Hello, Bonjour, Hola, how are we all? Welcome back to my Full Monte Read-Along updates where we are on a distinctly more positive note than we were this time last week. I have to say that I struggled a bit through week two and was worried, but I’m pleased to report that things have brightened distinctly since the book has headed to Paris. Maybe I just need this book to be in France to enjoy it? I promised I wouldn’t leave all the reading to the end of the weekend again, but of course I did, and for once it wasn’t a bad thing. I was pretty absorbed by the end of it and managed to read the extra chapter that puts my edition/end point in line with everyone else!
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.
As I mentioned last week, and have eluded to this week, my edition has an extra chapter when it was translated and put together, which is fine but meant I start week 3 a chapter behind everyone else. We start things in Paris, at breakfast (which sounds pretty awesome to me). By the time we end, well, I’m back in line with everyone, whoop:
- OK, I want to be invited to a breakfast with fancy schmancy people in Paris with the coffee and the bread and the pastries. I feel like this is completely by the by, but hey I want to be there. Remy from Ratatouille can be the head chef.
- OH God I am losing track of everyone here. Who are all these people, have we met them before? Do I need to try and keep them straight in my head? Are they all who they say they are because I am now suspicious of everybody in this book – unlike them, they trust everyone and anyone.
- I love how they’re all like ‘tell us the story, tell us the thing’ and then Albert tells them the story and they’re all like ‘nah bro, u lyin’ and then the Count strolls in fashionably late and they’re all in awe of him. And the fact he has a
sexslave…erm…sorry y’what now? Dropped that little nugget in there for us didn’t you Dumas.
- Oh to be rich enough to drop money on a house on the Champs Elysees eh? Just spend a few bob on a nice little country estate outside Paris because you had a bit of a whimsical thought about summering in the country (OK, maybe not, it’s all in his plan but I have no idea what this is yet so…)
- How, HOW, is the Count quite so knowledgeable about art, and science, and music, and every damn thing ever invented or thought about? I bet if he was round now he would cure cancer while knitting the little hats that go on the top of the Innocent smoothie bottles.
- For a guy on the run and in disguise, he has the worst poker face of anyone ever. Yeah, it’s a stunning painting of your ex- fiancée and she is obviously wearing the clothing that eludes to her marriage to Chewbacca-come-David Gandy Fernand, but there is no reason to stand there and drool/look like you’re mourning. She isn’t dead dude.
- Fernand, this guy was literally you enemy for proper ages, you wanted his gal and you hated him, so how on Earth are you not even vaguely showing any slight inclination that you might recognise him. Srsly.
- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I knew I liked Mercédès, because she has recognised her bae, and not only that but she hasn’t out this whole farce in front of everyone. Yes girl yes! That said, that warning was less than subtle.
- Y’know this summerhouse that he just went and dropped his moneys on, course it just happens to be the old family home of the dude that kept him rotting in jail. Of course it just happens to be the house where he lived, had an illegitimate kid, and Villefort’s first wife died. I sense this might not be one of those coincidences that keep happening in this book, and that it’s a little more planned than that.
- Oh, here we go, another bout of story time…
- Oooo this new guy has a complicated life, he has lived through some stuff you guys! So his brother was murdered and Villefort was just like shove off mate, I don’t really care. Then he knocked up his mistress Madame Djangles (Danglars) but pretended the baby was dead and as he buried this not-actually-quite-dead-but-will-need-mouth-to-mouth-baby in the garden while DUN DUHN DUNNNNNN Bertuccio (the new guy telling the story) jumps out and stabs him and saves the baby to be brought up by his Aunt. This kid comes back into it too…more on him later.
- AS IF HIS LIFE WAS NOT CRAZY DRAMATIC ENOUGH ALREADY he ends up hiding in the attic of Scaramouche’s (Caderousse) inn while a jeweller comes in and tried to rip them off for the diamond they’ve acquired from the
CountAbbé Busoni. His missus could not have been more evil cackly laughing why don’t you stay here tonight if she tried. Shame Scaramouche decided the diamond and all the money would be better than just the money and killed the jeweller AND his wife. PLOT TWIST MUCH?!
- So yeah, anyways, he got arrested for it and remembered that Scaramouche had name dropped this Abbé guy and kept telling the polic to find him, and when he does he turns up and somehow saved the day.
- NOW I have 2 questions, 1) So a guy literally saves you from a murder charge and gets your ass out of jail and you can’t remember his face when he moves into the house you’re living in. I mean really? and 2) Why did we have to have 2 chapters that told us a story that they both already knew because they were both actually there. I mean really?
- I’m pleased Scaramouche got sentenced to life long labour because he was properly unpleasant. I feel like little Bernadetto could have done better though, maybe the torture and killing of his adoptive mother was because he had legit been smothered as a child? Just a thought…
- OK, The Count just convinced Djangles to give him 6million Francs, well, unlimited credit, because he was all like I have 1 million in my pocket now, you think one milllion is going to get me out of bed right now? Dantès got sassy in Paris. I dig it.
- I feel like The Count is just being a vindictive dick at the moment. He literally does not even care about those horses, but now as he has seen Djangles’ horses he’s all like bitch why didn’t you get me those mares? He drops a frankly stupid amount on them because he knows who they belong to, starts a domestic, side steps out the room and then gives them back. I just don’t think I quite get his brain……
- Right, do you remember when I said that this book has a lot of convenient factors/moments? WELL how convenient is it that mute slave Ali is so proficient at Lassoing that he can lasso a lion, or a tiger, or two horses that have been made to go crazy just because The Count wanted to appear to save some people. Thank heavens for Ali and his convenient lion lassoing talents (lion lassoing is just not a phrase you find yourself going to type all that often)
- How many of these weird witchy vials does he have and how long before someone questions his love of drugs? Was that a thing back then or was it a case of class C’s for breakfast, B’s for lunch and A’s for dinner?
- Ahhh, so the family was Villefort’s. It’s almost like you planned to extract the information that you needed from the man himself. It’s almost like you wanted him in your back pocket Dantès. Papa Villefort is still my favourite character, I’m quite gutted his has had a paralysing stroke.
- Ahhhh the mysterious Greek sex slave. I was wondering when she would appear properly. Why am I not surprised that she has more to her than meets the eye? Not sure I’m liking this whole Daddy vibe they have going on though, even if I am pleased he has essentially freed her.
- It’s at this point that I am going to side track into his appearance. I don’t know about you, but I think that time and money have caused him to Longbottom, don’t you? I get the sense he has grace and attractiveness and obviously wealth.
- Ma Julie and her husband did so well to keep the Morrel name alive. Max is lucky, and I think he knows that, well, the whole family do. They know they’re living the charmed miracle life and I think if anyone will discover his secret and still keep it then it would be these guys.
- Again, he should have more of a poker face. They’re telling him this super tragic but with a happy ending story and he is just showing all the emotions at all the places with all the things being produced. I know the red purse is there but dude hold it together, Julie is well onto you and you are trying pathetically hard to stop her recognising you.
- Yes, YES I love this family. Max is all like ‘my Dad thought that it might have been Edmond Dantès from beyond the grave’ and the Count is all like he he he but don’t actually realise and put two and two together. I can’t tell if Julie knows, thinks she might know, is confused, all of the above but she definitely knows that she is not doing that sum and getting the right answer.
- Awww, Valentine (Villefort’s daughter from his first wife) and Max are all in doomed love in a garden. It’s so sad they can’t just be together and happy. Stupid arranged marriages and money problems. Oh, what convenient timing that this exchange goes on in the garden just as The Count rocks up at the house.
- I don’t think I quite understand the reasoning behind The Count’s insistence that the Villefort wife and kids remember him from before. Is it just for the whole medicine revival bit, because he goes on about drugs enough for anyone to trust his knowledge. I mean, how many times does he have to say it’s not lethal like this but could be like this but don’t worry because it’s untracable and just looks like natural causes not that you need to know that or need it but do you want some no of course you don’t I’ll post you some. Like what?
- Is Eugénie the lesbian? Is this the bit that I miss out on? I’m guessing based on Emma’s commentary from her version and because she is described as manly and admiring Haydèe’s
boobsdiamonds. They really don’t pay attention to the opera in this much because I have lost track of who is watching who, who is sitting where, and what the heck is going on?
- The only thing I took away from this is that this sex slave is going to become important because the second she tells The Count that Fernand Chewbacca was the one who sold her into slavery and stole her family fortune he is up and out of there with her like a shot. Hmmm….
- Mercédès knows about Eugénie surely, because she should want a Danglar family member to marry into her family and doesn’t appear to want the ‘artist’ in her family, and no-one seems to actually want to marry her even though she is important in the whole scheme of society and money.
- Who is Debray again? Was he the minister person or the reporter? OH wait, nevermind, he’s been feeding insider information to Mrs Djangles so she can gamble with her husband’s money and make even more money. What people do for love and their illegitimate lovers eh?
- I am very confused by this whole Cavalcanti schtick and can only guess this is going to become important later on. I don’t understand why he is paying people to pretend to be this father/son duo. Why are they useful? Why are they doing this? I was so confused, as was Emma, so we did have a little google, and found out that the guy pretending to be the son was actually Benedetto (y’know, the smothered infant from before who grew up to be the toe-rag that tortured and killed his adoptive Mum).
- See the thing about this is they both know that they’ve been hired and that they’re being paid, so surely this is risky, right? Or does the Count want them to know? Does The Count want them to know that he knows that they know? I don’t know.
- This secret garden yields all the truths eh? I’m not gonna lie to you, I feel a bit sorry still for Valentine, her Dad wants her to marry someone she can’t stand and doesn’t want to be with, and her stepmother wants her never to marry, join a convent, and wave goodbye to any inheritance so her son gets the lot. No wonder she wants to just have a quiet life with Max!
- Also, Eugénie. Definitely must be the gay cut from my translation because we have got a little more about her not wanting to marry, but pretty much only that she wants to be a free-spirited artist with no husband. I see you Eugénie.
- Noirtier – Papa Villefort – is still going. I thought that when they said he was completely paralysed that he wouldn’t be able to communicate, but as Stephen Hawking taught us, you can have a great mind and only communicate with part of your face. I’m so pleased, he’s probably my favourite character.
- I feel like Villefort Jr and his missus are up to something sneaking in on him like this, it’s not fair to tell a man in his state that they’re about to
sellmarry off his beloved granddaughter to his great political enemy. Valentine is going to be maaaaaad, as is Papa Villefort by the looks of things.
- I panicked for a second that Villefort wasn’t going to let Valentine in there, but thank heavens for her reading his blinks. I’m glad she’s confessed all there, that could have got awkward if she didn’t.
- OOOHHHHHHHHHHHH Papa Villefort is bringing the drama. There is something so much more dramatic about writing a will in front of everyone involved as someone reads your blinks that cuts people out because he is unhappy with the marriage situation. Legend. And clever, he doesn’t want Valentine to be unhappy, and they can’t dispute him giving it to the poor if she marries someone she doesn’t like. Oh you clever man.
- Shame it hasn’t worked really.
- Oh looksie here, look who just happened to show up conveniently in the middle of this family drama?! Yep. you guess it, The Count. And what does he have here? A dinner party invite…hmmm…things are going to get tasty next week.
Well I’m all caught up and more importantly I am back enjoying this book. I’ve decided it was just Italy’s fault, as soon as the story disappeared off to Rome it fell away somewhat. I’m not saying there is a link but
that’s exactly what I am saying. I have really got into the story again, and even though I’m sometimes finding it a little difficult to keep the characters straight in my mind, I think we can see plots and plans starting to emerge. Vendettas and revenge are definitely the main course right now and I think it’s only just getting started! I’m looking forward to next week’s reading.
Have you read The Count of Monte Cristo?
Are you taking part in The Full Monte Read-Along? How was week two?