I recently read the phantom of the opera in it’s original book format. It wasn’t what I expected. From the people I’d spoken to who also read it they said the phantom was painted in a much less favourable light than the opera piece but I actually disagree. I came from the book feeling just as much pity for the phantom as I did the opera. He wasn’t quite the same, a little less dashing and much more disfigured but still the same power of voice, presence and unashamed devotion to Christine.
He really does love her like he’s never loved anything before and wants her to be happy and be with him. That’s all he actually wants, a relatively normal standard life and somebody to share it with and for most of the book he thinks he’s found that in Christine. It’s actually really rather sweet and for the most part he does less harm in the book than the opera. He has done harm in the past but more on the request of others than actually by his own choices.
Christine was actually my least favourite in the book. She really didn’t help herself and unlike in the opera where she seems genuinly to pity and feel for him here she was just scared by how ugly he was and did everything she could to get away even pretending to love him when she didn’t. I know it was more normal back then to be scared of things that were ugly and shun them but I lost all pity I felt for Christine normally by the way she handled her fear.
Raoul grew on me but still seemed a little bit of a whinny brat. He does at least believe Christine in this version though and does his best to help her. I did feel his love was a lot more genuine even if immaturely bourne.
Over all I’d say it was on parr with the opera but heavy to read in the older english style.