A perfect book for a rainy day. Leroux is reminiscent of Wilkie Collins in his plot, characters and style, and yet here’s a tremendously, deliciously French book. And just like Victor Hugo’s ‘Hunchback’ he crafts a beautiful ending giving an all round eminently gratifying reading experience with a hefty daub of gothicness. The film/musical does violence to the subtleties of the plot and characters; yet here is a story that is in turns graphic, violent, romantic, tragic and at last, wistful – entirely deserving of a place on the ‘Bucket list’. Ignore the musical – just read the original!