October 20, 2009

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

The Three Musketeers (Signet Classics)
The Three Musketeers
by Alexandre Dumas
My Goodreads rating: 4 of 5
Looking for adventure? This book is for you!

The Three Musketeers follows the adventures of a young Gascon named D'Artagnan who dreams of becoming a King's Musketeer. The road to this title is wrought with peril. D'Artagnan starts out rather headstrong and impetuous. Before he even makes it to Musketeer headquarters he finds himself in a duel with an infamous man dressed all in black. This mysterious man is later known to be one of the Cardinal's henchmen.

Not much later in the story, D'Artangnan gets himself into more trouble by contracting himself to three duels in one day: one with Athos, one with Porthos, and one with Aramis, or as they are known throughout the land, the three musketeers. This is our first introduction to this illustrious trio, but they very soon become a foursome as D'Artagnan joins them in a fight against the Cardinal's guards. From that moment on they are bonded together.

Many of the adventures in this book revolve around D'Artagnan's desire to help his mistress, Constance Bonacieux, who is somehow tangled up with the affairs of the Cardinal. Inadvertantly, the foursome serve the Queen, Anne of Austria, and the Duke of Buckingham. Through many of these trials, we come face to face with one of the Cardinal's most deadly mercenaries: Milady deWinter. She is pure venom with an angel's face. She easily attracts and ensnares men, and D'Artagnan is not altogether resistant to her charms. It is funny to me how D'Artagnan's journey is spurred on in pusuit of a woman's love.

I started out listening to this book on my iPod, but I had to finish by reading due to problems with retreiving the files from my computer. I have to say that I had a much better understanding of the end of the book than the beginning. I think while I'm listening my mind tends to focus on doing other things at the same time. Much of the time I listened while sewing, so that may have been a bit of a distraction. The nice thing about listening was that I had no problem pronouncing all the French names and words. So that was a major plus. The other nice thing was the narrator wasn't annoying to listen to. That always helps when listening to an audiobook. If you are looking to listen to the audio version of this book, then I would recommend it.

I read this book as part of a Classics Challenge. The challenge is almost over, but please feel free to visit the site and see what everyone else is reading. I'm sure once this challenge is over another one will quickly take it's place.

Othe books by this author: The Count of Monte Cristo; Twenty Years After (Three Musketeers Sequel); The Man in the Iron Mask (Three Musketeers Book 3)

Reader Question: Do you parlez vous francais, or do you find it difficult to pronounce French words or phrases?



Mrs. B. Roth said...

I hate French! I have the hardest time reading Hugo (whom I love) because I just can't think how to say the words. The only thing worse than French lit is Russian, where every character seems to have 2 or 3 names I can barely pronounce ...

Britt said...

I stumble through the French. Give me German words any day. Those I can do.

I really need to reread this one. I loved it, but read it forever ago!

Brenda said...

I do speak French so the pronunciation comes easier for me. Although I tend to pronounce Spanish, Italian, or any other language for that matter following French pronunciation guides, but oh well. :)

I don't recall reading any Dumas in school. There is so much great French literature in the 19th century that I think our professors focused elsewhere. That being said, I do want to read The Three Musketeers someday. And I have always loved The Count of Monte Cristo.

melissa @ 1lbr said...

I'm with Brenda - I love to pronounce the French words with a super Frenchy accent. And any other language's words too.

I ADORED The Three Musketeers, but I think I have a Dumas addiction.

Haiku Amy said...

I stumble through the French words too. That is why I'm glad I did the audiobook.

Mrs. B Roth - I don't think I've read any Russian lit. I agree it sounds hard though.

Britt - I'm with you, I'll take German too, but Spanish is pretty easy to figure out as well.

Brenda - you sound well versed in the foreign languages. Right on!

Melissa - I love Dumas too. The Count of Monte Cristo is my favorite, but the Musketeers are pretty awesome. I think I read The Man in the Iron Mask as well, but I can't remember it. I'll have to revisit that one.

Suey said...

This is one of my favorite books. I'm hoping to some day read the sequel, Twenty Years After. And I do know enough French to have fun with it. However, I did read Villette by Charlotte Bronte that had so much French in it that whole paragraphs were nonsense to me. Frustrating.

Laura's Reviews said...

Great review! I've been meaning to read this book one of these days. I've read The Man in the Iron Mask, but that is it by Dumas.

heidenkind said...

Oui, je parle francais un petit peu. J'etudiai francais au universite, et je habitai le Cote d'Azure pour un semestre.