Well hello there and welcome back to The Full Monte read-along. Last week, we were introduced to some of the main men in the game, and left our reading on a cliff-hanger, so what has happened this week? Well, I’ll tell you what, lots of things that stopped me reading the book as fast as I should, and in the book, well lots of things that have caused a significant decline in how much I like it. Suddenly, I am aware that this is a loooooooong book, but, hopefully this is a blip and things will get interesting again real soon.
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.
I’ve struggled a bit with reading this mahoosive book this week. For a start, I’ve begun to realise just how long it is. Secondly, there has been a significant shift from exciting events to boring and seemingly irrelevant stories. Once again, expect nonsense and gifs and fun stuff, and not real plot points or sensible commentary:
- Where did you think they were burying the dead bodies on this rocky island in the middle of the seas Dantès? Did you not look out of the window and think ‘where are they digging the grave in this rock? Handy you hid that knife eh? Handy that you’re conveniently and incredibly good swimmer. Not gonna lie though, I’m pleased you rocked up on that island all drowned because this book would have taken a surprising turn early on had you died this early on given that you’re the main man in this story.
- I see your thought process here Dantès, and may I say I admire your continuing plans to take advantage of dead people. I mean, you’re in a storm, you’re stranded, so watching a boat go down and thinking ”that’s my ticket’ was proper genius. Thank God you stumbled upon some smugglers.
- Ahh yes, we’ve all grown our hair and looked like a dishevelled sheep in the name of religion. People are very trusting in this book.
- Right, I’m confused. Who is helping who here? Dantès is helping these smugglers plot courses and what not, and in return they are just pretending that he is not that escaped convict? OK, yeah I’ll buy it. I like this.
- I feel like Dantès is just stood there, chilling his beans, minding his business, coughing *Monte Cristo* under his breath every now and again until the captain decides that they should, out of the blue, land on Monte Cristo. Bravo Sir, bravo.
- Dantès could play for any South American football team because his play acting, faking injury, I’m dying routine is worthy of a starting eleven spot for sure. Why is no-one suspicious that he’s all self-sacrificing and dying all on his own without wanting to get help. I mean, surely he’d want help? Surely they would go and get help?
- I feel like he just lay there and then suddenly popped up like a meerkat and started skipping about the island. I am sure this is not what happened, but also, is this what happened? I bet the goats were like who is this guy and why is he on our island? I mean, he did say bye to his best friend while he was play-dying so do they think he is in love with them?
- I know he did some super sleuth skillz to find the treasure and stuff, but why has no-one found it before? I mean who hasn’t wandered onto a lost smugglers island and just thought I’ll have a quick looksie in case some badman from the past left his stash here?
- For he is a smart little fellow, For her is a smart little fellow. What would he have done if those dodgy smuggler guys hadn’t come back for him. That was another risky move there Edmond!
- Right, so you just rock up into your old town AND NOT A SINGLE PERSON EVEN LOOKS TWICE. Not a single person looks at you and thinks, hmmm, know your face from somewhere. I mean seriously?!? Not even one.
- And you don’t suspect anything when I sailor who doesn’t even own his own ship yet just lands in your shop with some diamonds. Of course you’d just pay him and let him go because that would definitely be the logical thing to do and not even wonder if you’re handling stolen goods. That said, bet the cheeky devil made a tidy profit on those stones eh?!
- Life really falls into your lap when you have unlimited treasures because happening upon a boat that has a secret compartment that fits your treasure in it AND is super swish and stylish is just so ideal. Also, having trusty friends that are also smugglers and message carriers is just so convenient. I mean, everyone just trusts each in the 19th century Mediterranean don’t they?
- Oh no Dantès. Everyone is dead, and Chewbacca has ran off with ya gal. I mean what were you expecting while you were in prison? What’s that I smell….is it revenge a-brewing?
- Oh I’ve missed Scaramouche, he is so useless. Funnily enough, not much has changed. I literally imagined his eyes widening at the sight of the stones. Nope, don’t listen to the sensible lady who you love and married, nope, trust the random dude dressed as a religious fellow as he asks you strangely personal and oddly specific questions that will IN NO WAY arouse suspicion in you because look at the pretty diamond. That’s it…tell him everything and then him ride off into the sunset like an information stealing cowboy….but religious.
- Seriously though, it’s like he sits down for story time and tells him the whole life story of everyone he knows. He laments all his old bad ways and dobs everyone else royally in it and doesn’t blink when his wife is like ‘not sure you should be quite this open love’. I mean c’mon dude, he must have a reason for asking you think other than his cock and bull story about the dying wishes. And seriously, you’re looking right at this guy, how on Earth don’t you realise who it is. I know he’s been in prison and it’s a hard life and that you’ve been drunk for years, but it’s not been centuries. He’s not ancient!!! Also, why don’t you suspect when he just decides to go against the dead man’s wishes so readily when he has been following them so closely this whole time. The people in this book need to get their eyes tested and stop trusting people so readily.
- Look at him, making up disguises and convincing all the people. He’s such a good liar now. Although how anyone doesn’t see through these disguises?
- Serious note: I don’t want to get all philosphical and stuff, but has anyone else noticed how Dantès was the virtuous and honest man in the first few chapters and then he gets cast off to an island and thrown into the sea and is now lying left, right, and centre with worrying ease? Is this like a big metaphor or something?! Jack Sparrow was right!
- As of the mayor would just point you towards the head of the prisons, and as if the head of the prisons wouldn’t realise who you were and be like ”off to D’If with you boy”. I don’t know why he speaks like that in my head but he definitely does. He’d notice someone looking and stealing from the records surely. Sigh, the people in this book need to realise that everyone isn’t honest. I mean, they used to make such a big deal about
- Serious note: I don’t want to get all philosphical and stuff, but has anyone else noticed how Dantès was the virtuous and honest man in the first few chapters and then he gets cast off to an island and thrown into the sea and is now lying left, right, and centre with worrying ease? Is this like a big deal about Dantès being all honest and stuff, so what changed?
- This stuff with Morrel and his family got me in the feels. He’s tried so hard and written to the wrong people and then doesn’t even realise that thus mysterious Englishman is high knight in shining armour and the matchmaker of the operation. I mean that’s a hella debt to delay, so how he doesn’t click on sooner, but even so, it got me. I’m so glad that this wasn’t open to a double suicide because that would not have been what he deserved!
- Why would you just trust a fella saying ‘Yo you gonna get a letter from Sinbad the Sailor, trust him, do what he tells you and things will be reyt’, Like no, that’s not how the world works. I mean it is in Dumas’s book, but c’mon, who just happens upon a purse on a mantlepiece in a room that a shady man named Sinbad showed you to that just happens to have the exact amount you are in debt and just after that the boat that happened to sink earlier in the piece just happens to come back in one piece and better than ever and just happens to contain the crew that would have stuck by you before had you not sent them away.
- Too much happens by coincidence in this book for my liking!
- Who is this dude Franz and where has he come from? You can’t just drop some aristocrat into the story and just….OK, apparently this is the Franz show now.
- RIGHT. NO. If someone tells you an island is full of dodgy blokes like smugglers and pirates, and that you have to be quarantined to go over there to shoot some goats then THE GOATS JUST AREN’T WORTH IT. It doesn’t matter than some guy dived off and swum over and said they seem like sound chaps, you don’t go onto the island. You just don’t. D’you know what else you don’t do? LET THEM BLINDFOLD YOU AND LEAD YOU INTO THE CAVE ON THE PROMISE OF GETTING OFF YOUR TITS ON HASH. NOOOO. The goats are not worth it Franz!
- Speaking of Sinbad the Sailor: was the cultural appropriation that followed really OK? I mean, he has turkish slippers, claims to be oriental, has rugs from Asia, and a (tongueless – which is convenient as he knows everything about the operation) servant/slave called Ali. He has a cavern of many wonders and let’s Franz legit go by Aladdin. Nope, don’t trust him. This is not the guy you should be getting high with.
- He got high. He lusted after some statues in a frankly disgusting way, passed out and was like shiiiiiiiiiit what happened there,m let’s find the treasures again. I love that the other sailors don’t even stop him, just hand him a torch and are all like good luck bro, we’ll be over here when you’re done because you ain’t finding nothing.
- I can’t tell you how long it took me to realise that Albert was Fernand and Mercédès kid. Too long is the answer. BUt anyway, what does Franz expect when he has been getting high on hash and is late into town, of course all the carriages are gone for the carnival BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT SPACED OUT AND LET TO THE LITERAL PARTY.
- OK, warning, I kinda lost track from this point. I just lost all interest and suddenly spiralled into why oh why am I reading this mode.
- I like me a rogue, a bandit, a pirate, but I just couldn’t care less about the back story Luigi Vampa. All I see is Mario and Luigi anyway, so let’s just skip all the back story nonsense, tell me he is all bad and scary and be done with it, because I don’t think accidentally harbouring and accidentally killing a bandit chief is actually that scary a story.
- Conveniently though (if this story has much more convenience then it will be a bloody corner shop) Sinbad rolled through town at some point during this story, so now we know they probably are in cahoots or something. I mean, they couldn’t just explain that when they go for a nighttime jaunt to the Colosseum in the night could they? They couldn’t just have Franz listening into their conversation without telling us some random tale before. This is why it started to drag and why I began to lose interest. It feels pointless and unnecessary.
- Not only that, but my edition is the one with the extra chapter, which is completely pointless as it cuts in a weird place and ends up detracting from the pointless tale. Sigh.
- OK anyway, yes, this meeting was unbelievably convenient to overhear because it meant Franz realised how shady Sinbad was and then also realised that he’s not always Sinbad. I mean, c’mon dude, Sinbad is a fictional character so jokes on you if you didn’t think he maybe had something to hide before then, amiright? Also, Vampa is going something good. Yep, shady bloke for sure, but he’s asking for help in getting the not so bad guy off from what sounds like gruesome death, so that’s not all bad guy bandit.
- Opera’s sound boring, They don’t read/write well and they don’t make you want to turn the page. I mean, they folks at the opera were all watching each other anyways, so clearly they were as bored as I was. Good news, I discovered opera glasses are not used to watch the opera when you’re sat far away but are, in fact, used to spot the fit people in the crowd and on stage, so, you learn something new every day, every day is a school day and all that jazz.
- Can we not just called this lady Countess G, rather that G—— and having a line after her name. It’s doing my head in for no good reason, probably because I’m not feeling this book right now?
- I am fast losing track of all the identities and which identity is being adopted at which time right now and who knows which of the identities and ahhhh my mind is a muddle.
- Oh, how convenient AGAIN that this mysterious fellow next door has a carriage you want to borrow and is the same fellow as at the opera which is the same guy as at the Colosseum which is the same as Sinbad. I’m pleased to see Franz is confused as I am.
- 1. I have never been so relieved to google about a violent execution practice. La Mazzoleta is the literal bludgeoning to death of a guilty person with a mallet-type object to the head. One doesn’t normally want to read about this, but right now I was glad of a bit of pre-breakfast execution. 2. Why does Albert not suspect there is something sussy about the Count (Dantès is finally going by the Count of Monte Cristo – huzzah!) when Franz is literally like this man is dodge and the man himself confesses to liking a bit of barbaric death with his breakfast pastries? I mean, he’s made sure he has THREE WHOLE WINDOWS to watch it out of. Well, and the carnival, but mainly the death and execution. 3. He says he knows about the pardon, before it even happens, and no-one thinks to be like dude how?
- Albert you little skirt chasing rapscallion you! You all about the ladies. Don’t follow them into the dead of night after they stole your torch though, because that’s probably going to be a trap every time. I mean, I’m not saying don’t chase them, but if smiling at them has yielded a note asking you to follow them to a church after they steal from you, you should at least think twice and not just be that creepy guy, but suit yourself.
- Franz isn’t as stupid as I thought. Your friend is kidnapped and held for ransom, do you a) pay said ransom and get your mate back, or b) speak to the weird all knowing all seeing all doing rich Count next door who masquerades as a hash smoking sailor and bandit rendevouzing richman, who will probably be able to talk his way out of this for you.
- How do Vampa’s cronies stay loyal if he is so polite to the Count? They literally rock up at his crib, tell him he’s made a mistake and should apologise, Luigi lets Albert go with no fuss and lots of politeness and they all depart as friends. I swear this is not how piracy and banditry work?
- So, a dude does you a solid, and not just a small little thing, but literally saves your life, and he asks you to do him a favour and show you round town in a couple of months and you don’t think it’s weird that this is all you’re going to have to do to pay him back? I feel like Franz is sitting there shaking his head as Albert just bumbles through life not realising the man over the way should have been his Dad. That’s not how biology works but who cares at this point?!
- Is Albert in love with The Count? Franz is trying to tell you that this guy is dodgy as heck and Albert is just make googoo eyes and is total captivated by him. I feel like he would follow him anywhere like a lost puppy.
- The time has come, the guests are assembled. I mean, I don’t think the Count knows about said guests as he didn’t ask for that but they’re assembles anyway.
- I’m losing track of time with this book. Time seems to pass so quickly and without mention.
As mentioned earlier, my version has an extra chapter, so I am a chapter behind. I’m going to try and catch up next week so that I am on track with everyone else because I don’t like being behind and everyone has said that the chapter I haven’t read yet is a good one. Hopefully it will help me re-engage with the story, because I am not engaged at all right now. I was so into the book and the plot last week, but I feel like the story has completely lacked direction and plot this week and it’s been a real struggle to keep reading. I nearly through my book down and stopped this week, and we’re only in week two!
Have you read The Count of Monte Cristo?
Are you taking part in The Full Monte Read-Along? How was week two?