In 2019, a colleague, with similar appetite as mine, recommended me to read ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ describing it
as the best revenge story there is, and after deliberating on it for some time, I finally took the plunge.
The book is not yet complete, but will keep adding my thoughts and notes here.
Thoughts on the book
Hard vocabulary - The book is from centuries back and people spoke and wrote in a different form. The one I read was a translated version (original is in French), and I found the vocabulary challenging, Kindle’s word-wise was super useful though.
The book requires familiarity with the historical connotations as well as other objects or forms which correspond to the era, eg: the political situation involving Napoleon and his conquests, circa 1800-1815.
Huge cast of characters, I literally had to track the characters.
Pacing: For a very long book, the pacing seemed fine to me, it didnt bother. The book keeps you hooked onto the story, even in the beginning when the plot is developing, situations keep changing continuously.
Quotes/excerpts from the book I liked (in chronological order):
In politics, my dear fellow, you know, as well as I do, there are no men, but ideas — no feelings, but interests; in politics we do not kill a man, we only remove an obstacle, that is all.
In prosperity prayers seem but a mere medley of words, until misfortune comes and the unhappy sufferer first understands the meaning of the sublime language in which he invokes the pity of heaven!
Misfortune is needed to bring to light the treasures of the human intellect. Compression is needed to explode gunpowder. Captivity has brought my mental faculties to a focus; and you are well aware that from the collision of clouds electricity is produced
Wicked ideas take root in a naturally depraved mind, human nature, in a right and wholesome state, revolts at crime.
If you visit to discover the author of any bad action, seek first to discover the person to whom the perpetration of that bad action could be in any way advantageous.
To learn is not to know; there are the learners and the learned. Memory makes the one, philosophy the other.
Philosophy cannot be taught; it is the application of the sciences to truth; it is like the golden cloud in which the Messiah went up into heaven.
“My first sentiment was horror, the second indifference, the third curiosity.”
“Curiosity — that is a terrible word.”
“Why so? In life, our greatest preoccupation is death; is it not then, curious to study the different ways by which the soul and body can part; and how, according to their different characters, temperaments, and even the different customs of their countries, different persons bear the transition from life to death, from existence to annihilation? As for myself, I can assure you of one thing, — the more men you see die, the easier it becomes to die yourself; and in my opinion, death may be a torture, but it is not an expiation.”
Hatred is blind, rage carries you away; and he who pours out vengeance runs the risk of tasting a bitter draught.
Characters and their roles:
- Edmond Dantes
- Protagonist, Young Sailor
- Monsieur Morrel
- Shipowner of Pharaon
- Benevolent of Dantes, supported his family after he was imprisoned
Story So Far:
Since it requires multiple sittings to read this long book, I made some notes for myself to recap and recollect the happenings:
- Introduction *
- Setting up the plot
- Confusion and asking for mercy
- Friendship Stage, Escape Plan and Treasure
- Verifying the suspects, Conspirators
- Gratitude towards the benevolent
- Sindbad the Sailor