False Advertising

False Advertising

Do not be deceived, this book is not actually about the Man in the Iron Mask. Which is a pity because he was the most compelling character. I finally finished reading it last night. I started it when Simon — yes, Simon — was born, but lost interest, probably because I was reading it in the middle of the night when I woke up to feed him. So I gave it another go when Oliver was born, and — surprise! — had a hard time staying interested. Again. Possibly because of the same 3 am feeding issue. But I finished it. Mostly so I could say I’ve read it and be done.

I’m sad that I had such a hard time with it. The Count of Monte Cristo, also by Dumas, is one of my all-time favorites so I expected great things from this. I blame my failure to really enjoy it on several things:

1. The cover. I’m not judging it, but I certainly was influenced by it. The cover of our copy is the same as pictured above. I think we got it at a garage sale. I felt like I was reading a trashy airplane novel rather than a classic. Something about the green glow and the typeface cheapened it for me.

2. As previously mentioned: what the heck happened to the man in the iron mask?!?! How could Dumas just abandon him after all the trouble he caused?

3. I’ve never read The Three Musketeers and I had a hard time connecting with the musketeers. A shame because the book is *actually* about the drama of their demise.

And 4. I was reading it in the middle of the night. And sometimes falling asleep half-way through a sentence. Which, I think, meant I had a hard time keeping track of what was going on. I couldn’t figure out why Fouquet was on the king’s bad side after he rescued him from the Bastille (ah, yes, the embezzlement issue! Of course!). And I never really caught on to who Colbert actually was. I probably should have taken the time to go back and read through it more carefully, but, like I said, I had a hard time focusing.

I’m just glad I can say I’ve read it now, set it aside, and move on.

5 thoughts on “False Advertising

  1. Count of Monte Cristo is one of my all time favorites too!!! Thanks for the tip on the iron mask book — I have never felt compelled to read it but now for sure I'll skip that one 😉

  2. I actually kind of liked The Man in the Iron Mask. It is not Dumas' best work, and it is very different from what the movies and such have made us think it is, but I kind of liked all the effort he put into the character relationships and the many ways they ended their careers.

    I did not do this, but I would also recommend reading The Three Musketeers first. Also, don't read when you are asleep.

  3. Isn't Colbert the guy on Comedy Central or something like that? Shameless, I know, especially for a French major. ;0)

    I actually haven't read any of Dumas' works, something I've been meaning to change, but there are just so many books on my list!! I'd like to get my hands on copies of his books in French, but that can be hard to do. Hopefully someday I'll make it.

    Anyways, congrats on finishing it!! Oh yeah, and a cover really does make a difference. I read the book Rebecca, which is a great book, but the copy I have makes it look like some trashy Danielle Steele book or something. I was embarrassed every time I read it on the metro, and felt like I had to cover it up or something. But still a good book.

  4. Ohhh, Rebecca. I read it a long time ago — and enjoyed it, and I think my book probably had the same cover because I remember thinking the same thing — and I've also seen the movie a few times. It is good and creepy and I recommend seeing it if you can.

  5. Oh Rebecca is definitely a creepy movie. Which reminds me, Lizzie. Do you remember creeping each other out when we did the paper routes early Saturday mornings? Sheesh! Gives me the eebie jeebies just thinking about it!

    I have a long list of books I'd like to read, but I've gotten into the habit of opening a Harry Potter after a long day with the little ones. Why, when there are so many great books out there, do I do that?? I have no idea.

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