shed some light on it for me. Plus, I saw the move first which might have ruined the book for me.

  6. You're right he doesn't end up with his young love but for me it made a lot of sense. He was a totally changed person. Revenge took out all of the good Edmond and replaced it with the Count. Mercedes wouldn't have been happy with him, I don't think. Anyway, all this talk and thinking about the book has made me want to read it again!

  7. Okay, I can see that. Now you are making me want to read the book again.

  8. Janet6:47 PM

    Mark said he totally agrees with you about The Count of Monte Cristo and the miniseries and everything.

    I don't know if I have a favorite book. For a while, it was the Anne of Green Gables books, but not currently. Too many books, too little time!!

  9. Gosh, Christy, that's like asking a knitter (you, me), "What's your favorite yarn?" I have lots of favorites! I had to go stand in front of my bookcase and look at all my books. The only book that I've read more than two times is Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club (which I've read four times.) Tonight we watched Shakespeare in Love on TV in which Romeo and Juliet is acted out throughout the movie. I'm always surprised at how well I know that play. I never tire of it. And a few years ago I checked out all of the Winnie the Pooh books out of the library and read them. Comfort reading.

  10. Well, goodness. I thought the 2002 movie was quite good, but then again, I haven't read the book. Shame on me, right? Now I'll have to get the unabridged version and catch up on my classics.

    I don't particularly have a "go to" book anymore that I will re-read numerous times, but when I was younger I held a special place in my heart for the Laura Ingalls books.

  11. Don't know if this is considered a classic, but it should be: The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (all of the Hitchiker's books) by Adams. I laugh out loud every time I read them.

    A close second is Catch 22.

  12. Here's some irony for your post/comment thread/whatever: my favorite classic is probably (although it's a tough call; there are so many great books to choose from) Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Mansfield Park is also quite delightful. I hope you won't hold that against me.

    As for books that you don't dislike (as far as I know)... I'm smitten with Jane Eyre and A Room with a View.

  13. Little Women and Heidi are books I enjoy re-reading every so often. If I'm down, reading some Beverly Cleary (Henry Huggins, Beezus, etc.) will always cheer me. And I agree with one of the posters who goes to Laura Ingalls Wilder - they're classic.

  14. I'm looking forward to getting the Laura Ingalls Wilder books from my mother-in-law (frequent commenter, Janet). I want to read them again!

  15. Hmmm, I love all those books by Dumas too. My most cherished go-to book is Pride & Prejudice, not what you want to hear I know. ; )
    Non-Austen: LOTR (!!!) , Little Women, anything Bronte, Gone with the Wind, and I don't know that they qualify as a classic, but I love to re-read the Mitford books every few years.