I would very much like to read this in the original French. It was—as it happens—superb, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but sometimes I just wanted a little more. Intricacies are hard in translations, and I have no doubt that in French there are little details which add so much to the reading experience: little plays on words, that kind of thing.
Am I allowed to complain that it wasn’t much like the TV series? Well maybe complain isn’t quite the right word. The series is brilliant in its own right, but no-one could possibly pretend that it bears many similarities to the book. The book is probably better when it comes down to it: it is simply a better story (although I do agree that sometimes one wants one’s men to be visually represented as opposed to mere descriptions!). And it was funny. These are characters who I adore, but not always in the midst of action. Athos didn’t brood all the time, and Aramis managed not to sleep with the flipping Queen!
So that was good.
I am however slightly irritated by Constance, who certainly benefited from the TV adaptation, merely by actually doing stuff. I mean, what’s the point in a character who does nothing but get kidnapped and provide a reason for her friend/lover/fiancé to come running after her (not that I’m looking at any particular films here. Not at all).
Milady’s story was in some ways both better and worse. She was certainly a better character in the book—far more interesting, and every bit as free willed as I could have hoped for—but her background was just a bit…unlikely. Femme fatale or no, she can’t just seduce everyone. She needs at least I’ve other trick. What if she came up against an opponent who just wasn’t at all attracted to her? What then?
And she was just a bitch to Athos.
D’Artagnan was perfect though. The last unchanged of all of them, he remained the lovable puppy who manages to get into all kinds of ludicrous scrapes. Three duels in as many hours? With duelling illegal nonetheless? Well done d’Artagnan.