Category Archives: August 2014

Husband/Wife Book Reviews: ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ by Alexandre Dumas (March 19th, 2015)

Re-posted from LiveJournal:

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As you can tell, since my last entry (basically about a year ago already!) in which I reviewed Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and was given the further assignment by my husband Graham to read Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, my copy of this beloved tome of over 1400 pages has seen some wear and tear. But it is now finished, and worth every single day I spent reading it!

The first Dumas book I ever read was an adapted version of The Knight of Maison-Rouge, which I do NOT recommend, especially as the adaptation I was unfortunate enough to read included such verbs as ‘electrified’ (as in ‘her presence electrified the silence’ or some similar usage) when CLEARLY, electricity was probably not discovered, let alone in such popular usage as to include in the lexicon of the average person. (Does anyone else get really annoyed by such anachronisms?) I would someday like to read a translated but NOT adapted version, as the story itself would have been interesting if it weren’t for grievous errors like those mentioned above. Needless to say, my first Dumas experience wasn’t as illustrious as his reputation had given it to be.

HOWEVER. I had seen the 2002 movie version of The Count of Monte Cristo,and had truly enjoyed it. I had also had the distinction of reading from cover to cover an unabridged version of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables a few years previous, so I knew I was up to the task. I accepted, and thus my journey began.

Wait and hope: One of the last lines of this book basically describes the many facets of it, for those two elements are necessary for both revenge and redemption (two major themes of The Count of Monte Cristo). They are also important in every stage of a person’s life, which is so clearly seen in the life of poor Edmond Dantes. As a young sailor he waits and hopes for his chance to become captain and to marry Mercedes, the woman he loves. When that is all taken away from him, the fact that he has waited and hoped makes his disappointment even more palpable. While in prison with the intelligent Abbe Faria, he vows for revenge and this is what he waits and hopes for. When the Abbe dies and leaves his entire treasure to Dantes, he sets his desire for justice into action, but must wait and hope for each piece of his carefully constructed plan to fall into place. When his whirlwind of revenge begins to negatively affect the hopes and dreams of his young protege, Maximilian Morrel (the son of his former shipmaster), Edmond realizes that perhaps all he needs to wait and hope for is happiness, and after so much waiting and so much hoping, he seizes the day and sails off into the sunset with his new love, leaving Maximilian and his fiancee with a more positive form of his life motto of wait and hope

This book has everything. It has crime. It has romance. It has the dreams of the young crushed by the ambition of the powerful. It has murder, duels, intrigue, exotic locations, bandits, dandies, honour, luxury, and revenge, revenge, revenge! This book was originally serialized, which is why it was so long: it was so popular nobody wanted it to end! The Count of Monte Cristo was the popular TV drama of its day, and there are so many ways that modern shows have drawn from serialized works like it, I would be here all day if I tried to point them all out. All in all, I give this book 5 stars out of 5. It can be a bit daunting to carry around a hard copy like I did, so if you really can’t bring yourself to carry a book the size of a Bible around with you, please do get this on your e-reader. It will be worth your time, I promise you.

‘The Flame: Mode of Living’ by Bornbazie Flame (August 12th, 2014)

Reposted from LiveJournal:

I was contacted by Bornbazie Flame (real name unknown) to review his book on what is known as The Flame: Mode of Living. I am interested in philosophy, and always willing to read new things, so I agreed. Perhaps I’m simply an ignorant layperson or perhaps I’m merely stupid but I honestly can’t tell you even now what exactly TF:MOL is. Below is my review:

The Flame: Mode of Living by Bornbazie Flame (which can be purchased at, was sent to me for review via LinkedIn. (The below image is the front cover of the book, and was never clearly explained):
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I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

While the idea behind this book was promising – learning to maximize the energy fields of the universe to impact those around you (and, ultimately, yourself), I found it confusing and difficult to get through. Basic principles were introduced with extensive use of scholarly language, but with an absence of clarity and tangible life examples. Specific terms were often used to describe principles or points in a section of the book, but were not in themselves clearly identified or outlined. While reading, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was still in the introduction and would soon get to the real core of the ideology, which unfortunately never happened. This book left me wanting more, and not in a good way.

However, the principles themselves were sound, the advice given – especially in regards to being considerate towards other living things – was excellent. I was also fascinated by the idea of other people being mirror images of ourselves.

I think the best addition to this book would be a clearly stated glossary of acronyms and terms, especially when those terms are usually used to mean something completely different in a day-to-day context, as happened with some of the wording I came across. The average reader and seeker would benefit greatly from this, as well as from more of a history of what exactly Mode of Living is, who adopts it, and where it originated from.

All in all, I found the book to be a good effort, with good advice and a lot of potential. It simply needs some tweaking before it can reach its maximum impact.