Review: The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Phantom of the Opera
Synopsis:
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.
I don’t usually read classic books; I get enough of them during the school year. But lately, I’ve had a slight obsession with The Phantom of the Opera. I saw the musical in New York on Broadway this past March, and I fell in love with it. Since then, I’ve watched both the 2004 movie and 2011 stage show multiple times. So, I decided to give the book that started it all a chance.

First of all, to anyone who’s seen the movie with Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum and/or the stage show, you need to know that the book is extremely different from the musical. While the Phantom/Erik is a sympathetic character to begin with, in the book he’s more evil, and strangely, more human. This book gives more perspective to my favorite serial killer (please don’t judge me). Though he is more sadistic, you could also say that this book makes him even more sympathetic than in the musical. He’s hopelessly in love with this girl who could never possibly return his love because of the circumstances that he had no control of. That is truly what makes this story so heartbreaking.

I loved getting more insight to the characters that I love. I get to see more Christine, Raoul, and as I said earlier, Erik. But this also means that a lot of other minor characters are not as important, but it’s really not that bothersome. I love that there are characters that are not in the musical, but in the original material, such as the Persian. He’s a fantastic character in a brilliant story. The scenes in this book were unique and imaginative, and the imagery was absolutely great. You could picture most everything clearly.

This story is strange, heartbreaking, and tragic. Although the beginning is slow, by mid-book, the story was fast paced and wouldn’t stop. That’s when the characters start evolving and the story starts to take its tragic turn. Though not most people will like a book like this, I loved it. By the end, I was an emotional mess. If you like supernatural, mysterious, dark, and tragic stories, this is definitely for you. I would definitely recommend trying it out.

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