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Count Of Monte Cristo Manga Classics Paperback – June 6, 2017
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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Chosen for the Texas Library Association's 2018 Mavericks Graphic Novel Recommended Reading List!
About the Author
Crystal S. Chan is an award-winning author and television screen play writer. Â She holds a degree in language and literature. Crystal is a huge fan of authors such as Jane Austen and she is equally passionate about Sailor Moon. Her passion for classic literature combined with her love of the comics medium allows her to strike a solid balance between preserving the depth of the original content while adapting the language for a younger generation.
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Story: In post Napleonic France, Edmund Dantes is about to become captain of a ship and wed his love; on his wedding day, three men conspire to steal his happiness away: the spurned rival for his fiancee's affection, a compromised lawyer, and a fellow shipmate who feels he better deserves the captaincy. Through forged documents, Edmund is framed and sent to prison - the feared Chateau D'If on a far away island. After years of incarceration, and with the help of a treasure left to him from a fellow cellmate, Edmund transforms himself into the Count of Monte Cristo and enacts his revenge on those who wronged him.
The plot is quite elaborate and the authors made smart choices on where to condense. Edmund's escape from the Chateau, several party scenes, and his time in prison with Abbe are greatly reduced or jettisoned altogether to focus on the revenge aspect and the main villains. I think it was a smart decision to not leave off one of the villains since it would have destroyed some of the integrity of Dumas' work.
Even then, with all the name changes as all the villains used their dirty work to rise in the world, it can be a bit confusing. Fortunately, there is a chart that shows the relationships of the characters and how they are involved with Dantes/The Count. It makes it much easier to follow the story as a result.
I do still get frustrated when the historical aspects are not followed through thoroughly enough. Especially clothing and hairstyles, attitudes and mores. Since this is a manga adaptation, dresses are flowy, hair is left loose, everyone looks like they are 15 and dewey eyed, and all the dramatic scenes are over the top. So while the intricacies of Dumas' book remain, everything is hyper translated to melodramatic degrees.
In all, I enjoyed this particular adaptation and wasn't as annoyed as with the other classics. I wouldn't put the Pride and Prejudice version in the school library but I've have no problem adding this particular book's adaptation. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.
I LOVE the source material, The Count of Monte Cristo. It's the ultimate tale of revenge (with a little redemption thrown in), and it's one of my all-time favorite novels.
As an adaptation, the manga does a very good job of staying close to the original plot. Pretty much all the main characters (and even some side ones) are present and accounted for, as are all the key elements of the Count's revenge schemes against Mondego, Danglars and Villefort. If you're that person who would rather watch the movie than read the book, but wants to get all the right info (you know, for Jeopardy, smartypants conversations, *whispers* school assignments), this is not a bad way to go.
As a manga on its own, I think this book could have been better. The artwork is nice, but the narrative tries to cram in so much. There are character nameplates everywhere for the first third of the book, half of which we probably didn't need, and there were a number of places where I wished for, ironically, more showing and less telling.
My biggest issue is that the story rushes through Edmond's time in prison and doesn't show any of his journey to get the treasure. I don't think you needed all of it, but the point where Edmond finds the treasure, has the world at his feet, and chooses revenge...that's a big moment! They tried to create that moment later, but I think the story and the Count's character arc were poorer without the original.
I think the manga would have flowed better if it took the movie's route and combined or omitted parts of the original, but that wasn't the manga's goal. It is supposed to be a faithful adaptation of Dumas' novel, and it does that pretty well.
Overall, the vividness of it all placed me right in the middle of all the action. “The Count” is a formidable piece to adapt, yet all the endeavors the artists, staff, and team at UDON’s Manga Classics made this entire work very comprehensive and enjoyable for the modern generation.
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by Crystal S. Chan
A beautifully rendered edition of the story, taking a dynamic story and bringing it to the...Read more