Do you remember that time about 10 years ago that I asked you to choose a book for me to finish reading by the end of the year?
You probably don’t because it was AGES ago.
Well, I asked you to pick a book that had been languishing on my shelves unread for eons and you chose The Count of Monte Cristo. I started reading it near the end of October and…finished it the night before my birthday.
It took me nearly 5 months to read.
That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. It’s a classic for a reason and I’m always surprised by how accessible the language of Dumas’ work is. It was published in 1844 but it reads like it could have been written now. Obviously there are certain situation and technologies that are very much of the time, but I find the writing very digestible and when I was reading, I found that I was getting through pages rather quickly.
The story itself is one of vengeance and exciting and interesting, it takes a number of surprising turns. I liked Edmond Dantes and understood his quest. The language was beautiful, it had lighter moments that made me laugh. There was honestly nothing about this book that I can use to explain why it took me so long to read.
Except of course this is one long ass book. I’ve written before about not being intimidated by large books but this time, I did not live up to my own expectations. The size of the book left me itching to finish it and looking at other books piled up around my apartment longingly.
And eventually I gave in to that. The idea of only reading The Count of Monte Cristo for as long as it took me to read it (my copy weighed in at 1462 pages, realistically it would have taken at least a month) was one that I couldn’t reconcile myself to. Which meant that the poor Count became my bedtime read, relegated to second place, his story parcelled out in chapter pairs before I drifted off to sleep.
But I finished it and it was great. If I were to read it again (which I hope to one day) I will devote myself to it like the Count devotes himself to his quest.