By James L. Roberts

A rollicking stable yarn of event, wits, and revenge, this is often the tale of a guy imprisoned for 14 years who escapes by way of outsmarting his captors. Then, with the sharpest of minds, he works justice with a vengeance on his enemies.

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Example text

If readers are ever tempted to sympathize with the victims, they should always keep foremost in mind how Edmond Dantès suffered in prison for fourteen long and miserable years as the result of their treachery.  But at the last minute, the two men are saved by a stroke of good fortune: the hotel­keeper tells them that the "very great" Count of Monte Cristo has heard of their plight and has offered them two seats in his carriage, as well as two seats in his window above the square where most of the merriment will take place.

Edmond Dantès has been in prison for fourteen years, and during that time he has not shaved nor had a haircut, yet he is able to Page 36 successfully account for these matters by his ingenious story that he made a religious vow not to cut his hair for ten years.  Certainly, he is no longer the trusting and naive young man that he was at the beginning of his imprisonment fourteen years ago.  The search for buried treasure is one of the many universals that Dumas uses to involve his reader in his exciting adventure story.

He explains that his steward, Bertuccio, was probably once a smuggler who is now obligated to him; that his valet is a mute Nubian whose life he once saved; that his mistress is a woman he bought out of slavery; and that the people who kidnapped Albert Morcerf are people for whom he once performed acts requiring gratitude — for example, he kept Luigi Vampa from being captured by the Italian police, and it was he who saved Peppino's life during the carnival in Rome.  Monte Cristo's old acquaintance Fernand (Count de Morcerf) does not recognize him, of course, but we are made aware that Mercédès does indeed recognize the Count as her fiancé of long ago, Edmond Dantès, but she will keep his secret until much later in the novel, only to reveal it to her son to keep him from dueling with the Count.

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