Review: The Phantom of the Opera – The Opera Ghost, Christine, and Raoul

Posted July 20, 2015 in Reading, Review / 2 Comments

Review: The Phantom of the Opera – The Opera Ghost, Christine, and RaoulThe Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Publisher: Blackstone Audio (1909)
{7 hours and 35 minutes} (264 pages)
Reading Challenges: Read 2015


First published in French as a serial in 1909, “The Phantom of the Opera” is a riveting story that revolves around the young, Swedish Christine Daaé. Her father, a famous musician, dies, and she is raised in the Paris Opera House with his dying promise of a protective angel of music to guide her. After a time at the opera house, she begins hearing a voice, who eventually teaches her how to sing beautifully. All goes well until Christine’s childhood friend Raoul comes to visit his parents, who are patrons of the opera, and he sees Christine when she begins successfully singing on the stage. The voice, who is the deformed, murderous ‘ghost’ of the opera house named Erik, however, grows violent in his terrible jealousy, until Christine suddenly disappears. The phantom is in love, but it can only spell disaster. Leroux’s work, with characters ranging from the spoiled prima donna Carlotta to the mysterious Persian from Erik’s past, has been immortalized by memorable adaptations. Despite this, it remains a remarkable piece of Gothic horror literature in and of itself, deeper and darker than any version that follows.

Find the book: Goodreads

My Review

I decided to listen to this classic on audiobook after thoroughly enjoying the musical more times than I can count. I had always wondered how different the book was from the movie version of the musical. I will always love the music from the musical and I also really enjoyed the story in the book.

The history between Raoul and Christine is explained a lot better in the book than in the musical. Seeing a bit of those two with Christine’s father as children makes them more real. It makes the relationship more than just instant attraction. They knew each other as children and are now renewing that friendship as adults.

The Phantom is utterly creepy. The book Phantom is way more creepy than the movie Phantom. I mean, glowing eyes and a death’s head?? Yep, that’s pretty creepy. I can totally see why everyone at the opera called him the Opera Ghost.

The Opera Ghost’s attraction to Christine is seriously messed up. He is way, way older than Christine and is completely and utterly obsessed with her. Poor Christine doesn’t even realize that she is being taken advantage of until it is almost too late.

This was a great gothic horror. I am glad I listened to the audiobook because I would totally have been tripping over the French words and French names otherwise.

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2 responses to “Review: The Phantom of the Opera – The Opera Ghost, Christine, and Raoul

  1. I read this a couple years ago after watching the musical. I do think that a lot of things make more sense in it. Also the Phantom is way creepier…. though he was already fairly creepy. Christine comes across as more naive in the book I felt than in the movie and you could see how he was taking such advantage of her.
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