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Bernard Malamud, Jonathan Safran Foer
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John Steinbeck

The Count of Monte Cristo, Vol. 2 of 2 (Forgotten Books)

The Count of Monte Cristo, Vol. 2 of 2 (Forgotten Books) - Alexander Lothrop Dumas i read this book many many years ago and remember loving it. i'm always nervous going back to a book that i enjoyed so much the first time. i wasn't necessarily disappointed (although here and there the writing wasn't as good as it could be) but i was surprised. i was surprised by the violence and the justification of the violence; i was surprised that it was a book in which 80% of the pages were about revenge. so i was disappointed in the main character, who we're supposed to cheer on as he makes a mess of the lives of people (and everyone related to them) who wronged him, who certainly deserved to be punished for what they did, but this was a bit extreme. it was also undeveloped in the sense that all of the characters were pretty much one dimensional. the 'bad' ones were bad to the core and had little to no redeeming qualities, and the 'good' ones were saints, as were their entire families. (there were some good people in the bad people's families.)for me it was interesting to read a book about vengefulness and people getting their due after reading the pelzer series, which is about serious intentional abuse (much worse than what happened to the protagonist in this book) and forgiveness. reading that, it felt really unrealistic to me that this man could, and should, forgive what happened to him. but if the alternative is the count of monte cristo then i stand corrected.what bothered me the most about this book, which is still a fun and entertaining read, is that at the end, the count starts to wonder if he went too far, if he really should have exacted the revenge that he did on everyone and their families. it seemed that we were finally going to get a morality tale, but, once he began to fully question, he realized that he was right, that everyone deserved what he facilitated to happen, and that he was even directed by g-d to bring punishment to these people.a dark, dark book about revenge and the vileness of people.