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Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Christo Vol. 1

by Yuri Ariwara and Mahiro Maeda

Publisher: Del Rey Manga

Format: Softcover, black & white, $10.95

ISBN: 978-0-345-50520-0

Reviewed by: School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up

Ariwara gives Alexander Dumas's classic novel of adventure and intrigue a unique sci-fi/gothic angle. Two naive young Parisian men journey to a distant planet for Carnival and encounter an enigmatic alien nobleman known only as the Count of Monte Cristo. Drawn to him despite (or perhaps because of) his mysterious and macabre ways, Franz and Albert befriend the Count, but they are soon called back to Earth as their well-connected fathers appear to be threatened by unknown foes. As corrupt as they are powerful, the men have made their fortunes by treachery—namely, the false accusation of a mutual friend who appears to have died in prison. When the Count arrives on Earth and is surprisingly familiar with the older men, questions arise about his real identity. The twisting, fast-paced plot will have readers on the edge of their seats, and the manga art style and graphic-novel format make this somewhat dated and convoluted tale extremely accessible for modern readers. An excellent choice for a library looking for a graphic novel that has both literary substance and guaranteed popularity for a wide range of readers.— Dave Inabnitt, Brooklyn Public Library, NY