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The Count of Monte Cristo (Penguin Classics) Paperback – May 27, 2003
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Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Short answer: see review title, duh!
The Count of Monte Cristo is my favorite book, and I've read several translations, both abridged and unabridged.
The Buss translation is the most modern, and reads most fluidly. A quick example comparing this translation with the one found on Project Gutenberg:
PG - His wife visited for him, and this was the received thing in the world, where the weighty and multifarious occupations of the magistrate were accepted as an excuse for what was really only calculated pride...
BUSS - His wife visited on his behalf; this was accepted in society, where it was attributed to the amount and gravity of the lawyer's business -- when it was, in reality, deliberate arrogance...
Buss's work reads like the book was written in English. The two or so times that the work is nearly untranslatable, Buss makes a footnote about it (eg, an insinuated insult using the formal "vous" instead of the familiar "tu"). Other translations just skip the subtlety. The most common translation out there (uncredited in my version) reads like a swamp. Trust me, get Buss.
ABRIDGED V UNABRIDGED
Abridged versions of this book rarely say "abridged." You can tell by the size: abridged is 500-700 pages, unabridged is 1200-1400 pages. Go for the unabridged.
The abridged version is VERY confusing! Pruning 1200 pages down to 600 leaves a lot of plot on the cutting room floor. Suddenly, arriving at dinner are 4 new characters; it's very tiring to try to keep up with the hole-ridden story of the abridged versions.Read more ›
The Count of Monte Cristo is a delicious book, full of intrigue, great fight scenes, love, passion, and witty social satire. Dumas has a wonderful grasp of human nature and a talent for rendering all the follies of man in delightful, snappy prose. I immediately recognized people that I know (yes, even myself) in his vivid characters, which made the book all the more engaging to me.
Some people might be put off by the size of the book -- it's a pretty hefty volume -- an tempted to buy the abridged version. Don't! I've heard from people who've read both versions that the abridged version is a pathetic, washed out shadow of the full novel. At any rate, as thick and impossibly long as The Count of Monte Cristo may seem when you open it for the first time, you'll feel as though it's far too short by the time you get to the last page.
Alexandre Dumas's _The Count of Monte Cristo_ is one of the greatest novels of all time and in fact stands at the fountainhead of the entire stream of popular adventure-fiction. Dumas himself was one of the founders of the genre; every other such writer -- H. Rider Haggard, C.S. Forrester, Zane Grey, Louis L'Amour, Mickey Spillane, Ian Fleming, Tom Clancy, John Grisham -- is deeply in his debt.
The cold, brooding, vampiric Count (born Edmond Dantes; known also, among other aliases, as "Sinbad the Sailor," Lord Wilmore, and a representative of the firm of Thomson and French) is the literary forebear of every dark hero from Sherlock Holmes and the Scarlet Pimpernel to Zorro, Batman, the Green Hornet, and Darkman. And the intricate plot provides everything any reader could want: adventure, intrigue, romance, and (of course) the elegant machinations of the Count himself as he exacts his terrible revenge on those who have wronged him -- thereby serving, or so he believes, as an agent of divine justice and retribution. Brrrrrrrr.
The book is also a good deal _longer_ than many readers may be aware. Ever since the middle of the nineteenth century, the English translations have omitted everything in the novel that might offend the sensibilities of Victorian readers -- including, for example, all the sex and drugs.
That's why I strongly recommend that anyone interested in this novel read Robin Buss's full-text translation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It has been so long since I have been able to read The Count of Monte Cristo. I started last summer and when I got to the middle I had to leave off. Read morePublished 14 hours ago by Amazon Customer
Good, but I prefer the elegance of the Oxford translation by David Coward.Published 3 days ago by M. Ivey
Since the movie has always been a favourite of mine, I felt obligated to read the book as well. I found it rather lengthy (unabridged), but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Nathan Wilson
so entertaining!!! i couldnt stop reading, i had to read this for this year for school (ninth grade) and i was worried finishing it in time because their are so many pages but its... Read morePublished 7 days ago by mccullough
This book is one of the greatest novels ever written, or so say critics much more knowledgeable than I. Read morePublished 9 days ago by dkadios
Well worth the time spent to read this long novel, which is actually like several novels rolled into one. Read morePublished 10 days ago by NY Seattle