The Count of Monte Cristo was written and completed by Alexander Dumas in 1844. It is a story of wrong-doing, heartbreak, and revenge, and it is considered a western classic. It is also one of my favorite books. Though for some reason, no matter in what form I chose to read this book (this time it was in audio), it takes me months to get through it. It’s not as if it’s a difficult read (or listen, as the case may be). I think I choose to savor it. To let each of the intricate plots and subplots seep in so that I don’t miss any of the subtleties of the writing. That, and it’s quite long book.
The Count of Monte Cristo is the story of Edmond Dantès, who at the beginning of the story is a humble, yet successful merchant sailor who has just earned his captain’s papers, and becomes engaged to Mercédès, a beautiful Catalan. Jealous of his fortune, three men conspire against Edmond and accuse him of spying. The three men are Fernand (jealous of his engagement to Mercédès), Danglars (jealous of his captain position), and Caderousse (a drunkard and just an all-around snivel of character). Because of them and a few other unfortunate turn of events, Edmond is sentenced to prison at the Château d’If. There, me meets the Abbé Faria, who is the only person who knows where a large treasure is hidden. The Abbé and Edmond work together to escape. The Abbé unfortunately grows ill and dies, but not before telling Edmond of the treasure and its location. The Abbé’s death paves the way for Edmond’s escape and the treasure allows the man a way to enact his revenge upon those who had put him away.
Most of the novel is the long process involved in Edmond’s revenge. Because of his new found wealth, he is able to rename himself the Count of Monte Cristo. He is patient in his wraith, making sure that each involved in his downfall knows the pain and agony of the downward spiral to ultimate defeat. The intricacies that are presented in the novel make for a compelling and involved story. My only complaint is that some of the situations that involve chance are calculated to a nearing impossible degree. The reader must make the leap and agree that the count becomes almost super human because of his wealth—which makes one ponder the message.
Wealth can equal power in more ways than one.