Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

Available at Better World Books
Rich says:
The Count Of Monty Cristo is a book about betrayal and revenge. The author of this book is Alexandre Dumas and he wrote this book in 1845. The story is set in Paris-France.
          Edmund Dantes was a first mate on the ship Faron and his employer was Monseur Morrel. He was also about to be promoted because the Faron's captain died at sea. Edmund had a good relation ship with his dad, Edmund was the most important thing in his dad's life. His dad was also poor, so Edmund gave his dad money. He also had a Fiance named Mercedes, and they were very happy to get married because Edmund had been out to sea for weeks. When he got back, he got engaged and was getting married the day he went to prison

Three men wanted what Edmund had. Danglers wanted his job, Fernand wanted his wife, Cadarousse wanted his money. Before Edmund returned, the captain of the Faron died, and before he died, he wanted Edmund to finish sending the letters the captain had, one of these was from Napoleon to a man named Nortier. Danglers, Fernand and Cadarousse created a letter accusing Edmund for working with Napoleon. This sent Edmund to court. His lawyer was an man named Villafort, and his dad just happened to be named Nortier. Villefort burned the letter that would have proved Edmund innocent, so that his dad wouldn't go to jail. Edmund was in prison for 10 years.

          While Edmund was in jail, he tried to kill himself by beating his head aginst the wall non stop, untill he decided to give up. One night, he heard a chissle on one of his jail walls for an hour, then it stoped. This continued for days on end, and he decided that it was a prison mate trying to get out of jail. The next day, he broke his bowl, and took the handle of it before the guards game, the guards cleaned up the mess, and after the guards left, he started to dig in the same wall that his prison mate was. Later, he found out his prison mate was a old man, named Abbe Faria. Him and the Abbe became freinds, and the Abbe adopted Edmund as his son. The Abbe was very smart, so he taught Edmund diffrent laungages, how to read and write them, and advanced math. One day, the Abbe told Edmund about the Abbe's fortune, millions and millions of dollars, but the Abbe was imprisoned wrongly just like Edmund was before he could make any use of it. The Abbe told Edmund how to find it if Edmund ever got out. One day, the Abbe died. They wrapped the Abbe in a cloth bag, Edmund took the Abbe to his bed, and closed himself in the cloth wrap instead. He assumed they would bury him, and he could dig his way out afterwards. They tied a cannon ball to his legs, and sunk him into the bottom of the ocean. Edmund escaped, and got to an island.
After Prison 

          After prison, Edmund joined a crew of bandits, since he was a good navagator, they let him join. On his adventures with the bandits, he talked them into going to the island of Monty Cristo, where the Abbe's treasure was. He went, and dug up what would be his future. He stuffed his pockets with all of the gold and diamonds he could. He went back to Paris where he awarded his former employer, with a purse full of money. He also awarded the evil with his vengence. He destroyed every one of their lives. He exposed a crime Villefort had commeted, driving him insane. He tricked Cadarousse's former prisonmate to kill him. He tricked Danglars into making a bad investment, leading him to lose his bank. He exposed a crime Fernad commeted, putting him in prison and losing his rank in the army. He did all of this in the name of God.

          I thought this book was a very good story, but it took FOREVER to read because of all of the detail. I also thought the characters and Edmunds plans to get the 4 consperators was very well planed out. The moral of the story is revenge is never worth it. I thought 7/10.

Brennan says:

The Count of Monte Cristo is a book about betrayal and revenge. The author is Alexander Dumas, and the story is set in France. The year was 1845.

Edmund Dantes is a first mate on a ship he had a fiancé Mercedes that he was going to Marie tomorrow, and a father that was poor and Edmund loved dearly. The captain of the ship died and Edmund got a promotion to be the captain. Edmund was making a lot of money and was getting rich. He gave his dad money.

Even though things were great now there was a conspiracy against Edmund. Danglers, the leader of the conspiracy who wanted his job, Fernand, who wanted Edmund’s fiancĂ©, Cadarousse, who was drunk and wanted his money, Villefort, which was not actually part of the conspiracy but did do something. He is a Public Defender who was the one that was supposed to defend Edmund but threw the evidence that would have proved Edmund not guilty into a fire to keep his dad safe and declared Edmund guilty. All of this resulted in Edmund going to jail.
When Edmund was in jail he almost went insane. Then he met the Abe Faria who taught Edmund a lot of things and helped him figure out who got him in jail. Then they figured out how to escape, but then Abe got sick then told Edmund that he had a lot of money on an island. Edmund remembered the guards talking about how Abe said he had a bunch of money that he could pay to get out and that he was insane and after a while he died. Edmund escaped jail and found the money!!! A team of bandits found him and helped him but Edmund didn’t tell them about the treasure.

After he found the treasure he went back to France and he could not be recognized by anyone but Mercedes because of his age. He called himself The Count Of Monte Cristo. He met a young man named Albert Mondego that he got to trust him. He got to do business and associate with Fernand Mondego, Danglers, Cadarousse, and Villefort. He helped the people that tried to get him out of jail and did other good stuff. Then he made the four that put him in jail suffer one by one. While he was he was helping two young people named Valentine and Maxamillion and when he got revenge on the last one he realized he had gone too far. He helped Valentine and Maxamillion and got them back together. Then the count got married to Hayde, a slave he rescued.
I like this book because the plot was well set up and had a lot of surprises and it keeps you listening and wanting more. The moral of the story is revenge isn’t good, just try to live a good life.

Dad says:
My dad insisted that we boys watch certain movies growing up - High Noon, The Magnificent Seven, Patton, and specifically the Richard Chamberlain/Tony Curtis version of The Count of Monte Cristo. It is to this insistence I owe my love of classic literature, because after seeing (and loving) the movie, I soon bought an abridged version of the book, which led to similar versions of novels by Verne, Dickens, Stevenson, Twain, and many others in the same series. Needless to say I've also sat through several other film versions of Monte Cristo and dad was right - you simply can't beat the Chamberlain/Curtis version from the 70's.

          It was a great joy to read the unabridged version to the boys. Though a bit heavy with French geography and military history at points, just like me, they were sucked into the story. The plight of Edmund Dantes, and more importantly, his reaction to his misfortune, are not only a sad lesson of life's harshness at the hands of ambitious men, but a cautionary tale about the personal price of revenge - a lesson that has served me well in several real life situations. I'm glad it was instilled in me at a young age. 

          As an adult, this re-read left me fascinated with Dumas' clever use of symbolism throughout, and amused at his tongue-in-cheek mocking of post-Napoleonic upper-class French society. The metaphorical death and resurrection of Dantes' in the Chateau D'If was lost on me as a thirteen year old, but it seems to me now that Dumas' was speaking to the larger issue of the re-creation many people pursue in their thirties - a desire to do and be something different from the labels and relationships that defines them in their twenties. Dantes' is indeed transformed from lowly sailor into a new creation that anyone would envy - a man of reputation, wealth, education, and worldly knowledge and wisdom. 
          Ultimately, it is Dumas' portrayal of The Count's great power that the reader envies most, however unrealistic or unlikely his path to the money that affords it. Who hasn't fantasized about wreaking vengeance on those who malign us, or rewarding richly those who have encouraged and supported us during trying times? I take almost as much joy in seeing Msr. Morrell come into good fortune at The Count's hand as I do seeing Vilefort finally get his elaborately designed comeuppance. Dumas' offers the reader an opportunity to live vicariously through The Count, and that, I suppose, is the book's greatest offering.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Kitchen Knight (Margaret Hodges)

Brennan says:

The Kitchen Knight is about a boy who comes into a kingdom and asks the king for three requests. The first is to have infinite food and drinks for one year. The king says yes.The king lets the boy work in the kitchen.

At the end of the year a girl asks the king for help. Her sister has been taken by the Red Knight, the best warrior in the world. The king says yes. The kitchen boy asks for his other two requests. they are to come on the quest to save the sister and to become a knight!

I think this is a nice quick book. I like it because it is a very well written book. I like how the boy goes from a kitchen boy to a knight. I hope you enjoy this book to :).
Click cover to purchase from Better World Books

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - J.R.R. Tolkien (Rich's review)

The Lord Of The Rings was written by J.J.R Tolkien and the books were released July 29 1954, November 11 1954, and Oct 20th 1955. He died at age 81, 18 years after the last book of The Lord Of The Rings was released.

     The relationship between the elves and the dwarfs isn't good. But on the adventure with Frodo and his companions, he also brings along a dwarf named Gimli, and an elf named Legolas, which become great friends along the way. They become great friends along the way because they have to work together to bring to ring to Mount Doom to destroy it, and they have to come together and help the rest of Frodo's companions. They also lose friends along the way, which sets them even closer together. What I think the author is trying to tell through this, is that you don't always have to follow the rest of the group, you can spread out and try new things, just like Gimli and Legolas became friends, their groups would not have agreed with the relationship.

     Boromir struggled with the temptation of the Ring the most, and he had a lot of reason to. His father wanted the ring to use it as a weapon against the enemy, which is why Boromir was sent to go on the voyage to Mount Doom. He also felt Aragorn shouldn't have the ring, mainly because Aragorn was the real king to Gondor, and Boromir's dad was only a caretaker. He felt that if Aragorn got the Ring, he would take back his realm and become very powerful with the ring. He also thought that the Hobbits shouldn't have it, since they were the least experienced with weapons and traveling, and the outside world. The result of all of this was him being tempted by the ring, causing him to try to steal it from Frodo. While he was trying to get the ring from Frodo, orcs attacked and killed him, but in his last moments, he fought to keep two of the hobbits safe, Merry and Pippen.

     In the end, the friendship between Legolas and Gimli shows that you can find friends anywhere, and to not let others dictate what friends you have and what you do in your life. There are many just like Boromir that let their greed take over their lives, and I think this is a warning to not get greedy. I thought this was a very good book, but in some places the got into to much detail.
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Bible Heroes and Bad Guys (Osbourne, Wooding, Strauss)

Brennan says: 

This book is about different stories with people that are good people of God and bad people who did not like God. In my opinion it could be more interesting and good but hey that's just my opinion, you could love it. Some of the people that are in the book are: God, Jesus, Balaam, Elisha, Elijah, Paul/Saul, and Goliath. If you read this book I hope you like it more.

The story that I like the most is Paul/Saul's story where he's bad at first and then he can't stop talking about Jesus. The reason why this book is kind of mediocre to me is because it's sort of the same story again and again just told differently in the sense that people of God win and bad people lose. That is why I like Paul/Saul's story- it's different.
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The Declaration of Independence (Thomas Jefferson)

Rich says:

I think this was a good idea for them, even though they were kind of forced to do it, It ended up well. What my dad and I think is funny about this is that Thomas Jefferson seems to get more mad the more he writes. This was well written, but a little confusing when you don't know all the words he's saying.
They knew when they sent this to England that it would start a war, and cost many people their lives. Can you imagine the stress Thomas Jefferson was under when he was writing this? They had good excuses for their independence, and this is just me, but I also think the King was stupid. The reason I believe he was stupid is that he sent armies into the colonies, cut off their trade, he broke his own laws, and didn't let them have a fair trials, and taxed them relentlessly, and thought that they wouldn't rebel. If he hadn't gone overboard with "protecting them" and all of the things above, he would have continued to receive taxes from them, and trade goods.

Brennan says: 

The Declaration Of Independence is a bunch of reasons to break up with Britian and to show how bad the king was being.
I think it was right to make The Declaration Of Independence because the king was having people fight each other and had soldiers go into peoples houses and live there for how ever long they wanted. 
I like how the writer got madder and madder as he wrote and insults the king at the end.
Tell me what you liked about it if you want :).
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Winne the Pooh - The Complete Collection (A.A. Milne)

Rich says: 

 Book 1:
This book is simple, but unique in its own way. This story is based on 7 stuffed animals and 1 little boy, Christopher Robbin. The boy has many adventures with these 7 animals in the book, going from Pooh trying to outsmart bees, to finding Eeyore's tail. There's Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Eeyore, Owl, Kanga, And Roo. Pooh is a silly bear, and not much for brains, he makes up for it with his appetite. Piglet, (my favorite character!!!) is smart, but is not very brave. Rabbit, he is the grumpy-ish one, but is the smartest of all of them, and pretty brave. Eeyore is sad, and pity's himself a lot, and doesn't really care if he goes on a adventure or not. Owl thinks he is wise, smart, and very resourceful...when he really isn't all that. Kanga is the mother of Roo, and is motherly and easygoing. Roo, (my other favorite character!!!), is oblivious and loves a little adventure. Over all, the first "Winnie-The-Pooh" book is a very cute book. Even though it is a kids book, its still very enjoyable for older kids/adults. I would suggest this book to almost anyone,as it is a great read!

Book 2: 
These two books are amazingly funny, and simple. They now have 8 Characters, the new character being "Tigger", my favorite character. He's bouncy, and doesn't know ANYTHING about himself, besides that he likes Roo's vitamins. This book has the boy, Christopher Robin growing up, and getting ready to be on his own, and these little stuffed animals realizing he's getting too old to play with them anymore. This book, had me, my Dad, and Mom ALL crying at the end. And once we were done reading, Brennan says, "What's so sad?" and we all say he'll understand when he's older. But this book has a lot of really good moments with Pooh and Christopher Robin, and Pooh's game called "Pooh Sticks", and Tigger bragging, and then getting stuck in a tree. They make references to the last book, reminding the readers of what has happened in the past, (Which is a big thing for me, I LOVE that kind of stuff). These books are a great read for anyone, I'm getting to the teen age's and these are awesome books for me. One of my friends told me once I said we were reading these, "But isn't it a kids book?" yeah, it is a kids book, but its great all the same. Great read, and can't wait until we start reading another series! 

Brennan says: 

This book is very good. I like it because the characters work well in a story together and because it's funny.  My favorite character is Eeyore.  My favorite character is Eeyore because Eeyore know what's going on but doesn't at the same time and comes in at the perfect timings and ways.

 This book is about different animals and a human living in a forest together.

I hope you enjoy this book to :).
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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer -Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

Rich says: 

Tom Sawyer... is insane.  He becomes a pirate, pretends to be dead, then becomes a robber at the age of around 12. Tom Sawyer has plans for his thousands of dollars he is going to get from robbers, in a haunted house. He believes in God, which makes him a pirate that doesn't steal (because stealing is a sin). He loves Robin Hood, hates school, loves to be in the spot light, and is scared of Injun Joe. He goes to grave yards at midnight, stays over night in a haunted house, and gets lost in caves. He loves to trick his other friends and class mates. This is a good book, not the best in my opinion. It's a very exciting book, but I wouldn't read it again, it's one of those books that you need to read because everyone references the book. Overall, a exciting book but more of a one-time read for me.

Brennan says:

Tom sawyer is about a young boy that is smart and does not like getting in trouble but he likes to make trouble so sometimes does stuff he is not suppose to and his to friends Huck for short and Joe Harper.  I really like this book. I like it because it is about the bad guys sort of and because it is weird but not too weird. I like that the charterers get put into uncommon yet bad situations. I like Tom and Huck but I don't want to be like them. I hope you like this book too :)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
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