Alexandre Dumas – The Count of Monte Cristo

On the eve of his marriage to the beautiful Mercedes, having that very day been made captain of his ship, the young sailor Edmond Dants is arrested on a charge of treason, trumped up by jealous rivals. Incarcerated for many lonely years in the isolated and terrifying Chateau d’If near Marseille, he meticulously plans his brilliant escape and extraordinary revenge.

Of all the “masked avengers” and “caped crusaders” in literature, The Count of Monte Cristo is at once the most daring and the most vulnerable. Alexandre Dumas (pre), master storyteller, takes us on a journey of adventure, romance, intrigue, and ultimately, redemption.

Author: Alexandre Dumas
Narrator: Bill Homewood
Duration: 52 hours 41 minutes
Released: 11 Apr 2008
Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks
Language: English

User Review:

ern beloved

This is the longest book I’ve tackled on audible–and the first classic. I don’t think I could have gotten through this without the fantastic narrator, Bill Homewood, bring it to life.

I was worried that this book would be a 50-hour version of the movie that I liked so much. Indeed, it was not. The book offers a richer cast of characters, a much more nuanced protagonist, and countless ambiguities that turn the book into something very surprising and deep.

The age of the novel is very apparent. A lot of the science it employs does not stand the test of time. The use of poisons and drugs is just plain silly at times. Additionally, the the mindset of the french aristocracy is so foreign and bizarre that the motivations and emotions of characters is downright bizarre to modern listeners at times. This causes some of the impact of the drama to be nullified, which is a shame.

I was fairly captivated the entire time, which surprised me given that the language and setting of the novel provided many obstacles to true immersion in the story. Here is where the narrator did his job phenomenally well. I have to say that I truly delighted at his portrayal of Noirtier.

Listeners will probably need to follow along with a chapter summary at parts, as almost every character has two or more names, and some of the Dumas subtleties cause confusion that remains unresolved for long stretches. The language barrier led me to wonder if I misunderstood certain things, or if Dumas was just giving his readers credit by not spelling everything out (it was always the latter).

I highly recommend this book with this narrator.