Tuesday, April 06, 2010

What Mrs N's Been Reading - The Phantom of the Opera

OK, here's what happens when you say to a kid who's going back into the stacks to look for a book, "Hey, get me one while you're back there." I end up with Gaston Leroux's classic, The Phantom of the Opera. True story. Wouldn't have been a choice I'd have made on my own, but I ended up enjoying it more than I thought, particularly since I had just recently watched the latest movie version and didn't particularly like it. In fact, as the credits were rolling, I said to Mr. N., "That's why I don't usually go for musicals." Well as usual, the book was a good bit better than the movie. Especially since the particular version I had (the Barnes and Noble Classic) also included some interesting background info on Mr. Leroux, the Paris Opera House, and the phantom stories. Even if you've never seen a movie version or read the book, you probably know the basic plot. A horribly disfigured man who lives in the bowels of the grand opera house, kidnaps a beautiful young singer and tries to convince her to marry him despite his appearance. If she rejects him, some horrible fate will befall a large group of people as the disfigured man seeks vengeance, unless she can be rescued and he can be stopped. You get a lot more character development and insight than you do in the movie version, and a little more of a look at the evil side of the phantom. Not recommended for younger middle school students, just because the language used at the time that it was written may put off younger kids. For older middle school students who are solid readers, or high school students, it's an interesting book that might stretch them a bit, in a good way. Enjoy! And thanks Nia!

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