Monday, January 03, 2011

Reader's Diary #676- Alexandre Dumas: Solange

As I was compiling my end of year short story list last week, I realized that I didn't read as many classic authors that I thought. I like reading contemporary writers, but I'd rather have more of a mix. And with that goal in mind, I've chosen a short story by 19th century French author Alexandre Dumas. The only Dumas I'd read before was The Count of Monte Cristo and I'm pretty sure it was an adaptation as it was when I was a child.

"Solange" is subtitled "Dr. Ledru's Story of the Reign of Terror" and thus began my sudden education into the French Revolution. It begins with Dr. Ledru innocently walking across a street when a woman screams for his help. She is being charged for not having a pass and under suspicion of being an aristocrat. During the Reign of Terror, such offenses as these usually meant you were headed to the guillotine. (Is that a pun?) When Dr. Ledru approaches she says that he can vouch for her and while the doctor doesn't know her at all, claims that her name is Solange and winds up saving her life. The two fall in love. Then the story takes a sharp left turn.

I enjoyed "Solange" quite a bit, both for the historical side and the wild plot. The ending is a bit too drawn out and I was able to predict the outcome too early before it was revealed, but otherwise it was an enjoyable read, albeit quite dark.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)


Chrisbookarama said...

Dumas is an expert at wild plots. I need to read this one.

JoAnn said...

I loved The Count of Monte Cristo, so would probably enjoy this, too.
During our Christmas baking, my daughter (who recently had a lecture on the Reign of Terror), ate the head of a gingerbread man and then wrote "RoT" in icing on the body!

My short story is a classic, too.

Anonymous said...

Classic week?
I reviewed a story by Virginia Woolf:…virginia-woolf/

I have never read anything by Dumas, I think. I'm just frightened by him. Maybe one of the drawbacks of growing up in France?

Teddy Rose said...

I read the Count with my Classics club. unabridged version. I highly recommend it to you John. I'm trying to read more classics this year as well. I downloaded Solange.

I read