Wednesday 28 March 2012

The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

D'Artagnan leaves his home town for Paris where he hopes to prove himself as one of the Kings famous Musketeers. He has almost nothing but an odd looking horse, a few coins and a letter of recommendation. However, along the way the letter goes missing and he clashes with a man he soon comes to think of as his genius enemy. On reaching Paris he is a little disheartened to discover he must prove himself before he can become a Musketeer. He soon makes friends in the form of Porthos, Aramis and Athos. Together they help defend the Queen from the evil plots of the Cardinal.

This small paragraph doesn't actually do justice to what this book contains. The book is long but the chapters are short and it's just one adventure after another. One reason why it took me so long to read.

Here is the main reason - d'Artagnan! He is young, impetuous, eager, easy to work up and well (again) just young. He requires a lot of energy just to read. He's like one of those puppies that are cute and fun but sometimes you just need a little time out. Which is why I was constantly reminded of this;

Does anyone remember the cartoon Dogtanian? Dogtanian was played by a puppy (or close to a puppy compared to the others) and now I can actually see how apt that was. Basically, whilst he was good fun he was also hard work.

Once I got to the half way point though things seemed to change. D'Artagnan himself seemed to grow up a little. It wasn't obvious until near the end that the events of the book actually occur over a few years (not obvious to me anyway). I don't think I can pinpoint the exact moment when that seemed to happen. Possibly during the war with France but certainly at the end of the book d'Artagnan was no longer a boy. It actually made the ending a little sad in a way. In fact I wasn't expecting to feel quite so sad when I got to the end of the book. It certainly felt like the end of an era and not just with d'Artagnan. For this reason I think I don't just see it as a tale of adventure but a coming of age story too.

I read this as part of the Classics Challenge hosted by Katherine of November Autumn. You can see my answer to this months prompt here and you can read what others have been reading for it here.


  1. This is on my TBR pile but you see, it's a long book and full of adventures, so not particularly one I would choose if it wasn't so famous.
    Thank God I've read this post! Coming of age story? Always! I love how characters develop throughout a book and now I'm eager to see how D'Artagnan ends up. Thank you!

    1. It's only been in the last five years I would say that I would have seriously considered reading it. Adventure stories just weren't for me but I am convert.

      It's interesting to watch him change and a little sad too. Plus it's not just him but the others change along with him. It's just more noticeable in him because he is so young and in the end he is a little reluctant to accept it.

      You're welcome & hope you enjoy.

  2. Are you planning to read the other Musketeer books?

    1. Yes eventually. I want to know what happens to the four friends next. With how the book ends it's obvious that the dynamics of their friendship will have to change. Will be interesting.