Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: THE THREE MUSKETEERS by Alexandre Dumas

book cover Original Publication Date: 1844

Genre: adventure

Topics: love, coming of age

Review by heidenkind:

Less awesome alternative title: D'Artagnan, the Early Years

A young man from Gascony sets out for Paris with big dreams, namely to join the king's personal guards, the Musketeers. He finds he can't join the Musketeers, but he does befriend three of them: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. D'Artagnan has one weakness, which is that he falls in love constantly with incredibly unsuitable women, and this winds up getting him and his friends into trouble of the most royal kind.

It took me about six weeks to make my way through this massive book—on audio—but honestly, it didn't FEEL like six weeks. Dumas does go off on one or two tangents, but for the most part the story is so tightly told that it felt like the book was flying by even though it was long. And honestly, if it had went on forever and ever, I WOULDN'T HAVE CARED! I would have happily listened to/read this novel unto eternity, because I loved these characters so much.

D'Artagnan is the main character of the novel (obviously), and I loved how he developed over the course of the story. At first he's very unsure and eager to prove himself, and therefore extremely defensive. He's willing to challenge anyone to a duel for any slight, real or imagined. But after he makes friends with the Musketeers, it quickly become clear he's the brains of the operation. He's super-smart and even wiley, but his heart's in the right place. Most of the time.

Athos is d'Artagnan's bestie. Everyone love Athos because of his Dark Past. I won't say any more about it for fear of spoilers, but he's an awesome character. The scene where he eats and drinks an inn keeper out of house and home while defending himself against all comers is PRICELESS, I tells ye.

Porthos is a playa playa and Aramis never really says anything, so.

I can see why English people love this book, because the only main English character, the Duke of Buckingham, is a total freaking badass and I would totally hit that.

Lady de Winter--ZOMG. LOVE HER LOVE HER LOVE HER LOVE HER. She's the best villainess I've encountered since Lady Audley. She's smart, and resourceful, and I really can't blame her for being pissed at Athos and d'Artagnan and the men folk in general, but she's also SO EVIL! But I love her!

I can't believe it took me this long to read The Three Musketeers just because I was intimidated by the length. Shame on me! It's not the length of the book but the story it tells, and this one tells a rollicking, swashbuckingly, non-stop story from beginning to end. I highly recommend you read it.

Download The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas at Project Gutenberg|Librivox