Wednesday, August 6

The Phantom of the Opera

Title: The Phantom of the Opera

Author: Gaston Leroux

Pages: 368

Summary: (Taken from the description found on Goodreads)

Gaston Leroux’s novel The Phantom of the Opera, first published in 1910, remained a perennial favorite throughout the twentieth century and into the early 2000s. It was adapted to several popular motion pictures and into one of the most successful stage musicals of all time. Its main character, Erik, is a romantic figure whose appeal reaches across different cultures and times. He is a sensitive soul, an accomplished composer and musician whose great unfinished work, Don Juan Triumphant, is described as breathtakingly beautiful by the one person he allows to hear it; he is an object of pity, whose face has been disfigured from birth, causing him to hide behind a silk mask; and he is hopelessly in love with a young woman whom he can never seriously hope will love him back. At the same time, he a dangerous, menacing figure, lurking in the hidden catacombs beneath the opera house and blackmailing those who will not bow to his whims. He can hear things said in privacy and can create catastrophes that might or might not be the accidents that they seem to be.

Like other precursors of modern superheroes, such as the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Frankenstein’s creature, Erik balances sympathy with horror, admiration with revulsion. Set in one of the most beautiful buildings in Europe, this story of the love triangle between the phantom, the young peasant-born opera singer he loves, and the dashing viscount who she loves, was written as a thriller, and it continued to excite the imaginations of readers into the twenty-first century.

My Rating: 9/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I loved this book. This is such a beautiful and sad tale. I've seen both the musical and the movie (I disliked the movie, but that's another story). I picked this book up, hoping to find more about Erik, the Phantom, life a back story and I got what I wanted. He is an amazing character, he is one of those characters that even though he is a bit of a bad guy, you adore him to the end. You want him to win. I found that. Part of the reason why I loved the book was because of him. The other part is just how it is told. It is not an "easy" read, but it flows so well, I found it hard to but it down, I was gripped by it wanting to know what happens next (even with knowing the ending, because I've seen both the musical and movie). The book is way better the both. It is so tragically beautiful, the character of the phantom is one of those who stick with you. One issue I had with the book was Christine. I don't want to say to much, because I don't want to spoil anything, but she seemed, a little insane to me. In the movie and musical she's this wonderful person full of life and excitement, and she is a little less "helpless" in both. In the book she seems to be a little, unhinged and more helpless. Maybe I'm just biased toward her because she broke the poor Phantoms Heart. Either way a wonderful read!

Would I recommend it to read: I would recommend this book to read. It is a classic. It is a beautiful tragic story, that even if you're not a fan of the era, musical or the life of people who are in the arts, this is a story that has an amazing main character, that every book lover needs to meet.

What to read next: I haven't read it yet, but The Hunchback of Notre Dame would be my best guess. Anything with a tragic hero or love story. The Black Tulip or Count of Monte Crisco is also a good read, they're not related in a manner of speaking(if that makes any sense), but the both share lovable main characters, that pull you into the story, and leave you thinking about them, if you close the book before you finish it.

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