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More filters. Sort order. Since no one ever saw his face because it was hidden by a mask of black velvet cloth, the true identity of the prisoner remains a mystery; it has been extensively debated by historians, and various theories have been expounded in numerous books and films.
Ma foi! Not to mention Cordieu! I think they are variations of OMG. I usually prefer to know as little as possible about the book I am about to read, including avoid reading the synopsis, or if I have read the synopsis in order to decide whether to read the book I try to forget it and do very well in the forgetting department, there is a character in this book called M. Fouquet, a name I would like to adopt for future social media shenanigans.
Anyway, som Parbleu! Anyway, sometimes this policy backfires. However, it is the best known part and published in the UK separately as a separate book. This means that I missed out on quite a lot of backstory and plot developments. Fortunately, The Man in the Iron Mask can be read without much difficulty outside of its parent book.
You should, however, at least read The Three Musketeers first. None of these three are working for King Louis XIV, not having much of a taste for this king who—from his playboy-like behavior—seems unworthy of their services and loyalty. In fact, Aramis is so unimpressed that he elaborately plots to replace Louise with his identical twin brother Philippe, his plan goes smoothly up to a point, the king is put in prison at Bastille and secretly replaced with Philippe. Unfortunately, he then makes the fatal error of confiding in Superintendent M.
Fouquet, who, as a stick in the mud an honorable man, refuses to allow the rightful king to be treated so shabbily. Fouquet goes off to rescue Louis XIV from Bastille, while Aramis makes a run for it, accompanied by poor, trusting Porthos, his unwitting coconspirator.
Looking like Leonardo DiCaprio the king is not always a good thing. You may be thinking I am spoiling the book terribly with the above summary but The Man in the Iron Mask is so densely plotted I have barely scratched the surface of the entire plot. It is not surprising that Dumas was so popular and remains so to this day, the man really knew how to write a fast pace narrative when he wants to, this book is stuffed to the gills with action and intrigues.
Fouquet on horseback is particularly hair-raising, and the conclusion of the chase confounded my expectations. There are several other scenes of similar intensity, but, for me, this one is the most badass. His main characters are all lively, vibrant and believable. Of the original three musketeers the only real mover and shaker is Aramis, who is too clever and ambitious for his own good.
His ingenious subterfuges and elaborate schemes are both audacious and hilarious in execution. Porthos is his lovable, not too bright, faithful sidekick who follows him blindly to his own detriment; as for Athos, he does not have much to do in the narrative except growing old and sad. However, he finally draws the line at killing any of his Three Musketeers friends. Several good characters come to a bad end through no fault of their own. While the book is a great read, I believe it suffers a bit from being serialized.
As authors of serialized books are paid by the word it often cause them to overwrite hello Mr. Dumas overwrote some parts which drag on unnecessarily, and some of the subplots do not really go anywhere, and have little relationship to the main storyline. Still, the book kept my interest throughout. The writing is a thing of beauty though the dialogue is over elaborate at times. Amazing job! Different character voices, and narrated with plenty of passion and enthusiasm.
Thank you so much! However, The Man in the Iron Mask is even more of a misnomer because the eponymous Man poor Phillippe is barely in the narrative, and by the second half of the book Dumas seems to have lost interest in him. I have no idea who to credit for the translation of this public domain edition. For as my conscience does not accuse me, I aver that I am not a criminal. Mouston, whose personal corpulency, quite enough at any time to hide one man from another, was effectually doubled by a scarlet coat which the intendant was holding up for his master's inspection, by the sleeves, that he might the better see it all over.
View all 22 comments. It pains me to write this because I am, at heart, a print person. My paycheck depends on people wanting and buying printed materials. But this is one instance where the movie far outshines the book and I'm glad there was a screenwriter with a vision to see beyond this dismal book.
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I had just read Three Musketeers by Dumas when I read this book. Perhaps it was the pleasure I took in this early book that spoiled Man in the Iron Mask. Man in the Iron Mask starts out well. There is all the chivalry an It pains me to write this because I am, at heart, a print person. There is all the chivalry and twice the intrigue of Dumas' earlier works. The dialog is fantastic with politics twisting every meaning and clearly communicating the rancor of the time. There is a fantastic scene with Porthos, Aramis and the tailor that made me laugh aloud.
I truly like Dartangan, for he displays chivalry and honor even when ordered to do things against his honor. Then the book starts to go downhill. Characters that one would think were essential to the book disappear midway through and are never heard from again. Aramis becomes less and less sympathetic until we finally view him as merely a court toady who cared little for the sacrifice of his friends.
There are moments in this book; moments of passion, of grief, of love. But they are merely moments. Eventually the book becomes so ponderous, one must force oneself to continue. There are few characters to like in this book. They get themselves into situations for stupid reasons and are too self-centered to get out of them. Sacrifices are made for foolish reasons. View all 10 comments. Perhaps the most surprising thing about The Man in the Iron Mask, to me, was just how quickly the title subplot was dealt with.
Then again, this was not originally called The Man in the Iron Mask.
El Hombre de la Mascara de Hierro
This is the last chunk in a larger book. I can see why it gets cut up like that. This part alone was over pages. And the introduction gave a coherent enough synopsis of what came before that I could follow. Maybe I should have read it all, since I do like reading Dumas the elder. Back in the 90s, I Perhaps the most surprising thing about The Man in the Iron Mask, to me, was just how quickly the title subplot was dealt with. Back in the 90s, I saw the movie version, the one with Leonardo DiCaprio. Because Leo was soooo dreamy. And wow, did it ever depart from the source material.
Sure, I expected that, but maybe not quite to that extent.
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I'm sure it doesn't surprise anyone that I think the original was far and away better. One of the things that I really liked, and was really surprised by, in The Three Musketeers was the level of nuance in the characters. Opposing a protagonist does not make a character evil, and an opponent can become a friend. It's refreshing, and far more realistic.
But the ending is one hell of a downer, I have to say. It doesn't bother me, but it's something to keep in mind before you dive in. It was not as bad as you would have expected it to be. I was reluctant to read this due to the ubiquity of the Musketeers and because for whatever reason i had assumed Dumas to be a high-brow difficult author.
Boy was i wrong, this had such an easy almost pulpy tone to it, perhaps a tad hard to parse during some dialogue but overall very smooth and a nice style. Which it will continue to do throughout the novel as t I was reluctant to read this due to the ubiquity of the Musketeers and because for whatever reason i had assumed Dumas to be a high-brow difficult author. Which it will continue to do throughout the novel as there isn't actually any main character. Its a terrible structure where the momentum drops at each switch and has to start to build up again.
Still Dumas manages to make it work, and the awful structure does at least mean you never know what might happen next. Dumas even gets some use out of Raoul, the most worthless of side characters, in his first major section at least. So not 5-stars but still a solid One major character view spoiler [the King!
Like driving a sports car into a swamp. Edited and annotated by David Coward, from an older translation. Well, the mammoth saga of the once-invincibles comes to a rather sad end. Porthos dies because his strength gives out. Aramis flees France in disgrace because his schemes come to ruin. And Athos dies because the one thing dearer to him to God, his son, leaves his company to go die in the Africa campaigns under the Duke of Beaufort.
I have one complaint with this action-packed adventure, during which in the course of pages the suspense hardly slackens. Why did Aramis, General of the Jesuits, master planner always with an out at his disposal, admit defeat instantly when Fouquet announced he would denounce him? Up to that point, Fouquet had been a pawn of Aramis. Suddenly, Aramis had to flee for his life on the word alone of Fouquet.
View all 9 comments. My insignificant words can hardly do justice to my love for this book, so I'll keep it short. You can read my original review here. If you are curious about this book because you're familiar with the title, or saw the terrible movie, or have read The Three Musketeers and can't be bothered with everything that comes in between, please don't bother with this book.
You've hardly earned it, and as such it'll ring hollow for you. If, however, you have loyally followed our musketeer friends over their My insignificant words can hardly do justice to my love for this book, so I'll keep it short. If, however, you have loyally followed our musketeer friends over their 40 years of adventures; if you can comprehend the significance of Athos showing weakness, of Aramis's tears, of the words 'too heavy' This is the book where four inseparable, energetic men find that time and politics have finally caught up with them.
It's absolutely gut-wrenching at times to see how their stories have been influenced. This book will live forever in my heart, as will its heroes. I wish I could give this three stars, but this book truly was "just okay.
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I'm surprised that The Man in the Iron Mask is more famous than Twenty Years After although neither are good stand-alone novels; they really require reading the previous novels first because I found TYA to be much more humorous, more exciting, and more engaging all around. The only thing I liked more about TMi I wish I could give this three stars, but this book truly was "just okay.
I read this trilogy because The Count of Monte Cristo is my favorite book and I was hoping for something similar, but these three books are nothing like it. The first two are humorous, light-hearted, and adventurous, but the last one TMitIM is not particularly engaging and its only purpose seems to be to conclude the story and lives of the four protagonists. View 1 comment. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I miss you already, my brave Musketeer friends! I am not someone who cries easily - the only series that's ever made me cry was Stephen King's The Dark Tower.
Prior to this brutal book.
I feel like I have experienced the death of friends. And I feel such profound grief over these loyal, lifelong friends being separated. Oh Porthos! You mighty giant! Athos, noble friend! And D'Artagnan, the Captain who won my heart from page one.
Aramis, how will you live with only one fourth of your soul?? How will I live?? Oh, right. I'll probably just re-read the first book over and over again. Let me try to properly review the novel that concludes the chronicles of the greatest friendship of all time. For a novel that claims to be about a tyrant king and his struggle for the throne against his identical brother, that's actually a pretty minor part of this novel.
In fact, that whole storyline feels pretty incomplete by the end of the novel, but perhaps that's just because it's actually concluded so early that it seems to suggest further intrigue. His books have been translated into more than languages.
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See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD Product Details About the Author. About the Author. One of the most widely read French authors famed for his historical fiction of high adventure, Alexandre Dumas wrote more than a hundred plays and novels, including the famous Three Musketeers trilogy, The Count of Monte Cristo , and The Man in the Iron Mask.
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