Books, General

The Full Monte Read-Along: Week One/Chapters 1-20

Bonjour et bienvenue sur le post du Comte de Monte Cristo. Don’t worry though guys, I haven’t google transalted the whole sha-bang, I wanted to show you just how INTO THIS FRENCH BOOK I AM. I’m not even being sarcastic. I’m sitting watching Manic Monday at Wimbledon (I just thought it was called middle Monday, who came up with this crazy moniker and tried to make it a thing?) trying to think of clever and insightful commentary on chapters 1-20 of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas and, *spoiler alert* I ain’t got none, so sit back and expect lots of stupidity, gifs, and nonsense (hopefully all enjoyable of course).

I’ve signed up to take part in The Full Monte Read-Along hosted by Laura @ Reading in Bed. We’re all joining together to read/weight lift this French bad-boy, and post about it every Monday, sharing lots of insightful stupid, serious funny, and important irrelevant aspects and thoughts on the week’s ‘assigned’ reading. You can follow my ‘progress’ through my Goodreads and this handily coded spreadsheet that changes colour when I have actually done what I am supposed to.

*warning* spoilers for The Count of Monte Cristo ahead

OK, so I am frantically trying to think of all the thoughts I have had while I have been reading this week. I am running on coffee, 2 maoam stripes and a choc ice. This is going to be incoherent at best, feature silly gifs, and probably have nothing to do with the book, but the tennis is on and I am racing the might of Roger Federer to try and finish this post and get to the gym before his match is over.

  • Damn Dumas, just because you have all the words doesn’t mean you need to use ALL THE WORDS. I like you man, I like your story, but I’ve read a chapter and I’m all like chill your beans and save some of the words for later in the book, we don’t need to use the dictionary in the first few pages.
  • I’ve never been to Marseille and if I’m honest, I’ve never really wanted to go but I kinda like the sound of it. I hear this book did great things for the local tourist trade and I can see why. I mean I don’t want to go back to old time Marseille, but the place sounds interesting.
  • I am straight up casting aspersions and making decisions on characters before I’ve really met them. Danglars (who I have now decided to call Djangles in my head because I watched too much Graceland and I can’t stop it) is juts a big snitch and I am not down with that so he is forever going to be sussy in my mind. We’ve only just met the man of the moment Dantès and he is up in his boss’s grill to take a dump on his character. Not cool dude, not cool.
  • Right, Edmond, I get it, you want to see your Pops and you want some quality time *wink wink* with ya gal Mercédès (I’m imagining the town slut – not even going to lie to you – because who needs that many accents on one name anyway?) but you could have taken a bit more time and effort to shoot your boss’s invitation down, make it at least seem like you were interested in his offer, he wants to promote you!
  • I forever dub thee Caderousse as Scaramouche, may your story line forever be a testament to your illicit love affair with Djangles that is constantly set to the tune of Bohemiam Rhapsody (I am not even sorry that you now have ‘Can you do the fandango?’ stuck in your head. I can see ghost Dumas haunting us all leading us all in a chorus as conducts from smug heaven).
  • Side note: Dantès’s Dad really loves him. D’awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, dat’s cute.
  • OK, so this is highly inappropriate, but when they were introducing Fernand and Mercédès I imagined a pretty but trashy lady not flirting AT ALL while she tucks her hair behind her ear and pushed her boobs out, while Fernand lurked in the shadows. I also imagined Fernand to be the love child of David Gandy Phonejacker, and Chewbacca. SUE ME OK?!
  • Fernand is so whiny and needy, I can see why Mercédès is not interested when she could have an almost-captain-but-not-quite-because-he-didn’t-go-to-dinner-with-the-owner-of-his-ship-like-an-idiot Dantès. He’s just like, well Mummy said you would love me and be my wife, and she’s lack nah bro Edmond is my home boy, and he’s all like, but I’ll actually kill myself, and she’s like seriously dude this is not cool, and he’s like well he’s probably dead anyway so you’ll have to be with me. Cue Dantès sliding into dm’s like the conversation with such impeccable timing that I actually wonder whether he designed extendable ears long before the Weasley twins and was just waiting for the opportune moment.
  • Once again, I’m gonna stop y’all and pop in a side note: Dumas needs to decide on these folks ages. Is he 19 or 20? Is he 25 or 25? Is he 60 or 65? MAKE A DECISION GOD DAMN YOU DUMAS AND STICK TO IT. OK, rant over.
  • I was expecting to much revenge and angst in this book from the outset, but I feel like these first few chapters have just been setting up Dantès’s actually quite mundane life. I thought there would be oodles of riches (not yet my son), lots of women (apparently he is just hooked on the Mercédès life) and so much success (he isn’t even actually captain yet guys, you’re getting ahead of yourselves), so it begs the question, why are they quite so jealous of him? Are their lives really that bad that they’re trying to cut down a guy who is doing distinctly average-to-quite well. OMG WAS THAT A GENUINE PIECE OF INSIGHT? Miracles do happen.
  • Seriously, are Djangles and Scaramouche just here to be gay babies that get drunk, pull up a pew, and watch as people get off int he darkness, plan their wedding, and then scheme. I feel like they’re hunting down the drama, getting the beers in, and eating popcorn under their leafy arbour. They live the best life.popcorn gif.gif
  • OK, as far as the whole ‘does anyone know of any reason why these two should not be married then they should declare it now’ moments of panic from the bride and groom, this must now top every list? No-one has a clue what is going on, especially Dantès and yet everyone just does along with it. France is weird.
  • In another episode of Liz draws inappropriate parallels that aren’t actually there, does anyone else think that Louis VXIII is like King Farquaad from Shrek when he is exasperated by Napoleon and the fact he isn’t a complete failure at sliding under the radar? Nope, just me then…kingfarquaad.gif
  • I just can’t help but smile that the chief of police knows his games but goes along with them anyway. ‘Hey, m’guy-man tell this person what is in this super important police report that I have most definitely read.’ ‘Have you read that super important thing though?’ ‘Absolutely, but you wrote this very important page of words, so I think it would be better coming from you” I see what you did their Louis and I like your style.
  • Papa-Villefort is one smooth operator. He’s all like ‘Son, fill me in, hit me up, what’s happening” and baba-Villefort is all like ‘Daddy, Daddy, they’re looking for a man in a blue coat with a mustache that is most definitely you’ and Papa-Villefort is all like ‘They won’t catch me now sonny-boy, I’m’a shave this slug off ma face and put on this lovely not-blue coat you have. Be a good boy and get rid of these piece of incriminating evidence. K Thx Bye’. He knows what’s what and he isn’t afraid to ditch everything and run. He knows how  non-CCTV time disguise himself. What a hero! Harry Kane should take notes for any more penalty shootouts we have to sweat through.kane
  • I know that the Hundred Days war didn’t last very long, but even in a book that has all of the words, how did it only last a chapter? I mean I am all for skipping over the history bits because history is not my thang, but OK then…
  • YOU’RE LOCKED UP ON A COLD ISLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEA AND YOU ARE ONLY JUST NOT ASKING WHY YOU HAVEN’T HAD A TRIAL AND THAT YOU JUST WANT FAIR AND DUE PROCESS. Seriously Man, what is wrong with you? I know you are an innocent little flower who doesn’t see the bad in things, but this is not a good situation to be in, OK? This is when we throw a tantrum about how unfair life is.
  • Another one of those pesky side notes: I am reading the anonymous version of this book, and I know gay-stuffs has been translated out, so I may or may not be reading gay subtext into everything. I’m leaving this here because we’re about to get into the Abbé section and I definitely think they have some weird prison-daddy-son kinda thing going on. I refuse to be told otherwise.
  • This religious fellow is definitely one of those guys who the guards are like genius? or crazy? He knows all the things and he has a secret treasure map? He has dug a humungous hole in the prison and no-one has noticed? I mean this guy is the exact reason that you should probably at least listen to the crazy guy who tells you he has hidden the secret codes to Fort Knox in his gerbil cage. This is most definitely a life lesson.
  • Are these the most incompetent guards ever? These two love-birds/pseudo father and son fellows have been conducting secret lessons love sessions in their cells for TWO WHOLE YEARS and you just haven’t even noticed that anything is wrong or that the Abbé goes through a lot more shirts that is necessary for a man imprisoned in a dungeon? I mean guys seriously, you need to take a hard look at yourselves because you are not doing your job right!
  • How did Dantès not suspect that something might be a little fishy relating to the perfect timing of his arrest? Seriously, Abbé had to spell it out to him and he was still a trusting little turtle not wanting to think the worst in people. And seriously, how did Morrel really think that Villefort was going to actually send the letter. People fall for some obvious crap in this book. Like at least stay around and watch the guy right the damn letter instead of just trusting the whole ‘it will sound better if it comes from me so don’t you write it I’LL DO IT ALL FOR YOU AND DEFINITELY POST IT TO THE IMPORTANT PERSON BECAUSE I AM AN ALMOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THIS OPERATION and you can definitely trust me’.trust.gif
  • On a serious note, I am kinda sad that no-one really noticed that Dantès’s real Dad was just dying slowly from heart break that his son was all locked up in a tower like every Princess ever and that no-one was doing anything about it accept Morrel who definitely just feels a bit guilty.
  • This Abbé guy was just sitting on this fortune with more chill than I could ever hope for. I mean, he didn’t tell Edmond for so long, that is some impressive secret keeping right there. Or maybe no-one ever believes him when is like ‘I have a secret treasure map’ because he has been locked in a stinky shoebox for too long, but even so, no wonder the guy sometimes sounds crazy when he knows he legit has a treasure island chilling just off the prison coast.
  • I now see why this is called The Count of Monte Cristo and I absolutely refuse to feel stupid about how unobservant I have been.
  • Right, you’re on an island. An island in the middle of the sea. When you look out of the windows and you see courtyards and THE SEA where did you think that they were burying all of the dead bodies, because they sure as hell weren’t digging up their perfectly laid flagstones (did they even have flagstones in oldie France?) I see that you’re sad about your Father/Daddy dying, but what did you think they were going to do?
  • CLIFF HANGER? Will Dantès survive his stupid plan and do a David Blaine to get out of this precarious situation? Will the 1,000 pages that are left to go be a spoiler alert that he is alright OR the biggest curve-ball troll to lure us into a false sense of security and then BOOM kill him at page 161?

TUNE IN NEXT WEEK TO FIND OUT!


Overall

I’m really quite pleasantly surprised by just how much I am loving this book. I was quite sure I’d find it long and boring and be simply tolerating it out of pigheadedness because I had signed up to join in reading it with others. But no, it’s really good, it’s engaging, it has cliff hangers and adventure and I am all about this book. My ex-boyfriend Dan said he thought it was right up my street, and he was absolutely spot on, it’s just really good. Long may this enjoyment continue.

I have learnt something about long books this week though. I like the book, I am engaged with the story, but when I look back I really can’t remember everything that happens, so I think I might need to start taking notes. Even if those notes just allow me to choose better gifs or make more witty remarks, I think it will help overall and stop me using Sparksnotes to remind we of what happened in roughly which order.

Have you read The Count of Monte Cristo?

Are you taking part in The Full Monte Read-Along? How was week one?

2 thoughts on “The Full Monte Read-Along: Week One/Chapters 1-20”

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