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What We’re Reading: The Black Count

Post by Cathleen Keyser
Posted September 20, 2013 in NoveList Bookshelf, NoveList Plus

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The Black Count by Tom Reiss
ISBN: 9780307382467

“Unhappiness cannot but draw tighter the bonds which hold us fast to one another," General Dumas had written to Marie-Louise as he made his way home.”

Have you ever picked up a book -- even though it is not a book you would normally read -- and it ends up being one of your favorite books? For me, that book was The Black Count. Once I started reading it, I couldn 't put it down. The Black Count is the story of the General Alex Dumas -- father to the novelist Alexandre Dumas -- whose real life was the inspiration for his son to write The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

Tom Reiss does an impeccable job of bringing revolutionary France to life with tales of swashbuckling, unbelievable courage, and progressive race relations. There were large passages about French history that might seem long, but Reiss made it utterly absorbing. But however interesting the background history was, the tale of the rise and fall of Alex Dumas kept me reading until the tragic end. Reiss has created a biography that reads more like an adventure story, full of dashing heroes and remarkable exploits. Recommended by Cathleen Keyser.