Summer Reading: Count of Monte Cristo

September 13th, 2012

On page 1232 of 1243, the Count of Monte Cristo makes a joke.

So, the Summer of 2012 draws to a close. Where I live, the air is a very particular kind of crisp and cool, the sky is the most spectacular shade of blue, the trees are exceptionally green. September is a jewel among the months in its opulence. And it somehow seems fitting to have read a book so full of opulence as my last summer read. It was a very interesting experiment, reading books I had managed to miss in all my years of bibliomania. ^_^ Finishing off with a book I read ages and ages ago (quite seriously, before many of you, my dear readers, were born…) was a nice, if sentimental, touch.

Thank you to all who suggested the Penguin Classic edition of Count of Monte Cristo translated by Robin Buss. His translation was a pleasure to read. He captures not only the flowery delicacy of the language, but the masterful snark that makes this book such a delight.

I’ve always liked Dumas, and I am reminded again why. For one thing, he actually likes and respects women, in a way that many of his contemporaries did not. He wasn’t doltish about them, they don’t act like men in dresses, as our modern “strong female characters”are wont to do. In general, Dumas really “gets” character and voice. It makes reading those inevitable bits where we’re listening to someone tell a story that someone told someone else in order to set up a thing later, much more palatable. In fact, I managed to read those bits much more quickly than I might have in, say, a R.O.D. novel, purely because Dumas is such a good writer that he understands how to make the story easy to read.

Okay, but none of you really care about any of this, I know. You want to hear about Eugenie. ^_^

The Count was a master of snark, but Eugenie, my goodness, she was born to it! I wanted to hug Eugenie so hard every time she was rude.^_^

And Dumas wasn’t pulling any punches with her, he was as subtle as a Yuri club to the head in his descriptions of her, in which he mentioned, Athena, Sappho, “like a man”, “better suited to be the opposite sex” and every freaking other code for “Look, folks, she’s a *lesbian*” that he had in his repertoire. Of course I applauded as she and Louise made their escape together (and laughed like a hyena when he just couldn’t quite let them go without a final appearance. ^_^)

So, we can all relax and imagine Eugenie and Louise, famous enough to live in comfort, pleased to be able to come home to one another every night, living happily ever after. ^_^

Good book.

Ratings:

Overall – 10

With this, I declare my summer reading session over for this year. But don’t worry, I have a nice huge pile of good stuff coming up including, I kid you not, Bobby Blanchard Lesbian Gym Teacher. I read only the best for you. ^_^

And, after yesterday’s news (which pushed this review back a day), this review feels somehow even more appropriate. ^_^

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One Response

  1. Cryssoberyl says:

    Very glad you enjoyed it so much. It really is a fantastic novel, and one of the few really historical novels I can read without being annoyed at the depictions of women. As you say, they’re portrayed as real humans, not caricatures.

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