A to Z Challenge: More Fictional Favorites! Day 5: Edmond Dantes

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0E is for — Edmond Dantes from Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo

I’ve always been a fan of Alexandre Dumas’ adventure novels — The Three Musketeers, which I wrote about last year with D’Artagnan; The Man in the Iron Mask; and this year’s entry, The Count of Monte Cristo.

Edmond Dantes is a fascinating character. He is the hero of the story, but as the Count of Monte Cristo, his actions in the name of vengeance could easily be described as villainous. He manipulates everyone around him and destroys the lives of three men. Yet who could blame him, when these three men so thoroughly destroyed his, in the past?

Edmond had everything to live for. He’d just returned from a successful sea voyage, he’d been given the captaincy of a ship, and he was about to marry his beloved fiancée. Three men wrongfully condemned him as a traitor, and he was sentenced, without trial, to life in prison in the grim Chateau d’If.

Thoughts of revenge sustain him during his grueling imprisonment and fuel his daring escape. Edmond discovers, though, that vengeance can leave a bitter taste, and it’s not only the guilty who suffer as a result of his actions.

The Count of Monte Cristo has been adapted into numerous movies, TV shows, and even a comic book series. I enjoyed the 1975 movie with Richard Chamberlain as Dantes, though I wish it had stuck to the original ending from the book. The 2002 version with Jim Caviezel is on my to-be-watched list.

 

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

 

E_Count_of_Monte_Cristo_Book

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

A to Z Challenge: Fictional Favorites, Day 4

D is for — Dustfinger and D’Artagnan — from the Inkheart series and The Three Musketeers.

Reading a character out of a book… or reading yourself into one… Who wouldn’t want to be able to do that? Such adventures to be had! I can’t count the books I’ve read myself into in my imagination. But it only works if you can put the characters and/or yourself back where they belong when you’re done. If you can’t, things get messy.

In Cornelia Funke’s trilogy: Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath, Meggie’s father Mo reads Dustfinger out of the story and into their world. The problem is, Mo can’t put him back, leaving the “fire dancer” stuck here in this world. For ten years, Dustfinger yearns to return to his family in the Inkworld. I empathized with his desperate need to go home and cheered when, in Inkspell, he finally made it back. To me, he is by far the most interesting character in the series, and I was immensely glad for the turn of events that allowed him a happy ending.

When I originally read Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, I never realized the story was based on a real person — Charles de Batz-Castelmore, Comte d’Artagnan. The real D’Artagnan lived from 1611-1673 and was Captain of the Musketeers under Louis XIV of France. Dumas’ D’Artagnan Romances, including the Musketeers, were based on the partly-fictionalized memoirs of D’Artagnan written by Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras.

I always loved the adventure, the swordplay, and the camaraderie of D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Of the many movie versions of the Musketeers — and I confess I haven’t seen them all — my favorites are the Richard Lester productions: The Three Musketeers from 1973 and The Four Musketeers: Milady’s Revenge from 1974. The wonderful chemistry of the heroes, played by Michael York, Oliver Reed, Frank Finlay, and Richard Chamberlain drives the story. Add in plenty of sword fights, derring-do, and slapstick humor, and you’ve got one fun afternoon at the movies. By the end, I’m ready to add my voice to the rousing shout: “All for one, one for all!”

Paul Bettany - Dustfinger in Inkheart, 2008

Paul Bettany – Dustfinger
in Inkheart, 2008
Photo Credit: Inkheart Wikia

Inkheart series

Inkheart series

From Left to Right: Athos/OliverReed D'Artagnan/Michael York Porthos/Frank Finlay Aramis/Richard Chamberlain

From Left to Right:
Athos/OliverReed
D’Artagnan/Michael York
Porthos/Frank Finlay
Aramis/Richard Chamberlain

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