Friday, 1 June 2012

The Phantom of the Opera: When Love Isn't Blind

I didn't plan to read the book. I wanted to read it after Shakespeare, Dickens, and the rest, but somehow the Phantom of the Opera musical crossed my mind last week and I watched it again. Then, for the first time since I watched it, I cried. The story, the music, everything, was marvelous and it moved my heart.

I thought about the one who put the story down on paper and felt an impulse to read it right then, but I didn't have the time. So I downloaded the ebook (I couldn't find the book in bookshops) and started to read it yesterday. What an amazing story.

Perhaps this is the first time I mention this in this blog, but I am fond of opera. I love opera SO MUCH. I listen and watch mostly Italian opera, but I also like some French and German opera. They are lovable. So imagine the thrill in my heart when I read so many operas mentioned in this book, and how the Phantom sings some of them. I could hear his voice right then, singing Nuit d'hymenee from Gounod's Romeo and Juliette and Gia nella notte densa from Verdi's Otello. (I don't even know if it's Verdi's he's singing, but my mind suddenly played that duet)

Lon Chaney as the Phantom
But enough of that. I should be writing a review, right? So in short, the book is actually about a genius – so great was the power of his mind that he could make himself looked like a ghost in the vast building of the Opera House in Paris. For years people yielded to his wishes. He's just an amazing fellow.

He lacked one thing, though – proper physical appearance. He looked terrible. He had the ugliest face (so the book says) you can ever imagined to be on any human head. So he decided to hide in his underground palace, a palace so brilliantly built and so safely protected from any unwanted visitor. But down there, he enjoyed a tranquil life, let's say, or rather, a solitude life, because everybody needs companion, and he had none.

Then came Christine Daae, a beautiful young singer with angelic voice. She's a pupil of the ghost himself, who had the voice of both devil and angel, the Persian said. The poor ghost loved Christine deeply. They had the most enchanting date a girl could imagine. A voice, a bodiless voice called her from her dressing-room, singing Nuit d'hymenee from Gounod's Romeo and Juliette saying “La destinée m'enchaîne à toi sans retour. (Fate links thee to me forever and a day)” Then before she realised it, he was there with her, leading her through the ghost's underground kingdom, and lastly, to his palace by the lake.

That was before she saw his face.

Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum as
Phantom and Christine
The ghost had one rival only – Raoul, the girl's childhood friend, now a reborn lover. He was cute, because I don't count a teen with blushing cheeks handsome. But he was good-looking, respectale, reputable (at least the family), everything that the ghost was not. They had one similarity: they both loved Christine and were resolved to do anything for her.

It was a beautiful story. I can't write more. I've lost all my words. But I can imagine, living underground or wherever with this masked genius would feel like living under the same roof with Orpheus himself, whose music invoked tears even from the cold inhabitants of Hades. The book moved me to ecstasy, just as Christine said, under the spell of the Opera Ghost – The Music of the Night.


  1. Eric is quite an intriguing character. I'm torn between hating him and having a pity on him..

  2. I've always loved the musical and wondered if I should read the book - I recently picked Christine & The Phantom as one of my favorite literary romances, so I guess I probably should actually go read the text!

    Thanks for a wonderful review!

  3. I tagged you for a Liebster Blog Award!!! You can check it out here!

  4. I love musicals too! Such a different experience to tv and movies.

  5. Read this book, saw the music, saw the movie. Was so much in love with it. I cried everytime that I saw or read this.

    Don't watch "Love Never Dies". I think it killed the whole thing. Sobbed thru a whole box of tissue.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. @Amy: Sorry, I've watched them all. Love Never Dies isn't very true to the character of Phantom, that is what hurts me the most. Some songs are nice, but I prefer to think that the Phantom finds happiness elsewhere.

    The book is heart-breaking, right? (I know, I was there *sob*) You're welcome.

  7. I'm reading it right now, so I thank you for this lovely review.