2013 Pulitzer Prize winners: 4 excellent books

Months before the Pulitzer Prize committee got there, the Monitor's book critics had already let readers know that these four books were something special. Here's why.

4. "The Black Count," by Tom Reiss

He was overlooked by history and has long since been overshadowed by his more famous son. But Alexandre Dumas had a life that was a rattling good story just begging to be told. And now New Yorker writer Tom Reiss has done just that in "The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo."

Yesterday Reiss received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for his book.

Reviewing this book for the Monitor last year, Monitor book critic David Holahan noted that Reiss managed to serve up Dumas to readers "in all his swashbuckling relevance."

Holahan calls "The Black Count" an "almost compulsively researched account of a man who played a critical, if largely overlooked, role in the French Revolution." He notes that Reiss, "who also has been published in The New Yorker and The New York Times, spent a decade on the case, and it shows.The reader gets to know not only Dumas in all his glory but also colonial Haiti, revolutionary France, feudal Italy, and barely medieval Egypt in the bargain."

You can see the Monitor's full review of this book here.

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