The classics are a conundrum because there are so many. How do you choose what to read and what if you don’t end up liking it? The best thing to do is read reviews and give a book a chance and that is how I happened to end up reading the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
Edmond Dantès has just been named the captain of the ship Pharaon and has plans to propose to his girlfriend. That never happens as Dantès is accused of treason and locked up in an island fortress near Marseille.
Dantès and his new friend in prison work together to escape the prison island. After escaping the island, Dantès go searching after hidden treasure his new friend hid before getting arrested. With new-found wealth and fame, Dantès seeks to get revenge on the people who falsely accused him and ruined his life.
The story idea written by Dumas is what makes the book so riveting. But alas, it was not his own idea but an idea he built upon. The inspiration came from a French police archivist named Jacques Peuchet. In Peuchet’s novel, a shoemaker was engaged to marry a rich woman when three friends of Peuchet falsely accused him of being a spy.
Peuchet was arrested and put under house arrest where he served as a servant to a rich Italian cleric. The cleric took a liking to Peuchet and when he died, the cleric left his fortune to Peuchet. After that, Peuchet spent years planning his revenge and killed his three friends, one of whom married his fiancé.
There are a lot of similarities but still quite different. Dumas built vastly upon the premise and was able to turn it into a classic. I thoroughly enjoyed The Count of Mount Cristo and recommend it to anyone who loves a great adventure book or the classics but isn’t sure which ones to read.