What Emeran’s Reading: The Three Musketeers

April 16, 2012

I just finished slogging through The Three Musketeers. I unearthed a box of books from the basement last November. We are trying to clean out some space, and the mound of unpacked boxes was destined to be tackled. The amount of space “stuff” takes up in our lives is quite impressive. De-cluttering is a 2012 goal of mine, so sifting through boxes of books left me with two piles: the keepers and the get-these-out-of-here! I inherited quite a few hardback classics from my grandmother, and was inspired to elevate my book reading portfolio. The Three Musketeers caught my eye. There have been movies about it, the Slumdog Millionaire read it, and “All for one, one for all” is a famous quote from it.

I quickly switched to the free Kindle version, as the spine is gone and the rest of the binding is holding on by a few threads. The Kindle dictionary came in very handy with all the archaic words. However, it does not work well with French words, so I still don’t know what “pardieu” means. Plus, look at the text on the page in the image below! It is small, faint and has too much punctuation!?%#@?

The big question is whether it was worth my six weeks of time to read this book? The answer is not really, but now at least I can say that I have read it.

The bottom line is that the story had no real redeeming value for me. The three musketeers and D’Artagnon were elitists and most of their actions were completely self-serving. The friendship was notable, but they were definitely flawed people. Maybe that was why it is a classic; exposing flawed heroes. I know the basic story line of a country boy going to the big city to make a name for himself and eventually succeeding also carries some weight: overcoming obstacles, proving oneself, achieving a goal. The loose morals, drunkenness, maiming and killing via sword fights for fun and so-called honor, stealing, and gambling are thrown in to flush out the story.

I am moving on to another book, Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. It is engaging and well written. There are already several wonderful quotes including “One never doubted for a moment that it was Ferraro’s destiny to be a barber; his instincts were perfect; his baldness was inconsequential.” It made me wonder what other professions you can excel at even thought you can’t apply that knowledge to yourself. The book opens up in a missionary hospital in Ethiopia. (Two locations that I find personally interesting.) Verghese writes with a great balance between action/movement and description/details. I am about a third of the way through, and will have to let you know what I think when I am finished.

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