Phantom of the Opera * by Gaston Leroux
The Phantom of the Opera is a classic French thriller about a ghostly man who emerges form the hidden passageways of the Paris Opera House to express his obsessive love for Christine Daae. Read about the romance in this classic work.
The Phantom of the Opera lives under a famous opera house. A mere chorus girl, Christine Daae, becomes, under his guidance, a well known singer with a beautiful voice. But her old child hood sweetheart, the Vicount Raoul de Changy, has also entered the picture. The past comes back to haunt her, the future ahead is uncertain, and the present is undecided. Who will win the heart of Christine?; the handsome, rich Raoul or the masked Angel of Music? A story of romance, murder, sacrifice and sadness, this riveting, seductive tale will keep your emotions high until the very last page of the shocking conclusion.--Submitted by child of the wilderness
Paris, winter. All is normal for the retirement of the old managers of the Opera...until it is discovered that a stagehand, Joseph Boquet, has been found hanging in the third cellar. Was it murder? Was it suicide? The mystery continues when the new managers get blackmailed for thousands of francs, the letter signed "Opera Ghost." For the Vicomte Raoul de Chagney, the mystery is not with the letters, but a much more personal reason. A childhood friend of his, Christine Da'ae, has recently triumphed in a production of Gonounds Faust, but when he goes to congratulate her, he hears a man's voice with Christine in her dressing room, saying "You must love me! Your soul is a beautiful thing, child, and no emperor ever recieved a fairer gift." Are the two incidents related? Will O.G. come out of the dark? Will the scorpion be unleashed on them all, or the grasshopper hop into infinity?--Submitted by Lillotte
The Tale of Genji * by Murasaki Shikibu, Royall Tyle(Translator)
The Tale of Genji, which has been called the world's first novel, is about the love of Prince Genji, the son of the emperor. This edition is also illustrated with woodcuts.
At an indeterminate time in Japan's history, an unnamed emperor is in love with a lady of lesser rank much to the chagrin of the grand ladies at court. Although this unnamed lady is very beautiful and is a member of the upper classes, she is not fully highborn and is something of a dirty little secret for the emperor. However, the secret is not well-kept, and everyone at court knows that this lady is the emperor's favorite. This frustrates the other royal wives, who are of higher social station, so they routinely speak against this upstart woman who holds the emperor's affections.
Scarlet Pimpernel * by Baroness Orczy
This classic novel, set during the French Revolution, features romance, dangerous missions and disguise. The name of the hero is Scarlet Pimpernel, and his antics embarrass the French authorities by rescuing the French nobles from the guillotine.
The mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel steals aristocrats from the blade of the guillotine and whisks them off to the safety of England. No one knows who he or his men are. It is rumoured that he is an Englishman and a aristocrat himself who enjoys baffling the French revolutionaries.http://www.liillas.com/up3//uploads/...1ee88e3995.jpg
Beautiful Marguerite Blakeney is in a dilemma. Her brother Armand is in danger of sharing the fate of other French aristocrats and lose his head. Envoy Chauvelin offers her choice: help him find the Scarlet Pimpernel or her brother dies. As the wife of Sir Percy Blakeney, she rubs shoulders with the upper crust every day. She must use her reputation as 'the cleverest woman in Europe' to ferret the Pimpernel out. However, she is about to discover that he is closer than she could have imagined.http://www.liillas.com/up3//uploads/...975f4d6f1f.jpg
Baroness Orczy wrote The Scarlet Pimpernel in five weeks and it shows. The writing is abysmal. She uses 'fox-like', 'cat-like', 'woman-like' as her main adjectives and she uses them often. It's overly dramatic. None of the characters have two clues to rub together and are two dimensional. Is it possible to be one dimensional? Because if it is, they are. They're all a bit keystone cop. If Marguerite is the cleverest woman in Europe, I'd hate to see the dumb ones. Sir Percy is the only character I liked.
The Scarlet Pimpernel has been made into countless movies. Why? For all it's problems, the premise is pretty good! A man with everything to lose risks his life to save strangers and he does it with panache. It makes for great television but not a great book. In the hands of someone like Dumas it could have been so much more.
Little Women (Great Stories) by Louisa May Alcott
Published in 1868, Little Women follows the lives, loves and tribulations of fours sisters growing up during the American Civil War. The story is based the childhood experiences Alcott shared with her real life sisters, Anna, May and Elzabeth. The novel stars Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy and explores the rich nuances of family and family relationships.
Little Women is the story of The Marches, a family used to hard toil and suffering. Although Father March is away with the Union armies, the sisters Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth keep in high spirits with their mother, affectionately named Marmee. Their friendly gift of a Christmas holiday breakfast to a neighbouring family is an act of generosity rewarded with wealthy Mr. Laurence's gift of a surprise Christmas feast. However, despite their efforts to be good, the girls show faults: the pretty Meg becomes dis*******ed with the children she teaches; boyish Jo loses her temper regularly; while the golden-haired schoolgirl Amy is inclined towards affectation. However, Beth, who keeps the house is always kind and gentle. After certain happy times winning over the Laurences, dark times arrive as Marmee finds out about her husband's illness. Worse is to come as Beth contracts scarlet fever in her Samaritan efforts for a sick neighbour and becomes more or less an invalid. The novel tells of their progress into young womanhood with the additional strains of romance, Beth's terminal illness, the pressures of marriage and the outside world. This is the story of their growing maturity and wisdom and the search for the *******edness of family life. It was written in 1867 and is a fictionalised biography of Alcott and her sisters. It has become a much loved classic tale and, while some of its issues seem outdated, many of the trials of the sisters are all too relevant today as evidenced by its continued following.
This is a lovely and heart rending tale about the March family--a family who loses its wealth and gains much more--love and unity. Young girls are only human, and they have a natural yearning for worldly possessions. It is up to them how they cope with it, which brings us back to the March girls. Their desire to help others even when they don't have much themselves is indeed remarkable.
This book shows how in all times, love and hope are the most faithful companions, for when all else fails ... we can depend on them. Honest and true intentions are really the most valuable possessions one can have. And this novel shows us the beauty of simplicity and the importance of the small human deeds that count even though they cannot be visibly seen. Some might not like this story but the unique thing about it is that it is based on a completely true story of Louisa M. Alcott's own life. The unlikely twists in this story make it only more human, since we are humans and we cannot evade such scenes in our life. ~ Submitted by Fatimah
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