|The Count of Monte Cristo|
|Author - Alexandre Dumas
Edmond Dantes an intelligent crewman from the sailing vessel Pharaon is back at Marseilles, and back to his beloved, the beautiful Mercedes. The nineteen-year-old sailor is soon to be captain of his own ship and husband to Mercedes. But Fate intervenes, and Dantes finds himself condemned to lifelong solitary imprisonment in the notorious Chateau d’If — a plot engineered by spiteful enemies who provoke his arrest on the very day of his wedding. He is framed as a Napoleonic conspirator by the politician Villefort who is anxious to conceal his own father’s machinations on behalf of Bonaparte. The Chateau d’If becomes his home for a miserable fourteen years. Here, Dantes becomes close friends with the “crazy” priest Abbe Faria who not only educates him but tells him of a long lost treasure in the island of Monte Carlo. Dantes manages to escape in a highly dramatic manner. He flees to the island of Monte Cristo, and locates the fabulous treasure, hidden since the time of Renaissance.
And thus the innocent, carefree Edmond Dantes ceases to exist and the Count of Monte Cristo takes his place. The Count is Dantes’ very own alter ego, although he has none of the compassion and consideration that Dantes had. Armed with all the money a man could want, he plots to exact ruthless revenge on his three enemies – M. de Villefort, Danglars and Fernand.
Alexandre Dumas was born in1802 near Paris, France. Young Alexander developed a love for books and read everything he could lay his hands on. His mother told him tales of his soldier father’s adventures and about the glorious years of Napoleon. They fired Alexander’s vivid imagination and he began to write after he moved to Paris when he was twenty years old. He began by writing articles for magazines and plays for the theatre. The Three Musketeers, The Regent’s Daughter and The Man in the Iron Mask are some of his other famous works.
Dantes, although stunned and almost suffocated, had sufficient presence of mind to hold his breath, and as his right hand (prepared as he was for every chance) held his knife open, he rapidly ripped up the sack, extricated his arm, and then his body; but in spite of all his efforts to free himself from the shot, he felt it dragging him down still lower. He then bent his body, and by a desperateeffort severed the cord that bound his legs, at the moment when it seemed as if he were actually strangled. With a mighty leap he rose to the surface of the sea, while the shot dragged down to the depths the sack that had so nearly become his shroud.
Paperback: 1168 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; New Ed edition (June 25, 1998)
|Review - Jayanthi Mahalingam