4 **** stars
|The tale of The Count of Monte Cristo is a story of injustice, betrayal and revenge. Edmond Dantes, the main character, works on a ship and is envied by one of his co-workers, Danglers, for his position and favor with his employers. Edmond is young, and has achieved his position through hard work, honesty and trustworthiness. He is in love with Mercedes, whom he hopes to marry, but Mercedes is also coveted by Fernand and is jealous as well of Edmond for her affection. At Edmund and Mercedes’ wedding feast, prior to the wedding, gendarmes come to arrest Edmond for being a supporter of the exiled Napolean, for which he was set up by Fernand and Danglers by forgery and circumstantial evidence. He is innocently, but purposefully sentenced to prison in a highly fortified castle on a little island for life. While there, he meets fellow inmate, Abbe, who has been there much longer and is now an old man. He learns much from Abbe, including the location of some buried treasure that Abbe wants to share with him. When Abbe dies, Edmond is able to escape prison after 14 years, posing as Abbe’s corpse. He makes his was to the treasure location and finds the story to be true. With all of his new found wealth (making him richer than many in the world), he is able to transform himself into a cosmopolitan world traveler and renames himself the “The Count of Monte Cristo” where the treasure had been buried. Many people guess as to his true identity, without success, and never dream that this was once Edmund Dantes. Time and hardship in prison had taken a toll, and change his features, so that those who had once known him is his previous life never recognize him.
He sets out, with the aid of his wealth, to reward the few who had been kind to him or his father, and punish the many more who had been responsible for losing his love and his years of suffering, and exact justice where he sees injustice. Both those he rewards and those he ruins never recognize him as Edmond, and he never reveals it. I found the book entertaining, with wanting to know how he was going to get his revenge on this one or that, or how it would work out, and did they ever figure out who he was. But, I thought Edmund’s lust for revenge had become twisted– with his fortuitous happening onto the treasure enabling him to pull of his schemes on a grand scale, he came to see himself as the one appointed to mete out justice from God, when in truth, it was really his own lust to see those that had been responsible for robbing him of happiness and wasting years of his life ruined. I can see why this book has become one of the literary classics– to weave a tale of this proportion was a feat of epic magnitude. Read for The Classics Club (https://theclassicsclubblog.wordpress…)