Sunday, June 07, 2015

Fortnightly Book, June 7

After Eco, I want something a little less involved and faster-paced, so I am going with something by Gaston Leroux. Leroux's two most famous works are The Mystery of the Yellow Room, the most famous locked-room mystery novel of all time, and The Phantom of the Opera. The second will be the next fortnightly book.

Le Fantôme de l'Opéra was originally serialized in 1909 and 1910; it is based on both the history and legend of the actual Paris Opera House, although, of course, with plenty of literary license thrown in. Its popularity was quite extensive, but it became world famous with the 1925 production of the silent movie, The Phantom of the Opera. Multiple other adaptations followed, of varying quality. In 1986, of course, we got the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

Looking around, it looks like there were two classic radio adaptations, from Lux Radio Theater and CBS Mystery Theater, so I might compare them if I have the time.


  1. MrsDarwin6:29 PM

    Phantom of the Opera is a good deal more interesting that Andrew Lloyd Webber made it out to be.

    The Mystery of the Yellow Room is very enjoyable. Brendan has listened to it a few times and narrated it to the kids, and we watched a movie version of it (in French) which the kids still remember. Apparently Rouletabille, Leroux's detective, was an inspiration for Tintin. He has all kinds of adventures, including going to a German arms factory during WWI. (Brendan wanted to use that in his WWI novel, but the book was published a bit too late for his French boy character to read before his town was occupied.) In fact, I thought we'd had the recommendation to read The Mystery of the Yellow Room from you, but Brendan says that Julie D. was his source

  2. branemrys6:55 PM

    I definitely remember recommending it when Brendan was asking about possible books for getting some of the sense of France at the time, and that he was listening to the audio book almost immediately afterward -- of course, it's always possible that it was already on the list and my recommendation just added more weight. I remember you discussing the French movie version of the book.


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