I already knew the story of the Count of Monte Cristo when I saw a film version many years ago. I really enjoyed the plot, so when a free Kindle edition popped up on Amazon I had to download a copy.
The book is set in France during the post-Napoleonic era. It is a very long book (took me months to read it!) so careful reading and concentration is needed to get your head round the events on how Dantes comes to be incarcerated into Chateau D’If, and also to understand the significance of Napolean’s exile. On the face of it, as the story unfolds, certain parts of it may appear to be frustrating, even far-fetched (I couldn’t believe how Dantes came to be thrown in jail in the first place when there was no clear evidence against him, but I suppose back then they didn’t bother about such trivialities), and some of the dialogue is very long and drawn out, bordering on the tedious. I found myself having to re-read paragraphs I didn’t quite understand or which I missed the point of. I’m not sure if that was because much had been lost in translation or if Dumas wanted everything to be explained. There are also a lot of characters in the book to contend with.
That said, for me personally it’s the theme of revenge that gives the book five stars: injustice to despair, from despair to hope, from hope to vengence. Nothing could be more satisfying than that!