THE ROAD TO MONTE CRISTO: The Memoirs of Alexandre Dumas by Jules- Ed. Goodman

THE ROAD TO MONTE CRISTO: The Memoirs of Alexandre Dumas

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The Guy Endore novel, King of Paris (see report P. 363), October selection of the Book of the Month, will spark fresh interest in Alexandre Dumas which may give impetus to this compression of six fat volumes of Memoirs into one manageable-and eminently readable- volume. Inevitably, in a comparative reading, the omissions become more significant than the inclusions, while the enormous zest of the man and his gift for spinning a yarn makes fact read like fiction. These memoirs cover his life from birth in 1802 to 1833, a year of crisis for him. His youth was colored by his father's fall from grace with Napoleon, leaving his wife and son desolate and penniless. The boy had a desultory education, but his ambition overrode its limitations and he secured a job as a copyist with the Duc d'Orleans in Paris -- a stepping stone to the world of letters, the theatre and politics. Playwright and novelist, his success was immense, his output phenomenal; his political exile- under Louis Philippe, just another episode. The autobiography reads like one of his own novels,- engagingly romantic, immensely entertaining, and tantalizingly incredible. One could wish for more exact and scholarly editorial comments, supplying dates, data on translation, etc., etc. But the text, despite the drastic compression, reads as engagingly as if freshly written, newly published.

Publisher: Scribner