TITLE: The Phantom Of The Opera
AUTHOR: Gaston Leroux
GENRE: Horror, Classic, Romance
RATING: 3.5/5 Stars
Living secretly beneath the Paris Opera House, 'The Phantom of the Opera', Erik has haunted those who work there with his demands and shrouded the opera house in fear with the legend of his disfigured face. When Christine joins the company, a young woman with a beautiful voice, Erik is instantly smitten and secretly teaches her to become a great singer.
He soon develops an obsessive love for his beautiful protege, even though she has fallen for her childhood friend, resulting in her disappearance during a performance and sparking a tragic and terrifying chain of events.
What I Liked:
- The way that the story was presented was quite cool - as if Leroux was investigating and uncovering the mysterious disappearances and tales surrounding the Palais Garnier, and presenting his findings as a story. I wasn't expecting that, and it was a pleasant surprise.
- I liked the large amount of context given around Erik too. He felt a little less enigmatic but it also meant that I recognised and understood his life and motivations a bit more. It was nice to see a bit of a nod to some of the key motifs in recent adaptations of this story - the lasso, the monkey, etc.
What I Disliked:
- The story was originally written as a serial and this became evident in the way that very small, unimportant moments became very melodramatic and drawn out. Especially during dialogue.
It was really cool to read this and I felt a bit bad leaving it for so long considering how much I love this story in other media. It's certainly a classic for a reason - written well enough with an interesting story and layout, and certainly plenty of suspense and drama. Some plot points took a while to get through, which was a shame. But overall I liked it!