If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Look for our new bloggers this month. Debra Sennefelder will blog on 1/15, and Debra Goldstein debuts on 1/22. Please welcome our double Debs to WWK.

Don't miss our January author interviews: 1/10-Lawrence H. Levy, 1/17-Kaye George, 1/24-Janet Bolin, 1/31-Kathy Aarons. And E. B. Davis will interview Shari Randall on Monday 1/29 about the publication of her first novel, Curses, Boiled Again. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our January Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 1/6-Becky Clark, Pat Hale, Leslie Karst, Edith Maxwell, Shawn McGuire, C. Perkins, and Sue Star, and 1/13-Polly Iyer. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 1/20, and Kait Carson on 1/27.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Friday, March 11, 2016

The Phantom of the Opera: A Review by Warren Bull

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux: A Review by Warren Bull

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux was published in French in 1910 and in English the following year. Reviews at the time were lukewarm. Most readers read it as a newspaper serial. A researcher for Universal Pictures found the story in the newspaper. In 1925 a movie starring Lon Chaney was released. The movie made Chaney a star and became a classic silent film. The story has been told since then in more than half a dozen other films, nine theatre versions including musicals and an untold number of written forms. 
The novel is rich with elaborate setting and details. Apparently the Paris Opera House, which inspired the author, was a remarkable building that included underground passages, a lake and a stable for fifty horses. It was used as a military warehouse and a station for balloons before it was used as an opera house. During a performance one of the counterweights holding up a massive chandelier fell on a member of the audience and killed him.
As a novel, I found The Phantom of the Opera hard to slog through. I admit to several starts and stops plus more than a little skimming in my reading. There were many impassioned speeches, declarations of undying love and spooky events. And they all became rather boring with repetition after repetition. Actually, I thought the book started pretty well. Unfortunately, even making allowances for the time period, and its purple prose, the plot limped along slowly thereafter. After a time I started to hope the Phantom would include the boring main characters among his killings, but alas he did not.

Some of the retelling of the story is marvelous. The most recent musical has wonderful music.  Despite the limitations of the original, the underlying story remains a source of inspiration.


KM Rockwood said...

I tried to read Phantom of the Opera once, and gave up. But the story itself is a wonderful classic, and I like the adaptations, esp. the dramatic performance, much better. Which is rare--usually I like the book better than any subsequent variations.

Margaret Turkevich said...

I love the musical and play the CD's when I'm mopping floors or painting walls. I gave up on the original book a long time ago. The Phantom is an inspired character.

Shari Randall said...

It is a pretty skimpy story, but it was a framework for a wonderful Broadway show. How interesting that the story had such staying power. I agree with Margaret - the Phantom was an inspired character.

Gloria Alden said...

I love the music and the play, however after reading your review and what others said, I won't bother to read it. Too many books and too little time to read what I wouldn't thoroughly enjoy. I think it's cool that you're reading all these old books though, Warren. Isn't it great to live near Powell's?