The Count of Monte Cristoby Alexandre Dumas
Set against the turbulent years of the Napoleonic era, Alexandre Dumas's thrilling adventure story is one of the most widely read romantic novels of all time. In it the dashing young hero, Edmond Dantès, is betrayed by his enemies and thrown into a secret dungeon in the Chateau d'If -- doomed to spend his life in a dank prison cell. The story of his long… See more details below
Set against the turbulent years of the Napoleonic era, Alexandre Dumas's thrilling adventure story is one of the most widely read romantic novels of all time. In it the dashing young hero, Edmond Dantès, is betrayed by his enemies and thrown into a secret dungeon in the Chateau d'If -- doomed to spend his life in a dank prison cell. The story of his long, intolerable years in captivity, his miraculous escape, and his carefully wrought revenge creates a dramatic tale of mystery and intrigue and paints a vision of France -- a dazzling, dueling, exuberant France -- that has become immortal.
"Dumas was... a summit of art. Nobody ever could, or did, or will improve upon Dumas's romances and plays." -- George Bernard Shaw
Read an Excerpt
Count of Monte Cristo
On the 24th of February, 1815, the watch-tower of Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the arrival of the three-master Pharaon, from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.
The usual crowd of curious spectators immediately filled the quay of Fort Saint-Jean, for at Marseilles the arrival of a ship is always a great event, especially when that ship, as was the case with the Pharaon, has been built, rigged, and laden in the dockyard of old Phocaea and belongs to a shipowner of their own town.
Meanwhile the vessel drew on, and was approaching the harbour under topsails, jib, and foresail, but so slowly and with such an air of melancholy that the spectators, always ready to sense misfortune, began to ask one another what ill-luck had overtaken those on board. However, those experienced in navigation soon saw that if there had been any ill-luck, the ship had not been the sufferer, for she advanced in perfect condition and under skilful handling; the anchor was ready to be dropped, the bowsprit shrouds loose. Beside the pilot, who was steering the Pharaonthrough the narrow entrance to the port, there stood a young man, quick of gesture and keen of eye, who watched every movement of the ship while repeating each of the pilot's orders.
The vague anxiety that prevailed among the crowd affected one of the spectators so much that he could not wait until the ship reached the port; jumping into a small boat, he ordered the boatman to row him alongside the Pharaon, which he reached opposite the creek of La Reserve.
On seeing this man approach, the young sailor left his post beside the pilot, and, hat in hand, leant over the ship's bulwarks. He was a tall, lithe young man of about twenty years of age, with fine dark eyes and hair as black as ebony; his whole manner bespoke that air of calm resolution peculiar to those who, from their childhood, have been accustomed to face danger.
"Ah, is that you, Dantès!" cried the man in the boat. "You are looking pretty gloomy on board. What has happened?"
"A great misfortune, Monsieur Morrel," replied the young man, "a great misfortune, especially for me! We lost our brave Captain Leclère off Civita Vecchia."
"What happened to him?" asked the shipowner. "What has happened to our worthy captain?"
"He died of brain-fever in dreadful agony. Alas, monsieur, the whole thing was most unexpected. After a long conversation with the harbourmaster, Captain Leclère left Naples in a great state of agitation. In twenty-four hours he was in high fever, and died three days afterwards. We performed the usual burial service. He is now at rest off the Isle of El Giglio, sewn up in his hammock, with a thirty-six pounder shot at his head and another at his heels. We have brought home his sword and his cross of honour to his widow. But was it worth his while," added the young man, with a sad smile, "to wage war against the English for ten long years only to die in his bed like everybody else?"
"Well, well, Monsieur Edmond," replied the owner, whoappeared more comforted with every moment, "we are all mortal, and the old must make way for the young, otherwise there would be no promotion. And the cargo ... ?"
"Is all safe and sound, Monsieur Morrel, take my word for it. It has been a voyage that will bring you in a good twenty-five thousand francs!"
As they were just past the Round Tower the young man shouted out: "Ready there! Lower topsails, foresail, and jib!"
The order was executed as promptly as on board a man-of-war.
"Lower away! and brail all!"
At this last order, all the sails were lowered and the ship moved on almost imperceptibly.
"And now, Monsieur Morrel," said Dantès, "here is your purser, Monsieur Danglars, coming out of his cabin. If you will step on board he will furnish you with every particular. I must look after the anchoring and dress the ship in mourning."
The owner did not wait to be invited twice. He seized a rope which Dantès flung to him, and, with an agility that would have done credit to a sailor, climbed up the ladder attached to the side of the ship, while the young man, returning to his duty, left the conversation to the individual whom he had announced under the name of Danglars, and who now came toward the owner. He was a man of twenty-five or twenty-six, of unprepossessing countenance, obsequious to his superiors, insolent to his subordinates; and besides the fact that he was the purserand pursers are always unpopular on boardhe was personally as much disliked by the crew as Edmond Dantès was beloved by them.
"Well, Monsieur Morrel," said Danglars, "you have heard of the misfortune that has befallen us?"
"Yes, yes, poor Captain Leclère! He was a brave and honest man!"
"And a first-rate seaman, grown old between sky and ocean, as a man should be who is entrusted with the interestsof so important a firm as that of Morrel and Son," replied Danglars.
"But," replied the owner, watching Dantès at his work, "it seems to me that a sailor need not be so old to understand his business; our friend Edmond seems to understand it thoroughly, and to require no instructions from anyone."
"Yes," said Danglars, casting a look of hatred on Dantès, "yes, he is young, and youth is never lacking in self-confidence. The captain was hardly dead when, without consulting anyone, he assumed command of the ship, and was the cause of our losing a day and a half off the Isle of Elba instead of making direct for Marseilles."
"As captain's mate, it was his duty to take command, but he acted wrongly in losing a day and a half off Elba unless the ship was in need of repair."
"The ship was as right as I am and as I hope you are, Monsieur Morrel; it was nothing more than a whim on his part, and a fancy for going ashore, that caused the delay off Elba."
"Dantès," called the owner, turning toward the young man, "just step this way, will you?"
"One moment, monsieur," he replied, "and I shall be with you." Then turning to the crew, he called out: "Let go!"
The anchor was instantly dropped and the chain ran out with a great rattle. In spite of the pilot's presence Dantès remained at his post until this last task was accomplished, and then he added: "Lower the flag and pennant to half-mast and slope the yards!"
"You see," said Danglars, "he already imagines himself captain."
"And so he is," said his companion. "Why should we not give him the post? I know he is young, but he seems to be an able and thoroughly experienced seaman."
A cloud passed over Danglars's brow.
"Your pardon, Monsieur Morrel," said Dantès, approaching. "Now that the boat is anchored, I am at your service. I believe you called me."
Danglars retreated a step or two.
"I wished to know the reason of the delay off Elba."
"I am unaware of the reason, monsieur; I only followed the last instructions of Captain Leclère, who, when dying, gave me a packet for the Maréchal Bertrand."
"And did you see the Maréchal?"
Morrel glanced around him and then drew Dantès on one side.
"How is the Emperor?" he asked eagerly.
"Very well, so far as I could see. He came into the Maréchal's room while I was there."
"Did you speak to him?"
"It was he who spoke to me, monsieur," said Dantès, smiling. "He asked me some questions about the ship, about the time of her departure for Marseilles, the route she had followed and the cargo she carried. I believe that had she been empty and I the master, he would have bought her; but I told him I was only the mate and that the ship belonged to the firm of Morrel and Son. 'Ah, ah,' said he. 'I know the firm. The Morrels have all been shipowners for generations, and there was a Morrel who served in the same regiment with me when I was garrisoned at Valance.'"
"Quite true! Quite true!" Monsieur Morrel exclaimed, delighted. "It was Policar Morrel, my uncle, who afterwards became a captain. Dantès, you must tell my uncle that the Emperor still remembers him and you will see tears of joy in the old soldier's eyes. Well, well!" he added, giving Dantès a friendly tap on the shoulder, "you were quite right in carrying out Captain Leclère's instructions and putting in at the Isle of Elba, though if it were known that you delivered a packet to the Maréchal and talked with the Emperor you might get into trouble."
"How so?" said Dantès. "I don't even know what the packet contained, and the Emperor merely made such inquiries as he would of any newcomer. But excuse me,monsieur, for one moment, here are the medical and customs officers coming on board."
As the young man departed Danglars approached.
"Well," said he, "it would seem that he has given you good reasons for dropping anchor off Porto Ferrajo?"
"Most satisfactory ones, dear Monsieur Danglars."
"So much the better," replied the purser, "for it is never pleasant to see a comrade neglect his duty."
"Dantès certainly did his, and there is nothing more to be said on the matter. It was Captain Leclère who ordered him to call at Elba."
"Talking of Captain Leclére, hasn't Dantès given you a letter from him?"
"No, was there one for me?"
"I think that, in addition to the packet, Captain Leclère gave him a letter."
"What packet do you mean, Danglars?"
"The one Dantès delivered at Porto Ferrajo."
"How do you know that he had a packet for Porto Ferrajo?"
Danglars turned red.
"I was passing the captain's door, which was ajar, and saw him give Dantès the packet and the letter."
"He has not mentioned a letter to me, but if he has one I have no doubt he will give it to me."
"Then, Monsieur Morrel, pray don't mention it to Dantès. Perhaps I am mistaken."
Just then the young man returned and Danglars retreated as before.
"Well, Dantès, have you finished now?"
"Then you can come and dine with us?"
"I beg you to excuse me, Monsieur Morrel. I owe my first visit to my father. All the same, I greatly appreciate the honour you pay me."
"You are quite right, Dantès. I know you are a good son."
"And do you know if my father is quite well?" he asked with some hesitation.
"Oh, I believe so, my dear Edmond, but I have not seen him lately. At any rate I am sure that he has not wanted for anything during your absence."
Dantès smiled. "My father is proud, monsieur, and even had he been in want of everything, I doubt whether he would have asked anything of anybody except God."
"Well, then, after this first visit has been paid, may we count on you?"
"Once more I must ask you to excuse me, Monsieur Morrel. There is yet another visit which I am most anxious to pay."
"True, Dantès; I had forgotten that there is at the Catalans someone who is awaiting you with as much impatience as your fatherthe fair Mercédès."
"Well! well!" said the shipowner. "Now I understand why she came to me three times for news of the Pharaon. Upon my word, Edmond, you are to be envied: she is a handsome girl. But don't let me keep you any longer. You have looked after my affairs so well that it is but your due that you should now have time to look after your own. Are you in need of money?"
"No, thank you, monsieur, I have all my pay from the voyage; that is nearly three months' salary."
"You are a careful fellow, Edmond."
"Say rather that I have a poor father."
"Yes, yes, I know you are a good son. Off you go to your father. I too have a son, and I should be very angry with anyone who kept him away from me after a three months' voyage."
"I have your leave, monsieur?" said the young man, saluting.
"Yes, if you have nothing more to say to me. By the way, before Captain Leclère died, did he not give you a letter for me?"
"He was unable to write, monsieur. But that reminds me, I shall have to ask you for a fortnight's leave."
"To get married?"
"First of all, and then for a journey to Paris."
"Very well, take what time you need. It will take us quite six weeks to unload the cargo, and we shall not be ready to put to sea again for another three months. But you must be back in three months, for the Pharaon cannot sail without her captain," he added, patting the young sailor on the back.
"Without her captain, did you say?" cried Dantès, his eyes sparkling with joy. "Oh! if you really mean that, monsieur, you are touching on my fondest hopes. Is it really your intention to make me captain of the Pharaon?"
"If it depended on me alone, my dear Dantès, I should give you my hand saying, 'It is settled,' but I have a partner, and you know the Italian proverb, Chi ha compagne ha padrone. But half the battle is won since you already have my vote. Leave it to me to get my partner's for you. Now, off you go; I shall remain here awhile and go over the accounts with Danglars. By the by, were you satisfied with him on the voyage?"
"That depends on what you mean by that question. If you mean as comrade I must say no, for I do not think he has been my friend ever since the day I was foolish enough to propose to him that we should stop for ten minutes at the Isle of Monte Cristo to settle a little dispute. I never ought to have made the suggestion, and he was quite right in refusing. If you mean as purser I have nothing to say against him, and I think you will be satisfied with the way in which he has discharged his duties."
Thereupon the young sailor jumped into the boat, seated himself in the stern and ordered the oarsmen to put him ashore at the Cannebière. With a smile on his lips M. Morrel glanced after him till he saw him jump ashore. There he was immediately lost in the motley crowd that, from five o'clock in the morning until nine o'clock in the evening, collects in that famous street of the Cannebière, ofwhich the modern Phocaeans are so proud that they say in all seriousness, and with that peculiar accent which lends so much character to what they say, "If Paris owned the Cannebière she would be a little Marseilles."
On turning round the shipowner saw Danglars standing behind him. The latter, who appeared to be awaiting his orders, was in reality, like him, following the movements of the young sailor. But how different was the expression in the eyes of each of these two men as they gazed after Dantes' retreating figure!
All new material in this edition is copyright © 1998 by Tom Doherty Associates. LLC.
Meet the Author
Alexandre Dumas could have been a character from one of his novels. A true romantic, he was the son of Napoleon's famous General Dumas, a prolific writer of over 277 volumes, a revolutionary and a man of tremendous appetites. He was born on July 24, 1802 and died penniless but happy on December 5, 1870, a refugee from his own excesses.
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I have noticed that most of the reviews for this edition speak about Dumas' work in general, but I have to make a point that Robin Buss makes in the beginning of the book: almost every other version of The Count of Monte Cristo in English is either an abridgment or the product of Victorian editing. This book has to be praised for the mere fact that Buss went back to the original French and translated it wonderfully, not abridging or altering the essential storyline. As of now, this is the only edition of such caliber that I know of, and for now, it is all I recommend that people buy. Avoid all other editions and publishers, or at least make sure whether the one you want is an abridgment or not.
I had purchased a copy of this book because I love the story of the Count of Monte Cristo and wanted a version in hard back. It was only after I was reading through it when I noticed stuff different from my penguin soft back version did I flip to the front to discover the book was abridged. Who ever edited this book had to have been stupid because they did a horrible job of editing. I could understand cutting material which isn't critical to the story. Examples from the unabridged version included 'How to rescue a gardener from dormice who are eating his peaches' and 'the road for Belgium.' However to deliberately omit major portions which are critical to the whole of the story is wrong and causes the whole story to be misrepresented. Major portions which were omitted included the the final judgment of Danglars at the hands of Vampa, and also the story of Andrea Cavalcanti and how he ties to both Villefort and Danglars. Even the comic book version of the story I read as a kid managed to included all of these. This abridged version of this book isnt worth the paper it is written on. I am extremely disappointed at Barnes and Noble for putting their name on crap like this. Don't waste your money, go get yourself a penguin classics version instead and read the whole story.
This is an abridged version -- an incomplete story -- and a terrible abridged version. There are several key parts of the story missing, which significantly change the story. It is an offense to Dumas and readers.
On a Nook, the search did not describe this book as one of several volumes. It starts on chapter XLVII. The scan of the book is horrible, rendering the story illegible. For example, it starts with this sentence, reproduced exactly as it appears on a Nook; "~F the Count of Moiito-Oristo harl lived for a very long time ill Parisian society, lie would liavo fully appreciated the value of the stej* wluflh M. do ViUefort had taken." I'm not going to waste any time on this book. I'm not going to waste any more time on reviewing this junk.
I must say that this is one of the best books - if not the best book - I've ever read in my entire life. I do not say this lightly. From the very beginning, I fell in love with the character, Edmound Dantes, and cheered him on throughout his struggles. But my admiration turned to awe when I saw what he was capable of, and upon seeing the carefully plotted, fatal revenges he planned for his enemies had me stunned. Even so, it was the fact that he was a complex character, composed with both good and evil, that really fascinated me and makes me say, without a doubt, that Edmound Dantes is the best character I've ever seen, and the Count of Monte Cristo the most thrilling book I've ever read. I highly recommmend it, and will be reading it again in the near future.
Although this timeless classic may seem to be printed in its entirety, be warned. I recently purchesed this novel hoping to delve into a 19th century classic but found myself faced with an abridged novel. How can one fully appreciate an author's talent when part of his work has been removed? Furthermore, who is to say what should be taken out or not. The cover says nothing about being abridged, therefore decieving the general public. If you want the Sparknotes version of a classic, or don't have enough time to enjoy Dumas' amazing literature, then this is a book for you.
I loved this book. I am beginning to read 'The Classics', a daunting task, nontheless. But this book could be appreciated without a backround of classical literature. The plot was thrilling and unique, the writing style original and captivating, and nothing will be written like it again. It had everything a book should have: romance, revenge, action, adventure, heartbreak. I think that is what has made it one of the best books I have ever read.
I loved this book! I loved all 600+ pages. I read a review somewhere that said "It's harder to stop reading this book than it is to start." I agree with that. It was difficult for me to initially pick it up because it is so HUGE, but once I did it was was even harder to put down. The characters are well developed and it moves easily from one adventure to another. I would (and have) highly recommend this to anyone who wants to read a good adventure.
I got stuck on the first page on my nook. But after i closed the book, opened another, and then returned to this one, i was able to turn the pages with ease. I dont know if it will always work, but its just a suggestion since youve already spent your time and money on this. Happy reading!
To the kid in honors english, can honestly say this is one of the greatest novels ever written. I am a guy though and dumas tended to favor a more male point of view when he wrote. But i personally think this book is for all ages and genders, i have read it more than 20 times that should put a better perspective on how much i enjoy reading this novel.
The Count of Monte Cristo is a fantasic book full of a thrilling plot of revenge and reward. Great book for anyone to read, even if you don't read books. This book will definately keep your attention.
Dumas weaves a beautiful tale of revenge and compassion that makes The Count of Monte Cristo one of the finest works of fiction of the past two hundred years. Classics Illustrated certainly opened this story to me as a pre-adolescent but nothing beats reading the book. The characters develop slowly and the reader has no doubt about the honesty and integrity of the few 'good' people and knows the dark side of the 'baddies'. This book is all meat and potatoes and the dessert comes in the final 150 pages. Do yourself a favor and pick this classic up for a wonderful reading experience. Now, on to The Three Musketeers.
the story of Edmund Dantes is amazing.First betrayed then rises out of the ashes and gets revenge. Alexandre Dumas is a great author and very imaginative
Jesus christ,enough with you morons just writing nonsense.just about every review section i read ,has a bunch of idiots spouting nonsense. You would think barnes and noble would remove them , but nooooo!
This is one of those books that has me slapping myself for waiting 30 years to read it. It is simply one of the most astonishing and masterful books I've ever read. This 1200+ page epic revenge story is never boring. It hurtles the reader full speed ahead into it's plot and never lets up. By the time Dantes' revenge has run it's course, the reader still has several chapters to go, but Dumas hold his final revelation until the end (though the reader can't help but guess what it is). There were a few places where I was confused as to charcter and motivation, but upon charging ahead, I realized it was my own fault in not paying attention to what I was reading. For example: one of the men the Count is going after has since made his fortune and acquired a title (le Comte de Moncerf), but the reader encounters his son first--who has the same title. No big deal. Kinda embarrassing really. Dumas' works have been criticized by modern readers as bloated because he was paid by the line. My response is: so what? People then didn't have the ways we do to mindlessly waste their time; they craved such "bloat". But it doesn't detract from the story at all. According to the translator Robin Buss, Dumas contradicts himself with some details of in story, but it doesn't disrupt his story at all. Most English editions of this book are either abridged (around 600 pages) or of an anonymous translation that omits details of the book that are opposed to Victorian morals (such as hints of Eugenie's lesbianism). I researched the various translations and settled on the Buss translation. This is the one I'd recommend. This is certainly one of the great books in all of literature and far and away the best adventure novel I've encountered.
at first ok but then every third page brings up error message and gradually every page.
This is a masterfully written piece of literature that explores the fundamental nature of man and his propensity towards grace and savagery regardless of class; though the backbone of the storyline is Edmond Dantes' quest for vengeance, vengeance per se is not the ultimate theme. At a little over 3,000 pages, it takes awhile for the real action to pick up, but once it does you won't be able to put it down. The way Dumas brings multiple plot lines together is ingenious and would be extremely difficult to repliccate on the silver screen without losing something significant. Like a finely crafted wine it takes awhile for the various elements of this plot to ferment into a perfection that is unpredictable and surprisingly inspirational.
I am a tru lover of classics, i love to sit down with sherlock holmes,les mis, and other great masterpieces like such. As i read this book, i was completley captivated. The book revovles around edmond dantes, who must take his vengeance on those that have wronged him terribly.the way he does this will keep you reading. There are inspirational quotes in this book. If you watched the movie, please erase that story from your mind,because the movie was so loosely related to the book. The book is much different. Usually movies are a little more in line with the book. I strongly urge you to read this amazing book. It was the BEST book have read in my entire life.
I wouldn't recommend downloading this copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. There were very few illustrations - I remember seeing only 3 or 4 in the whole book (or maybe they just didn't show up as there were several pages that had large amounts of blank space in them). The book also froze my Nook up a lot (i.e. pages wouldn't turn, took a long time to open). None of my other books on my Nook ever freeze like this one did.
I had no idea when I purchased this book that it was abridged; however, that did not cause me to enjoy this novel any less! I was engrossed with the story from about the 5th page! This book has it all, jealousy, love and retribution. What an excellent introduction for me to the world of Dumas! I can see why The Count of Monte Cristo has been one of the most popular books in Europe. I wish I had picked up this wonderful classic earlier!
This book contains mysteries and hidden secrets inscribed in every page. It just touches up on every kind of situation on person could possibly be in. Such as love, revenge, betrayl, murder, and oh there is so much more entertiwned within one book. Hey, don't let the thickness of it fool you, it's what you read that makes it a classic for over a century. Future readers I recommend it highly,the plot line is a unique one, and it'll keep your eyeballs glued to the pages.
In the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, a French sailor runs into some hard times. It all started when his captain on his ship got brain fever and dies. The Captain's last request is that Edmond goes to the Isle of Elba to deliver a letter and take whatever is received and deliver that also. When Edmond returns to Marseilles and prepares to deliver his letter. He decides he will travel to Paris after he marries his beautiful fiancée Mercedes. Also along with the great joy of about to become a married man Edmond is told by the ship owner that he will become the new captain of the ship. With all of this good news Edmond makes some rivals unknowingly. These rivals conspire together to write an anonymous letter to the public prosecutor telling of how Edmond had a letter from Napoleon to the Bonapartist party of Paris.Due to this letter Edmond was arrested and sent to the public prosecutor. While there the deputy public prosecutor, Villefort, interrogates Edmond, discovers that Edmond was innocent and is about to release him when he finds out the letter from Napoleon was to his father. Villefort does not want to be one day blackmailed with this information so he sends Edmond to a prison at the Chateau d'If to die without ever knowing what put him in there. Edmond spends fourteen years in this prison during which he meets a priest who holds the secret to a hidden treasure. The priest teaches Edmond many things in exchange for his help on a tunnel which is to be their escape. But the priest does not escape with Edmond instead dies allowing Edmond a unique opportunity for escape. Edmond does escape and find the treasure the priest told him about and then uses the fortune he receives to extract revenge from the people who stole fourteen years of his life; Danglars the second mate, Fernand the jealous friend, and Villefort who accused him wrongly. The rest of the book explains how Edmond creates and executes his great revenge. The best part of this book was the plot. Dumas does a great job of weaving a tangled web that becomes unraveled by the Count of Monte Cristo's (Edmond) revenge. The complex way the Count using this entire web to fit his purpose makes for an intoxicating read. The worst part of this book was the changes that Edmond had to go through to achieve his revenge. Edmond went from enjoying all that life had given him to becoming a cruel, vindictive man who revels in the demise of his enemies. Edmond became the Count of Monte Cristo who knows no bounds and cannot be stopped by anyone other than God. The Count made his self into a person who smiled at the most terrible sights. All the Count had was his revenge and what that revenge had made him into. This book was a great read due to the involved plot. Edmond used all his resources in unique ways and provided interesting outlooks on life due to his altered personality. Also Dumas made it so all of Edmond's enemies had great schemes with each other so if you took one down the others followed quickly. Edmond's revenge would not have been as great if the other characters had not left themselves in positions that if uncovered would ruin them. These subtle turns in the book add suspense and extra umph to an already interesting book.
This book is amazing. The first time I read it I was shocked by the great plot and characterization. I bought the book later on and read it again and had the same effect. I mean you have to read this book...Alexandre Dumas is a fantastic author
oh my god. that's almost all i can say. its almost an understatement to say this was the most amazing book i've ever read. i am only disappointed that i read the abridged version. . . we read this in my english class and i am without words to decribe how much i truely love this book. there are about 52 characters in this book, so i'd recommend a character chart (which will come in handy, believe me. write the relations amoung the characters; husband of..., daughter of..., ect) in the begging the reader is introduced to a bunch of seemingless unassociated characters, but as the story progresses, you begin to see how small of a world they really live in. from illegitimate children to murder to adventure and outright scandal, this book is extremely thrilling and a definate page-turner. from start to finish its unparallelable. i would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
I have roughly 200 to 300 books in my collection with a great array of authors. But this by far is one of the best books I've ever read. I originally purchased it in paperback, and have just ordered the HardCover book for my elite collection. (I dont think I will ever crack the spine on it)