Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes 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 becomes determined not only to escape but to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. A huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s, "Dumas" was inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment when writing his epic tale of suffering and retribution.
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If you are already dismayed by the length and price of this famous story of revenge set in France against a backdrop of turbulent Bonapartist politics, you could cop out and buy the two-CD abridgement for £10.99. It would be about as satisfying as booking a table at Le Gavroche and ordering scrambled eggs, but 52 hours, I agree, is a long haul. Dumas père is chiefly remembered for this, for The Three Musketeers, and for fathering Alexander Dumas fils, author of La Dame aux Camélias. It's a terrific story. Edmond Dantès, a charismatic young seaman, just promoted to captain, is framed by jealous rivals, falsely accused of being a pro-Bonaparte spy and arrested minutes before his marriage to the beautiful Mercedes. He is sentenced to life imprisonment at the notorious Château d'If, where, 14 years later, a fellow inmate, a priest on his deathbed, reveals the whereabouts of a massive treasure on the tiny island of Monte Cristo. Dantès escapes, finds the treasure, buys a peerage and sets about his revenge. Take it on your gap year. --Sue Arnold, The GuardianReview:
"The greatest of escape stories" (Guardian)
"What makes The Count Of Monte Cristo such a superior story is that revenge is not the only emotion driving the plot... it is an almost perfect story - also in the mix are love, friendship, jealousy, faith, education, snobbery and class" (Sunday Express)
"The Count of Monte Cristo sustained my sanity and my life. It is a beautiful book. Incarceration coupled with interrogation can play cruel tricks on the mind and many are driven to suicide.The book taught me to hope when I was living at my mental limits" (Zhuang Zedong, former world table tennis champion and the greatest sportsman in China's history The Times)
"One of the most romantic of all novels" (Mail on Sunday)
"The Napoleon of story-tellers" (Washington Post)
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Book Description Penguin Classic, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110140455329
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140455329