The Count of Monte Cristo

Set against the turbulent years of the Napoleonic era, Alexandre Dumas’s thrilling adventure story is one of the most widely read novels of all time. In it the dashing young hero, Edmond Dantès, is betrayed by his enemies and thrown into a secret dungeon in the Chateau d’If — doomed to spend his life in a dank prison cell.

The story of his long, intolerable years in captivity, his miraculous escape, and his carefully wrought revenge creates a dramatic tale of mystery and intrigue and paints a vision of France – a dazzling, dueling, exuberant France — that has become immortal. Dumas’ novel presents a powerful conflict between good and evil embodied in an epic saga complicated by the hero’s ultimate discomfort with the implications of his own actions.

Note: While we prefer not to use abridged versions of classic literature, the length of this particular novel is daunting; which often results either in it being skipped or in being read in abridged form.

With this in mind, after reading several different versions, this particular abridgement of The Count of Monte Cristo is the only one we will be recommending and scheduling within our guide. It keeps the narrative flow while retaining much of the rich description and the essential details of Dumas’s intricately plotted and thrilling masterpiece.

This abridgement also allows for a few mature elements to be omitted from the story, making it more appropriate for a high school audience. The theme of divine retribution that runs throughout this classic makes it too good to pass up.