Forget the movie, read the book!!
Oh wow, what a great end to an incredible ride, the story of the Musketeers. I haven’t been so engrossed in a series of books since I picked up Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Athos, Raoul, Porthos, Aramis and of course D’Artagnan are going to be in my thoughts and dreams for some time, I hate to let them go.
If you are expecting the story as told by Hollywood, forget it. While I haven’t seen the latest version with Leonardo DiCaprio (forgive me if I spell it wrong), I looked at the reader reviews and was quite surprised at how different the book is from Hollywood’s version. I also recall a movie done in the late 70’s/80’s that is nothing like the book as well. I would pick it apart point by point, but that would include spoilers. The Man in the Iron Mask is actually the last third of a huge novel by Dumas originally titled The Vicomte de Bragelonne. Because of the size of the book, English publishers have divided into three books, The Vicomte de Bragelonne, Louise de la Vallière, and The Man in the Iron Mask.
Suffice it to say that TMITIM is the final chapter of our heroic Musketeers, as well as Raoul, the son of Athos. While we all know the story of Louis XIV’s twin and the plot to substitute him, that is a minor part of the whole story, as the action then becomes centered on the aftermath of that plot and Louis’ revenge. It has been a grand, glorious ride reading this series, The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, The Vicomte de Bragelonne, Louise de la Valliere and The Man In the Iron Mask. And do have your box of tissue handy for the last 20-30 pages. You’ll need it.
One side note, some people are purchasing this as a stand-alone book, which it is not. You could probably get away with that, but you’ll spend so much time looking back at the footnotes trying to figure who is who I doubt you will enjoy the story as much. Also, this version didn’t have the list of characters that the VDB and LDLV did. Go for broke and read the whole thing, it’s well worth it.