Friday, January 30, 2009

It is finished!

I have just finished "Twenty Years After", which I started some time back in November. Blimey, it isn't half an epic book!

To be honest, I'm at something of a loss as to whether it's a really good book, or a really bad one. It's too damn long, for one thing (as I mentioned before, Dumas was paid by the word, and it really shows). And it takes far too long to get going - there is a section of about 200 pages at the start that is just D'Argtanian travelling around to see his three friends, one after another. It frankly seems interminable.

But around half way through (400 pages in!) there's a scene where the four musketeers are finally all together in one place and suddenly it's a different book entirely. Suddenly the plot starts to move, the whole thing lightens up, and it becomes really quite exciting.

And, for all that it's an action novel, albeit a really long one, the book also fits in some marvellous courtly intrigue, with factions, wheels within wheels, and all sorts of scheming. I like this.

I guess, at length, I can't recommend the book. It's not the worst book ever, nor even the longest ("Wizard's First Rule" by Terry Goodkind comes close on both counts), but it's just not a patch on "The Three Musketeers". Still, despite this, I'm inclined to read on into "The Viscount of Bragelonne", or perhaps try "The Count of Monte Cristo" by the same author.

But not right away!

#6: "Twenty Years After", by Alexandre Dumas

1 comment:

Chris said...

You should count yourself lucky... it was originally called "Five years later" and it had a really slow start...