Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Count of Monte Cristo

Though educational, non-fiction history books can be extremely dry. One can learn a lot from something like The Black Book of Communism, but one has to stay awake first! At times, therefore, I think it makes sense to learn from historical novels. Depending on the author's talent, these can make you live in a particular time and place, rather than give you the mundane facts about it.

It's with this intention in mind that I read Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, which is set after Napoleon had been ousted from France, but was making a comeback to re-take it! The book was outstanding.

Dumas explores a number of themes in the book, including religion, revenge, and the keys to happiness. He does this by weaving a lengthy but outstanding story through a few decades.

With a lot of books, I get where they're going and so I'm always checking page numbers with the hope of getting closer to the end. With this book, though it was long, I was dreading the end because it would mean my journey was complete.

There was not as much historical education as I would have liked in the book, however. The author uses it as background but stays pretty true to his own material. Still, the book gives one a pretty good idea of what life was like for various classes of people. It was a time when duels to the death, rather than Tweetstorms, settled scores, and when patients with ailments were bled by their doctors literally, rather than financially.



juan said...

Haha. Great last sentence.

Cogitator said...

Monte Cristo is my favorite classic. So many great quotes in there. And it teaches quite a few life lessons. Should re-read it soon!