Thursday, March 19, 2009

Book Review: The Phantom of the Opera

A little over a month ago, I was watching the movie Andrew Lloyd Weber's The Phantom of the Opera with some friends. As we watched it, a few girls were being ridiculous and I was getting a little annoyed. One of the guys, Mark, mentioned that he thought I would enjoy reading Gaston Leroux's book. And since he owned it, he decided to loan it to me. So, I borrowed it. Mark warned me that the book was different from the musical. And I'd heard from many people that it was much darker than the musical. But I decided to give it a try.
Well, it was a slow go for me. It took me over a month to read it. I was keeping it in my purse and I'd take it out and read a bit and then put it back in and forget about it for a few days and then read a bit more and then forget. Apply, rinse, repeat.
Saturday night, Mark asked me when he was going to get the book back and I (rather sheepishly) admitted that I hadn't finished it yet. So on Sunday, I sat down on my bed and decided to finish the book.
Read this extract from an email I sent Kyle the following morning to understand my final feelings on the book:
I finished reading The Phantom of the Opera last night and I need a new book to read. (I think we all know that book was freaking me out and Mark was making fun of me for not having finished it despite the fact that he loaned it to me over a month ago. So I got sixty pages from the end, then flipped to the end of the book and started reading it backwards. It's a little more confusing that way but I didn't care. The guy sleeps in a coffin, tries to get a girl to sleep in it with him, and kills people for fun. Why did Mark think I would like this book?)
In short, POTO is well written and enjoyable at times. But it is also very disturbing especially to my highly imaginative mind. It was very violent and odd. I also felt that it was far too vague as to what had happened to the Phantom-Erik. And I thought that considering that Erik was not really a fully developed character, the author was far too sympathetic to him.
I give it three stars out of five.

So, my next literary endeavour is "Father Elijah" by Michael D. O'Brien. Rather than being recommended by Mark S., this book comes with glowing recommendations from the likes of Dr. Phil Fleming (who has recommended other books to me and not let me down), his daughter Jennifer, Ben Gilbert, Mark Pressprich, Alex Kilpatrick, and Kyle Kilpatrick. I feel that these people know my literary tastes well and I should trust their recommendations.
I'll let you know if I like it or not when I'm done.

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