Author has written 4 stories for Phantom of the Opera.
I was twelve years old when I first read Gaston Leroux's, Phantom of the Opera. I loved it- as a horror story. The Phantom, although not seen all that much, was properly scary, as all monsters are supposed to be. I was rooting for Raoul and the Persian to arrive and save poor Christine so the young couple could live happily ever after. Then I watched all the different variations of the Phantom in the movies, usually late night on Saturdays. They were almost always pretty bad and had very little to do with Leroux's classic. The closest to the book, was Lon Chaney's version, but unfortunately, sound I think, is a must have for a movie like PotO, plus the ending was all screwed up.
Then Andrew Lloyd Webber arrived on the scene with his stage hit, and when the musical came to my city, I had to see it. Once you hear the music, it's hard to get it out of your head. Am I right? I watched the 2004 movie with Gerard Butler and liked it a lot. I thought he did a passable job singing- he sure put a lot of feeling into it. He emoted anguish very well. I simply wanted to kick Christine in the butt for making him cry. But I was a little puzzled after seeing both the musical and movie, because I couldn't figure out what those Phantoms had to do with the monster in the book I'd read years ago.
I got myself another copy of Leroux's PotO and reread it. It's funny how a person's perspective changes over the years. Turns out, Erik wasn't a monster after all. Just a very ugly man no one wanted and who had gone slightly mad from being all alone. A musical genius who just wanted someone to love him. That's pretty simplistic, I know- he also murdered people. But at least my view of Erik had changed. Was there anything sadder than Erik speaking with the Persian at the end of the book? It broke my heart the second time around. No more Raoul winning the fair Christine's hand- I wanted the Phantom to triumph. Now I read stories where all he gets are happy endings. Funny thing though...if Erik had won Christine, there would never have been much of a fuss about the book to begin with. Tragedy sticks in the mind longer than a happy ending does- don't know why, but angst sells. Look at Heathcliff and Cathy in Wuthering Heights, or Scarlett and Rhett in Gone With the Wind. Myself, I want that happy ending. If I need more tragedy, why pick up a book? I can turn on the six o'clock news and overdose on it.
Leroux's Erik is my favorite. Most I think, prefer a Phantom who is buff and at least half-way handsome. Nothing wrong with that. I've read some really good fiction using movie Erik as the protagonist, or even the stage Phantom, but my first choice will always be book Erik. It's definitely more of a stretch to see him happy in the end. If you are by any chance reading this mish mash, you'll know I have one story written. If I write another, it'll be Leroux's Erik once again. Any time, any place. Erik travels nicely, doesn't he?
He's such a mass of contradictions. I think that's why we all love him.
I like different pairings in stories. Christine is fine. I like to see E/C happy ever after, but I enjoy a good E/OC as well. Some fics, although excellently written, tend to carry Erik's obsession with Christine too far. A little bit of angst is fine, and probably justified, but too much kills the romance for me. He knew her for a few months (book), not years, loved her voice, and because she was all alone too, thought he had a shot with her. But she never returned his love. I think if another woman happened along after Christine, one that could love him, I think Erik would easily move on and not look back once. At least he'd have a wife to take for walks on Sundays.
I like romance and I don't think having a love triangle for 50 chapters is conducive to it. It always leaves me unsettled when I read too much of it, because a man that obsessed with one woman, is a hopeless case and makes the story rather pointless for me. I feel the same way about fics that feature any type of infidelity. I've read some where the writing is once again, excellent, but too much focus is on Erik as a sexual animal. LOL. Then why is he so alone and woman-less for 50 years?
This is all my own opinion. Probably a lot of people out there who see nothing wrong with that type of writing. And guess what? There isn't. It's all fictional work and all a matter of personal preference.
Susan Kay's book was good. Her Erik was very interesting and moody, but the morphine addiction I didn't care for at all. And although it was nice to see him and Christine hook up in the end, I couldn't understand how a dying man was healthy enough for sex. But hey, that's just me.
Love Never Dies. I watched it on DVD- the Aussie version. Sumptuous and gothic. The music is beautiful, but I also have the CD, with Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess when LND was first produced. Karimloo's voice is gorgeous, especially in the number, Till I Hear You Sing. The Coney Island Waltz is a stunning piece of music too. There's just one itty bitty thing wrong. The story-line sucks. Again, my opinion.
Anyway, if you're fairly new to the Phantom stories and want to read some good fics based on Leroux's Erik, you'll find some excellent ones to enjoy on this site. If you've lasted through my disjointed ramblings, thanks for reading.