2018 Reading Challenge: An Adventure/Espionage Novel

Book number 7, it’s a doozy! Are you up to the challenge of reading the Count of Monte Cristo? Read my thoughts and decide.

This is my 7th book in my reading challenge, it took me a very long time to read due it’s complexity and size but I enjoyed every moment of this novel. It was a very heart-wrenching tale of revenge from a place of pure anger and despair.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas really was a formidable read that upon its completion I felt very proud of myself, yet I was sad that the tale had ended. So detailed Dumas went into the lives of these people from perisian society, I almost felt cheated that we didn’t see how some of them ended up. Every plot (for there were multiple) had a conclusion that was very satisfactory, but I was so invested with the characters it didn’t seem enough. This was definitely an amazing read and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

I will start off to say that this book in its simplest understanding is about good and evil, and about that, in the end, we all pay for our sins. Those with pure of intent are the only ones that live happily in the end. Every secret eventually rises to the surface, and those who are honest will be unscathed by the carnage of secrets. Those who are deemed evil, those who are deemed dishonest will be taken down in a manner fitting of their crimes. Providence, Fate, Karma, whatever you want to call it, that is what this novel is about.

The four villains of the book that enrage the count’s need for revenge each got what they deserved in the end poetically. Their ambitions were their downfall and their conclusions were proper to the pain the inflicted. The theme of punishment is seen as a necessity for enacting revenge, that the harsher the crime the longer and harsher the punishment. Each villain/wrongdoer was punished accordingly and the resolution of their punishment finished in sequence to the harshness of their crime. The Bystander, though not fully apart of the crime did nothing to stop the pain from happening. The Manipulated Party, fulfilling the whims of the others and inciting the deeds through desperation and self-gain. The Sociopath, inciting all the pain and stood back to watch all the pain happen for his personal benefit. Then the Liar, one who knew everything that happened was wrong but still allowed punishment to occur for his personal benefit and own agenda, manipulating events for his needs. On top of these crimes, each villain moved on with their lives forgetting the pain and suffering they cause, forgetting that they ruin a mans life and thinking themselves immune. Each one, in turn, came face to face with their past wrongs and paid the price. They each danced with the devil, then, in the end, were brought down by the hand of God.

On top of that, we see a young man go from a good citizen, making his way up in the world who had found love get betrayed by his peers. He then turns into a hard unyielding vessel of vengeance. He because almost unforgiving and his plans were elaborate and took years to implement. Each interaction methodical and necessary, each interaction and move a baby step towards a larger goal. He became patient but cruel from his original rash and loving younger self. In the end, he can never live happily ever after because revenge has eaten away the goodness in his soul. The good intentions in which he carried out his painful deeds equal each other out that he will spend the rest of his life in a state of limbo. For years he was living for his revenge and now that it has been completed he has nothing left, yet he sails away with an air of unsatisfaction.

Because of all these interpersonal connection and have the story lies in dialogue some may think that this isn’t a proper adventure novel, but I will disagree because the adventure was in the subtle cat and mouse chase that ended up occurring. It was in Dante’s heroic escapes and in Monte Cristo’s subtle influence over Parisian Society. The adventure was in the many ways our main character had changed and in the complete turmoil that the villains found themselves when faced with their crimes. The adventure was when the Count revealed himself and like a ghost scared those who had grieved him into running away from the lives that they built, because of shame and guilt. Everyone thinks that the past is something you leave behind but what happens when the past comes back to haunt you, and suddenly everything that you’ve done to move forward and accomplish is threatened and taken away by the ghost of the past?

If you have read or want to this book comment below your thoughts!

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