Sorry about the double post yesterday. I thought I scheduled the Protest post for next Monday (9/7). Anyway, so I did what I said I would do and went out and left a review.
I didn’t review an indie, I reviewed a classic. I choose to review one of the books that had a huge influence on my writing, without it, there would be no Aislinn Cain and no Malachi Blake.
What classic could have such an effect? The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Laroux. I was introduced to the Opera Ghost when I was young. Around the same time, I also read Jekyll & Hyde. Both stories deal with what we would consider modern day psychopaths, but only one psychopath was loveable.
The alter ego, Hyde, was detestable. He was meant to be, he was the beast trapped within the good Doctor Jekyll’s soul. In today’s world, he would be a sexual sadist, a serial rapist and killer of women. If you read close enough, Robert Louis Stephenson even tells you that he enjoys defiling women in many different ways.
In contrast, the Opera Ghost had his reasons for killing and while he enjoyed it, it wasn’t random. He had principles, discipline, and above all else, he had done this despite his psychopathic personality. It doesn’t end well for the Opera Ghost, he falls in love or obsession, depending on how you look at it and that drives him to push his own boundaries. There are times during The Phantom of the Opera the line between villain and hero is blurred. Christine is a pitiable figure, but she is also someone that can be disliked as she makes choices regarding the men in her life. The Comte de Chagny is supposed to be the hero, but at times his character is far worse than that of the Opera Ghost’s.
Despite the terms not existing when the books were written, they both show different sides of the psychopathic personality. The Opera Ghost made me realize that a character could be both a psychopath and likeable, perhaps even loveable. This is so different than Hyde, who can only be a monster.
It is from these books that my first taste of psychological understanding came. I had to learn more. It was obvious that they were similar, possibly even the same, and yet, not. How did one overcome while the other became primal? I didn’t know, but I started looking for answers and figured it out.
From those answers, Aislinn Cain and Malachi Blake were both born. So, if you are a fan of my novels, you can thank Monsieur Laroux for his psychologically revealing book, The Phantom of the Opera.