The Classics Club are now hosting a new monthly meme and this month we are asked to write about our favourite classic. Like most of the other Classics Club members who have been participating in this meme I find it difficult to pick just one book. There are so many that I love and on a different day and in a different mood I might have chosen to write about Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Woman in White, Gone with the Wind or even a children’s classic, like my beloved Watership Down. But if I have to name one classic as my all-time favourite, it would have to be The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
I’ll admit that other classics might offer deeper insights into life, more beautifully-written descriptive passages and more fully-developed characters, but this is the one I enjoy reading the most and that’s why it’s my favourite. It has such an exciting, entertaining plot (and lots of fascinating subplots), so much action and adventure – and one of my favourite fictional characters, Edmond Dantes.
I’m sure most of us have experienced some form of injustice at some point in our lives and can remember how it made us feel. The hero/anti-hero of The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes, is the victim of an injustice so great that it completely destroys his life. Determined to punish his enemies for what they have done, he transforms himself into the Count of Monte Cristo and sets into motion an intricate plan for revenge.
I read The Count of Monte Cristo for the first time in 2006 and knew from the very first chapter that I was going to enjoy it. It’s a very long book – over 1,000 pages in the edition I read – but if you’ve never read it, please don’t let the length put you off. The story moves along at such a fast pace I remember being surprised to find it was a much quicker read than I’d expected. Don’t be tempted to read an abridged edition either because you would be missing out on so much. The plot is so complex I can’t imagine how anything could successfully be left out without spoiling the whole structure of the story.
I’ve also read two other Dumas novels – The Black Tulip and The Three Musketeers – and I loved them both, but not quite as much as I love this one. I’ve now read it twice and it’s on my list to re-read again soon for The Classics Club!
What is your favourite classic?