The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas is presently keeping me entertained again. It is a great book, even in translation.
This is the finest work you can find if you have any interest in the nature of revenge. Dumas, the author and an unlikely ladies man, captures this sweet wickedness better than De Sade did his own painful proclivities. I admit that my own blood ran hot with revenge for many years, but that is all in the past. (Nothing to see here folks; move along.) The powerful motive of vengeance, however, continues to interest. I like the book.
Examining my old, yellowed Bantam edition, now nearly a looseleaf, I saw that I bought it used at Epstein's Bookstore in Iowa City, Iowa. The place was a University of Iowa institution for a time when the very odd Glen Epstein and his brother ran it back in the near-beatnik days. Glen is now a calligrapher somehow connected with Tom Waits. Too much, man.