A Reader posted a review at 2007-07-15 06:01:47.
Very unlike the modern movies that were based upon it. This is no swashbuckling Dumas tale; it's an
elaborate fantasy about luck bringing unlimited wealth, and imprisonment forging a superior will.
The Count is a strangely alien character to high French society. Honored by all who meet him (who perceive his superior character, and if not that, his bank account) he seems to honor nobody in particular. In between his jail sentence
and his return to France, he alludes to decades of adventures, in the exotic orient and even
among the criminal underworld. His cold revenge at times even shocks himself, but he rationalizes that
he is acting as God' instrument.
The plot is all melodrama and courtly intrigue, with relatively little physical action compared to
other Dumas novels. He is quite prepared to fight and win duels, but his chosen method of assassination is an assault on reputation; for instance, ruining his enemy's bank with a well-timed financial action.
In the end Monte Cristo does *not* reunite with the love of his childhood;
she is merely reduced to her former circumstances, a wiser but unhappy woman. In
contrast, we are given examples of lovers who were ready to die rather than go on living without
each other, and these two couples sail off into the sunset -- including Monte Cristo and a slave
he purchased, who has become more of a willing captive.