Edmond Dantes, a sailor in 19th century France, is set to marry the woman he loves when he is falsely accused of plotting to return Napoleon to power. Edmond is thrown in prison, where he meets an Italian abbe who, following years of friendship and escape attempts, bequeaths a hidden fortune to Dantes. Dantes finally manages to escape, acquires the abbe’s vast treasure, and vows revenge against those who put him in prison, plotting to destroy their lives as absolutely as he can.
While most think of The Count of Monte Cristo as being a story of revenge, and it foremost is, it also has a central focus on drama. Those who conspired against Dantes become rich and powerful, and a large portion of the story focuses on the drama that unfolds around their families in Paris, decades after Dantes is imprisoned. Daughters are married off against their will, sons duel to preserve their family honor, and estranged wives plot the financial ruin of their husbands. There are a number of chapters where Dantes is relegated to the backseat, so the focus can instead be entirely on these other characters, at times causing the plot for revenge to be forgotten.
This would be the only warning to give anyone interested in this book. If one seeks a tale of swashbuckling action, grab Treasure Island instead. But if you’re looking for a literary classic with incredibly well thought-out drama, I recommend this book.
Last Modified March 30, 2023