Book blog

1000 before 30 #10 The three musketeers – by Alexandre Dumas

The chilled out attitude that the musketeers have towards duels is a dangerous message to send to youths everywhere.

Duels are cool, kids. That’s what d’Artagnan and his fellows spend their days doing, when not daring each other to do stupid things, drinking wine and seducing women for their money (because Musketeers supplement their income by being toy boys). Athos, Porthos and Aramis are slightly more complex than traditional heroes. Or maybe not.

This is a typical week in the life of d’Artagnan:

Monday – Gallops into a village on a bright yellow horse. When unknown man scoffs at his horse, he challenges him to a duel. Man takes his recommendation papers for the Musketeers.

Tuesday – Arrives in Paris without the horse, which he sold. Sees man who laughed at him. Challenges him to another duel, even though horse is no longer in the picture.

Wednesday – Meets three musketeers, thinks maybe they would be potentially cool dudes to hang with. Challenges them all to seperate duels.

Thursday – At duels, realises he probably can’t kill them all. Decides to be friends instead. Are confronted by the Cardinal’s men – a duel ensues.

Friday – Must. Have. More. Duels.

I grew up with Tim Curry playing the Cardinal in that 90s-esque version of the Musketeers, starring alongside Keifer Sutherland and Charlie Sheen. I expected the actual story to be more serious. To my surprise, nothing could be further from the truth.

It is true that our heroic musketeers are sent on a quest to save France – but aside from the unfortunate Duke of Buckingham, not much changes for the King of France, Anne of Austria or the Cardinal from the start to the end of the story. Instead, their schemes seem to ruin all of the lives around them excepting their own.

This is a saucy adventure, with petty provocations and an evil temptress as its main enemy. Is it a raucous tale of gallantry, adventure and blood? Yes. But nothing more than that.

This review is part of my 1000 before 30 challenge. Find out more about it here.

Featured image: Creative commons courtesy of AngusKirk

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