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Book Group for The Phantom of the Opera

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TeralynPilgrim
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Book Group for The Phantom of the Opera

Post by TeralynPilgrim » Wed September 14th, 2011, 11:35 pm

Any Gaston Leroux fans out there? This year is the 100 year anniversary of the English translation of The Phantom of the Opera, and I thought it appropriate to open a thread on the book. What did you think of it? Did you love it as much as I did?
Last edited by TeralynPilgrim on Wed October 5th, 2011, 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Veronica
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Post by Veronica » Thu October 6th, 2011, 10:35 am

Didn't like the book as much as I wanted to but it was still a good book.
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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Thu October 6th, 2011, 2:03 pm

I enjoyed the book, and at least it gave the Phantom a bit of background, so you could see why he turned out the way he did.
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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Thu October 6th, 2011, 2:44 pm

I read both Leroux's novel and Susan Kay's retelling of it last year. Enjoyed both. Who can forget Erik's labyrinthine, underground hideaway with the subterranean lake and all those booby traps and torture devices? Or the way he teased the opera managers? Leroux's novel is really a mish-mash of styles: equal parts gothic, horror and detective novel. I think it's also a good example of how a story can be inspired by place (see the Wiki entry on the Palais Garnier).

My favorite character in Kay's version was the Persian. I really liked how she explained his role in Erik's life.

It's my understanding Leroux's book almost faded into obscurity until the early film industry brought it back into public consciousness. The rest, as they say, is history... Leroux might have been very surprised how popular the Phantom became.

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TeralynPilgrim
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Post by TeralynPilgrim » Fri October 7th, 2011, 3:36 am

I wonder if I would like Leroux's other novels? He wrote more detective stories. You can see a list of all the books he wrote here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaston_Leroux#Novels
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Divia
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Post by Divia » Fri October 7th, 2011, 11:41 pm

To be honest I never liked the original. However I liked Phantom so much more.

But then again I didnt like Dracula either.

I guess I was expecting something...more.
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Post by TeralynPilgrim » Wed October 12th, 2011, 3:49 am

Divia: maybe it's just not your style. It's very different from what we're used to.

I'm reading the book out loud to my husband, and we're at the part when Raoul is angry because he doesn't know who Erik is yet so he doesn't understand why she's acting the way she is. My husband is getting shockingly angry at Christine. He said she strings Raoul along, she's a menace, and she belongs in a padded room.

I disagree completely. I was much more angry at Raoul. She tells him multiple times they need to stop seeing each other, but he continues to follow her. He even spies on her in her dressing room... twice! It's no business of his whether or not she rides with men at night, but he acts like he has a right to her.

I love the part when she tells him off and says only her husband can talk to her that way. The girl's got spunk.
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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Wed October 12th, 2011, 5:09 pm

I didn't think much of Christine or Rauol in the book. She did string him along to an extent. Yes, she told him off that one time but she didn't stop seeing him. She even married the guy! And she had trouble making up her mind (though admittedly she was confused). I think there's a strong implication that the beautiful singing was actually done by Erik. Which means she was talentless as well as wishy-washy. Ok, she was young and in a very strange situation. I'll give her points for not fainting dead away everytime things got weird.

Raoul I really couldn't stand. What a whiney, pathetic loser. He makes viscount pretty-boy in the movie look a lot better. His older brother was the better man.

The Persian was cool. I liked him. And Erik, while definitely not dreamboat material, certainly had more depth.

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