Anyway, last night I finished Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera. I enjoyed the heck out of it. You can visit my review at Goodreads, or you can simply read here what I said about the book:
"Really enjoyed this one. I had no idea what to expect from it; yes, I know all about the movies and the big Broadway musical (which I saw many, many years ago in LA), but I honestly knew nothing about the original book. I thought it was a very smooth, fast read. The characters were fun, and the phantom was an excellent villain, well worth being an iconic horror figure (though for different reasons than I first thought). I found the main story enthralling - the love triangle between Raul, Christine, and the Phantom - while the portion of the Phantom vs. the Opera House managers to be quite funny. I read that portion as more comic relief than anything. Even if you don't like to read classics, give this one a shot. I highly recommend it!"
So I view this year's National Novel Reading Month a success, even if I did add a week to it. I don't know if I ever would have gotten to the two books I did if it hadn't been for this kick in the pants. And I enjoyed both reads immensely. I've already planned on reading The Picture of Dorian Gray next year (unless I get to it sooner, though it is unlikely). If you also participated, I hope you got as much out of the experience as I did!
Quick update on A Princess of Mars: I said I had put John Carter, the big budget movie from a couple of years ago based on the book, at the top of my Netflix queue. That is true, and the movie is even now here at my house. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but I plan to soon. (I also have the movie based on the Broadway musical based on The Phantom of the Opera here, too.) I doubt I'll blog about my experience watching it, but if you're interested in my views, feel free to ask me in the comments of this post or contact me on Twitter or Facebook. I did watch a movie called Princess of Mars on the SyFy Channel last week, which was loosely based on the book - it was a present day retelling where John Carter went to a planet called Mars in a distant galaxy, not our solar system's Mars. Both the acting and the story were awful. Though many pieces of the movie were taken from the book, the overall story was changed. If it had been done well, that might have been okay, but it wasn't. I don't recommend that particular flick to anyone.