i picked this up for defense in case i ever end up fighting for my life on an indian television game show. the three musketeers is worthy of its literary classic status and offers up a great example to modern story tellers on how to do coincidence properly. for a contemporary example of getting it wrong see the latest installment of star trek where one monster starts chasing kirk only to be eaten by a second larger monster who continues the kirk chase and ultimately corners kirk in a cave where conveniently spock from the future is hanging out to slay the monster, rescue kirk and explain the plot that got lost a long time ago in special effects.
from the introduction: it was undoubtedly in 1844 that dumas reached the zenith of his fame. that year saw him elevated to the position of uncrowned king of paris. “monte cristo” and “the musketeers” were hailed in the capital and, indeed, throughout france with the wildest enthusiasm. long queues waited for each fresh issue of the “journal des debats” for the next installment of “monte cristo” and int he provinces crowds assembled to meet the stage coaches which carried it.