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The Phantom of the Opera Paperback – August 14, 2015
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In both the musical and the novel, I think most people's sympathies will be with the Phantom, rather than with Christine and Raoul. The Phantom is a fascinating, three-dimensional character who is one of the greatest antiheroes ever created. Christine and Raoul are not the most interesting of the novel's characters, but by the end of the novel, Christine matures, and comes to a realization of how terrible the Phantom's life has been. Towards the end of the novel and musical, she shows him an emotional, overwhelming act of compassion that climaxes the story. Raoul never gained my sympathy in either the novel or the musical, but he is much worse in the novel. He is a flat character who is shallow, foppish, and childish, completely lacking in compassion or understanding for the Phantom. He, unlike Christine, is a static character who never seems to mature and change for the good.
The Literary Classics Collection edition for the Kindle is excellently formatted, with a linked table of contents, along with biographical information about Gaston Leroux. The footnotes are also linked, and are sometimes very helpful in reading the story. This edition also includes many extra materials, such as a section about plays and movies inspired by the novel and questions about the material.
While the musical will always be my favorite of the two, the novel is excellent and a classic of dark Gothic horror and romance. This is a story I'm sure I will read many times.