Monday, 5 September 2011

The Three Musketeers (Book)

Book: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Reason to read: August Book Selection for the Book to Film Club

The Three Musketeers is an adventure story set in 17th century and when I read it I didn't realize it was serialized (which explains the massive tomb-length of 600+ pages and 60+ chapters), but it gives it a different feel to say the least. I now understand the overwhelm and skeptical reactions I got from people when I shared the title. Live & learn!

This one was a challenge to get through and about a third of the way into it I knew that I couldn't finish it in a month at the pace I started, which was really intensely working to understand everything that was going on. That just wasn't going to happen with the huge number of characters and the constant goings on in the book. That actually suprized me too, I thought with the density that there would be a lot of not-much-happening-but-a-lot-of-pages, but I only really remember that happening once and the chapter titles kind of gave that away. I'm all for build up, but seeing it a mile away kind of breaks the mystique. I did really enjoy the central character of d'Artagnan who is young & spirited and has a ready-for-everything attitude even though he is prepared for almost nothing. He quickly meets the title characters of The Three Musketeers of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis whom I enjoyed as well, but I wish I had more of a sense of each of them individually and I had noted pages in the book of where their individual characters were highlighted but I forgot to write it out before I returned the book to the library! I think those characters are the things I'm looking most forward to for the film adaptation, because I could really feel that they were awesome characters.

As it just wasn't possible for me to get through the book in a month, I did switch to speed reading it and so I have more of a general sense of the overall plot and d'Artagnan's character and journey, but there are many layers, mysteries and deceptions among the large number of characters that I've just got a skeleton feel for and look forward to them being flushed out by the film. There is a great adventure story in there for sure, and this is one I'm happy to enjoy another persons interpretation and time to edit out the version of the story.

Although the book was a challenge to read, I did enjoy the process of reading it and am really looking forward to the film adaptation. I think going with Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief) as d'Artagnan is a great choice and I want to say that I'm worried because he's so young, but the character is young so it fits so it may just end up being perfect and I also think that Milla Jovovich (Fifth Element, Resident Evil) and M'Lady de Winter is perfect. The Three Musketeers of Athos, Aramis and Porthos are Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans (Tamara Drewe, Immortals) and Ray Stevenson (King Arthur, Kill the Irishman) which I feel should give me a sense of their characters more but I'm still coming up hazy. All of the characters I remember from the book are on the cast list, so I'm very curious as to what they will cull to make it fit feature length. From the trailer alone it certainly looks like are going with a fun-spirited take and focusing on the adventurous story of the film and I'm all for that. The film is set to release on October 14, 2011 and I'm looking forward to it.

If you haven't yet joined the Book to Film Club, you can join us at any time. Sign up for updates here. If The Three Musketeers felt too heavy for you, then September 2011 is a great time to join us for The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick with is a unique combination of pictures and written word (aren't there aren't even words until page 50!). Looking forward to diving in!

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