The Count of Monte Cristo


Publication date: 1844

Author: Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo is a classic written by Alexandre Dumas. The book centers around a man named Edmond Dantès. His fortunes are looking very promising. He has a boss who finds him invaluable, and just made him captain of his ship. He has a father who he loves very much, and he is engaged to be married. However, at the peak of his happiness he is arrested and sent to an island prison for a crime he did not commit. He then meets another inmate Abbé Faria who tutors Edmond, and they hatch a plan to escape. Faria also tells Edmond about a treasure hidden on the desolate island of Monte Cristo. Edmond is able to escape, but his friend dies before they are out of the prison. Edmond then goes to the island, and finds the treasure. He is now a very wealthy man so he assumes the identity of the Count of Monte Cristo. Under this new identity, (and a few others) he makes his way to France. He knows that the people who conspired to get him arrested are living very lavish lives in the Parisian aristocracy. Monte Cristo then begins to seek revenge. He resides in Paris while he sets the stage to bring his enemies to justice. After he has avenged himself he has to discover what to do with the rest of his fortune and his life.

The Count of Monte Cristo is a complex book. It is filled with a myriad of different characters all tied together. The novel examines how bad things can happen to good people, and good fortune can come to evil people. However, in the end justice is served. It also examines the cost of revenge, and how it can be taken too far. Monte Cristo experiences a personal crisis when he questions if he is justified in doing what he is doing. The book combines fiction and history, and the reader gets to look into the past to see life in France, right after the fall of Napoleon. 

The Count of Monte Cristo is a difficult undertaking. I would highly recommend the book to someone who is a very strong and ambitious reader. It is well worth the time if you can spare an inordinate amount of time to read it. It is almost a thousand pages of literature, and many do not want to invest themselves that much into one book. There is a less ambitious book set in a different period of French history called The Three Musketeers, and was also written by Alexandre Dumas. If this review made you want to read the book, but you fear it would be too difficult, I would recommend the Three Musketeers.