Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera is an intensely satisfying book to read. I’ve seen the movie with Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum and loved it, but nothing compares to reading the book, which was an even more surreal and awesome experience than the movie. There is so much more to the book then the movie shows. Perhaps, the book has way too much in it that the movie had to be condensed down to the most important parts. Either way, the movie left out a lot of the more frightening moments that could have made it even better.
One of the most terrifying parts of the book is the torture chamber scene where Raoul gets stuck in a room created by Erik (the phantom) that has no way out. It’s a long scene, but one I feel is very important to the story. At the end of the scene, Raoul almost drowns but is saved by Christine promising her life to Erik if he’ll prevent Raoul’s death.
We really get a chance to know the phantom when reading the book. His character and the reasons behind who he is comes to light and makes more sense, although I believe the book makes him a lot less likeable. He seems more cruel and evil than the movie showed. In the movie, we are able to take some pity on his fear of being judged for his deformity. Perhaps that’s because we actually get to see him, and it helps that the sexy Gerard plays him. If he were that handsome, I’d take pity on him. Just saying…
I love how Gaston writes the book in a way that makes the story seem true. I know it is based on some historical facts that occurred at the Paris Opera, but he makes even the creepy, phantom stuff seem as real as today’s news.
If you liked the movie, trust me, you’ll love the book. There’s mystery, suspense, romance, and adventure on every page. It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen the movie a zillion times; there are plenty of different scenes in the book that were left out from the movie to keep you interested. It’s truly a masterpiece book, and it makes sense to me now why this story is so hugely popular to this day.