Our next Community Read: 100 Days of The Count of Monte Cristo

 

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.”

Our next Community Reads project with Anna Barker will be The Count of Monte Cristo. The project follows on past readings of The Red and the Black, Colonel Chabert, War and Peace, The Brothers Karamazov, The Decameron and more. As with those projects, Barker will lead a Facebook group where participants can follow along and learn more about the book as they read a certain number of pages each day. Barker will hold Zoom discussions a few times throughout the project as well. Participation is free; readers need only acquire a copy of the book and join in!

Here, Barker introduces the project:

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!!!

 

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