The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

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Title: The Phantom of the Operaby Gaston Leroux

Premise:

The Paris Opera House is haunted by a phantom who seems to hold sway over all that happens there.  Unfortunately, the Opera Ghost becomes enamored of a young lady named Christine, who falls under the spell of the phantom — her “Angel of Music.”  Will Raoul, her true love, be able to save her from the phantom’s spell before tragedy strikes?

My thoughts:

I was already familiar with this story from having seen the movie, so reading this book was not an entirely new revelation to me.  Nevertheless, it was still enjoyable and worth my while.

The whole love triangle between Christine, Raoul and Erik is very intriguing.  These poor young lovers have to defend themselves against this seemingly omnipotent villain who will do anything to procure the lady he’s obsessed with.  I was struck with just how much genius Erik was blessed with.  Was there anything this man couldn’t do?  Any skills he didn’t have?  He seemed superhuman to me, and perhaps that was the author’s intention.

I’m going to be perfectly honest here and tell you that I wasn’t as impressed with Christine’s character as I thought I’d be.  She was a little too wishy-washy for my taste, never seeming to know what she wanted. While the author tried to explain her shifts in mood and intentions, it seemed like perhaps our heroine was a trifle simple-minded.  This was a girl who needed to get out of that darn Opera House, have a stroll around town, and start to think for herself.  A lesson to all the young ladies out there: Never let a man have control over your mind.  Ahem, back to the book.

The storytelling doesn’t flow quite as seamlessly as I expected, but that could be in part because of the translation from French.  Also, it seemed like there was a lot extraneous information contained in the book.  I think that I prefer the way that the movie took away some of those bits that didn’t seem to add anything to the narrative (to my mind).

I was really captivated with the description of the Paris Opera House, and after I finished the book I sought out a little more information about it.  Just let me say that it is a fascinating building and well worth studying.  The pictures alone will blow your mind!

I recommend The Phantom of the Opera to those who enjoy a good Gothic novel or to fans of classic literature.  I don’t think that it would greatly appeal to the average reader.

Possible Objections:

  • Some violence

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

OTHER THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA POSTS:

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Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Confessions Shopaholic

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Confessions of a Shopaholic is another book from my Rainbow Cover Reading Challenge.  I had a false start with this book–originally starting a couple of weeks ago, but it just wasn’t clicking right away.  I set it aside and decided to come back to it at a later date.  This time I stuck with it, and thoroughly enjoyed the book!

Becky is a woman stuck in a career she doesn’t enjoy.  Both her hobby and therapy are shopping, which quickly spiral out of control.  She just can’t seem to curb her spending and ends up in deep trouble with her bank and credit card company.  Ever resourceful, Becky comes up with several schemes that will help her climb out of debt.  It isn’t until she seeks the good of others that she realizes that her own problems can be dealt with, too.

I like that this story has its hand in several pies, so to speak.  There is the story of Becky’s friendships; the story of her career; the story of her shopping; the story of her love life.  All of these facets seem to be melded and balanced quite well.  Throughout the story we get to see Becky’s truly dizzying logic, which tends to get her into hot water more often than not.  The ridiculous situations she finds herself in are hilarious and extremely cringe-worthy.  I feel like this is a great book for any woman who feels fed up with the daily grind from time to time.  Becky is a heroine you will be able to identify with!

Possible Objections:

  • A mild sexual scene
  • A sprinkling of obscenities

Rating: 4 Stars

 

Until next time…

Lori

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