I have read "The Count of Monte Cristo" at least five times; it's definitely in my top 3 favorite books of all time. I was the first in line when Hollywood came out with a movie with the delicious Jim Caveziel (can you call the man who played Jesus delicious, or is that sacrilegious?). "The Three Musketeers", however, was a mystery to me. In all my reading years, I hadn't picked it up. Since I am such a huge fan of The Count, I was thrilled to find this book at the Book Rack for $2 and I cracked it open.
I don't know how many of you have seen the Disney version of the story, but it is completely different. It maybe follows the book for the first 15 minutes, then veers completely off track. It was probably a bad idea to have watched the movie before the book, because I'm afraid it's clouded my vision. I honestly didn't like the book as much as I like the movie. The characters were vapid and one-dimensional, and the four main characters (D'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis) were kind of jerks. They were always picking fights and killing people left and right, and somehow D'Artagnan was commended for his work in the Guard, but I could never tell what he did other than drink wine with his friends and fight duels.
And the feminist in me was very upset with the women. You guys are all going to say, oh, it was the time period, but these women were always swooning and fainting and dependent on the men for everything. Porthos had a married woman who was eating out of his hand, and D'Artagnan went from woman to woman - pretty much when a woman walked in a room he was desperately in love with her. Milady, the evil woman who would kill people out of revenge, was a character I actually liked who had some depth, but even she would swoon once in a while.
There were some exciting adventures, like when D'Artagnan went to London on a mission for the Queen, and when the 4 friends barricaded themselves in a fort just to have breakfast and make plans (while fighting off the enemy). And at the end it got exciting, when the (by now) Four Musketeers finally cornered Milady in order to stop her evil ways. So it wasn't all bad.
I don't regret reading it - now I know what I've been missing all these years. But I think I'll stick to The Count.