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The Count of Monte Cristo

Written by: Alexandre Dumas
Narrated by: Bill Homewood
Length: 52 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (111 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On the eve of his marriage to the beautiful Mercedes, having that very day been made captain of his ship, the young sailor Edmond Dantès is arrested on a charge of treason, trumped up by jealous rivals. Incarcerated for many lonely years in the isolated and terrifying Chateau d'If near Marseille, he meticulously plans his brilliant escape and extraordinary revenge.

Of all the "masked avengers" and "caped crusaders" in literature, The Count of Monte Cristo is at once the most daring and the most vulnerable. Alexandre Dumas (père), master storyteller, takes us on a journey of adventure, romance, intrigue, and ultimately, redemption.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

Public Domain (P)2010 Naxos Audiobooks

What members say

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The Count of Monte Cristo

Ahhh a story of ‘HOPE’ ... a classic that is truly timeless! Superb story telling!
#Audible1

3 people found this helpful

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Classic story, with great narration.

I loved this book, so to be able to bring it with me and listen to it any time it a great plus! The narrator brings this story to life and keeps you engaged and listening intently throughout the whole novel. I loved every minute of it. I can't recommend this audio book enough. #Audible1

3 people found this helpful

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Exceptional performance, drawn out storyline

I can't say enough how enormously entertaining Bill Homewood is in this reading! He has a different voice for each character and maintains the accents, tones, and inflections for each person throughout the entire book. The story is one of hope, resilience, and vindication but it is VERY drawn out. Be prepared for that. I have seen the movie, and absolutely loved it, so I thought I would love the book even more. Not so much. I do want to watch the movie again though. I almost stopped the book after the first 3 chapters and returned it. But I powered through and am so glad I did. At times the story is absolutely mesmerizing, with action at every turn, at other times I had to fight to not let my mind wander as the storyline plodded along in extremely long monologues and monotonous verbosity. But, once you reach the next point of excitement, you are glad you stuck with it. It would be nice if this book were rewritten in our current manner of speaking and pared back a bit in the really slow and unnecessary parts of the story. That would probably bring a whole new generation into the world of Edmond Dantes. Overall, I am very happy I listened to this wonderful book and would highly recommend it to most patient listeners out there who are in search of a timeless classic.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent writer and excellent narrarator

A superb performance by the narrator Bill Homewood who was able to use several different voices consistently throughout the entire book, read at a great pace, and allowed me to thoroughly enjoy every detail.

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fantastic novel, narration issues

This novel was superb. The problem lies in the narrator's wet and sloppy reading.

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Great Classical Read

I first read this book as a teenager over 30 years ago and had forgotten the full story, Listening to it being read was a treat as it reminded me of why I remembered loving the book as a youngster. The story is still captivating and the reader did an excellent job. It is a definite must read if you like classical literature.

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An amazing, classic read

Great book and very well read. It is a long book but well worth seeing it through to the end. A true classic.

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excellent narration of the best revenge story

I love this book and loved the narration, so expressive! The voices were awesome.

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Amazing story!

Although long this story is wonderful. The narrating is spectacular. I highly recommend it. Our family started it on a summer road trip and our 14 year old was riveted.

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WOW! A long listen but is it ever worth it!

What a great story and wonderful narration! It's a long read but very well worth the time!

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  • james
  • 2013-03-05

This is the one to spend 50 hours listening to!

There are plenty of other versions, but after listening to some samples I went with Bill Homewood. He's the man. A different voice/ characterization for each person in the story - different enough that sometimes I forgot their names but remembered them from earlier in the story by the voice!

It's a good story, and I'd tried to get through the book before but could never fight through Dumas' long winded prose. Mr Homewood battered it down for me in style and has a great dramatic style.

If you like the classics, you should give this a listen. If you're going to listen to The Count, you should listen to this one.

223 people found this helpful

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  • Blizzard
  • 2012-10-11

Superior performance of a very intricate story

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this one, although in general I rate it highly.

Let me get the bad out of the way:

First, when I started listening, I was immediately dismayed to hear an echo in the recording that I had not noticed when listening to the sample. But with decent headphones in my ears, it sounded like the narrator was in a cavern, or perhaps a high-ceiling house. Also, you can hear the faint chirping of a bird in the background. I marveled at the fact that the engineer (or the company behind him/her) could allow such unfavorable recording conditions. Can Naxos not afford studio time? Can they not think about putting the mic a bit further away from the bird? Or, bear with me...what if we put the birdcage in this house over here, and record the 52-hour audiobook over here in this recording studio?

My first instinct was to try to return it and get another version, but I kept listening, and to be honest, after a while it didn't bother me at all (probably because of the reader's jaw-dropping performance).

Second, it took me a very, very long time to finish this audiobook. Although the story is much revered as a classic, and, in my opinion, rightly so in many respects, I found certain stretches to be interminable and boring, laying down an unbelievably intricate web of intrigue that sometimes seems to have nothing to do with what went before, and only has its payoff much later. This is why I gave the story 4 stars instead of 5. However, once the various threads started to come together I was drawn back in and riveted to the end. I have heard some people say that they prefer an abridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo, and I suspect I agree. Alexandre Dumas is one long-winded dude.

Granted, the book was originally written in serial form, printed chapter by chapter over time and devoured by an eagerly awaiting audience, just as we might do with the latest episode of our favorite TV series. And that helps explain its length and intricacy, I suppose. But it also makes me wonder if some of it was written in order to fulfill that demand, and not necessarily because it was essential to the story.

I will also say that despite these two shortcomings, the overall experience is very gratifying, and I'm glad I pushed through to the end.

Now the good:

The narrator, Bill Homewood, is quite simply phenomenal. His ability to create nuance and breathe life into the book's huge assortment of characters is just outstanding. I was stupefied throughout by the subtleties in and mastery of each character's voice. In short, I can't imagine a better reading. He deserved better recording conditions.

The story, apart from the monumental digressions, the seemingly unmerited attention to certain characters or details, and the florid prose and dialogue, is a spectacular adventure that touches on all sorts of universal themes. Love, patience, murder, betrayal, and most of all revenge, to name a few. The characters all seemed very much alive to me (and I grudgingly admit that the extreme detail probably helps in that respect), and it's easy to submerge yourself in the story (though you might have a nap during the more tedious parts).

Having read over this review, I now realize that some of Mr. Dumas' wordiness might have rubbed off on me, so I'll leave it at this: Overall, I would recommend this audiobook to anyone considering it. My only advice would be to have faith that, although the story lags, it will come back around, and things that seemed almost entirely unrelated will make sense in the end. Just sit back and enjoy a master performer reading a classic. Oh, and don't mind the chirping bird. After a while you get used to it.

109 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2011-11-17

This is the definitive reading!

There are two fantastic Unabridged recordings of this book on Audible.

* This one by Naxos Audiobooks, released in 2011, narrated by Bill Homewood, and
* Blackstone Audio's version, released in 2008, narrated by John Lee.

Now, at first glance, the John Lee version seems more energetic and might seem superior, but that's absolutely wrong. Listen to the audio sample of that version, and you'll be treated to a monotone reading where -every- -single- -character- -sounds- -exactly- -the- -same-. Most of the time you can't even hear the difference between him narrating the story or speaking a character's lines. I assure you that nearly 50 hours of the same monotone voice, where every character blends together, is not the best way to experience the book.

Now listen to THIS recording instead, by Bill Homewood. Listen to the sample all the way until the end, and you'll hear that he expertly crafts a UNIQUE voice for EVERY character, and gives each character a vibrant portrayal. It's an absolute joy to listen to him narrate the work with such talent for voices and accents, and it's really easy to follow along with what's happening since the voices are so distinct.

The book itself? It's a classic for a reason. If you have a taste for epic revenge and adventure stories, then this is for you. I suggest you choose this reading of the book and sit back, relax and enjoy. You'll be in for the ride of a lifetime.

308 people found this helpful

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  • Bruce L. Stimpson
  • 2013-04-04

Excellent story, be sure to get Homewood version

If you could sum up The Count of Monte Cristo in three words, what would they be?

Thrilling, massive, fantastic

Any additional comments?

You MUST get the Bill Homewood (reader) version of this novel. The characters come alive, and his intonation and in-depth understanding of the characters enrapture the listener. I started to listen to a different version of this book, but that performance was not good. I'm so glad I tried again with Bill Homewood.

42 people found this helpful

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  • felicia
  • 2015-05-07

Bring back the old classic Tales!

This was the most entertaining and heartfelt stories that I have read ever. Anyone who calls themselves a serious reader, writer or enlightened being should read this amazing classic.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Joshua
  • 2014-07-10

Fantastic narration / book unlike movie

This is the longest book I've tackled on audible--and the first classic. I don't think I could have gotten through this without the fantastic narrator, Bill Homewood, bring it to life.

I was worried that this book would be a 50-hour version of the movie that I liked so much. Indeed, it was not. The book offers a richer cast of characters, a much more nuanced protagonist, and countless ambiguities that turn the book into something very surprising and deep.

The age of the novel is very apparent. A lot of the science it employs does not stand the test of time. The use of poisons and drugs is just plain silly at times. Additionally, the the mindset of the french aristocracy is so foreign and bizarre that the motivations and emotions of characters is downright bizarre to modern listeners at times. This causes some of the impact of the drama to be nullified, which is a shame.

I was fairly captivated the entire time, which surprised me given that the language and setting of the novel provided many obstacles to true immersion in the story. Here is where the narrator did his job phenomenally well. I have to say that I truly delighted at his portrayal of Noirtier.

Listeners will probably need to follow along with a chapter summary at parts, as almost every character has two or more names, and some of the Dumas subtleties cause confusion that remains unresolved for long stretches. The language barrier led me to wonder if I misunderstood certain things, or if Dumas was just giving his readers credit by not spelling everything out (it was always the latter).

I highly recommend this book with this narrator.

63 people found this helpful

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  • Lucie
  • 2016-09-07

For a book this long, you want the right narrator!

Of all the options Audible has for this book, this narrator is the one who'll keep you engaged. You can tell a bit from the samples of the different narrators, but trust me: Bill Homewood is your man. He gives the characters distinctive voices, and really brings the kind of flair and drama you need for a book like this.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Colton
  • 2012-03-19

Excellent classic that everyone should read.

An epic tale of revenge, The Count of Monte Cristo is one of the most fun books I have read in some time.

The narration was skillfully performed, and the narrators voice sold me on this version of the book. HOWEVER by the time I finished the book the sound of his mouth had me squirming. He kept making squishy mouth noises throughout the book, which was likely related in some way to the mic.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 2012-02-20

Wow.

What did you love best about The Count of Monte Cristo?

I'd never heard of Bill Homewood before, but he is without a doubt one of the best narrators that I've ever heard. If this guy hasn't won an award, he should have or will soon.The book was everything I thought it would be.. and more! A tad difficult to keep everyone's names straight since it's written in Victorian English, everyone has about 3 different names/titles. Ugh. Good GOD is this book long. But well worth the listen.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Count of Monte Cristo, I mean, Lord Underwood, I mean Abbe Bertuccio.. All of the above. This dude has some major unchecked agression. I mean really, so you spent 14 years in prison. So what? You got a first-rate education out of it! Now you're free AND a billionare! Instead of just paying someone to abduct your wrongdoer's and torture them, you spend most of your money toying with them and proclaim yourself God's Hand of Vengence and Providence. Awesome.

What about Bill Homewood’s performance did you like?

EVERYTHING.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Anton Dotti Eklund
  • 2019-03-03

Undescribably well done

I can only try to express my appreciation for this work. The only way to describe in words how good this book is, is to write it all over again.
As has been stated in other reviews, the narration doesn't get better than this. He is absolutely phenomenal. Every single voice is unique and done with perfect immersion. Sometimes I fancied it was read by different persons entirely. He also tells the story with perfect empathy and emphasis where it is supposed to be. Truly an artist. At times in the book, you can even hear birds chirping in the background, which just elevates the experience even more.

3 people found this helpful