- Series: Oxford World's Classics
- Paperback: 704 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 15, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199538468
- ISBN-13: 978-0199538461
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.5 x 5.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 488 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Three Musketeers (Oxford World's Classics)
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About the Author
David Coward is Senior Lecturer in French, University of Leeds
Top customer reviews
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The Three Musketeers, I think, is better still. There's very little padding, and the only bit that rankled a little was a section in which the exposition was handled very stagily, in the sense of old-fashioned exposition: two nonentities come onto the stage and explain all the backstory in dialogue that is as flat as a pancake. In the section in question, however, the two characters were important ones, and it seemed odd how they suddenly began to behave. It was around this section too that D'Artagnan started behaving rather strangely, more like a puppet than a man. Not only was he using one woman to get at another, (Kitty, Milady's maid, to get at Milady) and showing uncharacteristic integrity, but his apparent bedazzlement by Milady was somehow unbelievable.
Apart from that, the story zips along at such a pace that you find yourself reading page after page, trying to keep up with the speed of things. The humour is wonderful, there's very little purple prose for a 19th century novel, and the characters, though occasionally inconsistent, are in general well-drawn. The villains are villains to the core; no mistaking them. The heroes will die for anything and everything that seems true. The women are wonderful, and the men passionate and energetic. And the suspense is terrific (even if you've seen one or two movie versions of the story).
Certainly the morals of the the characters leave something to be desired. Dumas even comments on their behaviour a couple of times by telling us that this was how people behaved then - as if to excuse the fact that he was making them behave this way. And the way he weaves history into his story - bending it when necessary - is excellent.
A few examples of Dumas’ wondrous prose:
“He is meditating by what sort of punishment he shall cause me to die,” said the Gascon to himself. “Well, my faith! he shall see how a gentleman can die.”
The young Musketeer was in excellent disposition to die heroically.”
“A benefit reproached is an offense committed.”
“Milady had, likewise, the best of passports —her beauty, her noble appearance, and the liberality with which she distributed her pistoles.”
“People, in general,” he said, “only ask advice not to follow it; or if they do follow it, it is for the sake of having someone to blame for having given it.”
“After this, satisfied with the way in which he had conducted himself at Meung, without remorse for the past, confident in the present, and full of hope for the future, he retired to bed and slept the sleep of the brave.”
The copy lived up to the look I wanted. It had the design that would be intimidating when he was learning to read, the design that made it clearly an "adult" book...and then the title: "The Three Musketeers" which was enough, at least for me, to give it a peak inside and discover the adventure.
I hope things go the same way here. Its really a must read for childhood and it has that mysterious feel that a kid would eventually be attracted to.