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When young d'Artagnan travels to Paris to join the ranks of the Musketeers, he soon finds himself challenged to three duels with Athos, Porthos and Aramis. However, the foursome is abruptly attacked by the evil Cardinal Richelieu's guards, and d'Artagnan fights alongside them, proving his skills with a sword and his honour. The three Musketeers enfold d'Artagnan into their When young d'Artagnan travels to Paris to join the ranks of the Musketeers, he soon finds himself challenged to three duels with Athos, Porthos and Aramis. However, the foursome is abruptly attacked by the evil Cardinal Richelieu's guards, and d'Artagnan fights alongside them, proving his skills with a sword and his honour. The three Musketeers enfold d'Artagnan into their ranks, and what follows is a swashbuckling tale full of intrigue, friendship and revenge. Alexandre Dumas got the idea for The Three Musketeers from Courtilz de Sandras' 1700 novel Memoires de Monsieur d'Artagnan, which was based on real events surrounding the lives of d'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Dumas made them human, gave them colour, and made them more real than even the truth itself. Since then the term 'Three Musketeers' has been used to describe a trio of individuals who support each other including Supreme Court Justices, engineers and Japanese wrestlers."


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When young d'Artagnan travels to Paris to join the ranks of the Musketeers, he soon finds himself challenged to three duels with Athos, Porthos and Aramis. However, the foursome is abruptly attacked by the evil Cardinal Richelieu's guards, and d'Artagnan fights alongside them, proving his skills with a sword and his honour. The three Musketeers enfold d'Artagnan into their When young d'Artagnan travels to Paris to join the ranks of the Musketeers, he soon finds himself challenged to three duels with Athos, Porthos and Aramis. However, the foursome is abruptly attacked by the evil Cardinal Richelieu's guards, and d'Artagnan fights alongside them, proving his skills with a sword and his honour. The three Musketeers enfold d'Artagnan into their ranks, and what follows is a swashbuckling tale full of intrigue, friendship and revenge. Alexandre Dumas got the idea for The Three Musketeers from Courtilz de Sandras' 1700 novel Memoires de Monsieur d'Artagnan, which was based on real events surrounding the lives of d'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Dumas made them human, gave them colour, and made them more real than even the truth itself. Since then the term 'Three Musketeers' has been used to describe a trio of individuals who support each other including Supreme Court Justices, engineers and Japanese wrestlers."

30 review for The Three Musketeers

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    This is not the most profound of novels, but it may be the most compelling. Many of its sequences--the Diamond Studs, Milady's seduction of Felton, the attempt of D'Artagnan and The Three to rescue Constance--move with remarkable rapidity. More notable than these, however, is the entire exposition, something many novelists have found to be a thankless chore, if not a stumbling block. It occupies a full sixty pages, 10% of the book, and, although it covers much ground--the introduction of our her This is not the most profound of novels, but it may be the most compelling. Many of its sequences--the Diamond Studs, Milady's seduction of Felton, the attempt of D'Artagnan and The Three to rescue Constance--move with remarkable rapidity. More notable than these, however, is the entire exposition, something many novelists have found to be a thankless chore, if not a stumbling block. It occupies a full sixty pages, 10% of the book, and, although it covers much ground--the introduction of our hero, the two principal villains, and all three Musketeers with their eccentricities and distinct characters, plus the fight with the Cardinal's Guards, the emergence of D'Artagnan as the "fourth musketeer," and an examination of the curious relationship between King and Cardinal--it is constructed with such seamless grace, accomplishes its purposes with such a light touch, and moves so swiftly that the result is astonishing. Sir Walter Scott showed us that the personal is political, that our most particular, most intimate decisions are governed by the political milieu in which we are raised and the allegiances that our background requires. Dumas adopts the contrary principle, namely, that the political is personal: a siege may be lifted, a war started, because an English Duke loves a French Queen. It seems at times that all the characters of "The Three Musketeers"--even the King and the Cardinal, even that most gifted and ruthless of femme fatales, Milady--are satellites circling the binary star of Buckingham and l'Autriche, whose doomed love is the center of this impossible--and delightful--romantic universe.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    I thought that Queen Margot couldn't be topped. I should have known better. Honestly, I do not have enough space to fully explain all the ways I adore this book. But I'll try to condense it. -First, the four main characters. Love, love, love, and more love. Aramis and Porthos - the Merry and Pippin of the group, if you'll excuse the extremely dorkish LOTR cross-reference - made me laugh; D'Artagnan was charming even though (or maybe because) he had multiple moments where, were I in the story, I I thought that Queen Margot couldn't be topped. I should have known better. Honestly, I do not have enough space to fully explain all the ways I adore this book. But I'll try to condense it. -First, the four main characters. Love, love, love, and more love. Aramis and Porthos - the Merry and Pippin of the group, if you'll excuse the extremely dorkish LOTR cross-reference - made me laugh; D'Artagnan was charming even though (or maybe because) he had multiple moments where, were I in the story, I wouldn't know whether to kiss him or smack him upside the head; and the pure unfiltered AWESOME that is Athos cannot be put into words. -My copy of the book is 754 pages, but I was able to finish it in less than two weeks and not even notice the length because the story was so engrossing. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to flip back to page 1 and start all over again. -Duels. Lots and lots of duels. -The only complaint I had regarding the other Dumas book I'd read before this (Queen Margot, as previously mentioned) was that there was a total lack of what I will bluntly call the dirty details. In Margot, all the sex scenes were kept out of the way and, judging by the description Dumas gave us of the characters' nighttime activities, no one managed to get laid for the entire book. The Three Musketeers, on the other hand, is by no means a bodice-ripper but is still very romantic. And then there's the scene where D'Artagnan decides that nailing Milady will be a good way to get revenge on her for kidnapping his girlfriend. Which brings me to my next point... -Milady. Holy crap. I try to come up with words to describe her, but I can't do it because my brain sort of slows down until all I can hear are the words "Most. Badass. Character. Ever." repeating in my head over and over while the song "Cold Hard Bitch" by JET starts playing in the background. (if that makes any sense at all. Just go with it, okay?) But seriously, let's talk about Milady for a minute. She keeps poison in her ring, seduces a guard who has been specifically warned that she'll try to seduce him, stabs herself in the chest to make people think she killed herself, regularly tries to assassinate D'Artagnan and his friends, and was generally such a psychotic bitch that even Cardinal Richelieu was afraid of her. UPDATE Dear Hollywood, What the FUCK is wrong with you? Seriously, fuck you guys. Love, Madeline

  3. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    This is a kick-ass novel, and I am indeed kicking my own ass for not having read it earlier. I'm ashamed to say that I thought it was a children's book. My wife indignantly refuses any responsibility for my mistake... as she points out, it's entirely my fault if I drew the wrong inferences from the fact that her mother read it aloud to her as an eight year old. It turns out, on closer examination of the facts, that Elisabeth's mom must have skipped about a quarter of the text - but I digress. No This is a kick-ass novel, and I am indeed kicking my own ass for not having read it earlier. I'm ashamed to say that I thought it was a children's book. My wife indignantly refuses any responsibility for my mistake... as she points out, it's entirely my fault if I drew the wrong inferences from the fact that her mother read it aloud to her as an eight year old. It turns out, on closer examination of the facts, that Elisabeth's mom must have skipped about a quarter of the text - but I digress. No, far from being a children's book, this is a noirish thriller, stuffed to the gills with violence, sex, nudity, dangerous blondes, corrupt politicians and random acts of mayhem and destruction. I should have known that. Anyway, better late than never. Quite apart from being a terrific read - I just couldn't put it down - Les Trois Mousquetaires is a remarkably interesting book for anyone who's fond of French literature. The merest glance at my French shelf will show you that I like both so-called serious novels and trash - as everyone knows, the French write the best trashy novels in the world. But what do these two literary traditions have to do with each other? I feel like a paleontologist who's discovered one of those missing links in the fossil record. A kind of literary coelocanth, it's exactly halfway between the two genres. Too well-written to be dismissed as trash, it still has so many of the defining characteristics of the modern French trash novel that it can't possibly be anything but a direct ancestor. I'd hate to give away any of the plot - there's a twist every other chapter - but let me explain in terms of generalities. Dumas is firmly in the great French tradition of Tragic Love. People in his world are divided into two classes: those who are motivated by Love and Honour, and those who want Money and Power. To be a superior person means belonging to the first group. Unfortunately, living only for Love and Honour isn't very practical, so these superior people generally have rather tragic lives; a theme you see over and over again in mainstream French literature. A particularly clear 20th century example is Belle du Seigneur. Ariane's husband is only interested in Money and Power, and his dreary monologues about his prospects of being promoted bore her to tears. Naturally, she's drawn to the dashing Solal, who never misses a chance to show how much he despises money (it helps that he's very rich). Equally naturally, it all ends up very tragically indeed. But let's get back to Les Trois Mousquetaires. Dumas takes real historical events, and reinterprets them through the prism of his ultra-romantic world-view. On his account, the political events of 1625-27 were all about a complicated tangle of love affairs. The beautiful Anne of Austria is Queen of France, but she has at best lukewarm feelings for her husband, the pathetic Louis XIII. Cardinal Richelieu, the true ruler of the country, has made advances towards her, but been rebuffed; he's eaten up by jealousy and spite, especially since he knows through his network of informers that Anne's heart in fact belongs to the handsome Lord Buckingham. To keep the story bubbling, Dumas invents some more people, who play key roles in this complicated game. One of Richelieu's main agents is the psychotic blonde temptress, Milady; her opposite number in the Queen's camp is the ambitious young swordsman, D'Artagnan. Needless to say, both of them are involved in their own intersecting webs of romantic intrigue. The startling thing to me is that the Dumas formula is still going strong, nearly 200 years later. The immeasurably popular SAS series, which you can buy at any French airport bookstall, is written to almost exactly the same specification. The central figure, Malko, is a modern D'Artagnan: vaguely on the side of the Good Guys, each episode sees him dispatched to a currently topical destination, where he's charged with some weighty task. For example, in Bagdad-Express Malko's assignment is to prevent the Iraq war by kidnapping Saddam Hussein. He and one of Saddam's sons (I think Qusay) get involved with the same woman, there's a lot of random sex and violence, and, of course, the deal falls through. A still clearer example is Djihad A Chechen rebel group gets hold of a Russian nuclear warhead, and they pass it on to an Islamicist faction led by a sexy blonde woman. (I know what you're going to say. In the SAS world, Islamicist factions can be led by sexy blondes). This time, after the usual toing and froing, Malko shoots down the blonde when she's just a few seconds away from detonating the bomb in New York. It's all remarkably similar to D'Artagnan's battle against the nefarious Milady. So what is it that makes this formula so incredibly effective? It's fun to see history rewritten so that politics and economics are less important than who's sleeping with whom. The camaraderie displayed by the Musketeers has become proverbial, and that's also inspiring. But, really, it's Milady who makes the book, and she's the character who's been copied most often in modern trash fiction. (Look at those girls on the covers of the SAS novels. Miladies, every one of them). Although D'Artagnan is a sympathetic hero, she effortlessly steals the show every time she appears, just as easily as Sharon Stone upstages Michael Douglas in Basic Instinct. What a shame Stone never got to play Milady in a serious adaptation of Les Trois Mousquetaires! Now that would have been worth watching.

  4. 4 out of 5

    leynes

    This review has been a long time coming. I read The Three Musketeers last year in August. Back then, I had high expectations for the book because a couple of months prior, Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo had become one of my favorite novels of all time and I couldn’t wait to check out more by this brilliant writer. Unfortunately, The Three Musketeers was a huge disappointment. Sure, there were some funny scenes and captivating moments but all in all, I was truly shocked by how unlikeable (and h This review has been a long time coming. I read The Three Musketeers last year in August. Back then, I had high expectations for the book because a couple of months prior, Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo had become one of my favorite novels of all time and I couldn’t wait to check out more by this brilliant writer. Unfortunately, The Three Musketeers was a huge disappointment. Sure, there were some funny scenes and captivating moments but all in all, I was truly shocked by how unlikeable (and highly problematic!) our four main protagonists were. D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis are absolute shit-heads; so much so that I simply couldn’t root for them at all. But before we get into it, let’s set the scene and remind ourselves what The Three Musketeers is actually about: It is the year of our Lord 1625. D'Artagnan, a young nobleman from Gascony, has just arrived in Paris to become a King's musketeer. There he meets Athos, Porthos and Aramis, as well as the Queen's beautiful maid, Constance. Soon he is involved in an intrigue that involves the fate of all of France. Cardinal Richelieu, prime minister of King Louis XIII, is doing everything he can to discredit the Queen in order to further expand his own power in the Kingdom. Heeding his advice, the King is giving a grand ball at which the Queen is to wear the King's gift: a magnificent piece of jewellery with diamond studs. Unfortunately, however, she had given these jewels to her lover, the English prime minister Lord Buckingham. The affair is highly explosive, all the more so because relations between the two countries are very tense. England supports the Protestant rebels of La Rochelle, which is besieged by Louis XIII in a long and gruelling campaign. With the honor of a lady and the stability of the Kingdom at stake, our musketeers decide to intervene. However, the scheming Cardinal has a trump card: his agent, the diabolical Milady de Winter, who will do anything to derail their mission. So far, so good. It sounds like a conventional adventure tale that is bound to have you on the edge of your seat and rooting for the musketeers to preserve the Queen’s honor. Well, it didn’t turn out this way. When actually reading the book, it becomes crystal clear that our supposed heroes—Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D’Artagnan—are actually cruel and criminal. All they do is drink, steal, swindle, or seduce people of lower social classes. Their behaviour is absolutely appalling and disgusting. They even kill other members of their nation’s legitimate military and peacekeeping forces for petty reasons. And to top it all of, D’Artagnan, who is supposed to be our lovely and ambitious country boy, rapes Milady. Yes, you read that right. He actually rapes her. What makes this even more iffy is the fact that most translations of Dumas’ classic have glossed over and altered this scene. However, when you look at the source material it becomes clear that d’Artagnan (in that one fateful scene) pretended to be Milady’s lover, the Count de Wardes, to coerce her into sleeping with him. [If you’re interested in this particular aspect of the story I can only recommend the Richard Pevear translation, as it is the only English translation that is truthful to the source material.] So, yeah, our “heroes”, the people we are supposed to be rooting for, are actually deeply horrible and, quite frankly, disgusting people. The only character who made this novel worth reading was Milady de Winter. In my humble opinion, she is one of the most interesting female characters that were created in this period. She is among the first literary Femmes Fatales to be openly written as the primary villain of a story. Irresistible, merciless and without remorse—this is how she is described in The Three Musketeers. At the tender age of 22, she has already had an impressive career, including a stint in prison, during which she was given a dishonorable brand on her shoulder, marking her as a criminal. She hid the mark (probably under the pretext of chastity) from her later husband, the Comte de la Fère. But he eventually discovered it, and then tried to hang her (I know … classy). He then ran away and took the name Athos, under which he served the French king as a musketeer. However, the lady's pretty neck withstood the rope, and the two walked the earth believing that their respective partner was dead. Whilst Athos was off fighting for the King, Milady also made a name for herself as a capable and beautiful spy who offers assassinations of high dignitaries in exchange for the elimination of her own enemies. At age 22, she truly was that bitch and had all the men in her nearest vicinity shook. I mean, she kept poison in her ring (for emergency purposes, duh), she seduced men left and right (even those who were explicitly warned about her), she planned the assassination of her enemies with success, she fucking stabbed herself to prove a point (which is a fucking mood) and she raised herself from being a beggarly nun to a respected lady-spy with millions at her disposal. And even though she is written in such a badass way, it’s still interesting to think about the paradoxes in how she is portrayed. I mean, she is described as being brilliant, seductive, ruthless, and demonic, so much so that the musketeers are actually terrified of her. However, at the same time, she also often outwitted and fooled. [I mean, not to re-hash the rape scene but it does make you wonder why she didn’t recognise d’Artagnan in the dark … it’s just such a lazily written plot-device, I cant.] And so, on the one hand, Milady is demonized, which was indispensable because her head does roll by the end of the novel (I know, it’s so sad, I’m still not over it), so Dumas needed to clearly brand her as the enemy and leave little room for empathy for her, so that he could kill her off in peace without getting shit from his readers. But on the other hand, we are also supposed to root for our “heroes” and therefore, they have to outsmart her, even though that’s kinda illogical, since Milady has been portrayed as this demonic mastermind all along. It’s just a little too convenient. And if you, like me, didn’t fall into the trap of thinking of the musketeers as “heroes”, then the treatment of Milady throughout the novel becomes even more infuriating and appalling. I said it in a video before but I truly think that Milady and Edmond (from The Count of Monte Cristo) are two sides of the same coin. They are eerily similar, but while the former is treated like the ultimate source of evil in her tale, the latter is hailed as the hero in his. Just like the Count, Milady comes from nothing. At a young age she is condemned and whipped (by a priest in a convent) and thrown into jail. And whilst Edmond’s prison break is admittedly more iconic, Milady’s is also legendary (and somewhat more realistic): she simply seduces her jailer. We stan. After being branded on her chest with the fleur-de-lis (the mark of a criminal/ prostitute) and all that bullshit between her and Athos, Milady, just like Edmond, has to reinvent herself in order to make a name in high society for her. And she succeeds at that. Just like the Count, she has to mask her true identity in order to stay on the playing field, also by use of various different aliases. [If the two of them had to go head to head in regards to who came up with more ridiculous code names, I’m not sure who would win.] And, most importantly, the two also share the same ultimate goal, the same reason that drives all of their actions: the execution of revenge on the men who have wronged them in the past. So, as you can see, they’re basically the same character but because Edmond is a man (and therefore a protagonist) he is allowed to thrive and be celebrated, while Milady is that evil bitch that gets guillotined by the end of the book. Not fucking fair. All that remains to say is that The Three Musketeers left much to be desired. We think of D’Artagnan and his crew as heroes, simply because we’re told they are. But if we actually look at what is shown, we will quickly realize how despicable and horrifying most of their actions are. And then, this supposedly funny adventurous romp reveals itself to be what it truly is at its core: problematic, unoriginal and not fucking funny at all. // Original GIF "review": 18/8/2019: Watch me fight all the people who dislike Milady but love the Count... meanwhile, her true identity is concealed by various aliases and her main goal in the story is to get revenge on the men who hurt her, so they're basically the same character. In this essay I will... 18/8/2019: The moment I realised the only reason why the Cardinal wanted to take down the Queen was that she had previously rejected his advances... 17/8/2019: I was really out here thinking that Constance would survive this hot mess of an abduction and escape plan, and that she and d'Artagnan would live happily ever after. *sobs* 17/8/2019: Milady really was that bitch: kept poison in her ring, stabbed herself to prove a point, seduced a man who was warned as not to be seduced by her, planned the assassination of her enemies with success, evoked fear in the Cardinal himself, raised herself from being a nun to a prostitute over to a respected lady (and spy for the government) with millions at her disposal, whilst being 22. 16/8/2019: Athos is really out here trying to convince me that he has nothing against women and never had any complain of them, meanwhile he’s the guy who hanged his own wife after he found out she used to be a prostitute. 16/8/2019: Aramis is really out here trying to convince me that he’s a man of God and only an interim musketeer, meanwhile all he does is sulk over his mistress and conduct secret meetings with women at night. 15/8/2019: When the Cardinal sat a trap for Queen Anne, d’Artagnan and Constance moved heaven and earth to get the diamond pendants she gave to Buckingham back from London, only so she could bust them out and laugh in the Cardinal’s face. What a mood! 15/8/2019: I have to work today so I won't be able to read anything and I'm already mad ... I was just about to find out about Athos's wife. Argh. He's my mysterious fave. 14/8/2019: I, too, deserve friends who would travel across countries and risk their lives because of a romantic notion that I have but no, I can't even get a text back. 13/8/2019: Constance is really out here telling her husband he's an imbecile and a scoundrel, while still scheming away to protect her queen. D'Artagnan, I, too, would die for her! 12/8/2019: I'm only a hundred pages in but d'Artagnan is already my trash child; has challenged 4+ dudes to a duel for petty reasons and in general, lets his mouth get him into situations his ass can't handle. Ya gurl is here for it. 7/8/2019: The book has arrived and I am already quaking in my seat! The only question I have is why the fuck the book is called The Three Musketeers? D'Artagnan is looking at Dumas like ... AM I A JOKE TO YOU? 2/8/2019: I just ordered this and I am beyond excited!!! If this is even half as good as The Count of Monte Cristo I will bow down before Dumas and get him into my olympus of favorite writers.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brad

    This is going to take some explaining, but my guiltiest pleasure when it comes to books is Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers. I hear you saying, "How on Earth can that be a guilty pleasure?" I know. It's a recognized classic. It has far reaching pop culture impact.It's considered one of the greatest adventures ever written. It has two of the most memorable "villains" in literature; it has four kick ass action heroes. It has sword fights, romance, intrigue, and most people think it has big lau This is going to take some explaining, but my guiltiest pleasure when it comes to books is Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers. I hear you saying, "How on Earth can that be a guilty pleasure?" I know. It's a recognized classic. It has far reaching pop culture impact.It's considered one of the greatest adventures ever written. It has two of the most memorable "villains" in literature; it has four kick ass action heroes. It has sword fights, romance, intrigue, and most people think it has big laughs (it doesn't, which is the thing that pisses me off most about its pop culture adaptations). Even if people haven't read the book they know the Three Musketeers. Hell, most people even know that D'Artagnan, the main "hero" of the book, is not one of the eponymous "Three". So how could this book be a guilty pleasure? The answer is simple at first, then its complex. Simple answer: Milady de Winter. Complex answer: Milady de Winter. From the accepted perspective, Milady is an unrepentant, nasty, evil, femme fatale. She is an agent for the "villainous" Cardinal Richelieu, spying on, plotting against and battling our Musketeers at every turn. She foments marital unrest between the King and Queen. She plots the assassination of the Englishman, the Duke of Buckingham, to stop him from aiding the Huguenots at La Rochelle. She tries to kill D'Artagnan and later poisons his mistress, Constance Bonacieux. She corrupts a fine, upstanding Puritan man. And once upon a time, she made a fool of the Comte de La Fère. She is the accepted villain, even worse than her master the Cardinal, for whom and under whose auspices she commits her evil acts. She is the villain, and D'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis are the heroes. Here's the problem, though, from another perspective she isn't and they aren't. You see, Milady de Winter was a poor young woman who did what she must to survive. Forced into a convent for want of food, a priest fell in love with her and the pair stole some church property to start a life together. They were caught, and both were "branded" with the fleur-de-lys -- the mark of criminals. Alone again, she fell in love with the Comte de La Fère. They were married, and she hid her crimes from him. Then one afternoon the Comte discovered her brand. He felt betrayed and strung her up by her neck, leaving her to die. She lived and entered the service of the Cardinal. Under his direction, she became a powerful agent, doing exactly what it is that agents do. The Cardinal -- the right hand of the King, connected to the Pope, a man waging a war in the King's name, the most powerful man in France -- has Milady undermine the King's Queen, Anne of Austria, a woman having an affair with the man (Duke of Buckingham) who is helping the rebels within her husband's kingdom. She is also asked to keep tabs on a troublesome young guard, D'Artagnan, who seems to be thwarting the Cardinal's plans through sheer luck and Gascon audacity. She complies. Then the man she is spying on kills her lover, the Comte de Wardes. And if that isn't bad enough, the man she's spying on turns up in her bedchamber posing as the Comte and proceeds to "make love" to Milady. The "lovemaking" is so "wonderful" that D'Artagnan decides to come clean and reveal his true identity. Milady loses her temper -- with some cause, I think -- and tries to stab D'Artagnan (which he doesn't seem to understand). From then on, Milady wants vengeance against the murderer of her lover, who also happens to be her rapist (for that is what he is, surely?). Next, she is charged with assassinating the Duke of Buckingham, for which she is issued a carte blanche by the Cardinal, but her enemy, D'Artagnan -- committing treason against his own King and country -- warns the Duke, and she is banished to a tower while the Duke sails off to aid the Huguenots. Well, she isn't about to languish in prison, so she seduces a Puritan and makes her escape, winding up in a convent in France where she can hide out. Lucky for her, D'Artagnan's mistress, a married woman whom he was bedding while he was raping Milady, is also hiding out in the convent, so Milady de Winter takes the portion of vengeance at her disposal and kills D'Artagnan's lover as he killed hers. And for all of this, the Four Musketeers, now in possession of her carte blanche, hold their own little court, pass judgement on Milady and have her head separated from her shoulders. And they get away with it because they have the Cardinal's signature -- on Milady's carte blanche which allows the bearer to do whatever they do for the good of the kingdom. It seems to me that Alexandre Dumas knew that perspective would dictate how we saw his heroes and villains, and that he was okay with his muddied good and evil waters. He was writing from the Musketeers' perspective, and he knew that his readers would side with them against the Cardinal and Milady. But he also wrote in a way that complicated his Musketeers. So much so that we accept when D'Artagnan receives and accepts a commission to the Musketeers from the Cardinal himself. He wanted his characters to be grey, and they were. So why is this a guilty pleasure (especially if the guilt doesn't come from Dumas' writing)? I am finally getting there. The weight of popular culture has changed the way we see this story so thoroughly, has morphed the Musketeers so completely into righteous heroes, turned D'Artagnan into such a loveable heartthrob and his companions into the most likeable of heroes, that it is nearly impossible for people to see the things that make them grey. But I see them for who they are. I see the grey. So here comes the guilt: I see the Four Musketeers crimes -- treason, rape, murder, theft -- and all their flaws -- cruelty, greed, hypocrisy, entitlement, adulterousness (to name but a few) -- and I still love them. I love them, and I enjoy reading their adventures, and I cheer for them from beginning to end. I shouldn't, but I do, and that's why The Three Musketeers is my guiltiest of pleasures. So there. p.s. I love Milady de Winter too. For all the things she is.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katerina

    Random thoughts on The Three Musketeers (because my brain refuses to write a full review) ‣ Reading The Three Musketeers was long overdue. The truth is, it was the very first story I loved as a child. I was four years old, and my favorite game was riding my imaginary steed in a desperate race to save Constance from evil Cardinal Richelieu. I grew up swallowing tales of the valiant Musketeers, and they became a part of my soul. ‣ Apparently there is a literary genre called swashbuckler that focu Random thoughts on The Three Musketeers (because my brain refuses to write a full review) ‣ Reading The Three Musketeers was long overdue. The truth is, it was the very first story I loved as a child. I was four years old, and my favorite game was riding my imaginary steed in a desperate race to save Constance from evil Cardinal Richelieu. I grew up swallowing tales of the valiant Musketeers, and they became a part of my soul. ‣ Apparently there is a literary genre called swashbuckler that focuses on swordfighting and adventurous heroic characters, and The Three Musketeers is the most prominent example. Live and learn, my friends, live and learn. ‣ Plotwise, it was everything I expected, and some more. Scheming, fights, bravery, romanticism, dangerous affairs, loyalty, revenge, Alexandre Dumas surely knew how to write a compelling and entertaining story, with a great insight on historical figures and events, while occassionally inserting a sarcastic comment or two. Well played, sir, well played. ‣ My world crumbled when I realised that Cardinal Richelieu was not that bad (cue the violins). An antagonist, sure, but he admired D'Artagnan, Aramis, Porthos and Athos, and that contradicted the demon I had in mind. Milady de Winter, though, was the devil incarnate. She managed to seduce and misguide every single unfortunate man she encountered, that was a superpower, if you ask me. She managed to discover her victim's weakness and exploit it to her benefit. Goosebumps. ‣ As regards the characters, I must admit that D'Artagnan was rather fickle in his affections, being an advocate for insta-love. However, D'Artagnan and Constance were GOALS in my childish fantasies (which were encouraged by BBC's The Musketeers - go watch it people) and I am not going to shed them. Setting aside his enthusiastic romantic nature, D'Artagnan had a sharp mind that verified my need to idolize him (cut me some slack, he was my first love). ‣ Athos must-be-protected-at-all-costs. ‣ The last chapters were really upsetting, and totally unexpected. The death toll was HIGH (the most heart-breaking death caused by naivety / stupidity), and I made the mature, adult decision to pretend that it didn't happen. Sue me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Luffy

    I'm not going to waste more time than necessary for this classic. The problem seems to come from me, since I couldn't follow a lot of the dialog. I couldn't make any sense of what transpired here, especially in the last third of the book. I liked the intrigue with the royal couple of LouisXIII and Anne d'Autruche. And as soon as these historical characters disappeared from the book did my enjoyment evaporate as well. Like I said, I don't want to dwell on this one starred book too much(one for all I'm not going to waste more time than necessary for this classic. The problem seems to come from me, since I couldn't follow a lot of the dialog. I couldn't make any sense of what transpired here, especially in the last third of the book. I liked the intrigue with the royal couple of LouisXIII and Anne d'Autruche. And as soon as these historical characters disappeared from the book did my enjoyment evaporate as well. Like I said, I don't want to dwell on this one starred book too much(one for all, and all for one). Having said that, I read the book in French and I think if I hadn't, if I'd read it in English I wouldn't have been able to finish the book. The French language was a novelty which kept me going. I simply cannot enjoy most classics. Now, to move onwards as soon as I'm able to.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I am a drama addict. I admit it. I don’t generally go for comedy. I will pick a movie that makes me cry over one that makes me laugh every time, and it is pretty much the same with my books. But when I do read something humorous, I love satire, wit, subtle humor. Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde or Will Rogers are my style. Imagine my surprise that Alexander Dumas has made me laugh aloud in The Three Musketeers. They are so over-the-top, while written as if he is endeavoring to take them seriously. I hav I am a drama addict. I admit it. I don’t generally go for comedy. I will pick a movie that makes me cry over one that makes me laugh every time, and it is pretty much the same with my books. But when I do read something humorous, I love satire, wit, subtle humor. Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde or Will Rogers are my style. Imagine my surprise that Alexander Dumas has made me laugh aloud in The Three Musketeers. They are so over-the-top, while written as if he is endeavoring to take them seriously. I have long adored The Count of Monte Cristo, and so I have never thought of Monsieur Dumas as a humorist, but I have been sadly mistaken. Every time you think D’Artagnan and company have landed themselves in an impossible situation, they miraculously find their way out. It is Don Quixote without any of the moral overtones. These men are heroic figures only in a comedic manner. Taken literally they would be abject cads. They are self-absorbed, misogynistic, and amoral, but it little matters since the world they inhabit is villainous and petty and corrupt. The King who is the head of the state is a buffoon, the Queen a philanderer, and the Cardinal, leader of the church, a man without ethics or morals. Any wonder that their men are less than stellar examples of knighthood? So, without any reason to admire anyone in this fictional world, we are able to enjoy the escapades of these men and even cheer them on toward their conquests of women, rivals, and the world of French politics. In fact, they are more often fighting other Frenchmen than the English, whom they profess to hate but for whom they seem to have great respect and admiration. I can imagine reading this in serialized form and waiting impatiently to find out what happens to Milady and the Musketeers. There are cliffhangers at almost every chapter ending and the pace is fast and furious. I felt somewhat like a kid again while reading this. I remember that joy in reading just for the thrill of the story...a sensation I don’t always get with my reading these days.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Did you know there were 4 musketeers? Did you also know they were not very nice guys? One guy won't let his servant ever speak. One is having an affair with a married woman, and ridicules her for gifts she buys him. Another can't decide whether to have an affair or be a priest, but constantly pinches his ears to make them a more attractive color. Since they don't seem to be paid much to be musketeers they are constantly grifting off of other people. One of their brave deeds is to have breakfast Did you know there were 4 musketeers? Did you also know they were not very nice guys? One guy won't let his servant ever speak. One is having an affair with a married woman, and ridicules her for gifts she buys him. Another can't decide whether to have an affair or be a priest, but constantly pinches his ears to make them a more attractive color. Since they don't seem to be paid much to be musketeers they are constantly grifting off of other people. One of their brave deeds is to have breakfast in the middle of a battle field just to prove that they aren't scared of the English. I really detested the musketeers, which means I didn't find much to enjoy in the book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rincey

    I DID IT See my video: https://youtu.be/_TPQV-0ctFs I DID IT See my video: https://youtu.be/_TPQV-0ctFs

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    Most people know the story. At the very least, they know about the story or they can quote that famous line. I was one of those peeps. I had never bothered to read the book because I saw an adaptation or two. lol I'm so silly. So I finally read the book and it was better! Surprise, surprise, right? There's even MORE pathos, chivalry, swordplay, hails of bullets, swooning maidens, and truly an evil Cardinal and a nasty Milady to butt heads against. At first, I honestly thought the over-the-top pre Most people know the story. At the very least, they know about the story or they can quote that famous line. I was one of those peeps. I had never bothered to read the book because I saw an adaptation or two. lol I'm so silly. So I finally read the book and it was better! Surprise, surprise, right? There's even MORE pathos, chivalry, swordplay, hails of bullets, swooning maidens, and truly an evil Cardinal and a nasty Milady to butt heads against. At first, I honestly thought the over-the-top preoccupation with honor and revenge was the brilliant prelude to a great satire, but it never lets up and there's never a punchline. So, no. It's just exciting and silly and crazy fluff. :) Yes. Fluff. Hell, the writing style is fast and could be as modern as they come, all the characters larger than life, the action and intrigue and plot points as funny as they are old-school. It makes for a very entertaining ride. :) There's absolutely nothing stuffy about this. And now I know why it's a classic. :) Classic popcorn fiction. :)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    If I was a Physicist, I would explain it like this: Athos, Porthos and Aramis are like the protons in an atom. D'Artagnan the neutrons that stabilize it. Actually, this would mean they are Lithium. So, keep them away from water. Or else...unfortunately the King sends them on an expedition to the isles. Now, they would have to cross the channel to get there, would they not? On their way, however, it shows that rivers and winecellars are no good either. action - reaction. Everybody under their desk If I was a Physicist, I would explain it like this: Athos, Porthos and Aramis are like the protons in an atom. D'Artagnan the neutrons that stabilize it. Actually, this would mean they are Lithium. So, keep them away from water. Or else...unfortunately the King sends them on an expedition to the isles. Now, they would have to cross the channel to get there, would they not? On their way, however, it shows that rivers and winecellars are no good either. action - reaction. Everybody under their desks! If I was a Musician, I would explain it like this: Athos, Porthos and Aramis are like the voices in a fugue. D'Artagnan is the rule that binds them. Actually, in their luckier Moments they are the Fugue No. 19, A major from the first book of das Wohltemperierte Klavier (the first note to be played fortissimo, their Subjects are condensed into that first note and unfurl accordingly in the course of the book). In the more tragic moments, however, they are the Fugue No. 18, G-Sharp minor. Watch out for the Tritone, Mylady strikes again! If I was me, I would say, it is hard to describe how I love this. I have read it many times and I will re-read it forever probably. I will obsess about this one phrase about Myladys Lips forever probably. I will pity Fenton forever probably. I will pity Buckingham much less forever, probably. After all, he did not really retrieve the queen's honour, did he?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    The initial tale where d'Artagnon as a relatively poor, relationless noble arriving in Paris and making friends with the legendary Porthos, Athos and Artemis and subsequently participating in a big adventure is one of the most exhilarating books of the 19th C in French literature. While not a children's book (due to the difficulty of the French text), the story itself is of course widely known and a favourite for story tellers (using abridged or illustrated versions) and for movie makers. My adv The initial tale where d'Artagnon as a relatively poor, relationless noble arriving in Paris and making friends with the legendary Porthos, Athos and Artemis and subsequently participating in a big adventure is one of the most exhilarating books of the 19th C in French literature. While not a children's book (due to the difficulty of the French text), the story itself is of course widely known and a favourite for story tellers (using abridged or illustrated versions) and for movie makers. My advice is to read this one and savour it but then continue on to 20 Year Later which is the sequel and is a fantastic story as well...not to mention the crowning achievement (IMHO) of Dumas, The Vicomte de Bragelonne. This first volume takes place during the reign of Louis XIII and does present a nice portrait of life during this time of relative stability in French history. This first volume is playful and light. Dumas uses this book to present four of his favorite protagonists: D'Artagnan, Portos, Athos, and Aramis (along with their comic-relief porters and so on) and the origins of their lifelong friendships. Happy father note: I was super proud when my 10-year old son grabbed my copy off the bookshelf and read it cover to cover. He then went on to the second book but kind of pooped out after 300 pages, understandable... This is one of my favorite French books but I would highly recommend reading the entire series - 20 Years Later, and the three Vicomte de Bragelonne books to get the full picture. Note that each book is set in a specific historical context: 3 Musketeers: reign Louis XIII 20 Years Later: Regence of Louis XIV and the Fronde Vicomte de Bragelonne 1: Louis XIV early reign (conflict with Fouquet) Vicomte de Bragelonne 2/Louse de Valiere: reign of Louis XIV and romantic intrigues at court Vicomte de Bragelonne 3/Man in the Iron Mask: reign of Louis XIV and the fall of Fouquet Despite adding some fictional elements (well, lots of fictional elements) and controversial interpretations (such as making the very real and still mysterious Man in the Iron Mask to be Louis XIV's twin brother Philippe for which there is zero historical evidence), the scenes, costumes, manners and overall atmosphere is painstakingly realistic for the periods in which these books are set. They are all extraordinary and among the works that Dumas put his own hand too (in other words, he relied less on ghost writers for this series than nearly any of his other books.)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nayra.Hassan

    Every person prefers himself first That is why love, friendship, and relativs are underestimated That is why when they chanted: One  for all, all for one .. We stared at the Three Musketeers for a long time; Because they lived and implemented it Dumas is said to have borrowed their story from the diary of a knight named Charles Patza, better known as Count Dartanian, who had a practice of espionage for Louis XIII, and his memoirs were in the hands of Alexandre Dumas; The strongest story in the nin Every person prefers himself first That is why love, friendship, and relativs are underestimated That is why when they chanted: One  for all, all for one .. We stared at the Three Musketeers for a long time; Because they lived and implemented it Dumas is said to have borrowed their story from the diary of a knight named Charles Patza, better known as Count Dartanian, who had a practice of espionage for Louis XIII, and his memoirs were in the hands of Alexandre Dumas; The strongest story in the nineteenth century The funny thing is that the hero of the novel The Three Knights is the fourth knight of Dartanian, so we see a relationship of love after an enmity arises between him and Athos, Aramis and Porthos His desperate attempt to join the King's Knights is also successful Intrigue abounds in the court, and some try to tarnish the queen's reputation; Knights loyal to their weak king are successive heroics without limits The Three Musketeers is achieving unprecedented success and it is issued in two parts A simple classic historical novel without symbols or vague connotations ... Rather, it is the old narrative that confirms to us that your friend is the one who preserves you and stays on the covenant when in dispute

  15. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    All for one and one for all. Probably THE most well-known quote from any book in history. This is the tale of D’Artagnon, a young Gascon traveling to Paris to seek his fortune and finding the three Musketeers Athos, Porthos and Aramis upon his arrival. From then on, it is a swashbuckling adventure full of intrigues, sword fights, heartbreak and much more. The story has been adapted too many times to count them all, making the names of the Musketeers as immortal as those of their adversaries: ca All for one and one for all. Probably THE most well-known quote from any book in history. This is the tale of D’Artagnon, a young Gascon traveling to Paris to seek his fortune and finding the three Musketeers Athos, Porthos and Aramis upon his arrival. From then on, it is a swashbuckling adventure full of intrigues, sword fights, heartbreak and much more. The story has been adapted too many times to count them all, making the names of the Musketeers as immortal as those of their adversaries: cardinal Richelieu, count de Rochefort, Milady de Winter. Alexandre Dumas has written what I call a true classic. It is a pure satire about all layers of society from the ruling nobility and the Church to the poorest farmer. The author makes equal fun of what was supposedly honorable, how easily love was declared, how people were constantly in debt (the rich as much as the poor), about what useless and ridiculous topics clerics argued and philosophized, reasons for loyalty and so much more. There isn’t a single topic Alexandre Dumas did not address. Therefore, you have to read this adventure story with more than just one grain of salt. However, considering the age of the tale, it is all the more remarkable how modern it is written. One very prominent example is the „weak womenfolk“, who nevertheless hold their own against the liars and cheaters that call themselves their lovers, husbands and sovereigns. The queen against the cardinal and king, Constance against her idiot of a husband and even D’Artagnan to a certain degree, Milady against all of them. They all have suffered from great injustice and make their own fates. The queen, who is supposed to have such a blessed life but not only sits in a golden cage but is also beaten with a golden whip; Constance, who has the honor of serving the queen but is never taken seriously, only ever looked at as a plaything; Milady, who might not be a „nice“ person, but who spits social convention in the face anyway and does what she has to in order to survive and live well (OK, she really is the bad guy but a man doing the same would certainly not have been met with the same judgement). They stand opposite men like Athos, who hung his wife simply for a brand, not even listening to the story of how it was given (it was given justly, for sure, but at the time he didn't know that!) and who doesn’t give the least bit of importance to an animal’s life and likes to gamble things away that aren’t even his; or D’Artagnan, who likes to beat his valet and lackay and just wants to have fun and damn who gets hurt; or Porthos, who hops from bed to bed so long as his mistress pays his way; or Aramis, who pretends to be oh so devout, but sees in women nothing but a mirror with which to admire himself; or the king, who might not be the fool he often is portrayed as in the movies, but who is simply not very interested in matters of state (which is probably even worse); or the cardinal, who is actually not a bad statesman per se, but simply a typical Catholic (though just). We have the politics of the day nicely interwoven in this social critique. The Battle of La Rochelle, the ever changing loyalties of certain provinces and cities. These are but a few examples as there are many more people and aspects here. The people breathe life into an action-packed story of politics, religion, treachery, love, and friendship before a most intricately drawn background. Dumas has an impeccable writing style as well. I have to point out how ageless the story is, but the engaging, colorful writing style that so perfectly conveys the scorn and mockery of the ways of life portrayed here makes it a delight to read and doesn't give away the book's age at all. This was not the first time I’ve read this book and I’ve seen many adaptations, but it was the first time I listened to an audiobook version and the narrator did a great job linguistically (pronouncing the French terms correctly) as well as in conveying the sarcasm and ridicule.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karen Jackson

    Remarkable book. Reading this novel was awesome and fun.

  17. 5 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    Remarkable book. I have been, on occasion, accused of some sort of self-set elitism which suffuses my opinions and critiques on literature. It seems people are often more likely to think one has an ulterior motive for liking or not liking a book rather than looking at the presented arguments. In any case, I would posit this book as the countermand to that sentencing. It is not a literary book, as such, as it does not place itself in a deep referential or metaphorical state. Though it is certainl Remarkable book. I have been, on occasion, accused of some sort of self-set elitism which suffuses my opinions and critiques on literature. It seems people are often more likely to think one has an ulterior motive for liking or not liking a book rather than looking at the presented arguments. In any case, I would posit this book as the countermand to that sentencing. It is not a literary book, as such, as it does not place itself in a deep referential or metaphorical state. Though it is certainly influenced by many great works, it is, in its whole, no more nor less than the reigning king of the pulp adventures. Built on the ridiculous, the humorous, the exciting, and deeply in the characters, this work creates a world of romance (in that oh-so-classic sense) and adventure which conscripts the reader and delivers him to the front lines. I am alway amazed by this book's ability to invoke lust, pity, wonder, respect, scorn, and hatred, all while driving along a plot filled with new events and characters. Should there be any future for Fantasy, it lies not in the hands of Tolkien-copying machines, nor even in Moorecock's 'un-fantasy', but in whatever writer can capture Beowulf, The Aeneid, The Three Musketeers, or The White Company and make a world which is exciting not because everything is magical and strange, but because everything is entirely recognizable, but much stranger. Of course, one may want to avoid going Mervyn Peake's route with this, and take a lesson from the driving plot and carefree frivolity that Dumas Pere and his innumerable ghostwriters adhered to. It is amusing here to note that Dumas has accredited to his name far more books than he is likely to have ever written. As he was paid for each book with his name on it, he made a sort of 'writing shop' where he would dictate plots, characters, or sometimes just titles to a series of hired writers and let them fill in the details. So, praises be to Dumas or whichever of his unrecognized hirees wrote such a work.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Otis Chandler

    This is one of my favorites, and I just re-read it as I'm in France and we started listening to it on a family road trip to Brittany, where we visited the Ile de Ré, where the siege of Rochelle happens in the book. And I have to say, Mon dieu! It remains just as good as I remembered! I love the over brashness of the young garcon, D'Argtagnan, and the richness of the backgrounds of each of the four musketeers. I loved the politics of the King vs the Cardinal too, I hadn't appreciated there was suc This is one of my favorites, and I just re-read it as I'm in France and we started listening to it on a family road trip to Brittany, where we visited the Ile de Ré, where the siege of Rochelle happens in the book. And I have to say, Mon dieu! It remains just as good as I remembered! I love the over brashness of the young garcon, D'Argtagnan, and the richness of the backgrounds of each of the four musketeers. I loved the politics of the King vs the Cardinal too, I hadn't appreciated there was such division there before. And of course, the perspective that nations went to war for the love of a single woman. “Yes,” said he, “yes, Anne of Austria is my true queen. Upon a word from her, I would betray my country, I would betray my king, I would betray my God. She asked me not to send the Protestants of Rochelle the assistance I promised them; I have not done so. I broke my word, it is true; but what signifies that? I obeyed my love; and have I not been richly paid for that obedience? It was to that obedience I owe her portrait.” D’Artagnan was amazed to note by what fragile and unknown threads the destinies of nations and the lives of men are suspended.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Piyangie

    I'm really at a loss as to how I should review this book. I'm burdened with mixed feelings, both positive and negative. They are equally strong that I'm not sure how I exactly feel about the book. I will not venture to state the story or any part of it, for there cannot be many who have not read it, or if not, have watched a movie adaptation. I will only express what I felt for the story, the characters, and writing. First I'll begin with the writing. This is Dumas's forte. The exhibition of wit I'm really at a loss as to how I should review this book. I'm burdened with mixed feelings, both positive and negative. They are equally strong that I'm not sure how I exactly feel about the book. I will not venture to state the story or any part of it, for there cannot be many who have not read it, or if not, have watched a movie adaptation. I will only express what I felt for the story, the characters, and writing. First I'll begin with the writing. This is Dumas's forte. The exhibition of wit and humour coupled with his ability to create an intriguing tale, keeping the reader in suspense as to what would unfold, is amazing. Over and over he has displayed his mastery in writing, making him one of the widely read and popular French Classicists. Here too was no exception. There was wit, humour, and intrigue which held the reader’s attention and interest. The story is a mixture of fiction with an actual historical account of the events that unfolded in the court of Louise XIII of France, and in England, focusing on George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, at the time of siege la Rochelle. The roles played by France and England in this siege, and the power struggle between these two great enemies (at the time) divided by religion is well portrayed. This allowed the reader to gain a good insight as to the history while enjoying the fictitious story. All these inclusions made the book an interesting read and a quick page-turner. Now to the characters, and this is where I fell out with the book. However, to do justice to Dumas, I will admit that though some characters had been presented with favour, others have been presented neutrally, letting the readers be their judges. The favoured characters, as anybody would guess, are the three musketeers - Athos, Pothos, Aramis, and the young Gascon hero, D'Artagnan. While I accepted D'Artagnan in the favourable light in which he was portrayed, for the most part, I couldn't do the same for the three musketeers. If Cardinal Richelieu, Comte de Rochefort, and cardinal's guards were bad, the actions of the defending King's musketeers were equally bad. Though the author tried his best to justify them, he utterly failed before my tribunal. The only favoured character that Dumas and I could fully agree on was Madame Bonacieux, the truly loyal servant of the persecuted Anne of Austria, the Queen of France. However, surprisingly my interest was piqued and held by those characters Dumas has portrayed neutrally. Cardinal Richelieu is one. Though I wouldn't for the life of me sanction his actions and his persecution towards the Queen, he was not despicable as I expected him to be. My Lady De Winter is another story. She is a novelty in the history of classics. A heartless, vengeful woman with an evil disposition, she was the only character I found who roused my emotions. If I may say so, I despised her with passion and didn't feel any remorse at her tragic death. Overall, however, keeping my perceptions of the characters at bay, I was able to enjoy it. The big question now is whether I would read the sequels? For the time being, the answer is "no". I'm not enamoured much with the musketeers to indulge myself immediately with the sequels. I have read the synopsis of the two and feel I might be able to enjoy them. But when may I lay my hands on them is a question for the future.

  20. 5 out of 5

    AnnaLuce

    While I understand historical context and I am quite able to appreciate classics without wanting them to reflect 'modern' sensibilities, I have 0 patience for books that glorify rapists. SPOILERS BELOW I don't mind reading books about terrible people. I read Nabokov's infamous Lolita and Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley. I enjoy books by Agatha Christie and Shirley Jackson, which are often populated by entirely by horrible people. Unlike those authors, however, Alexandre Dumas goes to great l While I understand historical context and I am quite able to appreciate classics without wanting them to reflect 'modern' sensibilities, I have 0 patience for books that glorify rapists. SPOILERS BELOW I don't mind reading books about terrible people. I read Nabokov's infamous Lolita and Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley. I enjoy books by Agatha Christie and Shirley Jackson, which are often populated by entirely by horrible people. Unlike those authors, however, Alexandre Dumas goes to great lengths in order to establish that his musketeers are the 'good guys'. Their only flaw is that of being too daring. The omniscient narrator is rooting hard for these guys and most of what they say or do is cast in a favourable light and we are repeatedly reminded of their many positive or admirable character traits. If this book had been narrated by D'Artagnan himself, I could have sort of 'accepted' that he wouldn't think badly of himself or his actions...as things stand, it isn't. Not only does the omniscient narrator condone and heroicizes his behaviour, but the storyline too reinforces this view of D'Artagnan as honourable hero. Our not so chivalrous heroes What soon became apparent (to me) was that the narrator was totally off-the-mark when it came to describing what kind of qualities the musketeers demonstrate in their various adventures. For instance, early on in the narrative we are informed that D'Artagnan “was a very prudent youth”. Prudent? This is the same guy who picks a fight with every person who gives him a 'bad' look? And no, he doesn't back down, even when he knows that his opponent is more experienced than he is. D'Artagnan is not only a hothead but a dickhead. The guy is aggressive, impetuous, rude to his elders and superiors, and cares nothing for his country. Yet, he's described as being devout to his King, a true gentleman, a good friend, a great fighter, basically an all-rounder! I was willing to give D'Artagnan the benefit of the doubt. The story begins with him picking up fights left and right, for the flimsiest reasons. The perceived insults that drive him to 'duel' brought to mind Ridley Scott's The Duellists, so I was temporarily amused. When I saw that his attitude did not change, he started to get on my nerves. Especially when the narrative kept insisting that he was a 'prudent' and 'smart' young man. D'Artagnan's been in Paris for 5 minutes and he already struts around like the place as if he owned the streets. He hires a servant and soon decides “to thrash Planchet provisionally; which he did with the conscientiousness that D’Artagnan carried into everything. After having well beaten him, he forbade him to leave his service without his permission”. Soon after D'Artagnan is approached by his landlord who asks his help in finding his wife, Constance Bonacieux, who has been kidnapped...and D'Artagnan ends up falling in love at first sight with Constance (way to help your landlord!). While Constance never gives any clear indication that she might reciprocate his feelings or attraction, as she is embroiled in some subterfuge and has little time for love, D'Artagnan speaks of her as his 'mistress'. Even when he becomes aware that Constance may be up to no good, as she repeatedly lies to him about her whereabouts and motives, D'Artagnan decides to help her because he has the hots for her. Our 'loyal' hero goes behind his King's back and helps Constance, who is the Queen's seamstress and confidante, hide the Queen's liaison with the Duke of Buckingham. Let me recap: D'Artagnan, our hero, who hates the Cardinal and his guards because they are rivals to the King and his musketeers, decides to help the Queen deceive their King and in doing so ends up helping an English Duke. Do I detect a hint of treachery? And make no mistake. D'Artagnan doesn't help the Queen because he's worried that knowledge of her disloyalty might 'hurt' the King's feelings nor is he doing this because of compassion for the Queen. He decides to betray his country because he's lusting after a woman he's met once or twice. Like, wtf man? Anyway, he recruits his new friends, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, to help him him out. Their plan involves travelling to England so the Duke can give to D'Artagnan the Queen's necklace (given to him as a token of her affection). Along the way the musketeers are intercepted by the Cardinal's minions (the Cardinal wants to expose the Queen's affair) and Athos, Porthos, and Aramis are either wounded or incapacitated. D'Artagnan completes his mission, he returns to Paris, caring little for his friends' whereabouts, and becomes once again obsessed by Constance. The Queen shows her gratitude by giving him a flashy ring. Constance is kidnapped (again) and D'Artagnan remembers that his friends are MIA. He buys them some horses (what a great friend, right?) and rounds them up. He then forgets all about Constance and falls in love with Milady de Winter. He knows that Milady is in cahoots with the Cardinal but he's willing to ignore this. In order to learn Milady's secrets, D'Artagnan recruits her maid who—for reasons unknown to me—is in love with him. Our hero forces himself on the maid, and manipulates her into helping him trick Milady. He pretends to be Milady's lover and visits her room at night, breaking the maid's heart and putting her life at risk. He later on convinces Milady that her lover has renounced her and visits her once more at night and rapes Milady. D'Artagnan knows that Milady is in love with another man, but idiotically believes that forcing himself on her will have magically changed her feelings. When he reveals that her lover never called things off with her, and it was him who visited her room a few nights prior, well...she obviously goes ballistic. And D'Artagnan, who until that moment was happy to forget that she is a 'demon' and 'evil', discovers her secret identity. D'Artagnan remembers that he's in love with Constance who is then killed off by Milady, just in case we needed to remember that Milady is diabolical stuff happens, D'Artagnan wants to save the Duke's live, just because it is the Cardinal who wants him dead. D'Artagnan, alongside his bros, plays judge, jury, and executioner and corners and condemns to death Milady. In spite of our hero's stupidity (he goes to dubious meeting points, ignores other people's warnings, wears his new ring in front of the Cardinal) he wins. Hurray! Except...that he isn't a fucking hero. This guy is a menace. He abuses women, emotionally and physically, manipulates them into sleeping with him, forces himself on them, or makes them agree to do his bidding. Women are disposable for D'Artagnan. He uses them and throws them to the side. But, you might say, the story is set in the 17th century. Things were different then. Women weren't people. Okay, sure. So let's have a look at the way in which our young D'Artagnan treats other men. He beats and verbally abuses his servant, he goes behind the King's back and commits treason, he forgets all about his friends unless he needs help in getting 'his' women. The other musketeers are just as bad. Athos is a psychopath. At the age of 25 he forces himself on a 16-year-old girl, and then marries her because “he was an honorable man”. He later discovers that she has a fleur-de-lis branded on her shoulder, meaning that she was a criminal. Rather than having a conversation with her, asking what her crime was, he decides to hang her himself. Because he's the master of the land. Athos also treats men rather poorly as he forbids his servant from speaking (not kidding, his servant isn't allowed to talk). Porthos gaslights an older married woman, forcing her to give him money otherwise he will start seeing other women. Aramis also speaks poorly of women (but at least he isn't a rapist, so I guess we have a golden boy after all). The so-called friendship between the musketeers was one of the novel's most disappointing aspects. These dicks don't give two shits about each other. D'Artagnan forgets all about his friends, and when he then decides to gift them horses as a 'sorry I left you for dead' present, Aramis, Athos, and Porthos end up gambling them or selling them away. What unites them is their idiocy, their arrogance, and their misogyny. Our diabolical femme fatale and the dignified male villain Milady is a demon. She's diabolical. She's evil. Both the narrative and the various characters corroborate this view of Milady. Much is made of her beauty and her ability to entice men. Sadly, we have very few sections from her perspective, and in those instances she's made to appear rather pathetic. Our Cardinal on the other hand appears in a much more forgiving light. He's the 'mastermind', the 'brains', and he's a man, so he gets away with plotting against our heroes. This book made me mad. I hate it, I hate that people view D'Artagnan & co as 'heroes', that the musketeers have become this emblem of friendship, and I absolutely hate the way women are portrayed (victims or vixens). I don't care if this is considered a classic. Fuck this book. Read more reviews on my blog / / / View all my reviews on Goodreads

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Well, it was no Count of Monte Cristo, but it was still exciting and dramatic. I was much more into the second half, when it starts focusing on the diabolical Lady de Winter. One disappointment was that I had always envisioned the Three Musketeers to be noble, just, Robin Hood-type characters. It turns out that, though brave, they are quite selfish and immoral, and tend to murder people with little provocation. None of the musketeers was very likable to me. Women also don't fare very well here a Well, it was no Count of Monte Cristo, but it was still exciting and dramatic. I was much more into the second half, when it starts focusing on the diabolical Lady de Winter. One disappointment was that I had always envisioned the Three Musketeers to be noble, just, Robin Hood-type characters. It turns out that, though brave, they are quite selfish and immoral, and tend to murder people with little provocation. None of the musketeers was very likable to me. Women also don't fare very well here and are talked about in quite unsettling terms. Dumas definitely has a gift for dialogue, though, and it's hard not to be sucked into his world of intrigue and passion.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    The beginning of this book was a real stinker. I couldn't believe it was getting 4 star reviews from people. After the first couple of pages, I was ready to throw in the towel but I kept going and I am glad that I did. I am almost finished with this book. I will forgive Dumas for the first couple of pages - okay for me the first 45-50 pages. Because the rest of the book has been very good...should finish the book later today. The beginning of this book was a real stinker. I couldn't believe it was getting 4 star reviews from people. After the first couple of pages, I was ready to throw in the towel but I kept going and I am glad that I did. I am almost finished with this book. I will forgive Dumas for the first couple of pages - okay for me the first 45-50 pages. Because the rest of the book has been very good...should finish the book later today.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    I've had more fun reading "The Three Musketeers" than I've had with any book in a long time, and my only regret is that I didn't find my way to Dumas sooner. It's bursting with swordplay, political intrigue, romance, fortunes won and lost, mistresses kept and stolen, poisoned wine, devious nobility, and vengeance sought and attained. What more could a reader ask for? While "The Three Musketeers" isn't the most intellectually challenging book ever written -- though it does offer, in passing, the I've had more fun reading "The Three Musketeers" than I've had with any book in a long time, and my only regret is that I didn't find my way to Dumas sooner. It's bursting with swordplay, political intrigue, romance, fortunes won and lost, mistresses kept and stolen, poisoned wine, devious nobility, and vengeance sought and attained. What more could a reader ask for? While "The Three Musketeers" isn't the most intellectually challenging book ever written -- though it does offer, in passing, the occasional insight into the human race -- it might be the best guilty-pleasure book of all time. And while it's long for such a book at 650-plus pages, not a word is wasted. Is there a more intriguing villainess in literature than Milady? A more fascinating hate-him-one-moment, forgive-him-the-next character than Cardinal Richelieu? And that's not to ignore d'Artagnan, who, with a youthful foolhardiness and energy that eventually gives way to gravitas, only the hardest hearted of readers could not love. And while Porthos, Aramis and Athos may spend most of the book as flat characters -- and I'm using that term the same way E.M. Forster does, not as an insult but to distinguish them from multifaceted, "round" characters -- they each have their more complex moments, Athos especially. I do have one minor complaint about "The Three Musketeers." While the long section detailing Milady's imprisonment by her brother-in-law is a fine story on its own, it does tend to drag on too long in the context of the "The Three Musketeers," mostly because it causes readers to spend too much time away from the Musketeers themselves. And while Milady's corruption of Felton does have its interests, we as readers don't spend enough time with him ahead of it to really feel as bad as we should. But this is a minor quibble. As should be obvious by my five stars, which I give unreservedly, I really did love the book on the whole. And, on a side note, I like that "The Three Musketeers" concludes with a brief what-happened-to-each-character section, something Dumas did long before the film "Animal House" or Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" video. (And this, by the way, may mark a rare time Van Halen and Dumas are mentioned in the same sentence. Someone please Google that to make sure.)

  24. 4 out of 5

    ~Jo~

    It has took me longer than usual to get through this book, but hell, there are so many amazing books to be devoured! The Three Musketeers is an exquisite adventure story, with the "Fun" element on overdrive! I mean, this is classic literature with a twist. I just loved the sword fights and the utter sarcasm. The writing style Dumas uses flows with such ease, and is very humorous. I found myself howling a lot more than I thought I would! I loved the relationship between the Musketeers and how ver It has took me longer than usual to get through this book, but hell, there are so many amazing books to be devoured! The Three Musketeers is an exquisite adventure story, with the "Fun" element on overdrive! I mean, this is classic literature with a twist. I just loved the sword fights and the utter sarcasm. The writing style Dumas uses flows with such ease, and is very humorous. I found myself howling a lot more than I thought I would! I loved the relationship between the Musketeers and how very different each one is. We definitely have a bromance here! I see enjoyed the fact that the Musketeers just kicked ass, and in a highly debonair fashion. My favourite excerpt; "D'Artagnan, in a state of fury, crossed the antechamber at three bounds, and was darting towards the stairs, which he reckoned upon descending four at a time, when, in his heedless course, he ran head foremost against a Musketeer who was coming out of one of M. De Treville's private rooms, and striking his shoulder violently, made him utter a cry, or rather a howl."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Robin Hobb

    Accept no substitutes! Movies cannot do it justice. Read it. Then read Ten Years Later, Twenty Years Afterward, and well, just read all the Dumas you can get your hands on. You won't regret it. And it will greatly enhance your pleasure when you read The Phoenix Guards by Steven Brust. Accept no substitutes! Movies cannot do it justice. Read it. Then read Ten Years Later, Twenty Years Afterward, and well, just read all the Dumas you can get your hands on. You won't regret it. And it will greatly enhance your pleasure when you read The Phoenix Guards by Steven Brust.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament, The Lord of the Rings (2) versus Les Trois Mousquetaires (31) Three musketeers for the elven kings under the sky Seven for the dwarf-lords in their halls of stone Nine for mortal man, doomed to die One for Cardinal Richelieu It's a beautiful afternoon here at the Coliseum, and they're cleaning up after the Lions v Christians fixture... Christians lost as usual, ha ha... everyone's looking forward to the main event, we hear they've got a surprise pl For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament, The Lord of the Rings (2) versus Les Trois Mousquetaires (31) Three musketeers for the elven kings under the sky Seven for the dwarf-lords in their halls of stone Nine for mortal man, doomed to die One for Cardinal Richelieu It's a beautiful afternoon here at the Coliseum, and they're cleaning up after the Lions v Christians fixture... Christians lost as usual, ha ha... everyone's looking forward to the main event, we hear they've got a surprise planned, and by Apollo! they've just announced it, well, this is a good one and no mistake! The Lord of the Rings against The Three Musketeers, I wish I knew how they'd organized that... The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)>

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maxwell

    After nearly 5 years of owning this book, I've finally read it (thanks to Rincey hosting the readalong this month that gave me the motivation). I can't say I loved the book, but it was fun and had its moments. It's sort of a bunch of vignettes, especially at the beginning, to acquaint you with the characters. And then the real plot sort of develops later on in the novel. It has all those follies and foibles of classics, with misdirection, confusion, deus ex machinas galore, and is, at times, a t After nearly 5 years of owning this book, I've finally read it (thanks to Rincey hosting the readalong this month that gave me the motivation). I can't say I loved the book, but it was fun and had its moments. It's sort of a bunch of vignettes, especially at the beginning, to acquaint you with the characters. And then the real plot sort of develops later on in the novel. It has all those follies and foibles of classics, with misdirection, confusion, deus ex machinas galore, and is, at times, a tad ridiculous. But I can see the appeal and would definitely love to watch an adaptation of this story! Cheers to tackling behemoth books that sit on your shelf for ages.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tina ➹ the girl who lives in Fandoms

    3.5 Silver Stars with Golden Sparks (because I love Athos!) at first I was afraid to read it because I'm not a classic reader. but it had adventurous setting, so I decided to give it a try. (also my mom recommended it very often! she loved it! she loved Athos, so I fell in love with him, before I met him! I was looking forward to see him coming in the book) ✦ it was brilliant, I laughed a lot. but at some points, it wasn't as exciting as a fantasy adventurous action story (as I expected to have, at l 3.5 Silver Stars with Golden Sparks (because I love Athos!) at first I was afraid to read it because I'm not a classic reader. but it had adventurous setting, so I decided to give it a try. (also my mom recommended it very often! she loved it! she loved Athos, so I fell in love with him, before I met him! I was looking forward to see him coming in the book) ✦ it was brilliant, I laughed a lot. but at some points, it wasn't as exciting as a fantasy adventurous action story (as I expected to have, at least, more action). well, it was classic after all. ✦ sometimes, too much historical/political details. ✦ too many POV characters, who,to be honest, I didn't care about some of them. but they influenced the story. (I prefer the heroes realized that in another ways, like, eavesdropping, somehow the event leaked in front of them, or any other ways!) ✦ the writing style didn't bothered me but it was a bit strange (as it was written in centuries ago. XD ) Could we have MORE musketeers stories? Athos, Porthos, Aramis! I mean, I want to know how they became such inseparable friends! I JUST WANNA KNOW! PLS PLS PLS PLS PLS! or maybe I just have to use my imagination... P.s. I love the Musketeers TV shows (2014-2016) very much! (this cover) a lot better! more action! a lot of adventures & more fun! WOW! I was fangirling over them! (but about the book, just a fan.)

  29. 4 out of 5

    J

    To paraphrase a top reviewer here, Bill Kerwin, this may not be the most profound of novels, but it may be the most compelling. I would add that perhaps its profundity is discounted more than it is deserved. I might add too that it is possibly the most entertaining of novels. Dumas was the equivalent to a bestselling author of his day. The Three Musketeers is not mentioned in the same breath as more literary 19th century works such as War and Peace or A Tale of Two Cities. In fact, I doubt I am To paraphrase a top reviewer here, Bill Kerwin, this may not be the most profound of novels, but it may be the most compelling. I would add that perhaps its profundity is discounted more than it is deserved. I might add too that it is possibly the most entertaining of novels. Dumas was the equivalent to a bestselling author of his day. The Three Musketeers is not mentioned in the same breath as more literary 19th century works such as War and Peace or A Tale of Two Cities. In fact, I doubt I am not the only reader who suspected before opening the book that it might be a little lowbrow or even geared toward children. From the first chapter to the last word, this novel puts contemporary bestsellers to shame. It would slay a thousand Kings, Rowlings, and Meyers. It is written in majestic prose, and even though there is plenty of swashbuckling and cloaks and daggers, one can find some high minded thought sprinkled throughout the enthralling tale. There is much comaraderie and court intrigue. There is historical significance, though it is not meant to be historically accurate. Its the easiest 600+ page read one could hope to find. One of the title characters, Athos--a lover of wine (Spanish or French), has many thoughtful lines, such as: “Life is a chaplet of little miseries which the philosopher counts with a smile. Be philosophers, as I am, gentlemen; sit down at the table and let us drink. Nothing makes the future look so bright as surveying it through a glass of chambertin,” and, "In general, people only ask for advice that they may not follow it or if they should follow it that they may have somebody to blame for having given it.” The Cardinal also tends to muse like a great thinker, albeit a rather deceitful one. Louis XIII is shown as a weak monarch who is frequently out-crafted by Richelieu. Lady d'Winter is an archetypal femme fatale. Aramis is a womanizer with noble aspirations aimed at the cloth and is one of the more interesting characters. There is much about bravery and honor. Our characters do not fear death. One weakness of the novel is its predictable nature. Dumas lingers a bit too long on Lady d'Winter's imprisonment and the seduction of her captor. But even here, there are enough twists, and things lead to such calamities and exciting scenes, that all is forgiven. Dumas must build up sufficient hatred for the dastardly characters and enough admiration for the honorable ones. It is a treat when a famous novel lives up, and even surpasses, its reputation.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anna Kļaviņa

    I'm surprised that d'Artagnan and his three friends in so many people eyes are heroes and "good" guys. Because they are not. Author has made cruelty, crime and sinful deeds OK if its done by "inseparable" friends and cloaked it in heroism and gallantry. I had a lot what-the-heck moments. Almost every chapter. The book is full of "Duma's occasional lapses of memory" However the story is interesting and the book is a true page turner. I'm surprised that d'Artagnan and his three friends in so many people eyes are heroes and "good" guys. Because they are not. Author has made cruelty, crime and sinful deeds OK if its done by "inseparable" friends and cloaked it in heroism and gallantry. I had a lot what-the-heck moments. Almost every chapter. The book is full of "Duma's occasional lapses of memory" However the story is interesting and the book is a true page turner.

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