But man, it was tasty. Several long months ago, I picked up a copy of The Three Musketeers, a book I'd always meant to read. It may well be the most purely entertaining novel I have ever opened and, in the spirit of the four worthies Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and the unequaled D'Artagnan, I made a vow: I would read all of the musketeer books, five total (over a million and a quarter words), this year. I finished The Man in the Iron Mask last week, and I will assert with complete confidence that there is not a greater work of popular diversion yet created, and certainly no better character than M. D'Artagnan. Eight months well spent. I salute you, Alexandre Dumas. You were truly the prodigious talent they say you were.