I first became interested in Phantom... when my oldest brother took me to see the live stage show in Denver my sophmore year in high school. It was the first time that I saw a professional stage show like that and I was just so in love with it. The story, the singing, the costumes, the sets. It took a couple years, but eventually I bought and read the actual novel.
If I loved the musical, there's no words to describe how I feel about the novel. In the novel, Erik is both more terrifying and more sympathic. You get a much deeper understanding of why he is the way that he is. But he also kills more people and more vicious. The mirrored room sounds absolutely horrifying. I don't even want to know where Leroux got the idea for that. The chapter where Christine has to decide between turning the scorpion figurine or the grasshopper figure always has me on the edge of my seat. Every time I read it. Even though I know what the outcome is and which gets turned, it's still so tense. Even when you know what happens to Raoul and the Person, the writing is so brilliant you forget that you know what happens. You're there in the room with them waiting to find out whether they'll be saved or not.
This book should be on everyone's Bucket List of books to read.
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