Alexandre Dumas – The Count of Monte Cristo
The classic tale of revenge. I’ve been making an effort to read more literature, and Dumas is a natural author to include in that project. He was one of the most popular novelists of his day, basically the equivalent of Stephen King or John Grisham in ours. This novel has some cheesy moments, the characters aren’t particularly nuanced, and plausibility is not its strong suit. But the imagery, atmosphere, and sense of adventure make up for it. This isn’t King Lear, and it doesn’t need to be. It’s more about feeling and spirit than being highbrow.
Like many novels of its day, The Count of Monte Cristo was first published in serial format. Asu such, it has more cliffhangers and sudden reveals and plot twists than one would expect in a more deliberately constructed narrative. But its famous scenes are famous for good reason. And now I get many cultural references I did not before, which is another plus.