The Count of Monte Cristo – in progress

There’s been a notable lack of activity on this blog for a while now, and while I’d like to make loads of excuses for that and blame things like my new location and new job, the truth is that the larger portion of blame falls on the enormous books that I’ve been reading.

Enter The Count of Monte Cristo–at over 1400 pages, it’s taking me ages. I don’t read quite as quickly when I’m workng 40 hours a week as I do when I’m unemployed, so rather than pound out 600 pages in a couple of days (which I did for the first half of the book, ages and ages ago), I’m slogging by at 50 pages or so every couple of days instead (a girl has to take naps after work, you know).

But oh, what a journey. To say that I’m not enjoying my gradual progress through this novel would be a horrible, horrible lie. The fact is, this book is frequently hilarious and, at other times, just plain diabolical (because the reader knows what’s going on, even if no one else does), and it makes me very sad to part with it in the evenings. I even tried taking it to work for a couple of days, but it didn’t prove the sort of thing that I could manage to read on a 30-minute lunch break. Not while preventing indigestion, anyway.

I’m almost to the 900-page mark at this point, and so far everyone is still largely bamboozled by the Count of Monte Cristo. It’s as if he’s an imaginary person–far too good to be true. And luck certainly favors him and those around him (so far…). One of my favorite chapters, at this point, is “Toxicology,” wherein the Count explains how to poison someone without a trace to Madame de Villefort. I could see the wheels in his head turning….

In the meantime, I have a few other books in progress, and I’ll probably put Monte Cristo on hold soon when a couple of new releases come my way, but I expect to have it done relatively soon.

And what epic novels am I planning to read afterward? The Gormenghast Trilogy (compilation, of course), The Tale of Genji, and Our Mutual Friend (this last one is less epic than the others, perhaps, but the copy at the bookstore was plenty hefty all the same). Naturally, I won’t be reading them all in a row, interesting experiment though that might be.



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