Today we look at The Phantom of the Opera, the original novel by Gaston Leroux.
It's quite an enjoyable piece. Christine Daaé progresses through the aid of a mysterious Angel of Music (the Phantom, Erik) in her operatic career, but when she falls in love with the Vicecomte de Chagny, Raoul, jealousy develops with the Phantom with terrifying results. The antagonist, Erik, is quite an appealing and yet appalling character at the same time. It is little wonder that the book has remained popular and mostly stayed in print since its original publication in 1909.
There is one failing, in that the genre of the novel is not balanced delicately, as if the author could not quite decide in writing it whether it is to be a detective story, a romance or a gothic horror, or a mixture of the three. Leroux only just manages to blend all three into a good story.
Click here to buy The Phantom of the Opera (Penguin Popular Classics) from amazon.co.uk