Edmonde Dantes appears to have it all. He’s been promoted and now is captain of his ship. Mercedes, the girl with whom he’s madly in love, has agreed to marry him. He is extraordinarily happy. However, due to the nefarious plotting of two jealous rivals, Dantes is arrested. He is then framed and imprisoned to cover for a scheming official on the rise. Locked away in an inescapable prison, Dantes has almost lost hope when a crazy old prisoner digs a tunnel into his cell. The old man talks incessantly about his hidden treasure. When he dies, Dantes trades places with him to be thrown into the sea in a body bag. Having made his escape and after discovering the secret horde, Dantes is ready to take his revenge on the ones who put him in prison.
Alexandre Dumas wrote a tale filled with intrigue, deception, and vengeance. Nudds does his best to bring all of that to the page. The compelling story is retold in an uncomplicated manner. The language moves the story along with a steady balance between the dialogue and exposition. The words are well chosen to tell the story without drawing too much attention to themselves. While many classics fail to impress in their adapted forms, Campfire’s The Count of Monte Cristo remains an exciting adventure story that will probably pull in a whole new audience in its graphic form.
The art by Banerjee fits the story, with high contrast between the light and dark moments of the tale. A couple of characters are presented in a more cartoony style than the others, but that fits their roles in the story. I have noticed some odd facial expressions and blurred portrayals of background characters in other Campfire Classics, but that feels more acceptable in this adaptation, as the story races along to the conclusion. When you are immersed in the action, you don’t want to take in the scenery.
All in all, this is an excellent adaptation of a fabulous classic. A good adventure story that can help draw in reluctant readers (with a classic, no less!) will warm the heart of anyone who works with teens.