The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas Book Review

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas Book ReviewThe Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Also by this author: The Black Tulip
Published by Penguin on 1894
Genres: Action & Adventure, Classic
Pages: 539
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

'On what slender threads do life and fortune hang'

Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dants is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas' epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular success when it was first serialised in the 1840s.

Reading an abridged book is like eating cake without frosting. You don’t really need the frosting, but the frosting is what gives a cake it’s delicious flavor. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas is a book which ought to be read unabridged, if only for the richness and flavor of the text. The evolution of Edmond Dantes from sailor to prisoner to Count of Monte Cristo is enthralling. Alexander Dumas’s book is captivating. It is hard to set aside CoMC, as the characters are extremely interesting and well-developed. It’s not like the antagonists are straight-up bad guys with no redeeming qualities, they are just people who make bad choices and act out of self-interest.

Essentially, the moral provided in this HUGE tome is that revenge is a dish best served cold. In order to understand why I say this, I shall provide some backstory. Three men known to Edmond Dantes, all jealous of him in some way, one wants his job, the other wants his girlfriend, plot a way to put Edmond Dantes in prison. Their plan works and Dantes is arrested. He’s thrown in prison without a trial. Dantes spends awhile in jail and thinks of nothing but his revenge. Eventually, Dantes escapes and becomes the Count of Monte Cristo. Luckily, for the reader we get to see the entire evolution of Dantes, we see him in his darkest moments as well as in his crowning glory. His revenge is most apt.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking to be transported into another time as well as for someone who is looking to fall in love with well-developed characters. There are many editions out there, I recommend the Robin Buss unabridged translation published by Penguin Classics. Buss’s translation is fantastic and readable, the phrasing is not awkward at all, as in other translations. Also, Buss’s translation includes all of the naughty bits – i.e. one sex scene, some drug use, and a dash of homosexuality. YAY!

While reading this awesome book, I would recommend drinking some wine. As I feel when people plot things, wine is typically the beverage of choice. Chianti makes me feel classy, and this book is a classy, interesting, intense read. I wouldn’t recommend liver with your chianti though. 😉

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. K, I love this book but I liked the movie ending better — I like Mercedes in the movie!

  2. Still, an amazing book!

  3. I love this book!! One of my favorites!
    Although I never realized there were different versions/translations. =(

  4. upsidedownduck says

    I've never been one for the classics, unfortunately, always feeling they're overrated, but The Count of Monte Cristo has always been one of my favorites! I'll have to check out this version/translation for the next time I want to reread it!


  5. I've always wanted to pick up this book and maybe now I'll really add it to my wish list.

  6. baileysandbooks says

    This is one of my favorite high school reads that I sometimes forget about. Very nice review.

    And with the chianti – don't forget the fava beans. ;D

  7. I am ashamed to admit I've never read this, but after your review, April, I'm adding it to my TBR list!

  8. I agree with your thoughts on abridgements! Even though it's a monster to read, it's worth it.


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