Dostoyevsky is the man. Is the writer. Is the player of readers' minds.
He had created a sympathetic character where, as the reader, we are rooting foDostoyevsky is the man. Is the writer. Is the player of readers' minds.
He had created a sympathetic character where, as the reader, we are rooting for and harbor resentment for all the other characters who view our hero as an 'idiot.' Sure he is naive. He is romantic. He is idealistic. He is honest. These shouldn't make anyone an idiot and the reader falls in love with this character.
It's been a while since I've read a Gothic Romance (not the lovey kind of Romance, but the I love you so much, look at my powers and wonderful gothicIt's been a while since I've read a Gothic Romance (not the lovey kind of Romance, but the I love you so much, look at my powers and wonderful gothic house, I'll kill you if you don't love me back, kind of Romance). I was surprised with how much popular musical does actually follow the book (Les Miserable, my favorite, is very little like the book). The only thing is that there is no love triangle, Christine plays the phantom to save her own and Raul's life, and never had any kind of romantic inkling towards him. And the phantom is not some lonely beautifully disfigured talented lover, or person deserving of love. He is perverse. He dresses like a vampire (GOTHIIIIC!!) and is so much more hideous than the musical can even logistically hint at, and is more like an evil, ego-maniacal, poor Batman. Not a whole lot of endearing characteristics, except his cool gadgets and bat-like lurking in the dark and spying on people. While parts were fun to read, I was actually dismayed with how unlikeable and unsympathetic the Phantom is in the original book. The musical is not my favorite, but one thing that made it endurable was that the phantom was sympathetic. Here, he is just loathsome to a degree that's repulsive. Still, a fun read once you forget there is a musical based on the book. ...more
Utterly fantastic. I grew up watching movies based on this play (even the one with Steve Martin - still watchable and beautiful), but it had been yearUtterly fantastic. I grew up watching movies based on this play (even the one with Steve Martin - still watchable and beautiful), but it had been years since my last viewing so reading this play had elements of familiarity, but enough was forgotten that I was still extremely amused and surprised by the plot development. Capital R Romantic without going overboard, it is a smart and witty read that truly makes the read care, not just about the title character, but just about everyone. Even the ones we love to hate get a moment of redemption. Cyrano, a Ayn Rand-esque objectivist and libertarian, before that was even a thing, contradicts his own philosophies again and again to the point where his only consistency is the fact that he's inconsistent (a line from some book I've read years ago). He stays true to his belief system through and through - expect when he doesn't. A true character of whim and whimsy - but with a strict sense of honor. Except in the case of love - something he knows nothing about and had entirely given up on. But his heart betrays him and he does fall in love and his wit, whim, and whimsy, he allows to flow to another - who he sometimes seems to revel in leaving him to his own floundering and hysterical accord.
The French really know how to write a fantastic story, with engaging characters, witty and sharp dialogue, and then have the worst things happen to them. Why, after reading and loving Les Miserables and Count of Monte Cristo, I would think that this time, maybe this time, there can be an ending that wraps up nicely with a bow and everyone leaves happy. But this is no Shakespearean comedy. And while I would never admit this aloud to anyone I knew, there may have been a sniffle or two at the end.
I haven't heard of this book being taught in high schools anymore. I hope there are some out there that still do it. Someday, I may even teach it. Someday, I may even leave myself no choice but to teach it, just to share in its wonderfulness. ...more