The Count Of Monte Cristo (Chunkster Challenge Book #2)

Wherever I go, I have a book with me. When I walked into Zazu’s last week, to have my hair cut, Robin asked, “What are you reading now?” I pulled out this novel,

to which she replied, “Have you seen this film?”

Making it a policy to always read the book first, I put off the film until I’d completed the novel. All 625 pages of it. But, if the Edmond Dantes (Count of Monte Cristo) in the book is anything like the Edmond Dantes in the film, I’m renting it tonight. Why?

Because I am all about strong men. Strong, powerful, intelligent men. Who are good with swords, and poison, and handling riches. With revenge.

Can I just say that the revenge aspect really, I mean really, appealed to the carnal side of me? Ever since my son, of his own accord mind you, drank the vodka given to him by two other kids last Friday, I’m very interested in revenge. It’s not right. It’s not forgiving. But, it is nice to contemplate at least mentally. So, I had great pleasure in reading about the Count’s carefully crafted plan to exact revenge on those who had wronged him.

How was he wronged? He was put into jail at the Chateaux d’If (a real prison!) because two of his “friends”, and one Attorney General, were jealous and afraid of Dantes‘ success. There, he served fourteen years, while his fiance married someone else and his father died of starvation. The only view Dantes had of the outside world was this:

While imprisoned, Dantes meets an Abbe who befriends him and eventually discloses the location of a huge cache of treasure. The rest of the novel tells, in great intricacy, how the Count accomplishes his carefully wrought plan. I’m telling you, it was like watching Masterpiece Theater. You could not wait for the next chapter, the next revelation of revenge; until the Count realizes the seriousness of his power and vanishes with his new love.

“Who knows whether we shall ever see them again,” said Morrel, wiping away a tear.

“My dear,” replied Valentine, “has not the Count just told us that all human wisdom is contained in the words ‘Wait and hope!’ “

An important motto, for if we lose our hope, we are indeed lost.

23 thoughts on “The Count Of Monte Cristo (Chunkster Challenge Book #2)

  1. What a wonderful review 🙂 This is one of those books that I've always wanted to read but never have. I have the same philosophy on reading books before seeing the film and haven't seen the movie for the same reason as you. Maybe I'll read this one next year if the chunkster challenge happens again.


  2. One of my all time favorite novels. The movie, I am sad to report, is not so great, but Guy Pearce plays a great bad guy, and Jim Caviezel (aka Jesus) makes for an attractive Edmond. Like you, though, I pictured Edmond as a strong, virile, masculine hero. I just didn't get that from the film. Great book, though. I'm glad you're enjoying it, and I hope your son is doing well.


  3. Chris, Chunksters are my favorite. Now, I just need a job that will let me sit on my ass all day and get through them!Cupcake, you join in the ranks with Bookfool who's mentioned how much she enjoyed Count of Monte Cristo. I'll have to rent the film and see if Edmond measures up, but I'll probably agree with you. Thanks for the well wishes; we still could use them as we get through this yucky time.


  4. Chris, I think it's called Summertime, especially since I make it a policy not to write any curriculum during June, July and August. I used to, for example putting together a novel study for the District, but now I realize my restorative time is too important. Also, I haven't responded to the comment you left the other day re my son, but it touched me deeply (that you would offer to discuss this situation with us). As we sort through all the ramifications, I just might get some input from you. Thank you.


  5. Scifichick, your comment came in when I was responding to Chris' or I would have added you in, of course. I didn't know it was one of your favorite books, too. The beginning was intoxicating for me, it kind of bogged down in the middle as I tried to sort out the scads of characters, but then I was happy at the end to see how it all tied together. What an intricately woven book! It's too bad the movie was a disappointment, but then again, they usually don't compare with the book. In my opinion.


  6. I have never read the book, so I cannot compare the two, but I have to say that I think the movie is fantastic. It is lush, and beautiful, and I think it conveys a sense of the loss of time while in Chatuea D'if (spelling?) and portrays a nice glorious side of revenge. The textures and fabrics in the film are gorgeous and the casting was perfect. I also have friends who love the book and love the film as well. It is too big of a big to adequately film, but they certainly hit the ideas of betrayal, revenge, and ultimately forgiveness. You may or may not like it, but I suggest watching it with an open mind.Revenge fantasies are a very normal thing, I wouldn't feel too bad about it. As long as you don't take it the next step and plot the downfall of your son's peers I think you'll be alright. 😉


  7. California Teacher Guy, I understand your appreciation of the words "Wait and hope" for they apply to me as well. Isn't it great to get some sustenance from outstanding literature?Carl, you have an ability to appreciate the value of film (which must have been left out of me, much like my ability for spatial reasoning). I WILL rent it, I'm fascinated by what you described, and then we can "talk."


  8. This is one of my favorite novels. two of my daughters and I are big fans of Alexandre Dumas. We also like Victor Hugo. I've read a couple of their books numerous times. I too make it a point to read the book and then watch the movie.As for the movie, Carl V. said it very eloquently. Being that I'm not gifted with words… I ditto his remarks. ;o)Oh, James Caviezel had a dashing, mysterious way about him than the strong man appeal. He brought his own appeal to the character. He did well. Then again, I'm partial to him. :o)


  9. Holy Toledo, those are the words for me, this week. And, you too, right? Wait and hope. Excellent review, B. Isn't it the most exciting, adventurous, wonderful novel? I'm thinking some minor revenge thoughts, myself, just now – want to kick that TB Guy in the shins for what he's putting people through (guess who found out he had his flight number wrong and was on the plane with Mr. TB). What a crappy week I've had. I wish I could slot this one in between the advanced readers. I think I could use a reread. Thanks for taking me back for a revisit. 🙂


  10. OK…one of my all-time favorites!! I love, love, loved this book!! I even liked the movie, although they changed the ending somewhat!! Edmond Dantes was a STRONG man to get through what he did. I love how he overcame a lot of situations that weren't controlled by him! Gives me hope!


  11. "It is too big of a big"…Yep, I is pretty eloquent.. ;)It, of course, should be 'too big of a book', but I assume you got my point.LOL!!!One of the things I love about the film, and this is no spoiler, is the invitations that are sent out to a party. As a person who loves to make hand crafted invites to parties, I went absolutely nuts over these. You only see them for a moment, but they are amazing.


  12. Carl, do not forget that I am a teacher of third graders. You IS eloquent, indeed. I didn't even notice your "error" in the first comment because I try not to correct what I read. On my blog anyway. However, when McDonald's was selling ARTIC shakes? I about went crazy not going in there and saying, It's ARCTIC, you idiots!" Some of my students at work as teens, I suppose. I'll look for the invitations in the film. I, too, appreciate the beauty of hand crafted paper items.


  13. One of my all-time favorite books. I saw a movie version as a kid (starring Richard Chamberlain, I think) that stayed with me for a long time, and inspired me to read the book. (I don't know if it's actually a good adaptation–I just know the story was gripping to me as a kid.) I didn't love this newer version of the movie, but my kids did–which, again, is a testament to the greatness and timelessness of the story. Thanks for the post!


  14. I just came across your blog and am tickled to hear that you ALSO teach 3rd grade and that you have ALSO lived in France and Germany!About Monte Cristo, apparently Hollywood didn't feel comfortable sticking to the typically French ending!


  15. So many of you have commented on the film that now I feel compelled to see it: for the invitations (Carl) and for the ending which is apparently far different from the novel. I'm surprised how many people have read The Count of Monte Cristo. It was great to hear your thoughts.Oh, and Kevin, the comments weren't allowed on the second cicada picture because how many comments does one actually want to leave about paper bugs? Unless you're in third grade? I'm looking forward to checking out your sites. As always. M.


  16. Uh, Kevin? Ew! Those bugs are gross! When I went for a walk down the Riverwalk it was almost like being in a rain forest because the humming was so loud. I felt like I was in a sci-fi film. So, to tell you the truth, I acutally like the origami ones better. (I couldn't get to the first site because I'm at school. I'll check it out later.)


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