#TBT “The Count of Monte Cristo” was the Capitalist’s Dream Well Before “Atlas Shrugged”
The Count of Monte Cristo is on every must-read list, but with so many satisfying movie adaptations it’s hard to commit to such a thick volume. Being paid by the word, Alexander Dumas was not a fan of brevity, however that did not change the fact that The Count of Monte Cristo is a real page turner with plenty of quote worthy lines—”The difference between treason and patriotism is only a matter of dates.” Edmond Dantès has the ultimate story arc with the kind of revenge plot that we’ve all dreamt of when dealing with terrible bosses or erstwhile companions.
Like when most people read the original after being familiar with the adaptation, there’s a novelty in discovering the differences. One is that no 131 minute film can capture how much of a pimp the Count was. At one point in the book he gathers his friends over to a dinner party at his house, points out two exotic fish, and tells them he thought it would be amusing to have two fish that could never meet in nature and bring them together on his table. Another is that while Edmond does eventually learn to overcome his god-complex by the end of the novel, Dumas does not deliver the Hollywood end we’re used to, and it really is better for it.