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El Conde de Montecristo

Review:

Fi­nal­ly fin­ished. This is one *long* book (I read the unabridged ver­sion), and as usu­al, it's hard to read such an old book with­out the writ­ing style mak­ing it some­what hard­er.

A big part of this is be­cause the trans­la­tion avail­able at the guten­berg project is... aw­ful, prob­a­bly be­cause of its own age. I had read it maybe 10 years ago in a mod­ern span­ish trans­la­tion that was much su­pe­ri­or.

In any case, you can't un­der­stand, for ex­am­ple, Neal Stephen­son, with­out read­ing Du­mas first, and this one is prob­a­bly Du­mas' best work. It's one of those few se­lect books ev­ery­one thinks they have read but prob­a­bly has­n't.

For ex­am­ple, if I say "S­in­bad the Sailor", does it mean any­thing to you in the con­text of "The Count of Mon­te­cristo"? No? Then you have not read it. You may have read it on com­ic book for­m, or some ex­cerp­t, or maybe clif­f's notes, but you have not read the re­al thing.

I loved the at­ten­tion to de­tail­s, like con­coct­ing a rea­son­able way to sim­u­late a stock mar­ket cri­sis (a cute us­age of what's now called a "Man in the Mid­dle" se­cu­ri­ty ex­ploit!), or how a cer­tain char­ac­ter is al­ways de­scribed in ways that make you think she's a les­bian, but with­out ev­er re­al­ly say­ing it out loud.

All in al­l, a great book to have read. But I would rec­om­mend those who want to read it to in­ves­ti­gate and find a more mod­ern trans­la­tion than project Guten­berg's.


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