UPDATE: October 2:
I just wanted to start this update by posting a pair of quotes that freaking killed me!
"But he isn't dead"
"No, he isn't, as you can very well see. Instead of striking him between the sixth and seventh left rib, as your compatriots usually do, you must have struck higher or lower; and these lawyers, you know, are not easy to kill off."
Lol. I'm a lawyer. I hope I'm hard to kill.
Also, in a more serious vein:
"Gentlemen," he said, "you must confess that when one has reached a certain level of prosperity, only the superfluous becomes necessary, just as these ladies will admit that, beyond a certain degree of rapture, only the ideal is tangible. So, let us pursue the same line of argument: what is a marvel? Something that we do not understand. What is truly desirable? A possession that we cannot have. So, my life is devoted to seeing things that I cannot understand and obtaining things that are impossible to have. I succeed by two means: money and will."
Oh, the nihilistic sadness of this quote. Dantes, by gaining the world, you will almost undoubtedly lose it.
UPDATE: October 1
Page 678, Chapter 61
Chapter 61 is incidentally called "How to rescue a gardener from the dormice who are eating his peaches."
So, I am now over the mid-point!
There is a lot going on at this point with the three families that he is trying to ruin. de Villefort's daughter, Valentine, is being forced into an unwanted marriage by her father. One thing is pretty clear, and that is that the three bad guys have remained unscrupulous and manipulative even after their wrongdoing against Dantes was successful. While it is possible to feel some sympathy for their families, they pretty much deserve what is coming to them.
The halfway point!
Yay! I have made it halfway. Dantes is in Paris. His old nemeses are inexplicably not recognizing him. The plot is thickening, but slowly.
Discussion about poisons - heavy foreshadowing? Or useless knowledge.
Through page 520:
So, the book has bogged down a bit, with Dantes really just setting up his chess pieces (i.e. people) and getting ready to knock them down.
My goodness, Dumas is longwinded! I think he may beat out Dickens for the title of "Victorian author who uses the most words to say the fewest things."
Update: the first third:
Betrayal. Injustice. Escape. Reward.
Crazy scene involving drugs, and dream sex with a statue. Wut?
Execution with a giant mallet of some kind.