Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Three Musketeers


Dumas, Alexandre. The Three Musketeers. Translated by Richard Pevear. (This translation was published in 2006. The original was published in the 1840s.)

On the first Monday of the month of April 1625, the village of Meung, where the author of the Romance of the Rose was born, seemed to be in as total an upheaval as if the Huguenots had come to make a second La Rochelle. Many of the townsmen, seeing women fleeing along the main street, hearing children crying on the doorsills, hastened to put on their breastplates and, backing up their somewhat uncertain countenances with a musket or a partisan, headed for the Jolly Miller Inn, before which jostled a compact group, noisy, full of curiosity, and growing every minute.

Thus begins the classic novel The Three Musketeers. It may not be much of an attention-grabber--especially these days--but believe me, there is more than enough adventure to go around (and then some) in this wonderful classic. Set in seventeenth century France during the reign of Louis XIII, the novel focuses on the life and adventures of a young man d'Artagnan. His friends. His enemies. His frenemies. His lovers. d'Artagnan is a man without much fortune; when we first meet up with him he is almost penniless--not quite--and is the not-so-proud owner of a yellow nag of a horse. Despite his father urging him to not sell the horse, the first thing d'Artagnan does when he gets the chance is to unload himself of the poor creature. He may not have much, but he has BIG dreams and BIG potential. He's also rather confident for being who he is. The first to want to duel at the slightest insult. The first to demand honor and respect. He has a clumsy way about him--at least at first. He seems to rub every one the wrong way at the beginning. His first day in town--in Paris I believe--and he ends up with three men wanting to challenge him. Athos. Porthos. Aramis. Three of the king's own musketeers.

But it is to "be" a musketeer that he is there in the first place. To be a musketeer, to serve his king and country, to earn glory (and money) his only ambition. (Well that and to get the attention of the ladies.) I won't get into the specifics--I hope you'll pick this one up yourself--the duels come to a rather unique resolution. The three men already being the very best of friends decide to take d'Artagnan under their protection, to make him part of this tight circle of friendship. To be part of the exclusive all-for-one and one-for-all club.

Friendship. Love. Hate. Revenge. Secrets. Danger. Adventure. Adventure. Adventure. Adventure with a dash of romance. Swordfights. Duels. Honor. Jealousy. Agendas. Ambition. Greed. Lust. And more than a little humor and sarcasm.

I really can't recommend this one highly enough. I loved every moment of it. Dashing men with swords. Dashing men that wear hats with feathers. Had me at hello. Seriously. Once I started, I didn't want to stop. I did of course. I wasn't able to read 704 pages in one sitting. But I doubt anyone could. It was thoroughly enjoyable. And I didn't want it to end.

I would definitely recommend this edition over the others as well. It has some incredible foot notes. :)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

11 comments:

SuziQoregon 7:53 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
SuziQoregon 7:54 PM  

YAY!!! I'm so glad you read this translation. What a fun book! I read it last winter and described it as "These guys are kind of like a Frat Party that wants to have a moral purpose."

I'm so happy you read this and enjoyed it as much as I did.

Melissa 8:26 PM  

Oh, I read The Count of Monte Cristo years ago (and LOVED it), and wanted to read more. I totally forgot until I saw this. Off to stick Three Musketeers on my list.

Princess Haiku 2:52 AM  

Hi Becky,
I wandered into your blog and glad that I did as I am a book lover too. I never read the Three Musketeers and think I will give it a try. I can see you have all kinds of interesting posts here. Will link and be back occasionally. Happy reading.

Samantha 7:07 AM  

Oh, your review made me want to read this book even more than I already do. It's on my to be read stack, so I'll get to it, eventually.

chatteringbee 1:25 PM  

We had to read this book in class last year. And I didn't expect to like it, but in the end I absolutely adored it.

Somer 3:52 PM  

I read The Three Musketeers over 20 years ago, between 9th and 10th grade as required summer reading. I LOVED it. Probably my favorite required read ever. I tried to read it again last year after picking up a copy at a used book sale, but the copy I picked up was huge and unwieldy and I gave up. I picked up a smaller paperback copy (no idea what translation) and will read it again eventually.

Teddy Rose 8:13 PM  

I loved The Count of Monte Cristo and must read The Three Musketeers one of these days!

I love your Heart rating, where did you get it?

Meaghan O'Neal 8:35 AM  

I've been wanting to read this book ever since I read the Count of Monte Cristo, which it absolutely amazing! Thanks for the review! It makes me really want to read it. =]

Lois of HisFireKids.com 11:13 AM  

Thanks so much...we are trying to pick a book for the kids to read and can't decide...This or the Scarlet Pimpernel. I like this one better...

Matthew 8:16 PM  

I tried to read this book, and I fell asleep each time I attempted to read due to boredom. The book includes way too much detail for my liking, and I believe Dumas needed to get to the point a little bit quicker. However, I am only in the seventh grade and I may not appreciate his writing like others do, so do not let me stop you from reading such a book.

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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