Nobody told me this book would be funny! Well, in case you didn’t know it, this book is funny! I did know it would be ridiculously long, but I did the audiobook, and Bill Homewood was a very fun narrator, and it didn’t feel as long as it could have.
For some reason, I’ve always thought this book would be boring, but it’s a swashbuckling adventure Romance, so in hindsight that was a weird opinion to have. Maybe because the cover looks boring, or I’m used to many classics being boring, but I’ve read The Count of Monte Cristo, so I should have known better. Also, and I know that many of you might not agree with me here, but I genuinely love the Leo DiCaprio Man in the Iron Mask movie.
It’s also kind of miraculous that this book still reads so well, because it’s historical fiction that was written 200 years ago about a period in time 400 years ago, and the way Dumas uses his fictional history comments on things in his contemporary France that no longer mean much of anything to us. You can tell me all day long about how there was a schism between the crown and the church and the Cardinal Richelieu vs. the Queen elements in the book are meant to evoke that, but it doesn’t mean anything emotionally to me. It’s basically just set dressing, So your characters have to be good enough to overcome that, and to provide meaningful emotional stakes, and they are! Their rather amoral nature and dedication to some ideals over others was a bit puzzling at times to my current day sensibilities, but it was always entertaining.
For instance, the response to even the most mild insult was a duel, and like, who cares if that guy dies? He said he didn’t like your nose. But then, you get scenes like Porthos telling someone he will make them full of holes, so it all evens out.
Read Harder Challenge 2022: Read a classic written by a POC.