Monday, July 30, 2012

The Sultan of Monte Cristo - A Sequel

It felt sad. It was like saying, 'goodbye' to a dear friend when reading the last words, 'hope and wait', of the 1200+ page book, The Count of Monte Cristo. Did the reader hope and wait to learn what became of Edmond Dantes, Haydee, Mercedes, the Morels, the Danglars or the Villeforts after putting down the book? One's thoughts need not wander longer, as the Sultan of Monte Cristo unfolds this foresight in the same spirit of Alexandre Dumas. That spirit creates in its readers a hunger and thirst to read. We are in the 1840's when Dumas becomes an investigative reporter in this first sequel and he publishes his book as a part of the story, 'The Count of Monte Cristo’, like a true account of a real life Edmond Dantes, which book serves as points of reference made by the original and new characters in the ongoing saga. That may be one of the reasons the sequel's author calls himself, 'The Holy Ghost Writer.' (The HGW) While new characters are introduced in the second chapter, the first new significant character introduced comes in the 8th chapter in the person of Raymee. She is introduced similarly as Vampa was introduced early in the Count of Monte Cristo, but plays a more significant role. We recommend first reading the Count of Monte Cristo to completely understand the references and characters developed, however, the sequel can be enjoyed without a familiarity with the original work. The Count of Monte Cristo is one of history's best known stories, but only reading or re-familiarizing oneself with the original text or a good translation thereof will bring about the best result to understanding its sequel. Countless readers over many generations have found the drama of a man unnecessarily imprisoned to emerge unrecognized, only to stealthily take revenge, is a compelling and relevant story in each age. Knowledge of a hidden treasure, provided by the elderly, long-bearded prisoner to the Count of Monte Cristo makes the original a story for children, however the Sultan of Monte Cristo is a little too risqué for a very young audience, and is recommended for those at least 18 years of age. Based on a true story, it's made that much more compelling in this age when one considers that 65,000,000 Americans, according to a recent article in US Today, have already been convicted of crimes. One can easily imagine that some percentage of those were innocent and suffered equally as did Edmond Dantes while experiencing their own thoughts and plans of revenge. In the sequels to follow, Edmond Dantes, deeply repentant for the unintended consequences of his revenge in the original story, will realize as the poet Milton observed, revenge though sweet at first will err long recoil on its victor. Our readers may speculate that The HGW qualifies as a true successor to Dumas, yet concomitantly, and it may be inferred that he is an individual that has emerged from prison as a type of adventurous character in his own life, perhaps wishing to conceal his true identity by writing under the ghostly pen name. The true identity of the HGW will become known once he interacts under his real name with fictitious characters in one of the final books leading up to book ten. The publisher will give a prize to the first person that can discover from the clues that will be planted throughout the ten books as to his true identity. To submit your guess, email Since the Count of Monte Cristo saw himself as divine providence we speculate that the word 'holy' in the Ghost Writer name was inspired by this fact, yet there are some unexpected twists in this sequel that may also contribute to the name. Although those and other plot shifts come unexpectedly in this sequel, they fit seamlessly and grow out of some small seeds planted in the original story that never took root therein. One of those small seeds is the word 'hemp' found in the first chapters of the original story by Dumas.  

Explore this compelling Sequel to a Classic