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We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(5) Tree Line

There are a few things to consider here. The Count of Monte Cristo is, first and foremost, a rip-rollicking adventure story, filled with action and intrigue. In short, it's meant to entertain you, to keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Thing is (this brings us to the second point) it takes a long, long time to get there. The Count of Monte Cristo is a big book, and it requires more than a bit of discipline and patience to finish. Last, but certainly not least, it's important not to overlook the many allusions to history and literature that Dumas has packed in (you can see the list over in the "Shout-Out" section). It may be a fun read, but that fun is rooted in history and literature, and it'd be wrong to overlook that.

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