" Doesn't something tell you that suffering is like life: that there is always something unknown beyond it?"
Alexandre Dumas has done a masterful job of blending a fantastic and engaging story with interesting dialogue and just enough description to satisfy (without getting bogged down in the details in a Tolkienian manner). As George Bernard Shaw was apt to put it, " Dumas was...a summit of art. Nobody ever could, or did, or will improve upon Dumas's romances". While my thoughts upon completion of The Count of Monte Cristo are not as ludicrously flattering as Shaw, I do now foster a warm appreciation for the man and his works. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of thought provoking sections; those are few and far between in most romantic novels. It made me grieve at the cruelty of humanity, my heart broke at, as Shakespeare termed it, the "frailty of woman", I followed the story with bated breath as the count mysteriously acted both as an agent of providence and revenge (Ok, less than bated breath. I knew how it was going to end, but I was genuinely upset to put it down). All in all, a wonderful summer read. ★★★★