September 17, 2007

Review:Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera
by Gaston Leroux
322 pages
First Sentence:
The Opera ghost really existed.

I wish I could have found a bigger picture of that cover because as I was reading The Eyes that cover haunted me. And the picture is on the spine and the back too so I couldn't just turn it over, I had to cover it up completely.

I don't remember where I got the book from but after loving the recent movie and listening frequently to the soundtrack I was extremely curious about the book. It was not disappointing though it was different in so many ways.

First of all this novel is written as an investigation giving the facts and private information from those who came in contact with the Opera Ghost. The bulk of the book is the pieced together story as it unfolds but every so often the investigator interjects to explain that some bit of info. is unknown and maybe to speculate about what could have happened. The focus is on the sudden disappearance of Christine Daae specifically and the life of the Opera Ghost is general. One thing is for sure, the Phantom does not cut as romantic a figure as Gerard Butler. He is unconscionable.

Remembering my disturbed emotions from a few days ago I was rolling my eyes and moaning as I read one scene in particular, where Raoul de Chagny thinks he sees eyes staring at him in his dark room. Talk about synergism!

I really liked this book. The suspense is built to a tantalizing level and the ending is perfect. It makes me want to watch the movies and see the play again with a fuller appreciation of the storyline.

This was my second book for the RIP II Challenge. Except for the Short Story Sunday, I will be putting the scary stories aside for a little while to catch my breath. I need a little time with a love story that doesn't involve a monster.


Trish said...

I am the same way! I read a book a few years ago about Bugsy (the mobster) which had actual pictures of him after he was brutally murdered. I couldn't even look at the pictures without getting nightmares--even though the book was fiction and TOTALLY cheesy.

I'm glad you liked this book. I love Phantom--have seen the movie and play numerous times and have the soundtrack memorized. Sometimes, though, when I am so in love with something and try to read the book it doesn't pan out so well (Princess Bride, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, etc). I do own a copy, though, so I'll read it some day.

Eva said...

I read (and still own) the exact same copy when I was in 6th grade. Isn't it the best cover?

I read the book before I saw the play (in London) or the movie (which I adored-especially The Point of No Return scene *gulp*), so that's always influenced how I view the story. I agree that the Phantom of the musical/movie is a lot more attractive/understandable than the book one. I love Raoul in the book, however! In the musical, I wish he'd sing a little more bass, lol.

Petunia said...

Trish-I have found many times when I have loved the movie more than the book(the Notebook, Mansfield Park). This time I enjoyed it just as much even though they are a bit different.

Eva-Raoul from the book seemed a lot more genuine to me. He was madly in love whereas in the movie he just seems infatuated or as if he's not taking it all so seriously. Maybe it's just me though.

Eva said...

I think you've definitely hit the nail on the head re: Raoul!

Booklogged said...

I bought this book years ago, but have never read it. Like everyone else, I loved the two movies I've seen and I love the music.

Petunia said...

Definitely give it a try booklogged. It was a great read. Especially the last chapter.

Court said...

I also read this book for the RIP challenge. Happy to hear that you enjoyed it, and it's totally made me want to rewatch the movie again too. :)

Petunia said...

Isn't that wierd with the differences between the book and the films? But I suppose it's the romance I am attracted to.

Carl V. said...

Phantom is just such an amazing book (and I love the musical as well). I loved having the story fleshed out more by reading the book and although there are definitely differences I found that I could mostly make the two work together in my thoughts and still enjoy them both. If you have a chance to read Leroux's other books, particularly The Yello Room and its sequel, The Perfume of the Lady in Black, I highly recommend them. They are mysteries and are very good ones at that!

Petunia said...

Thanks Carl. I agree with you that the book and the play(and movies) do work together in one's mind even with their differences. I can't think of another book/movie combo that works quite like that.