Goodreads Review: The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas

I guess it’s fitting to start my blogging with someone I wrote just this morning!  Here’s an unedited Three Star book review for a beloved classic.  Originally posted here on August 18, 2015.

***CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!***

The devil!

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve read a super old classic, and probably an even longer time since I’ve read one that’s been translated from a foreign language. So there is a very good chance that a lot of this book was just going over my head and I didn’t understand the references, language, etc.

That being said…

This book was kinda crap. None of the characters are likable. In fact, they’re all totally horrible. The Musketeers themselves (including our protagonist d’Artagnan) are all kinda horrible spoiled dudes who just wander around being horrible to everyone and everything around them. I thought that maybe over time they would learn the error of their ways or something would happen to redeem them, but nope. They just screw over and murder a bunch of people for no reason, and then end the book by all getting together to humiliate and decapitate (!) someone. Following this story felt like following the tales of a bunch of douchey frat bros who exchange high fives for stealing some dork’s booze stash or for raping a chick by keeping the lights off and telling her you’re someone else (both of which are things that our “heroes” actually do). Maybe this whole thing was satire of some sort and we’re not supposed to like anyone, but in my lifetime of hearing references to The Three Musketeers, they’re always portrayed as noble heroes. So I dunno, maybe I am missing something.

Along those same lines, this book is also HELLA sexist, but part of that is explained by the fact that it’s just from a different time period when sexism was (presumably) the norm, and part of it just folds into the characters’ generally horrible behavior towards everyone, men and women alike. So, take it with a grain of salt I guess.

The storytelling was all over the place. Some shit would get dragged out for forever, like pages and pages of boring repetitive conversation. There are several long chapters in a row where nothing plotworthy happens and we follow d’Artagnan along as he goes to pick up his drunk broke buddies from various hotel rooms for some reason. The king and queen are introduced as characters pretty early on and then just kinda disappear. Etc.

All that being said, there was some stuff that was alright. There were some pretty funny parts, both intended and unintended. And the ending did actually catch me off guard and give me stuff to think about. Also, I loved it every time they said “The devil!” It was basically their way of saying “DAFUQ?!” and it was hilarious.


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