Top positive review
4 November 2018
** Spoiler alert**
First, make sure you find a copy that is unabridged. Most editions in English ARE abridged, but usually don't say they are. Not sure if this Penguin edition is, it's not the one i read.
Readers generally think of this as a tale of revenge. For me, it was much deeper. I'm not a religious person at all, but for me this is a book that makes you question the existence of God or a god. Edmond Dantes is without flaw, a truly good person, and his life is ruined because a) others envy him and b) he was the victim of an unfortunate coincidence.
Even when he escapes prison and finds a monumental treasure, it is years before he finds peace (I dont think he ever finds happiness).
The questions it raises are: why are good people so often punished by horrible tragedies when truly bad people are so often able to float through life with all the rewards that this world can bestow?
The other question: Dantes spends much of his life after prison seeking the people who tossed into the oubliette — not to get revenge but to punish them. He believes he is the angel of god and that he has been freed from prison so he can do god's will by punishing these evil men.
But as he proceeds in his quest, he begins to question whether any man can actually be the angel of god, whether it's a sign of mania or even insanity to think you can possibly know what is god's will.
In the end, evil is punished, and it is because of wheels that Dantes sets in motion. But I don't think he is ever able to know if he is just another man seeking to ruin other men, or if he is in fact the angel of god. It's a question that, as a journalist, I try to always remember: we are none of us the angel of god. All we can do is try to live the best life we can and not decide who deserves to be punished or even ruined.