Book Review: The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas)

Greetings, fellow book lovers!

The Mom Who Runs: Book Reviews is a collaborative effort between me and Nancy, my cousin and the talented designer of the “Running Mom” graphic we use when rating the books. She’s a fellow busy mom, book lover, wine enthusiast and serious hockey fan! From here on out the reviewer (Sara or Nancy) will be identified, as seen below. We hope you enjoy her reviews! Being privy to her reading list, I am certainly looking forward many more!

Happy reading and happy trails!

 

The Three Musketeers

Author: Alexandre Dumas

© 1844

Genre: Literary Fiction

Subgenres: Action / Adventure

Reviewer: Nancy

4.5 runner girls4.5 runner girls4.5 runner girls4.5 runner girlsRunner-Girl-FINAL-outline-only

 

 

“It’s a classic!” they said. “You should read it!” they said. “But it’s 19th century literature!” I said. “If you can read the first chapter and stop then this book isn’t for you,” they said. And they were right! The Three Musketeers is very hard to put down.

Written in 1844, but set in 1625, The Three Musketeers, was originally serialized for Le Siècle newspaper between March and July of 1844. Every chapter leaves you hanging and wanting more. The story begins with D’Artagnan, at the age of 19, making his way to Paris in search of fame and fortune. He quickly becomes fast friends with three musketeers—Athos, Aramis and Porthos. The four men become inseparable and you get carried along through their many court intrigues, adventures and the siege of La Rochelle. Dumas does a good job of carrying themes from beginning to end so although the book was originally serialized, it holds together well.

I’ve read this book twice, once in my early 20s and again in my mid-50s. Thirty years later I still love this book. It’s definitely a different read now, but it’s still one of my Top 5. I do find that I have to be careful not to place my 21st century world view on these 17th century characters. There were moments when I thought, “You know, these guys really aren’t very nice.” But somehow I fell in love with them all over again. Dumas does a wonderful job of developing all the characters, even the ones you don’t like; you really care about them and what happens to them. There will be moments where you laugh out loud and, possibly shed a tear.

The first time I read the book I was surprised by how different it is from all the movies that have been made from this story. When you think of The Three Musketeers do you think of the movie starring Oliver Reed, Rachel Welch and Richard Chamberlain? Or maybe the version starring Charlie Sheen, Keifer Sutherland and Chris O’Donnell? There is so much more to the book—it’s a much richer experience. There are great story lines—the diamond tags, the Man from Meung, Milady (who is she really?), Cardinal Richelieu and multiple love stories. These all combine for a compelling reading experience. And isn’t the book always better anyway? In this case the books isn’t just better, it’s waaaaay better! Don’t shy away from this book because it’s 19th century literature—it’s a classic for a reason!

If The Three Musketeers leaves you wanting more of these characters, Dumas continues D’Artagnan’s adventures in Twenty Years After and The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later. The other three musketeers also make appearances in these books but they are not main characters. I’ve read The Vicomte of Bragelonne and like The Three Musketeers it’s a compelling read.

 

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