The Three Musketeers
by Alexandre Dumas
Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?
Lots of nightmare-ish events happen in The Three Musketeers. Several people are killed, including our hero’s true love. The people of La Rochelle are starving to death. The Queen is stuck in a loveless marriage and is being hounded by a guy she rejected. On the face of it, the subject matter of The Three Musketeers isn’t exactly Saturday morning cartoon material. Yet Dumas brings an incredibly light-hearted touch to the story, milking every comedic moment and rapidly glossing over the loss of human life. Everything is a fun adventure to our heroes, who quite willingly risk their lives over issues as trivial as a funny-looking horse.