- Paperback: 310 pages
- Publisher: Holland Legacy Publishing (February 22, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0983295921
- ISBN-13: 978-0983295921
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 81 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,273,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Phantom of Valletta Paperback – February 22, 2011
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"Hopkins' depiction of our small island is masked in Gothic imagery. Valletta is painted as seeping with darkness, threatening to cover all semblance of truth so reality is hidden from view. " (8/22/10) --The Sunday Times, Malta
From the Author
The Phantom of Valletta was a joy to write! When I sat down to pick a location to set the story, I did some simple Internet searches on opera houses destroyed in the 19th century. The Royal Opera House of Valletta popped up, and after reading the story of its creation and subsequent demise due to a devastating fire, I thought it the perfect place to take the Phantom.
Though the story is set in 1874, I loosely based that dateline on the Webber movie version that indicated 1870, rather than other versions that place the storyline somewhat later. Let's call it creative liberty. I have no regrets in doing so, because the outcome of my choice proved to be a wise one. It is a perfect location and backdrop for this suspenseful mystery novel, which brings Leroux's characters on a new adventure.
However, little did I know when I wrote the book, that the location held a very passionate place in the hearts of many. I am very appreciative of the Maltese, who have embraced the story and me as an author. Even though The Royal Opera House no longer exists, it still holds a very special place and love in the hearts of the residents of Valletta. Originally opened in 1866, the interior was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1873. After four years of reconstruction, it was reopened in 1877, only to be destroyed once again in World War 2 by bombers. It was never rebuilt.
The Sunday Times, Malta, approached me and wrote a special book review and interview in August of 2010 regarding the release of The Phantom of Valletta. To read the contents, feel free to visit my author website or The Phantom of Valletta website, which contains links to the review, interview, and a special review by the University of Malta as well.
I hope you enjoy the unique setting on the dark Gothic streets of Valletta.
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Top customer reviews
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Admittedly, my initial feelings were far different. I couldn't wrap my head around a book told from Erik's point of view. I like the Phantom's dark enigmatic persona. Leroux doesn't disclosure the full history of his character and I believe that is why after more than a hundred years the Ghost still captures our interest. He is a mystery, never fully explained.
Being inside his head, essentially wearing the mask stripped Erik of his secrets. I wasn't disappointed exactly, more like disenchanted. There is nothing inherently wrong with Hopkins' interpretation but sometimes less is more. Sometimes it is not what we know but what we don't know that leaves a greater impact.
The book really takes off with the introduction of Desiree. Again I was hesitant. The idea of Erik tutoring and molding the talents of another female student seemed repetitive and trite but I was wrong. The private young woman breathes life into the story almost the moment she appears. It is through her that Hopkins' talent shines.
Valletta's Royal Opera House provides a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop for the continued story of the Opera Ghost and the plot is wonderfully constructed. Once the story takes off it simply doesn't let you go. My only real complaint is the hasty ending. Every other aspect takes time to develop allowing the reader to digest it but the final scene is feels more like a drive by.
Sadly, The Phantom of Valletta is no longer free to download but the book is more than worth looking into. For fans of the story, this one is not to be missed.
Christine is gone. Erik has freed her to marry Raoul. Now, alone in his lair, he despairs, feeling he must be dying of love, or the loss of it anyway. Then... an opportunity presents itself. The Royal Opera House of Valletta in Malta has been destroyed by fire and Erik decides to purchase it and give it, and himself, a new lease on life. Together with the Persian's servant, Darius, and Madame Andrea Giry, his long time friend, they will raise it from the ashes and he, Erik, the Phantom... will now have his very own Opera House to command!
This is a wonderfully original premise and very believable as you can imagine Erik's excitement at such a task no matter how daunting the destruction facing him. He has the knowledge as a world class architect to, eventually, bring his vision to life! Though it seems this jewel has been damaged almost beyond repair. Erik decides to do some fundraising and find investors to bring in the funds to make the hugely expensive reconstruction.
How he and his friends go about this makes for engaging reading. Will Erik forget Christine and move on with his life in this new place? Will anyone else ever take her place in his heart? Desiree', an opera house employee with an interest in learning the violin, perhaps? There are other surprises in store for the reading audience so get a copy of Vicki Hopkins' "Phantom of Valletta" and enjoy the pleasures of the Phantom's opera!
Eric's desire to be loved for himself comes to pass, despite the murderous intentions of a fortune-teller. And the fact that he even gains rapproachment with the heroine of Leroux's tale forms the perfect denoument to Ms Hopkins' story.
I wish to thank Ms Hopkins for her wonderful tale which enhances and rounds out this wonderful creation. Thanks as well go to the late Lon Chaney, Sr., for first bringing Leroux's character to cinematic life. Then thanks to all the actors who have brought Eric to theatrical life in Andrew LLoyd Weber's musical retelling of this story. And finally, to the cast of the movie-version of the musical for adding their own contributions to this tale; especially Gerard Butler for his memerizing performance in the movie.
If you think that I like all retellings of the story, you'd be correct. But Ms Hopkins has taken this lonely, misunderstood and, ultimately, tragic figure and given him the redemption he so richly deserves. Brava, bravissima.