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Change is the only constant.

Because the repetition below was getting a bit much, blanket spoiler alert. There are food choices to grow out of, like mint chocolate, and ones to grow into, like sunny-side-ups. There are stars and songs and TV shows, and there are books as well, like The Count of Monte Cristo by A. Dumas. (Watch your pronunciation. ...Pff. Sometimes I'm twelve.) I initially read this guy as a Regency Batman, with multiple secret identities and money as much of a weapon as any gun: the wronged man who went ninja on the people who landed him in prison because (irony is not just for laundry) they landed him in a prison with someone who gave him the means to go ninja. It was appealing, until I did a bit more rereading. At first, the only really objectionable act I found of the count's was the deal with the telegraph operator. Then I looked more critically (Ack! No! Critical! Bad word!) into his interactions with the other more prominent supporting characters. Am I really willing to root for a guy who's become a drug trafficker, a human smuggler, and an inside trader? Am I willing to continue reading a work from an author who idealizes the kind of woman who wilts without a man, while he gives the characteristics he would've admired in a man to female characters he's turned into the bad guys? Even accounting for the differences in cultural ideals, the book is heavily biased against the tough chicks. No, heaven forbid a woman move on with her life instead of wasting her passion on someone who, as far as she knows, is dead; or subject an independent spirit to an authority who demands what he's unwilling to give; or bury an intelligence made for chemistry and finance because of pressure from those who can't be (crusty British-ism I long to use substituted here with a more polite word) bothered to do it themselves. The Count of Monte Cristo isn't like the Batman I know, despite his methods. He leans more into Deadpool territory, a guy who's willing to wade deeper into metaphorical darkness to achieve his ends. (Pff. Wade. Just saw that. Apparently the comics are making him full villain again.) And apparently, the answer is yes to the reading, even though I don't like this book anywhere near as much as I used to. It's still an exciting ride. Read.

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