The Count of Monte Cristo (abridged) (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble ...
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The Count of Monte Cristo

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Overview

The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything. He is engaged to a beautiful woman, is about to become the captain of a ship, and is well liked by almost everyone. But his perfect life is shattered when he is framed by a jealous rival and thrown into a dark prison cell for 14 years.

The greatest tale of betrayal, adventure, and revenge ever written, The Count of Monte Cristo continues to dazzle readers with its thrilling and memorable scenes, including Dantès’s miraculous escape from prison, his amazing discovery of a vast hidden treasure, and his transformation into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo—a man whose astonishing thirst for vengeance is as cruel as it is just.

Luc Sante is the author of Low Life, Evidence, and The Factory of Facts. He teaches writing and the history of photography at Bard College.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593083335
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 11/1/2004
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Edition description: Abridged edition
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Luc Sante is the author of Low Life, Evidence, and The Factory of Facts. He teaches writing and the history of photography at Bard College.
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Read an Excerpt

From Luc Sante's Introduction to The Count of Monte Cristo

Le Comte de Monte-Cristo ( The Count of Monte Cristo ) began serialization in the Journal des Débats in 1844 and was published in book form in 1846, shortly after The Three Musketeers , and arguably did even better than its predecessor. The effect of the serials, which held vast audiences enthralled, each member separately but simultaneously, is unlike any experience of reading we are likely to have known ourselves, maybe something like that of a particularly gripping television series. Day after day, at breakfast or at work or on the street, people talked of little else; one then-famous man, reading in bed, woke up his wife to announce that Edmond Dantès had escaped from the Château d'If. The Count of Monte Cristo was translated into virtually all modern languages and has never been out of print in most of them. There have been at least twenty-nine motion pictures based on it (many in the silent era, but one as recently as 2002), as well as several television series, and many movies that worked the name "Monte Cristo" into their titles, capitalizing on the aura of the novel without sharing any but the most cursory aspects of the story. The name has been given to a famous gold mine, a line of luxury Cuban cigars, a sandwich, and any number of bars and casinos—it even lurks in the name of the street-corner hustle three-card monte. The name exudes adventure, mystery, and vast wealth, and it triggers a Pavlovian response in great numbers of people who have never read the book. For better or worse, The Count of Monte Cristo has become a fixture of Western civilization's literature, as inescapable and immediately identifiable as Mickey Mouse, Noah's flood, and the story of Little Red Riding Hood.

Dumas can be given credit, or blame, for initiating many of the conventions of modern popular narrative; without him the history of motion pictures—quite apart from merely those based upon his works—might have been very different. Edmond Dantès, the titular Count, could well have fathered the entire race of superheroes, or at least those who do not owe their inspiration to heroes of the classical era, such as Hercules. In particular, he prefigures Batman, like him a mere mortal, albeit equipped with vast wealth and an unquenchable thirst for justice—or revenge, whichever is closer to hand. Like a superhero, Dantès, once launched on his quest, simply cannot put a foot wrong. He is distant, implacable, godlike, almost diabolical, were it not that the wrongs done to him have given him license to rectify matters to a biblical extent; not having been involved in the original misdeed does not exempt the offspring and relatives of evildoers from the force of his wrath.

Dumas, known for his bonhomie, his inability to hold a grudge, his eagerness to resolve conflicts in the most amicable way, was obviously exorcising decades of buried resentments in his creation of Dantès. His father's experiences may have supplied some of the original impetus, but otherwise his father's character and a transposition of his story is given to the paralyzed but still powerful Noirtier, who holds an entire household in his sway even as he is unable to do more than communicate by moving his eyes. The character of Dantès, though, may be the most naked vehicle for wish fulfillment ever devised by a novelist. The primary allure of the book lies precisely in its being pure, guileless, unbuttoned fantasy, the creation of a Walter Mitty with no inhibitions and a boundless sense of entitlement. It is a very good thing that Maquet convinced Dumas to lay the first part of the story on rather thick; the latitude given the hero in the rest of the book requires a formidable counterweight to be palatable.

What Abbé Faria gives Dantès is no mere workaday fortune, but one comparable to the holdings of Baron Rothschild, the Croesus of the day. In addition, he has taught him three or four languages, history, art history, chemistry, medicine, and an advanced course in poisons, all by whispered conversation in a dark cell and without benefit of pencil and paper, let alone texts. When Dantès emerges from prison, he is so far from broken by fourteen years of darkness, insufficient food, and lack of exercise that he is not merely strong, but ageless. His contemporaries are middle-aged and in decline, but he might as well be a contemporary of their grown children. His beloved, Mercédès, says as much: "See how misfortune has silvered my hair. I have shed so many tears that dark rings encircle my eyes; my forehead is covered with wrinkles. You, on the contrary, are still young, Edmond; you are still handsome and dignified. That is because you have preserved your faith and your strength: you trusted in God, and He has sustained you." She is thereby complicit in the novel's most breathtaking departure from convention: Instead of finding love at long last with his intended, Dantès casually throws her over for his Oriental slave girl, and Mercédès concedes the justice of this—she agrees with Dantès and Dumas in considering herself guilty, less for having married the villain Fernand than for having failed to wait the whole, endless fourteen years.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 1714 )
Rating Distribution

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(1070)

4 Star

(317)

3 Star

(135)

2 Star

(63)

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(129)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1726 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2009

    Best Version I Have Seen

    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.

    100 out of 110 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Abridged Versions Dont tell the whole story

    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.

    42 out of 55 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2010

    Illegible, not worth the price. RUN AWAY!

    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.

    25 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2008

    DO NOT BUY THIS VERSION

    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.

    23 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    As Much About Revenge As It Is About A Count

    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.

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    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.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    such a fun book!

    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.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    Thrilling!

    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.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    The writing style and story-telling of Dumas is fantastic and compelling. While one may think he knows the tale of Edmond Dantes, he doesn't until he starts to turn the pages of this 1400-plus page book.

    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.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    For those who are stuck on one page

    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!

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2009

    An old age book for new age readers

    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.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2011

    Disappointed

    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.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Count of Monte Cristo

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    great book

    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

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    do not buy!

    at first ok but then every third page brings up error message and gradually every page.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    John Stacy

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Best book ever

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Reading!

    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!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Whole Package.

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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