The Three Musketeers
Nearly everyone knows the story of the three musketeers and their faithful friend, D'Artagnan. Who is not familiar with their swashbuckling exploits, their involvement in political and amorous intrigues, and their legendary camaraderie?
If you are not familiar with this story, (How could you not be?), if you've never read the book, I strongly recommend that you do so.
If you have read this book, sometime in the distant past, and in your younger days enjoyed the novel's adventurous tone, I urge you to pick this book up once again and read it with a more mature eye, because there is more to The Three Musketeers than crossing swords, romance, heroics, or danger.
I am one who had never read The Three Musketeers, though I knew the story well enough from movies, and through general cultural knowledge. I picked up a copy a few years ago, thinking that I should actually read it, since it is a classic, even though it seemed a more appropriate read for a 12-yr-old boy. For this latter reason, I kept putting it off, and let it sit, neglected, on the shelf.
I am so glad that I finally picked it up! I loved it! I was surprised and delighted at the depth of the characters, especially those of Athos and D'Artagnan. The pace of the plot made the book difficult to put down. The protagonists faced and resolved crisis after crisis until the story reached its inevitable conclusion. Dumas showed such incredible skill at taking his readers on a wild rollercoaster ride, knowing just when to let up, and when to send the reader shrieking with spine-tingling delight from the lofty heights of the ride.
The finesse and control he showed in the pacing of the plot, the depth of the characters, the well-drawn setting place Dumas, IMO, among the great master storytellers.
The Three Musketeers is now filed among my all-time favorites. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy to read or revisit. You will not regret it.