Rules: Read Me!
Admin: sue943
Legal / Conditions of Use

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#651994 - Wed Sep 07 2011 12:00 PM FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th
LeoDaVinci Offline
Moderator

Registered: Fri Mar 23 2001
Posts: 10149
Loc: Ontario Canada
Seeing that participation is dwindling, I've decided to go with a classic to see if I can get people to talk about it. It's slightly longer, so I've given you all five weeks instead of four to read it. It's one of my own personal favourite books, and it's been analyzed and adapted and parodied and... well, you get the picture.

Prepare to read The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas...
_________________________
"La divina podestate, la somma sapienza e 'l primo amore."
--------------------
Editor - General, Literature, Religion

Top
#652063 - Wed Sep 07 2011 04:49 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: LeoDaVinci]
LeoDaVinci Offline
Moderator

Registered: Fri Mar 23 2001
Posts: 10149
Loc: Ontario Canada
Dagny provided us with the link to Project Gutenberg where our book is available in numerous formats:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1184

Dagny also warned me that there are several versions of the book that are abridged. I've got the complete text, and highly recommend it, but, you should all check which version you have. If you're really brave, try reading it in the original French!

Enjoy!
_________________________
"La divina podestate, la somma sapienza e 'l primo amore."
--------------------
Editor - General, Literature, Religion

Top
#656688 - Mon Sep 26 2011 08:05 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: LeoDaVinci]
LeoDaVinci Offline
Moderator

Registered: Fri Mar 23 2001
Posts: 10149
Loc: Ontario Canada
The Count of Monte Cristo was one of my favourite books growing up. I received it as a present for my eleventh birthday, a lovely leather-bound copy, and it must have taken me a few weeks to read it through the first time. Since then, I've reread it many times, just because it's such an amazing novel.

The characters are so real and vibrant, the plot so sinister and dark, and you will simply be riveted to your chair turning the pages as you read through it for the first time. If you read it again, you'll probably notice the many details you passed over in the first reading, and you'll be amazed to find out how vivid the imagery is.

It's not difficult to realize why this novel is a classic.
_________________________
"La divina podestate, la somma sapienza e 'l primo amore."
--------------------
Editor - General, Literature, Religion

Top
#657090 - Wed Sep 28 2011 02:02 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: LeoDaVinci]
LeoDaVinci Offline
Moderator

Registered: Fri Mar 23 2001
Posts: 10149
Loc: Ontario Canada
Dagny says:

I must have been in my 50s by the time I got around to reading The Count of Monte Cristo. It was an immediate favorite and I am now thoroughly enjoying my third reading.

Dumas read about François Picaud in a collection of cases from police archives and used this as the inspiration to begin writing The Count of Monte Cristo which was serialized from August 1844 to January 1846 in the Les Journal des Débats. It was immediately popular and translations into other languages began even before the serialization was completed.

Running almost a year and a half--no wonder it's action packed! There is something for everyone in this book which William Makepeace Thackeray wrote he couldn't put down.
_________________________
"La divina podestate, la somma sapienza e 'l primo amore."
--------------------
Editor - General, Literature, Religion

Top
#660474 - Wed Oct 12 2011 08:35 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: LeoDaVinci]
LeoDaVinci Offline
Moderator

Registered: Fri Mar 23 2001
Posts: 10149
Loc: Ontario Canada
Discussion is now open:

A few questions to get you guys thinking about this book:

The main motivation for the Count is revenge. Does he get it?
Is revenge a dish best served cold or done is the heat of passion/anger?
Does Abbe Faria instill the wish for revenge?
Of the original three, are Fernand and Danglars more to blame than Caderousse?
Was Villefort fearing for his own neck and ambitions or was he also concerned for his father's welfare?
What does Valentine and Maxmillian's relationship show or represent?
What does Monte Cristo's wealth mean to him? Is it just a means to an end?
What's the balance between vengeance and justice? For example: Does Fernand get served either, or both?
_________________________
"La divina podestate, la somma sapienza e 'l primo amore."
--------------------
Editor - General, Literature, Religion

Top
#660477 - Wed Oct 12 2011 08:43 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: LeoDaVinci]
malama Offline
Participant

Registered: Thu Sep 08 2011
Posts: 16
Loc: Dusseldorf Germany
Hi,

I am new to this forum and look forward to discuss books with you.

I never read the CoMC before, but of course heard about it. I got an e-version and started to read, but find it tedious because it seems so predictable and has such a feeling of - well, maybe not doom. It feels so sinister to me... never got past the first few chapters.
Is it the style of that era, all this hinting, almost spilling the story before it is really happening?
Any thoughts against this? I would love to be convinced otherwise.

Malama.
_________________________
We are the stewards of this world. It belongs to our children.

Top
#660562 - Wed Oct 12 2011 03:29 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: malama]
kevro03 Offline
Explorer

Registered: Wed Sep 21 2011
Posts: 61
Loc: Illinois USA
Well, I have not read this book in 20 plus years. I will give it another read. Good idea!

Malama....No book is universally loved. I found it to live up to the hype as a classic. The book reads more quickly, I feel, after the first quarter of the book.

Top
#660563 - Wed Oct 12 2011 03:49 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: kevro03]
Christinap Offline
Prolific

Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1562
Loc: Essex UK
My original version of the book, which I've had since the late 1950s, was translated from the French back in the mid 1800s. There is a Penguin clasics translation from some time in the 1990s however that up-dates the language and makes it an easier read. I rather like the sense of foreboding in the early part of the book though. Remember it was originally published in serial form, as were many books at that time, including a lot of Dickens, and even in those days each part of the serial needed to end in a way that made the reader want to carry on with the next part, so you will get "cliff-hangers", or a break in the narrative and a jump to another scene or something, that you would not necesarily get in a book originally written to be published as a complete novel from the start.

Top
#660740 - Thu Oct 13 2011 09:00 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: LeoDaVinci]
Dagny1 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Nov 14 2010
Posts: 235
Loc: Alabama USA
Originally Posted By: LeoDaVinci
Discussion is now open:
Of the original three, are Fernand and Danglars more to blame than Caderousse?


Danglars, Danglars! I hate him. mad I blame Danglars the most as he is the one who concocted the whole scheme. Fernand is caught in the throes of jealousy and is very happy to comply, but I think he would not have thought of something like that on his own. I think of Caderousse as a pathetic, lazy ne'r-do-well.

Top
#660904 - Thu Oct 13 2011 04:39 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: Dagny1]
Christinap Offline
Prolific

Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1562
Loc: Essex UK
I always feel that the Count does get his revenge, but in the end he gets little pleasure from it. All those years in jail the thought of the revenge keeps him going, keeps him strong, the Abbe, whilst possibly not instilling the wish for revenge, certainly encourages and feeds it, but perhaps he knows that the Count has to have something to keep him going and what else is there to offer in prison but the thought of escaping and taking revenge on those who put you there.

He plots and plans and schemes and his revenge is definitely a dish eaten cold, but I always feel he would have gained far more satisfaction from it if it had been a hot and passionate action.

Top
#661187 - Fri Oct 14 2011 04:28 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: Christinap]
Dagny1 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Nov 14 2010
Posts: 235
Loc: Alabama USA
Dumas himself had quite an exciting life. He was very involved in politics and active in the Revolution of July 1830 and as late as the early 1860s was supporting Garibaldi in Italy. Apparently he came by this naturally since his father had been a general under Napoleon.

Top
#662446 - Thu Oct 20 2011 07:16 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: Dagny1]
LeoDaVinci Offline
Moderator

Registered: Fri Mar 23 2001
Posts: 10149
Loc: Ontario Canada
I think that while Danglars wanted to get rich, Fernand wanted to get the girl, Caderousse didn't even know what he wanted, I blame Villefort the most. In an attempt to further his own ambitions and to advance his own name, Villefort is perfectly willing to knowingly ruin another man's life.

Is the end result a fitting 'punishment' for each of the antagonists?
_________________________
"La divina podestate, la somma sapienza e 'l primo amore."
--------------------
Editor - General, Literature, Religion

Top
#662925 - Sat Oct 22 2011 03:29 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: LeoDaVinci]
Dagny1 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Nov 14 2010
Posts: 235
Loc: Alabama USA
Originally Posted By: LeoDaVinci
I think that while Danglars wanted to get rich, Fernand wanted to get the girl, Caderousse didn't even know what he wanted, I blame Villefort the most. In an attempt to further his own ambitions and to advance his own name, Villefort is perfectly willing to knowingly ruin another man's life.



I agree that Villefort's action in condemning Edmond to life imprisonment was despicable, but I'm not sure I blame him more than I blame Danglers. I could have cut Villefort a break had he done it to save his father, but no . . . it was to save possible damage to his political career. Still though, it was Danglars who thought up the scheme out of pure jealousy. If not for Danglers, Villefort would not have been involved.

Top
#662926 - Sat Oct 22 2011 03:38 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: LeoDaVinci]
Dagny1 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Nov 14 2010
Posts: 235
Loc: Alabama USA
Originally Posted By: LeoDaVinci
Was Villefort fearing for his own neck and ambitions or was he also concerned for his father's welfare?


I see I pretty much answered this one is my previous post. Villefort was definitely fearing for his ambitions. As far as his father's welfare was concerned, Villefort probably wished his father would drop off the face of the earth because of his ties with Napoleon and Company. Villefort wouldn't even take over his father's title for fear of association with the revolutionary faction.

Top
#662932 - Sat Oct 22 2011 04:18 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: Dagny1]
LeoDaVinci Offline
Moderator

Registered: Fri Mar 23 2001
Posts: 10149
Loc: Ontario Canada
I think that Valentine and Maxmillian's relationship is sort of a redemption, that the sins of the father are not visited upon the children, and besides, love isn't limited by deeds done in the past. Whether Monte Cristo ever truly accepts the relationship as a valid one, well, up until the end I don't think he did. In the end, he realizes that revenge isn't all that it was made out to be and his acceptance of the relationship is complete.
_________________________
"La divina podestate, la somma sapienza e 'l primo amore."
--------------------
Editor - General, Literature, Religion

Top
#662948 - Sat Oct 22 2011 06:33 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: LeoDaVinci]
Dagny1 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Nov 14 2010
Posts: 235
Loc: Alabama USA
Originally Posted By: LeoDaVinci
I think that Valentine and Maxmillian's relationship is sort of a redemption, that the sins of the father are not visited upon the children, and besides, love isn't limited by deeds done in the past.



Grounds for optimism!

And who is the biggest pessimist in the novel? Caderousse ranks high on the list. He should have been happy in the beginning of the book. He had enough money on which to live--otherwise he wouldn't have been able to lend money to Dantes' father. He was doing ok, very well probably for his station in life. He was too lazy to work to better his situation, so he might as well have embraced his current one instead of moaning and groaning about it which just made him more miserable.

Top
#662949 - Sat Oct 22 2011 06:36 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: Dagny1]
Dagny1 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Nov 14 2010
Posts: 235
Loc: Alabama USA
Was anyone rooting for Mercedes and Dantes to get together?

I was, almost until the very end. I don't really fault her for marrying Fernand. She had no hope for Dantes and didn't know Fernand's part in getting Dantes arrested. It may be popular in fiction to remain unmarried or even to commit suicide in honor of a lost love, but it's not very practical.

Top
#662966 - Sun Oct 23 2011 01:33 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: Dagny1]
Christinap Offline
Prolific

Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1562
Loc: Essex UK
Caderousse deserved everything he got. He had chances to redeem himself, but each time took the wrong option. He was the architect of his own troubles.

I was rooting for Mercedes and Dantes to get together, but maybe that would have made a bit too twee an ending.

Top
#664041 - Fri Oct 28 2011 01:16 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: Christinap]
LeoDaVinci Offline
Moderator

Registered: Fri Mar 23 2001
Posts: 10149
Loc: Ontario Canada
I was not rooting for Mercedes and Dantes to get together. The moment I found out that she had married Fernand, even if she had no hope of ever seeing Edmond again, that was it for her in my eyes. Maybe she chose the practical route, but, it sullied the love for Edmond that she professed to have. Besides, Edmond's first acts after coming out of prison weren't to win her back, but to get revenge, and that didn't sell me on the fact that he still loved her.
_________________________
"La divina podestate, la somma sapienza e 'l primo amore."
--------------------
Editor - General, Literature, Religion

Top
#664042 - Fri Oct 28 2011 01:18 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: LeoDaVinci]
LeoDaVinci Offline
Moderator

Registered: Fri Mar 23 2001
Posts: 10149
Loc: Ontario Canada
Did Dantes' personality change with each identity he took on?
Would you consider Monte Cristo to be a murderer? After all, he willingly taught Mme. Villefort how to poison knowing that she would turn that knowledge upon her family.


Edited by LeoDaVinci (Wed Nov 02 2011 09:03 AM)
_________________________
"La divina podestate, la somma sapienza e 'l primo amore."
--------------------
Editor - General, Literature, Religion

Top
#664096 - Fri Oct 28 2011 05:07 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: LeoDaVinci]
Dagny1 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Nov 14 2010
Posts: 235
Loc: Alabama USA
Originally Posted By: LeoDaVinci
I was not rooting for Mercedes and Dantes to get together. (snip) Besides, Edmond's first acts after coming out of prison weren't to win her back, but to get revenge, and that didn't sell me on the fact that he still loved her.



Good point about Edmond's feelings for Mercedes. I hadn't thought of that, but of course, since if he really loved her, he would not have wanted her to be alone all those years or to give up having a family if she wanted one.

Top
#664104 - Fri Oct 28 2011 06:47 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: LeoDaVinci]
Dagny1 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Nov 14 2010
Posts: 235
Loc: Alabama USA
Originally Posted By: LeoDaVinci
Did Dantes' personality change with each identity he took on?


Yes, it rather did.

And now that he's changed yet again and found love with Haydee, could he go back to his birth name of Edmond Dantes?

Too much water under the bridge for that, I think. Plus I don't think Edmond ever knew despair, bitterness, etc. Edmond was young, in love and the world was his oyster. Not so, this new Count of Monte Cristo. Perhaps he can just go by "Captain."

Top
#664693 - Mon Oct 31 2011 07:47 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: Dagny1]
Christinap Offline
Prolific

Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1562
Loc: Essex UK
But surely of he went back to Edmond Dantes he would be a wanted criminal because of the prison escape. Irrespective of anything else that would still be a crime, so I don't see he could ever go back to that name.

As for his personality, he changed it to suit each identity. I don't think underneath he changed at all, but he changed the public image of his personality to suit the identity each time, like an actor performing a long term role.

Top
#664990 - Wed Nov 02 2011 09:21 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: Christinap]
LeoDaVinci Offline
Moderator

Registered: Fri Mar 23 2001
Posts: 10149
Loc: Ontario Canada
I'm not sure that records were kept as meticulously back then, and, besides, Dantes was believed to be dead. Edmond could have been a popular name and there's no reason for him not to have reverted to his birth name other than the memories that probably haunted him to the day he died.

I particularly disliked the Abbe Busoni persona. I think that when he used it, he felt himself as a godlike person, and that absolved him of any wrongdoing he would do. His arrogance in believing that revenge was right and just, even if he was himself wronged, should not be justified, especially not by God. By using a character of a man of the cloth, Monte Cristo is essentially placing himself above all other men.
_________________________
"La divina podestate, la somma sapienza e 'l primo amore."
--------------------
Editor - General, Literature, Religion

Top
#665126 - Wed Nov 02 2011 05:36 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - October 10th [Re: LeoDaVinci]
Christinap Offline
Prolific

Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1562
Loc: Essex UK
Good point, but I'm not sure that he views it in that manner. It's just another personna to him, I don't think he thinks through the moral implications of using that character. To me it's the same with all his identities, just another personna to lay over the top of the real him. Deep down none of them mean anything to him, they are a means to an end. I wonder if he felt that by casting off the identity he was using at any one time and taking up another one he was also casting off the deeds that that personna did, so the revenge wasn't done by the real him, it was done by the "other" him, who he put aside when he was done.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  LeoDaVinci, ren33, TabbyTom