Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Three Musketeers, Part 2

Well, I have finally finished The Three Musketeers.  This is particularly satisfying because it's one of the longest unread books on my TBR shelf, and one that I've owned for about four years, so that's a good thing.  I did enjoy it, but I have to be honest, it's not the greatest work of literature in the world.  It's a fun book, and I'm glad I read it, but it's not particularly deep or literary.

The second half of the book dragged in parts -- first, there was the battle of La Rochelle, which has something to do with Catholics vs. Protestants.  Frankly, action scenes tend to bore me.  I guess I have a hard time imagining them in my head.  Also, there was a section of five or six consecutive chapters about Milady that just went on and on.  I kept trying to slog through them but I'd read a chapter and put the book down, but it was hard to get started again.  I only had a hundred pages to go and I just wanted things to get wrapped up.

The parts of this book that I loved best basically included one or more of the Musketeers, and D'Artaganan -- for me, it started to get boring if it focused on the other characters.  I don't know if these sections weren't as well written, or the story just dragged, but things definitely perked up if one of them was in the scene.  Of course the best scenes of all are the ones when they're all together, usually with some witty banter.  I did get bored with Milady's scheming and Cardinal Richelieu's plotting, though the ending was pretty satisfying.

So -- a good book, overall, though I can't say that I'd ever want to read it again.  I do want to get to The Count of Monte Cristo someday, though is length is a little intimidating.  I'll have to wait until I get through some of the other Big Fat Books on my TBR shelf before I attempt it.

And for those of you who have not seen the trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of The Three Musketeers:



Looks fairly ridiculous -- I don't remember any flamethrowers in the book, nor any scenes with Milady dodging bullets Matrix-style!  Script by Andrew Davies (who brilliantly adapted so many classics for the screen including Pride and Prejudice and Bleak House, two of my favorites) yet directed by Paul Anderson best known for Resident Evil.  Riiight.

Thanks again to Allie of A Literary Odyssey for organizing this readalong. I look forward to reading all the other postings.

13 comments:

  1. I wonder if he just had issues once he'd been writing a story long enough. I loved the first 500 or so pages of Count of Monte Cristo, but then there were 700 pages of nonsense, and the last 500 or so were ones I actively disliked...

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  2. Amanda -- good point, I wonder if he just ran out of steam. Parts of 3 Musketeers was great and other parts just dragged. Both books are really long. I know some of his other books are shorter, but I never hear about them which makes me wonder if they're any good. I'll have to go back and read the Classics Circuit reviews from last year. I missed Dumas back then, just had too much else to read.

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  3. I love the cover comic you posted-so funny! And I struggled with the second half just as I did with the first. Oh well. At least we can say we've read it.

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  4. Thanks for the review, I had been thinking about reading it but I'm going to give it a miss for a while - maybe forever! Too many books to get through.

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  5. Kudos to you for getting to the end. The movie looks interesting...

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  6. Bookworm -- that cover is the paperback version of the Pevear translation, which I read in hardcover. Wish I'd had a paperback so I could have had a copy to carry around with me -- the hardcover was just HUGE. It's one of the Penguin Deluxe Graphic editions, but not one of the freebies I won in the contest.

    Katrina -- it's worth reading if you don't expect too much out of it. Not a difficult read. Some parts I really enjoyed, some parts just bored me.

    Susan -- I wouldn't call it a struggle. I really enjoyed parts of it. I would like to read something else by Dumas some day. I've heard Queen Margot is good, also The Black Tulip. I still want to read more Zola and Victor Hugo as well, and maybe some more Flaubert. . . too many authors!

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  7. Oh God, I love this book so much. I love it way more than it probably merits. I like it the best when they all get separated, and D'Artagnan has to go round collecting them back up again, and Athos steals all the sausages and Aramis has a thesis and it's amazing.

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  8. Jenny -- I loved that part too. It's the parts with all of them together that are great -- otherwise, it's kind of just blah. Have you read the sequels?

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  9. Glad you reviewed this one, because now I know I'll be skipping it. Sounds like an okay read, but not something I want to invest in. Glad you enjoyed it though :) By the by, if you ever want to do a read along of The Count of Monte Cristo, let me know, because I've been wanting to read that one, too!

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  10. Nadia -- I think a Monte Cristo readalong would be great! Maybe later in the year or next year -- I think I need a little break from Dumas for now.

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  11. I know after reading your post, this will definitely be a skip-it for me. As you said, its hard for me to see those action scenes in my head. Especially because I don't always love them in the movie. If a book is that hard to get through, I am usually unable to get through it. There are so many other great books out there, why waste your time on one that isn't fantastic.

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  12. Breeana -- parts of this book were really good, I just found parts that kind of dragged. There aren't TONS of action scenes, but they are there, which I guess is to be expected. My mind just tends to wander during extended action scenes, especially battles. But I agree, too many great books out there to waste time on something you don't enjoy.

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  13. Great job on finishing the book. I have plenty of books on my shelf that I have been meaning to get to.

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