Karen Powell's Reviews > The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
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's review
Jan 04, 10

What is interesting about this novel in light of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, is that the novel seems devoid of a hero. Erik, the Phantom, is a murderous psychopath. His muse, Christine, is a fragile wreck, and her lover Raoul is described as childish and whiny by the author. Yet, the gothic tale is very suspenseful, and we almost don't know who to root for. Erik's background is fascinating, and his genius almost overshadows his murderous rampages. The decent beneath the Opera House is very compelling in its mystery and suspense. [return][return]Leroux's strength is in his scenic descriptions. It is through flashbacks that we best sympathize with the characters, as the author's dialogue does his characters no favors. For fans of the musical, much more is explained between the relationship between Madame Giry and the Phantom, how Christine came to the Opera, and, best of all, how the Phantom constructed his underground lair. His description of the impressive hideaway blows the Broadway scenery right out of the water.
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