The Count of Monte Cristo

By Alexandre Dumas, Robin Buss (translator),

Book cover of The Count of Monte Cristo

Book description

The epic tale of wrongful imprisonment, adventure and revenge, in its definitive translation

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…


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Why read it?

7 authors picked The Count of Monte Cristo as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Bonjour mes amis et bienvenue sur l'île de Monte Cristo! I have read and reread this book in all the different platforms: print, digital, audio. And each time, I find myself completely immersed in the multitude of plots, characters, twists, and adventures. Some might find they need a road map to keep everything together. And to them I would say, welcome to reality in a fictitious world! How expertly Dumas brought this world of pirates, love, treason, and vengeance to life! The many plots drive the story in a truly radical and miraculous way, keeping its reader glued page…

Said to be one of the best books ever written, this huge novel is very hard to put down. Dumas had an incredible knack for telling complex tales that are still easy to read. This is a tale of adventure with the main character being imprisoned for many years and his cunning escape and plans for his future go on a journey of many paths. I read this during lockdown and it was a pleasure to do so as there were so many cliffhangers that were believable. An astonishing author and well worth devoting a couple of months to.

The Count of Monte Cristo is the ultimate revenge book. Our hero, Edmond Dantes, is wrongfully thrown in prison for the rest of his life, and (spoiler alert) he beats the odds, and manages to escape. He then makes a completely new life for himself and exacts the most delicious revenge imaginable. I love a story where tremendous forces are working against the protagonist, and yet they continue to fight. You will be cheering for Edmond!

From Bryan's list on with impossible escapes.

The ultimate revenge story! At its core, this novel is an adventure story, but it also has a huge Gothic undertone, from the gloomy atmosphere of the prison to the dark psychology of seeking personal justice. While I loved the movies, I loved even more how the novel was darker, with Edmond Dantes setting up his nemeses like dominoes just to watch them fall. He not only inflicted justice, but he did it in such a psychological (and financial) way that it became even more damaging to those who wronged him, to the point that most succumbed to their own…

My top picks will end with The Count of Monte Cristo and its fascinating protagonist, Edmond Dantès - one of my favourite characters to this day. The young sailor who starts out naive and innocent, deeply in love with the girl of his dreams, is falsely accused of treason and gets shoved into a prison on a remote island, only to find out that it was his love rival and his crewmates who turned him in. Filled with the will for revenge, he escapes the prison, finds a treasure, and goes to Paris to destroy the people who have wronged…

I’m cheating a bit here because Cristo isn’t exactly a fantasy. But it is a revenge fantasy, and a romantic, swashbuckling adventure to boot. Like The Odyssey, this tale of Edmond Dantes’ unjust imprisonment, escape, and reinvention as The Count of Monte Cristo is all about the Return -- to wreak his wrath on all who betrayed him. Add heaping doses of romance and redemption, and you have a near-perfect adventure for the ages.

From Thomas' list on fantasy adventures for the ages.

A reference in the movie Shawshank Redemption drew me to this classic. Though modern attention spans might be turned off by the page count (600 pages abridged), who can resist the epic nature of Edmund Dantes’ lifelong mission to avenge those who framed him and stole his fiance? I mean, how can you not root for a guy who’s been unjustly imprisoned for twenty years and has the brains and physical ability to pull off the most amazing prison escape ever? Clearly, Dantes is a master at playing the long game and every single step he takes in his revenge…

From Dominic's list on revenge that cross borders and time.

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