This review contains my personal political view.  I don’t talk about Taiwan ’s politics much because I don’t live in Taiwan but that does not mean that I don’t have my own political view.  I don’t engage in debates with others on what works best for the Taiwanese because it is you who live in Taiwan, who have the sovereignty over the land of Formosa .  I don’t force people to see it the same way as I do and I am not interested in arguing with you over it either.  As I stated earlier in my blog titled “What my blog is and what it is not”, it is also a place where I vent my frustration, talk about things I see and books I read.  You have the freedom to walk away and I have the freedom to write as long as it is not used as weapon to kill anyone. 


Anyway, back to my review of “The Count of Monte Cristo”.  You might wonder why I kept reading books like these.  Maybe I like riding the rollercoaster of emotions.  Maybe I am attracted to the torturing of my soul.  Maybe I just enjoy indulging in melancholy and suspense.


Actually, I didn’t pick this book and this book didn’t choose me either.  It was introduced to me by my father.  It is a long novel with over 1000 pages.  I didn’t ask why he likes this book.  Maybe, it was the ending that delights him as the wrongfully accused actually got the justice he deserved, or did he?


I am constantly puzzled by the question, “Does the end justify the means?”  Today, I accidentally stumbled onto a site and sadly learnt that the Taiwanese President Ma Yi-jeou was one step closer to becoming a puppet of the Communist Chinese.  I don’t know about Ma’s agenda.  I don’t know if that was what he had planned all along or if that was just his cowardliness that drove it.  In Ma’s speech, he praised China for what he called the growing attention it paid to human rights over the past ten years by signing international treaties and publishing a human rights whitepaper.  I don’t know how he could say something that was so profoundly untrue.  I don’t believe his motive justified his behavior.  I just felt sad for him and for the Taiwanese people under his leadership.  This question “Does the end justify the means?” popped into my head as I read the news.  Is it worth to sacrifice human rights, forgo democracy and become a puppet to the Chinese Communist, just for his personal interest or for some short-sighted economic interest?  The Taiwanese President Ma is quite skillful in employing the philosophy of “See no evil.  Hear no evil.  Speak no evil”. 


Anyway, back to the book.  Throughout the book, love and hatred are intertwined with intrigue, suspense, betrayal, theft, torture, revenge and redemption.


The Count of Monte Cristo is a tale of a French sailor, Edmond Dantès, returning to Marseille for his prenuptial celebration.  However, he was falsely imprisoned in the island prison of the Chateau d''If, but later transformed into an enigmatic nobleman, the count of Monte Cristo, and began his rampage of revenge by fighting poison with poison, employing others' vices and weaknessness against themselves. 


He was righteous in carrying out what he believed to be justice and claimed justice justifiable for all his actions.  Is he Providence ?  Does the end justify the means?  Is it okay to sacrifice principles, human rights and democracy for the short term interest?  Is it alright to take short-sighted self interest and claim it to be for the interest of the people?  I have so many questions.


Back to the book, this would be an interesting book to read if you like suspense.  If you are interested in picking up one, this is an unabridged version.  The book is roughly over 1,400 pages, so it would be a rather heavy read.



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