The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Rating: 3.5 Stars ★★★☆☆

The Opera ghost really existed.

Plot

Christine is a beautiful young singer at the Paris Opera. She is watched by the Opera’s ‘phantom’ – a mysterious masked figure who terrorises the Opera’s management and players. With the Phantom’s help, Christine rises to become the Opera’s star performer, but when the Phantom demands her heart in return, Christine is torn between gratitude and pity for her strange benefactor, and love for her childhood sweetheart, Raoul.

 

Review

When her father dies, Christine’s voice is not what it was before. It is still good enough to gain her entry to the Paris Opera, but she is just one among many singers. That is, until the mysterious Opera Ghost takes an interest in her.

With his help, she becomes a star, her voice unlike any other. But the phantom’s help comes at a terrible price. For he becomes obsessed with Christine and wants nothing more than to have her as his wife. Christine, however, is in love with her childhood friend, Raoul.

A sweeping story about a creepy stalker, a ghost that is not a ghost but a very disturbed man and the young couple caught in his net.

It was a man dressed all in scarlet, with a huge hat and feathers on the top of a wonderful death’s head. From his shoulders hung an immense red-velvet cloak, which trailed along the floor like a king’s train; and on this cloak was embroidered, which every one read and repeated aloud, “Don’t touch me! I am Red Death stalking abroad!”

It’s a very atmospheric read and very creepy. The more we get to know the phantom, the more we know about his past deeds, the more terrifying he gets.

And yet… it’s also difficult not to feel a little bit sorry for him. He is so utterly lonely, so far from the company of other people.

“Christine! Christine! Something tells me that we are wrong to wait till to-morrow evening and that we ought to fly at once.”

“I tell you that, if he does not hear me sing tomorrow, it will cause him infinite pain.”

“It is difficult not to cause him pain and yet to escape from him for good.”

Christine wasn’t my kind of heroine, mostly because she is utterly passive. She’s one of those annoying classical heroines that swoon a lot and don’t get anything done. Decorative, not much more.

The phantom is the interesting character of the book. The phantom and the opera itself.

Conclusion

A thrilling story in a beautiful setting, it is rightfully a classic.

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