The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas
Adventure, Historical Fiction, Morality Tale
It's got tons of treasure, a secret island hideout, secret identities, duels, gory executions, bandits and smugglers galore, all topped with a healthy serving of revenge. If that's not adventure, we don't know what is. All of this happens during a particularly tumultuous time in French history – the whole thing wouldn't have happened without Napoleon's attempt to regain power – so all the "historical" trappings should be acknowledged. Also, all the Count's swashbuckling raises some very serious questions of morality, forcing us to think about big things like Fate, Free Will, and Justice. Even sweet, explosive Hollywood Action with a capital A has its consequences.