Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Favorite Books 10

Book Review Alexander Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo, Anton Chekhov, A Schoolmistress and Other Stories, The Beauties
Book: The Count of Monte Cristo (Original French title 'Le Comte de Monte-Cristo')
Author: Alexander Dumas (French, 1802-1870) (in collaboration with the ghostwriter Auguste Maquet)

Original Language: French
Year: 1844
Category: Thriller, Adventure

Story: Edmund Dantes is a victim of conspiracy of Mr. Danglar, Fernand, and Villefort. All set in the conspiracy with personal jealousy, anguish, and interest. Mr. Danglar conspires because Dantes is promoted the captain of the ship instead of him. Mr. Fernand conspires because he wants to marry Ms. Mercedes who is about to marry Dantes. Judge Villefort conspires to save himself. So Dantes is imprisoned in the darkest dungeons of Chateau d'If. He met old Mr. Faria who is digging through the stones to get out of the dungeon. Eventually they became friends in those dark, and alone life. Faria died of Catalepsy, but before death he handed over a map of hidden treasure to Dantes which lies in the island of Montecristo. Dantes escaped with a trick and returned in disguise to have revenge of the life he was robbed of...

Comment: This is one of the most exciting novels that I read. A classic. An excellent thriller on love, conspiracy, and revenge. There is a movie with the same title and characters, but the movie is entirely different than the novel. For example, in the movie Fernand and Dantes are friends, but in the book they are not. In the movie, Dantes had a happy ending with Mercedes, but in the book that did not happen. In the movie, Fernand's son is actually Dantes's son, but in the book he is not. In the movie Fernand died in the duel with Dante, but in the book Fernand committed suicide. There are a lot many differences. The character Caderousse in the book is totally absent in the movie. But anyway, the movie - may be coming with a different theme, but I must say, retains the value of a classic one. The book established vengeance in terms of mercy, but in the movie it is in action. Yet both the book and the movie are separately classics on their own dignity. But don't by just think that you have gone through the book merely by watching the movie. It is not a substitute of the book, and much too different than the book (in most cases, movie depictions of a book seldom reflects the original story).

Bangla paperback should be available at Seba Prokashoni at Segunbagan, Dhaka.


Story: The Beauties (Original Russian transliteration 'Krasabitse')
Author: Anton Chekov (Russian, 1860-1904)

Original Language: Russian
Year: 1888
Category: Short Story

Summary: They boy, the grandfather, the driver and everybody else were amazed with the beauty at the peasant - the beauty that can't be touched, can't be owned, is short-lived, is short-sighted, is melancholic, is wonderful, is deep-rooted, is wavy, that has no meaning but a meaning, that can't escape the mind, but is out-of-reach. The boy was once again amazed by another beauty a the railway station - the beauty that can't be touched, can't be owned...

Comment: Anton Chekhov is known as one of the world's best short story writers. We can apprehend from his writings the definition of short story (and may try to write one). Salman Rushdie's secret pen name is Joseph Anton where Joseph comes from Joseph Conrad, and Anton comes from Anton Chekhov.

This is not a book, but a story from his short story collections book 'A Schoolmistress and Other Stories'.

Free online reading (English translation) at: Anton Chekhov Books

Let us buy paper books. Let's enrich our mind and home library.

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