Book Review: The Phantom of the Opera | Gaston Leroux

Within the Writing Community on Twitter, there comes days called PitchMad, or Pitch Madness, where people try to, in one tweet, pitch their book and score an agent to represent them to a publishing company, there by becoming a traditionally published author.

When this event happens, people tend to pitch their books starting with a pair of tags such as: Wheel of Time x The Game of Thrones, It x Jurassic Park, etc. etc.

One of the books that I saw go up several times last year on the tags was Phantom of the Opera. Hence, my interest in checking out the little mobile game I did a review on. I have never seen the movie, play, or read the book up until now. I had some vague concept of a deformed individual seducing a singer, and that was pretty much it for my understanding of the story line.

Some days, it is significantly better to remain disillusioned on a topic.

I have a couple books in my reading pile that claim to have been “loosely” based on Phantom of the Opera. Realizing that I had no background on the content save for a couple hours on a game, I decided it would be advantageous to read the original text in translation – sorry, I don’t understand French well enough to read the original – so as to not be overly critical upon reviews in the future pertaining to this particular theme.

The author, Leroux, sounds like an amateur writing a mash up between Edgar Allen Poe and Sir Arthur Connan Doyle, two authors I am particular to in writing style, though leery of as I learn more and more about particular elements of racism contained specifically in Poe’s works.

Effectively, I rather enjoy the textual style, but find elements within lacking. To gain information upon the characters and implied relationships I had gleaned from the game app is to step into a realm of stalkers, gaslighters, manipulators, and a bizarrely fantastical delusion of what is now knows as an “incel”. I.E. – the phantom is a male human who’s never known affection and is taking this failing out on everyone. He is too intelligent for his own good, has become a rampant murderer, and gets what he wants through any means necessary and currently has his sights set on the MC.

The female MC of this has been through the wringer, has very little self confidence, and in general has a cast of abusers flocking around her at any given time. She really just needs to leave.

The “knight in shining armor” Raoul who takes her away from the Phantom in the end is…sigh. Where to begin with stalker boy. The Phantom’s bad. Raoul hasn’t turned into a full blown murder house designer, but he’s still in that realm of not understanding personal boundaries, and in general, treating Christine as nothing more than an idolized golden doll to be displayed on a pedestal and the fact she has any thoughts or feelings is secondary to having her.

She’s a tug-of-war toy between two jerks. One’s just a murderous psychopath living in his sewer dungeon house and the other is a Naval officer – which boarders along the line of ‘murderous psychopath living in his floating dungeon house’. Congrats Christine, which *hole do you want to marry?

This book is a facepalm all the way around. The two male mains aren’t redeemable. The female main is stuck between bad decisions. The only thing this has going for it is a bit of an interesting writing style presentation for the time period it was written in and you’ve just ran out of all the good Sherlock Holmes books.

Suggest it? Meh. Go watch an explanation of the thing on Youtube. It’ll save you a lot of time and frustration.

I can only say, in knowing I have books in my review list ‘loosely’ based on PotO, that I really hope they are not this horrible manipulation abuse relationship thing.

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Chapel Orahamm View All →

I am a writer and artist working through the Kavordian Library series. I write sci-fi, fantasy, lgbt romance.

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