Friday, August 21, 2015

What Alexandre Dumas Means to Me

By Kelly Bridgewater

Taken from Wikipedia
Have you heard of the name Alexandre Dumas? He’s a French writer. I couldn’t name a lot of French writers, but this one affected me when I was sixteen years old. He wrote a famous novel that most people have heard of, but they probably don’t associate the name with the title. Any ideas?

Give up?

Don’t worry. Most people don’t know the author of The Three Musketeers. I, personally, did not like this book as much as the one I’m going to talk about.

Have you ever read the 1,065 page book called The Count of Monte Cristo? I don’t’ mean the movie. It is horrible by the way. Take a 1000 plus page novel and make it into an hour and half movie and what do you get? So many parts left out to fill the time constraints. Sad!

During my sophomore year in high school, I loved to write creatively, so I signed up for the only creative writing course offered, but little did I know that the class was designed for seniors. Because I was an A/B student and received straight A’s in English, the administration allowed me to take the course. The first day in class, the teacher, Mr. Weller, handed out these thick books to everyone. Most of the students groaned because they thought it was a writing class not a reading class. They go hand-in-hand guys.

Anyway, the book was titled The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. We had all semester to read the book, but we had to read the first couple of chapters by the end of the week and write a one page essay about ourselves. No problem.

I went home and finished all my other homework before finding a comfortable place to curl up with the new given treasure. I was hooked instantly. Time flew by, but I didn’t notice. I was in Marseilles aboard a ship, coming home after a long stint on the ocean. Taken prisoner to Chateau d’if, thrown in the ocean in a body bag, captured by pirates and threaten to fight for my life. I ventured to an abandoned island where mountains of gold and treasure awaited for me to uncover and use for my own revenge. I slowly watched my enemies die and collapsed in on themselves. I learned the hard lesson of forgiveness and love.

Taken from Barnes and Nobles Website
We only had to read a couple of chapters by the end of the week, but I had the book completed in one week. I loved it so much that I read it through two more times before the semester ended.

Alexandre Dumas opened my eyes up to the world of classic literature. Before then, I had to read boring books like Animal Farm by George Orwell, which stifled my curiosity toward older books. But Dumas showed me that classic literature could be fun. You just have to find the right one to spark your interest.

I love how The Count of Monte Cristo laid the ground work for what I consider a great book even today. A story must have adventure, mystery, romance, sometimes revenge, forgiveness, justice, and suspense all wrap up in a nicely bound package.

Every year, I return to the hallow pages of my version of The Count of Monte Cristo and lose myself along the wonderful crafted story. A couple of years ago, my father bought me the Barnes and Nobles classic leather bound edition with the Sherlock Holmes edition. Both of them sit in places of honor on my book shelf.

What book do you return to every year to read for fun? Do you have a special edition of that book? What have you learned from that author?

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