skygiants: the Phantom of the Opera, reaching out (creeper of the opera)
So the reason why I love Maskerade is very, very simple: IT IS A BOOK-LENGTH PARODY OF PHANTOM OF THE OPERA I MEAN COME ON.

I am a woman of simple needs, okay? And sometimes what I need is Terry Pratchett loling at that the fact that the serial killer haunting the Opera house also writes polite little notes complaining about the first trombone, and also the fact that the Opera house has a SECRET LAKE IN THE BASEMENT.

So I will always love Maskerade with a true and shining love and count it among my Discworld favorites. (Also, and unrelated to any operatic shenanigans, it has Granny Weatherwax helping Death with his bad back! WHICH IS AMAZING and really just makes me want a whole book of Death and Granny Weatherwax on a wacky road trip. Nanny Ogg can go help Susan in the meantime. You can tell me this wouldn't be the best Discworld book ever but you would be LYING.)

That being said, after this read, I totally get why some people might not like this one, because -- well, first of all, not everyone has the emotional attachment to the hilarity of Phantom of the Opera that I do, but also, the ending is actually really depressing!

I mean, okay, yes, they figure out the whole opera ghost thing, but that's not even really the point, and it's also not even really due to Agnes. That's Granny Weatherwax's win, and meanwhile, Agnes -- Agnes our protagonist, awesome, intelligent, talented Agnes -- loses. She loses to the Opera. She loses to the older witches. She loses to every single terrible, stupid social force that tell her she's the wrong shape for what she wants, and it's depressing, and it sucks. And I realize this is a necessary interval to get Agnes in place for Carpe Jugulum, where she does get to win again a little, but that doesn't make the ending of this book any more satisfying.

I'm really not sure there are any other Discworld books where the protagonist loses as thoroughly as Agnes does in this one. Even Rincewind usually saves the world before getting launched into his next horrible adventure. I mean, feel free to prove me wrong, though; I will feel better about it if you do.
skygiants: Enjolras from Les Mis shouting revolution-tastically (la resistance lives on)
The back cover of Marie Lu's Legend informed me that the author "was first inspired to write Legend while watching Les Miserables one afternoon, and wondered how the relationship between a famous criminal vs. a prodigious detective might translate into a more modern story."

It is not Marie Lu's fault that this somehow explicitly led me to expect a genderswapped steampunk Javert/Valjean fanfic about an obsessive police officer with a black-and-white morality and the escaped prisoner she pursues over the course of three or four decades . . . but apparently somehow this is something that my soul desperately craves, because I was unfairly disappointed not to get it.

Not that Legend is not good! Legend is a perfectly enjoyable dystopian YA novel about two SUPER TEEN PRODIGIES, one who is accelerating within the system (but only because she doesn't know all the terrible things the system does) and one who works outside the system (and is accused of terrible crimes, but has only ever committed the non-murderous ones), and how she's sent to bring him in because she thinks he killed her brother, and it's all very dramatic and interestingly world-built and involves government plague conspiracies and that's fine, I will totally be willing to read the sequel and see where it goes! I did wish that there was more of a clash of legitimately opposed ideologies, as opposed to the heroine realizing that everything she believes in is wrong. Spoilers. )

Anyway, it all worked out, because now that I've realized the tragic scarcity of YA novels with the EPIC MELODRAMA of Javert/Valjean slash fiction at their heart, I have simply decided that someday I am going to have to write my own, except with lesbians. (Working title: YOU KNOW NOTHING OF JAVERTINA.) You're welcome, world!

This also however begs the question of which OTHER famous musical nemeses should be updated into steampunk dystopian YA novels. I have provided some options for you, so please feel free to vote for your favorite! I will almost certainly not write it for you but YOU NEVER KNOW.

Poll #10656 THE YA OF THE FUTURE
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 38


Which of these FAMOUS MUSICAL NEMESES would you most like to see as the romantic leads of a YA novel?

View Answers

The Phantom/Raoul! HE's a foppish aristocrat! HE lives under the gladiatorial opera house where people compete in a singing competition to the death! Wacky circumstances force them to raise a baby together! (See Love Never Dies.)
8 (21.1%)

Velma Kelly/Roxie Hart! Both of them are showgirls arrested for spectacular tabloid crimes, but what Velma doesn't know is that Roxie's got an extra card up her sleeve: she's a RENEGADE ROBOT showgirl.
17 (44.7%)

Mark Cohen/Benjamin Coffin III! HE's a member of the secret BOHEME group that's spreading revolutionary viral videos . . . and HE'S the angry landlord who just got accidentally implicated in the conspiracy! NOW THEY'RE ON THE RUN TOGETHER.
5 (13.2%)

Sweeney Todd/Mrs. Lovett! Trapped in an oppressive society, they decided to rebel against the system by becoming cannibals and -- actually you wouldn't really even need to change the plot here. BUT WITH STEAMPUNK!
1 (2.6%)

Elphaba/Galinda! . . . is already a YA novel. BUT IT COULD ALWAYS BE ANOTHER ONE. This time with actual lesbians!
7 (18.4%)



The depressing secret of my life is that I would one hundred percent read all of these. (But especially Velma/Robot Roxie.)

PLEASE ALSO SUGGEST YOUR OWN.
skygiants: the Phantom of the Opera, reaching out (creeper of the opera)
Okay, I lied, one more post about Phantom: [livejournal.com profile] rowanberries has posted her hilarious review, complete with ALL THE NOTES she took in the dark at the performance WHILE making horrified faces at me (that is dedication!) and you should go read it right now!
skygiants: Fakir from Princess Tutu leaping through a window; text 'doors are for the weak' (drama!!!)
Okay, I swear after this I will get Phantom of the Opera OUT OF MY MIND and not post about it again for a while. But while I'm on the topic of Phantom fanfiction, I kind of want to compile a list of stories that are just Phantom of the Opera: IN SPACE.

I mean, I don't know if there are any that are actually in space. But here, some other examples:

V for Vendetta: Phantom of the Opera WITH REVOLUTION
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: as I have discussed before, Phantom of the Opera IN A SUBMARINE
Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark: Phantom of the Opera WITH TOO MANY LEGS

I know there are more that I can't think of right now. Brainstorm with me, flist!

(And yes, all right, Phantom of the Opera is just basically Beauty and the Beast: IN THE OPERA, JUST DECONSTRUCTED ENOUGH SO THAT THE STALKER MONSTER DOESN'T GET THE GIRL, BUT NOT DECONSTRUCTED ENOUGH THAT THE FANDOM DOESN'T STILL ROOT FOR HIM. So I guess my criteria for something being Phantom of the Opera IN SPACE or whatever is:

a. there is some kidnapping/Stockholm Syndrome action
b. the monstrous love interest/kidnapper/etc. and the ingenue have some kind of SHARED INTEREST. For example, ocean science! Or being arachnids!
c. the monstrous love interest ends up sad and alone and probably dead

But I am willing to hear arguments for things that lack some of these criteria!)
skygiants: the Phantom of the Opera, reaching out (creeper of the opera)
I am so behind on booklogging I don't even know where to begin, but today we'll go with the most recent because it is relevant to current discussions in this LJ, which is to say: after the EXPERIENCE that was LOVE NEVER DIES, I decided it was high time to reread the original Phantom of the Opera!


Phantom of the Opera: Original Flavor is really two things: a.) Gaston Leroux's giant fan letter to the Paris Opera House (omg it's so COOL! and SHINY! and full of TRAPDOORS and SECRET LAKES and dude, this building is AWESOME! Which, honestly, it is, and Gaston Leroux's research and shiny-eyed enthusiasm about it is one of the best reasons to read the book) and b.) the tragic tale of an unfortunate woman stuck between two stalkers. I mean, let's look at our options here:

Spoiler: THERE ARE NO GOOD OPTIONS )


- and hahahaha okay, on a sidenote, going to Amazon and typing in "Phantom of the Opera" IS DANGEROUS. I have just discovered about THIRTY published retellings/sequels/ship manifestos that I never even knew existed. Chanson de l'Ange! Unmasqued: An Erotic Novel of the Phantom of the Opera! Letters to Erik: The Ghost's Love Story! Phantom, Out of the Shadows! Which is apparently different from Out of the Darkness: The Phantom's Journey AHHH THIS ONE SHIPS ERIK/MEG, IT'S A WHOLE SERIES! "Out of the Darkness continues the story of Sadie Montgomery's dark hero, his beloved Meg, and their stalwart friends Raoul and Christine." In later books the Phantom and Meg are apparently married with kids and FIGHT CRIME! AHHH AHHHH HEEEEEEEEELP. Save me from myself, tell me not to read these, IT IS A VORTEX FROM WHICH I MAY NEVER ESCAPE.
skygiants: the Phantom of the Opera, reaching out (creeper of the opera)
Before going to see PHANTOM OF THE OPERA 2: LOVE NEVER DIES, [livejournal.com profile] rowanberries and I applied the wisdom I had gained after my recent excursion to see Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, which is to say that we went and fortified ourselves with a drink first.

I . . . don’t know how much it helped, to be honest, but I think at the very least it greatly contributed to the hilarity of the notes that Amy took during the performance!

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About The Musical Sequel To Phantom of the Opera But Had Too Strong a Sense of Self-Preservation To Find Out For Yourself )

When the show is over, Amy and I stagger outside, bid each other a stunned farewell chorus of “WHAT DID WE JUST WATCH?” and take to our trains.

I am safely seated and have a book out when suddenly I hear, I hear, faint and tinny, “DUUUUN . . . dun dun dun dun DUUUUUN . . . .”

My panicked thought processes go something like this: "Is it a cell phone? I don’t see a cell phone . . . and we’re underground and there’s no way a cell phone ring would go on this long anyway, so . . . oh god, HE IS ACTUALLY THERE. In voluntarily choosing to see Phantom 2, I have DOOMED myself to having the Phantom of the Opera . . . inside my mind!"

Then I look across the way and realize there is a woman listening to her iPod, which is where the soundtrack must be coming from. And it keeps playing ALL THE WAY HOME.

And the worst part is, if it comes to New York and certain ladies of my acquaintance still want to see it . . . I will totally see it again.
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (ZOMG!!!!!!!)
OK I was trying to remain strong and keep my insane cackling to myself instead of spamming my flist but

I must

I MUST

point you all to the Phantom of the Opera's official Twitter feed.




You're welcome.


ETA: and now there is a rival! Man, I am almost ready to succumb and subscribe to Twitter for this. *_*
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (teach me to hear mermaids)
So I realized while reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea that this classic work of science fiction literature is basically Phantom of the Opera . . . UNDERWATER!

NO WAIT HEAR ME OUT )
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (glitterazzi)
She sings in the corridors, absently, without quite realizing she’s done it; maudlin songs about heavenly guardians, beautiful angels. Jammes slaps her in the arm and tells her to se taire, does she think this is a church-choir, and Christine smiles with her oversized mouth and obediently quiets, and two minutes later the melody starts again. This happens every time.

On top of that, she’s one of the homesick ones. She spends long nights on her thin mattress gulping back sobs and wiping a runny nose with the edge of the pillowcase. Occasionally, Meg, who has the dormitory bed next to hers, hears the whispered word, “Papa.” Meg, who never had a Papa, and on occasion would quite like to do without her Maman, is unsympathetic.

It’s the little things that get on your nerves when you live in a dormitory. The sniffling that keeps you up at night, someone else’s hair in your carefully hoarded chocolate, that one girl who keeps cracking her toes no matter how many times people tell her to stop – if you don’t adjust, these will send you more sincerely fou than the traumatic events of any great melodrama. On top of this, the ballet dormitories have their own special aspects of competition, and pressure, and pride. Forming the friendships that generally allow one to tolerate the hair and the sniffling and the toe-cracking is difficult when you know that every friend is also a rival; more difficult still for the girl with an edge. Meg’s edge is her mother, and while Meg may genuinely deserve the parts she gets – for even the most jealous will grudgingly admit that the girl’s got talent – there will always be that suspicion that if she were not a Giry she’d be in the back like everyone else, working her way through the ranks like everyone should. Added to that, though, there’s always the fact that Meg must have her mother’s ear to a certain extent, no matter how much she denies it; favor in Meg's eyes might lead to favor with Madame, and favor with Madame could lead to better parts.

This makes things complicated, and Meg knows it. So she’s friendly and polite and keeps her distance, and tries to get used to living with a dozen girls who chatter and make noise and make messes instead of with her silent and fastidious mother, and does her very best not to go insane.

No one admits that Christine’s got talent, because she hasn’t. She’s competent enough to be let on stage, but her heart isn’t in dancing, and they all know it. They tease her for it, of course, and for the singing, and for the sniffling, but in a way she’s a relief to be around. You don’t need to worry about Christine. Moreover, there’s the ease of knowing that Christine isn’t worrying about you, either. Christine is refreshingly uncomplicated.

For this reason, perhaps, when Meg can take no more, it’s Christine she eventually blows up at; Christine whose little habits, whose sniffles and singing and transformation of easy French words into mangled semi-Swedish messes make her such an easy target. And Christine looks apologetic, and says that she’s very sorry, and she had no idea that she was bothering anyone, and of course she’ll try to do better, and make more effort to learn French properly, and –

It’s around at this point that Meg decides that what Christine really needs to learn is the growth of a backbone, and says so, and Christine smiles at her with her oversized mouth and says ja – oui – she guesses she’ll make more effort at that too.

And Meg smiles back, and tells her she’ll be all right; it’s not that complicated.

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