The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas,  Robin Buss Someone once mentioned in a conversation I was participating in that when reading a book that was not originally written in English, the translation can make all of the difference. A number of people who I admire mentioned that the best translation to read of The Count of Monte Cristo is the Penguin Classics Unabridged translation, so that is what I read. I have to say, I agree that this particular version is fantastic. As I started the book, I remember trying to read it before, and not being that impressed, so I will put in my two-cents worth for this particular edition.
I'm sure most people know the outline of the story here. Man is unjustly accused and put in prison, he escapes,and proceeds to reek havoc on the lives of those who wronged him. The book is so much more than that, though. The characters are rich and multifaceted. The plots are entertaining, and the glimpse of Parisian life in the 1830s is fantastic. Included in this edition are numerous historical notes that are just as fascinating as the story itself.

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone and have added three of four other books by Dumas to my list.