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Saturday, October 4, 2008

~Phantom of the Opera~

The book was fantastic. Yes, I was biased in favor of it before I read it because I'm a huge fan of the movie. (still haven't seen the musical yet!)

Gaston LeRoux begins by saying, "The Opera ghost really existed. He was not, as was long believed, a creature of the imagination of the artists, the superstition of the managers, or a product of the absurd and impressionable brains of the young ladies of the ballet, their mothers, the box-keepers, the cloak-room attendants or the concierge. Yes, he existed in flesh and blood, although he assumed the complete appearance of a real phantom; that is to say, of a spectral shade."

The story that follows is LeRoux's investigation as a journalist that proves the Phantom (Erik) really existed. As in the movie, the story really kicks off with the arrival of two new managers who must abide by Erik's "house rules" which include Box 5 reserved for him and a salary of 20,000 francs. The managers staunchly believe that it is a joke by the previous managers and refuse to pay Erik or reserve the box.

Many tragedies and incidents take place over the course of the book, roughly matching the movie. Madame Giry plays the same part, but there are other characters such as the Count Chagny himself (not Raoul, his elder brother) and the mysterious Persian who play no part in the movie.

Another thing that was interesting to me was the higher stakes at the end. If Christine didn't choose Erik, not only would Raoul and the Persian die in his torture chamber, but the whole opera house would get destroyed in a rigged explosion.
Alas, I will not give away the end, though some of you can guess it if you've seen the movie.
PS See also my lovely Phantom avatars!

3 musings:

Edge said...

I suppose I should see this movie. I actually don't know why I haven't before now...

Lady Brainsample said...

Edge: *gasp* You must see it! I know what you mean though, it took me four years to see it after it came out.

piningforthefjords said...

Sounds cool. Sorry for the lameness of these comments. I must go watch NCIS