Reading is still a struggle but I have been discovering the joys and the miseries of talking books. The joys are that I can catch up on some reading that I have long promised to myself and not done the miseries because sometimes the way the reader reads grates with me – over the coming days I will post some other thoughts on books I have been listening too but today I start with The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
The later – that is the grating of the narrator – was certainly the case when first I started to listen to Dumas’ 1846 masterpiece, which has traveled well through the years, but by the end of the near 50 hours I had changed my view on that as John Lee the narrator’s voice which struck me as somber and full of regret became right for the tale as it wove its mystical journey through sorrow and revenge, joy and greed, great loss and greater hope. I have throughly enjoyed listening to it not just once but twice now, Dumas’ art of description is spellbinding, what some would describe in but a handful of words he weaves a web of words to paint a detailed picture of each and every scene from the infamous Chateau d’lf, to Paris, from secret garden rendezvous to Italian Opera, from hotel to ship to catacombs, from death and murder to love and life, each and every character rich and full, warts and beauty and secrets of the heart described in full drawing me every inward.
Edmond Dantes starts the tale with a promising future all mapped out before him, but all too soon the jealousy of friends sees his fortunes change as he finds himself in prison with no release in sight. As any good adventure tale would have it however he is soon to make an acquaintance inside the cold dreich walls that will change his fortune, change his outlook and change his life on offer to him all he needs to become an angel of good and bad dispensing both revenge and blessings as he steers his new-found moral code as the Conte of Monte Cristo – oh and a couple of other people.
A book that well deserves in my opinion its place as a classic.
Another of the joys of listening, especially when a book is as long as this one is I can read, or listen at least, as I iron, bake, clean or even just sit and rest awhile and they have been a boon for whiling away the hours of a sleepless night without disturbing Hubby.
The one thing that is definitely a minus side with listening books is that while I could have picked up a new paperback for £1.99 or an abridged audio version for around £20, the unabridged audio download I got has a price tag of over £30 on it!