Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Real Count of Monte Cristo

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal and the Real Count of Monte Crisco, by Tom Reiss, is a wonderful historical lesson. I love reading history but admit many interesting topics become dull reads. Not so with this book. Reiss keeps the story going and makes this a very readable biography of General Alexandre Dumas. Dumas was the father of the novelist Alexandre Dumas, who wrote The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. In fact, many of the Count’s adventures and predicaments in “The Count of Monte Cristo” were developed from the real count’s life. This book begins in France and then travels to Saint Domingue where the future General is a slave. It shows how he is brought back to France by his father and is “freed” once he sets foot on French soil. It continues through his schooling and his military career. This is nothing short of splendid story telling of a true story. General Dumas overcomes obstacles yet is also given some interesting advantages due to his mixed blood. But life isn’t always rosy and he spends some tough years imprisoned before again returning to his home and family in France. This well-researched history lesson is absolutely fascinating. If you like history, this is a must read. If you’re not so sure, give it a try anyway. You’ll find it surprisingly easy to read.

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