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.