Friday, December 23, 2011

The Three Musketeers

The Three MusketeersThe Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Evan’s ESS = 8 out of 10
Erin’s ESS =  out of 10
Content = PG (Adult Content, Violence, Hot Tempers, Treachery, Stabbing)

“I do not often laugh, sir,” answered the unknown.  “As you may yourself discover by the expression of my countenance.  But yet I mean to preserve the right of laughing when I please.”

Why: The title of this novel is deliberately misleading.  Dumas really missed the boat on this one by not calling this masterpiece The Three Musketeers and One er, Guardsman.  Who knew that “all for one, one for all” actually meant “all FOUR one, one FOUR all?  We didn’t, although the list of things we don’t know can at times be staggering (really, people actually make blankets with arm holes?).  Anyway, today, let’s concentrate on the things we do know...

In route to ask the captain of the Musketeers for a job, young d’Artagnan makes a habit of challenging anything with breath to a duel.  Three men in particular who fit this category are the infamous musketeers; Athos, Aramis, and Porthos and end up scheduling duels with d’Artagnan all on the same day.   Just as the first swordfight commences enemies of the Musketeers approach and three friends quickly become four.  From that point on, the group is nearly inseparable and find themselves engaged in a disturbing scheme involving the royal family and the Cardinal and a few other sinister people.  Love, honor, and life are all at stake as d’Artagnan and his three Musketeers fight to uncover the plot.     

Alexandre Dumas had us at The Count of Monte Cristo and now after The Three Musketeers he’s officially entered the very elite Two Bibliomaniacs Favorite Dead Author club.  Dumas was a brilliant writer and was able to pack oodles of action, mystery, and humor all into a great narrative.  The story was thick with storylines, yet easy to follow and the characters were all unique – although a tad bit touchy.

While the 3 musketeers were certainly admirable with a sword, they did struggle in the departments of money, love, and sobriety.  Although, come to think of it, even their swordplay could be called into question due to the frequency in which each member of the group was stabbed.  Of course, they were all mere flesh wounds.  Still, it was easy to root for the band of four friends and even more fun to question their rash decision making.   We only wish it was somehow possible to enjoy more of d’Artagnan adventures....

Oh, snap!  Something else can officially be remove from our above referenced list of things we don’t know.  The Three Musketeers is actually the first in a series that make up the d’Artagnan Romances.  Has anyone ever read Twenty Years After or The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later?  At least the titles seem to be pretty clear on the timeframe covered in the novels; although given Dumas’s record they probably take place something like 12 years later... 


  1. Ooh, this sounds fantastic! Like you, I loved The Count of Monte Cristo instantly. I need to read the unabridged version (mine apparently is only 1/3 of the original manuscript?!) This is going on the TBR list pronto. Happy holidays & New Year :)

  2. Oh this has been on my list for so long. I really
    must commit! Thanks for the nudge.

  3. Awesome! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.