Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas

Dumas-threemusketsDumas, Alexander. The Three Musketeers. 1844. Trans. Lowell Blair. New York: Bantam, 2004. Print.

Genre: fiction (classic literary romance)

Summary: Young firebrand d’Artagnan leaves his country home penniless. He has only a horse and a note from his father egging a favor of a friend to please make his son a Musketeer. Hot-headed d’Artagnan loses both possessions before he’s anywhere near Paris, but he’s consequently catapulted into the best adventure of his entire life with new friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis–only the coolest Musketeers in the history of ever!

Critique: Whether you like it or don’t, whether you want it or not, Dumas is a generous narrator giving readers page after page of rumination, speculation, non-sequitur dialogue, tangential subplots, and more! It’s enough to make most readers treat this book like a fatty milk. That is to say, skim it.

However, writers looking for an example of an extremely biased omniscient narrator need look no further! As the all-knowing story-spooler, Dumas seizes any and every chance to extol his main characters’ finest attributes. At least once per page, you’ll encounter d’Artagnan’s heart of iron, Athos’ soul of gold, Porthos’ thunderous resolve, or Aramis’ adamant faith.

Dumas also makes sure to boo and his at the rogues and villains who dare to keep this rambunctious quartet from gambling, drinking, dueling, feasting, seducing women, and riding horses. The effect is humorous, enchanting, and well worth studying!