So, I’m reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I’ve read this before, but never fully unabridged, and it’s been awhile. Here are my thoughts.
It’s quite dark and twisty, and so far it is sorrow-filled.
In which we meet Edmond Dantès, an honorable, good, happy, kind, nice, lovable, cuddly man. The Pharaon, under command of our beloved Edmond Dantès , sails into Marseilles. He’s taken the ship after the death of her captain, and he is questioned by the ship’s owner, Monsieur Morrel, who greatly respects Dantès, about the ship’s situation. Dantès had to stop at the Isle of Elba, where he met Napoleon (in exile after being ousted).
We realize that Dantès is an honorable man, but he has enemies willing to undermine him–even though he would never suspect such a thing because it is too far beneath him. The primary enemy is Danglars, though I suspect he will use others as tools in a plot.
There is a lot of setup, but it’s good establishment for the honorable character of Dantès.
In which we meet Dantès’ father and realize that Dantès is an honorable man who provides for his father in his old age.
By the way, Dantès is an honorable guy. A really, really good man.
In which we meet the lovely Mercédès (The Catalans), Edmond Dantès’ fiancee. She is beautiful. Really, really beautiful (Is anyone else noticing extremes here?).
At the same time, we meet Fernand, who also loves Mercédès (his cousin) and is willing to do anything to get her.
Fernand meets with Danglars and Caderousse (a neighbor of Dantès who is kid of slimy) and they start drinking. Everybody gripes about Dantès–even to the point of hinting at the possibility that, when Dantès went to Elba, he may have met with Napoleon in order to aid a new revolution.
In which a bunch of jerks get drunk to plot the downfall of a good guy. A letter is written which implies Dantès is involved in treason by conspiring with Napoleon.
In which Dantès and Mercédès have their betrothal feast. They have a great time, all the way until soldiers burst in to arrest the groom.
Good guy that he is, Danglars offers to take over the running of The Pharaon while Dantès is indisposed.
In which we witness another betrothal feast–that of Monsieur Villefort and the daughter of a Marquis. It just so happens that Villefort is one of the prosecutors of Marseilles. He is an ardent royalist, while his father is an equally vehement Bonapartist.
Much of this chapter is spent on those at the party expounding on their loyalty to the king. This chapter ends the same way that the previous chapter does–with soldiers entering the party.
Really, poor Dantès. He’s a victim of being a good guy who has had a great life with little ambition other than to provide for his family and love his wife. Those around him are willing to walk over him to get to their own ends.
By the way, Dantès is an honorable man.
Here is the continuation of my reading: Chapters 7-12