Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Those Pleading Eyes that Both Threaten and Adore"

Although it may not be a Halloween book, strictly speaking, I think you'll find that Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera is full of thrills and chills, which is why I've decided to share it with you today.

Of course, most of you will be more familiar with Andrew Lloyd Webber's monster hit, the well-loved musical version of Leroux's book. I myself am a fan of said musical--but, it must be said, I would much rather listen to it than watch the movie version, which didn't suck but can't possibly compare to hearing the London cast recording featuring Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford (whose "Music of the Night" literally freaks me out, it's so good). Still, I recommend reading the book, because it's really much different, but still has all of the characters you love.

Ultimately, the reason I recommend the book is because it's one thing to hear and see a crazy man chasing after a young starlet, but it's quite another to read about it--and the fantastic, maniacal steps he takes to achieve his goal, including (among other things) making a serious bid to drive Christine's fiancé, Raoul, insane in a wild torture chamber. And if you have any interest at all in the modern detective story, you may want to take a look at Phantom; although it post-dates the Sherlock Holmes stories by several years and Poe's detective fiction by several decades, it, too, had an impact on the way such tales are told.

Image via Barnes and Noble.


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