100 Days of Alexandre Dumas’
The Count of Monte Cristo

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The count of Monte Cristo is a dark character. A dark, brooding, mysterious, and vengeful character. A literary link between Milton’s Satan and DC’s Batman, Monte Cristo may be considered the first avenging superhero who conceals shocking secrets and has power over characters whose lives he wishes to control. At the time of its publication (the novel was serialized 1844-1846), “The Count of Monte Cristo” was the most popular book in Europe and its appeal has not diminished over the years.

Unfolding during the waning days of Napoleon’s First Empire, the Bourbon Restoration, the Revolution of 1830, and the reign of Louis-Philippe, and covering French history between 1815 and 1839, “The Count of Monte Cristo” reveals a tale of an ordinary human being caught up in a turbulent historical moment, unable to understand or control the circumstances that determine his fate — until… But I shall say no more — the novel is a thrilling page-turner and quite possibly the best, and darkest, adventure story ever written!!!

Please join us on a journey into this enigmatic darkness on June 1, 2022, for 100 Days of Alexandre Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo”!!! The novel consists of 117 chapters of uneven length. We will read approximately one chapter per day and combine some of the shorter chapters in order to finish the novel in 100 days. We will consider this summer reading, with my commentary appearing only twice a week. Trust me, you will not get lost — the novel is a seductive page turner!!! I will be reading the Penguin edition of the novel in the Robin Buss translation. Between May 25 and May 31, I will post 20 historical notes to get us ready for the whirlwind of historical events that constitute the background of The Count of Monte Cristo!!! I will post my commentary to Chapter 1 on June 1!!!

Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), Le Désespéré (Desperation or The Desperate Man), a self-portrait painted in 1843-1845 – the years of the writing and publication of The Count of Monte Cristo!!! Desperation was in the air in France during the early to mid 1840s – yet ANOTHER revolution was about to engulf the country in 1848…

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  • June 1, 2022, Chapters 1-4 (to be read June 1-3) [View]
  • June 4, 2022, Chapters 5-9 (to be read June 4-7) [View]
  • June 8, 2022, Chapters 10-13 (to be read June 8-10) [View]
  • June 12, 2022, Chapters 14-18 (to be read June 11-14) [View]
  • June 16, 2022, Chapters 19-22 (to be read June 15-17) [View]
  • June 19, 2022, Chapters 23-27 (to be read June 18-21) [View]
  • June 23, 2022, Chapters 28-31 (to be read June 22-24) [View]
  • June 26, 2022, Chapters 32-36 (to be read June 25-28) [View]
  • July 6, 2022, Chapters 46-49 (to be read July 6-8) [View]
  • July 12, 2022, Chapters 50-54 (to be read July 9-12) [View]
  • July 15, 2022, Chapters 55-58 (to be read July 13-15) [View]
  • July 19, 2022, Chapters 59-63 (to be read July 16-19) [View]
  • July 21, 2022, Chapters 64-67 (to be read July 20-22) [View]
  • July 25, 2022, Chapters 68-72 (to be read July 23-26) [View]
  • July 28, 2022, Chapters 73-76 (to be read July 27-29) [View]
  • August 1, 2022, Chapters 77-81 (to be read July 30-August 2) [View]
  • August 4, 2022, Chapters 82-85 (to be read August 3-5) [View]
  • August 8, 2022, Chapters 86-90 (to be read August 6-9) [View]
  • August 11, 2022, Chapters 91-94 (to be read August 10-12) [View]