Rounded Rectangle: FACT BEHIND FICTION
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A section from

‘A Jedi shall not know hatred, nor fear… nor love.’ from Star Wars Episode II

AMAZON (USA)

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A1BOOKS (INDIA)LINKS

Monte Cristo: The Legacy

 

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

 

An extract from the FactBehindFiction.com version of The Further Adventures of the Count.

 

The Count looked at the chart again and smiled at the thought of interesting days ahead. He knew the map was by most accounts inaccurate, and the group of adventurers who had proposed the treasure hunt were almost surely out to rob him. But that didn’t matter since he was sure he didn’t have long to live, and he might as well spend some time among thieves. He sat down and stared into the open water from his castle on the island of Crete. This was not the life he wanted or thought he’d live, but the good thing was that till a few months ago he had very little time to think about his life.

 

He remembered his friend and biographer - Dumas, that man was a genius. Monte Cristo! That damn island was as barren as hundred-year old British virgin he thought. Like he would risk telling that fat and cunning linguist where his gold was and risk a bunch of fortune hunters gunning for him. But the masterstroke was Dumas making him a Frenchman. Bah! Not in this life. And hopefully not in any other. But the ruse had to be played and his real identity had to remain secret. He had to maintain strict control over all Dumas writing before it was published for he couldn't afford anyone doubting his true identity. ‘When there is any doubt, there is no doubt.’ he reminded himself, ‘the first rule of danger!’

 

“Anisette?” the young Baroness Eve asked as she came up to him from behind. He declined and told her not to wait up for him tonight. He had some reading to catch up on.

 

When he was alone again the Count’s mood began to change again. His wife of many years had died too soon after they’d left their hometown together to start a new life. He didn't like to think of those times much, specially when Dumas’ story veered so sharply off the truth in some respects. Life isn't a fairytale he told himself repeatedly till the feeling passed. But then it came back again when he thought of their plans for having children. For many years after her death the Count lived alone in misery. He tried to fight it but his efforts to squander his fortune, to right the wrongs of society, and to talk to God failed.

 

It wasn't until the Baroness entered his life that he got a grip on his affairs once again. Her scheming, plotting and constant manipulation provided an outlet for him to focus on. And as of now she had been living with him for two years. But still they had no children. The legacy of a man who was born with nothing but created an empire by dragging his miserable life kicking and screaming into stratospheric positions of power would end with him.

 

Late the next morning the valet found the Count’s body on the jagged rocks that broke the stormy waves. A sharp and spikey rock had impaled him. The lady-in-waiting kept the Baroness from seeing the Count till his body was taken off the rock and laid-in. Later that evening the three of them were the only ones to watch as the Count was laid to rest in his coffin that was weighted down so that it would sink fast and not drift too far.

 

At the end of that week the bleeding started suddenly, and there wasn't enough time to get help. The little life that had not even started to take shape had ended before the Baroness knew what had grown inside her.

 

 

 

Ben-Hur tells the tale of Judah Ben-Hur who as a wealthy Jew living in Rome doesn't realize the growing hatred that has permeated society. When his best friend throws the book at his family for accidentally causing a Roman officer’s death. While his mother and sister are thrown into a cess-pit of a prison Judah runs from pillar to post in vain. His family’s wealth is confiscated and he himself is imprisoned for his attempts to free his family. Living as a ghost in prison and treated like a commodity on a slave ship, Judah gains favour from an honourable military officer and rebuilds his life, earning fortune and fame for his exploits. However he still searches in vain for his mother and sister who are by then lepers. The masterpiece climaxes with an acclaimed chariot race of champions in which Judah and his nemesis are pit against the other in a virtual race to the death.

 

V for Vendetta is the work of Allan Moore and the story of Edmond Dantes play a vital role as the anarchist V is an ardent fan of the film. Just like Dantes V’s life is played with because of his common birth and vocation, but fate intervenes in the form of V’s recalcitrant genetics that save him from gross medical experimental side-effects but nevertheless curse him with strength, genius and madness together. V is an adopted alias and we are never told his real name, only that he remembers nothing of his past life. Unlike Dantes V has no mercy on any of his former punishers and seeks them out with ice-cold efficiency. The only humanity he shows is towards a girl - Evy who he befriends by chance and falls in love with.

 

Sleepers tells the story of four young boys who in a moment of immaturity cause the accidental death of a street vendor. In juvenile jail they suffer beatings, psychological torture and rape at the hands of the guards and remain emotionally scarred for life. Two become career criminals and another becomes a lawyer. Years later when the two career criminals encounter a former guard they shoot him and are put up on trial. The revenge played out by the boys (now men) takes place through the trial, as the guards are called on to face their demons culminating in the exacting of revenge for a lifetime of psychological trauma.

 

A Prisoner of Birth is Jeffery Archer’s homage to The Count of Monte Cristo. The story is the same but the setting is contemporary. While the plot stays loyal to Dumas, Archer’s skill at story-telling is suppressed in this tale.

 

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A concept drawing of the Count in his avatar as an agent of fate.

 

Abbe Faria - the Count’s mentor and fellow inmate at Chateau d’If.

 

The journey to Chateau d’If as a prisoner.

 

The treasure.

 

Chateau d’If.