Friday, 13 September 2013

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Phantom of the Opera lives under a famous opera house. A mere chorus girl, Christine Daae, becomes, under his guidance, a well known singer with a beautiful voice. But her old child hood sweetheart, the Vicount Raoul de Changy, has also entered the picture. The past comes back to haunt her, the future ahead is uncertain, and the present is undecided. Who will win the heart of Christine?; the handsome, rich Raoul or the masked Angel of Music? A story of romance, murder, sacrifice and sadness, this riveting, seductive tale will keep your emotions high until the very last page of the shocking conclusion.
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The Phantom of the Opera is one of my favourite books – it gets read at least once a year – and yet every time I read it I don’t know why.

Thumbs Up!
What I love most about this book isn’t actually the novel itself but it is the countless stories and versions it has prompted others to write and create.

There are so many gaps left in the novel that it is the perfect fodder for authors to fill in with their own ideas.

That being said what I really enjoy time after time in reading this are the truly random parts. The rat catcher for instance with is head of fire (because he holds a lamp up to his face) or the men in the cellars shovelling coal into the boilers who to Christine appear to be demons stoking the fires of hell.

Erik – The Phantom of the Opera – comes across as a proper maniac who threatens to destroy the opera at the busiest time of the day if Christine refuses to marry him, which I loved. After all the guy is crazy and what he was going to do was not watered down to a ‘I’ll kill the boy you love’

This is also one of the few books that has ever made me cry.

Thumbs Down!
My main issues with this book are with the characters.

Raoul is anything but a dashing romantic lead. He comes across as a whining boy who we are told has the complexion of a girl. What I hate most about him though is that he all but accuses Christine of sleeping around. Yip, that’s a sure fire way to the heart of the woman you love. Not!

All in All
This book will always have a special place in my heart but at the end of the day my view of it has been dulled by the many (better written) novels that have been based on it.

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1 comment:

  1. I reviewed Phantom of the Opera too, but I think I loved it more than you did :) I love that it wasn't as dark as the movie portrayals, and the larger-than-life portrayal by Gaston of the whole love triangle theme. :)


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