Hitomi-sama's Review of "The Phantom of Manhattan"

The views represented herein are not necessarily those held by anyone else. These
are simply the comments of Hitomi-sama. If you do not agree with her views
please by all means hit your "back" button and forget you read this article.

"The Phantom of Manhattan" is very likely the most poorly written book I have ever read. I've read countless Phantom fanfics that would make better continuation stories than that book did.


Writing in only first person accounts and dialogue is, in my opinion, in bad taste and shows an immature style. First hand accounts are typically used in elementary classrooms when describing what one did during their summer vacation. Though first person narrative is often very useful and insightful, it must be used with care. Personally, I detest both reading badly done personal narratives as well as writing any sort of them, though I do so on rare occasions. The Phantom deserves more explanation and detail than what the author of this book chose to give. His narrative was for the most part boring, and rushed at the places I found fairly interesting. The conversing with the deities was just plain wrong.


The plot must be intricately thought out and executed. In this novel, it was good in it's intentions but poorly developed. The narrative is constantly being handed off to characters which are most of the time new to the reader. If the story had stayed within the hands of a few familar characters, the plot might have been better. I also found that at the end, the plot was rushed and resolved rather horribly.


OUT OF CHARACTER! Did the author have to change Erik's religion? I think that was highly inappropriate, for he seemed to already have a belief system set up (recall when he said "as she hoped to be saved" and the like during his final conversation with Daroga at the end of the novel). His character seems to change through the novel. That inconsistency bothers me to no end. Especially with my dearest Erik. He just didn't seem like my beloved Erik in this novel.


When I hear Darius I think the Persian's attendant. This one's in fact a weird boy with a lust for gold and an addiction to hashish. He really creeped me out, especially with his personal conversation with his deity of choice.

Christine de Chagny:

OUT OF CHARACTER! Her character was a little too indecicive and defiant for my tastes. It seemed that Erik wouldn't even have to say something and she'd already be carrying on about how he should give up on her because it was useless. That is really unlike Christine. I know, because I share many traits with her. I don't think I'd react to him like she did. If he had insisted more than a few times, then maybe. But she seemed to become defiant way too quickly. And that stuff at the end was just bull.

Pierre de Chagny:

Can we say OUT OF CHARACTER? And that's pretty bad, because he's a new character. Now, how can you make your own addition to the story deviate from his own character?!? The author makes the boy appear to be loyal and innocent. But his character changes at the end without warning.

Raoul de Chagny:

He's hardly even in the thing! His situation was a little too ironic though. As was the entire story.

Father Joe:

I'd rather of seen the Persian take this role of Pierre's tutor and apart of Christine's entourage. And why would a French person call someone named Joseph "Joe?" It makes no sense . . .

Charles Bloom:

Useless idiot of a character. I wished he'd shut up at the end. He was such a moron.

Antionnette Giry:

Why is Madame Giry's name Antionnette? Ack, other than that . . . the story starts off with her dying. I don't understand the reason for her dying. ::shrugs:: That's about it with her.

Meg Giry:

Um, does everyone on the planet forget that Erik in the original novel promised Meg would be an Empress? I've never once seen anything that acknowledges this (the closest I've seen was in a fanfic where Meg wedded a Duke). Why on earth would she resort to being Christine's maid when they were friends (in the musical and perhaps in the novel as well)?

The Ending:

Just absolutely horrible. I knew what the author was trying to do. It would've been dramatic if he had written in a different style. Believe me, I had very simliar events happen in an old story of mine and it was so dramatic people were actually gasping and demanding I tell them what happened in the end. But the way it was, the ending was predictable, depressing, and totally wrong for the story. I won't go into detail for those of you who actually want to read this (goodness knows why), but for me, I didn't care for it one bit.

If you're looking for some good Phantom works . . . I suggest reading the original novel itself. I'd suggest Susan Kay's "Phantom" but I haven't read it yet. Look at Fanfiction.net in their book section for some really wonderful fanfics. I've read more than a few who surpass the quality of the author of "The Phantom of Manhattan" by leaps and bounds.

Column copyright (c) Hitomi-sama 2002
"The Phantom of Manhattan" does not belong to Hitomi-sama, thank goodness.