Title: The Count of Monte Cristo
Author: Alexander Dumas
Genre: Historical Adventure
Content Rating: PG (people die, but barely)
Edmond Dantes has everything: a loving father, a beautiful fiancee, and a promising career. Unfortunately, three men conspire against him and he is unjustly imprisoned on an island prison. But there he meets a man who teaches him everything he knows, including how to escape and how to find a treasure of untold millions. When Dantes escapes and learns how his enemies have prospered, he starts in on the longest and most classic revenge plan of all time.
I'm always iffy on the classics. I blame highschool. But while this book definitely had wordy prose, overwritten dialog, and a host of characters that were either black or white, it still managed to grab me from page one.
At first it was Edmond's generous character. Then it was the tension of escape and revenge. But by the end, what I was most interested in was the subtle and unexpected shades of gray that showed up. Edmond took much of his revenge on his enemies' families, but not all of them were horrible people.
I forgave this book a lot of flaws considering it was written 167 years ago, but even with its flaws it's still a good read, which is not something I say of most classics. Don't learn writing craft from this book, but adventure and revenge? Yes.