Phantom is a 1990 novel by Susan Kay, based on The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, with obvious influence from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical. It chronicles the title character's life, from birth to death. The story is split into seven sections, each narrated in the first person by a different character.This version is reputed as being the second most popular (the first being the original novel itself) literary adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, even going into the realms of Ascended Fanfic.
Most of the tropes in the original novel and musical apply. Specifically, this book contains examples of:
Abusive Parents: Madeleine, though portrayed more sympathetically than most cases. Yes, she's a spoiled brat, but she's lost her parents and beloved husband in rapid succession, leaving her to struggle by while she's shunned by society for giving birth to a monster. In addition, Erik is not an easy child to live with and he nearly drives her insane, however unintentionally.
Adaptation Expansion: Oh yes. Almost the whole of Erik's life is fleshed out, the daroga gets a name and expanded backstory, and the novel even goes beyond the original story's finale.
Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Invoked by Erik twice to his master, Javert. Once when he begs to go home/get his mask back. The second time occurs when Javert tries to rape him. Made worse by the fact that this is type 2.
Angry Mob: One shows up at the gates of Erik's childhood home, and kills his dog Sasha.
Animal Motifs: Christine's son is compared to a cuckoo in the last line of the book, referring to his status as Erik's son and his adoption by Raoul.
Artistic Stimulation: The Khanum provides Erik with hashish in the hopes that it will "inspire" him to develop more new and twisted methods of torture. It is 100% successful.
A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Fed up with Luciana's pesters, insults, and commands to see his face, and hurt by Giovanni's order to unmask himself, Erik snaps at them and pulls his mask off. Horrified, Luciana runs the opposite way and falls to her death from the roof.
Backstory: Quite a lot in Erik's case. Nadir's as well.
Berserker Tears: Erik, in his tirade against Christine, during the climax of Counterpoint.
Biggus Dickus: When the Khanum threatens to castrate Erik and have him put his manparts in a jar, he asks her if she's sure the jar will be big enough. (He was likely joking.)
Bittersweet Ending: Well, for one, Erik dies. So does Christine, albeit about seventeen years later, and Raoul is left to look after a son who isn't even his. He does love Charles dearly, though, and has long come to accept the situation and glory in his child's accomplishments.
Captive Date: Christine is this when she and Erik first meet face-to-face.
Cats Are Mean: Just to Raoul, though. Erik's cat, Ayesha, loved Erik and later loves Christine's son. Probably because he's Erik's son. Although she also constantly interrupts Erik's playing by jumping on the keyboard.
Character Development: Despite her Flanderization, Christine does manage to go through this; while she keeps her child-like mentality, she grows a spine over the course of the novel, culminating in her going to visit the dying Erik after Raoul forbids her to.
Even Evil Has Standards: Maybe not quite standards, but Erik is noted to be disturbed by the Kharnum's love of violence.
Fate Worse Than Death: Erik fears this at the Romanis' hands after Dunicha says she'll frame him for rape, leading to his decision to flee the camp.
In Persia, one man has candles stuck into holes gouged in his body. He's then dragged around the city before finally being put to death.
Dr. Barye plans to send Erik to a mental institution, something the latter considers this trope.
Flanderization : A lot of people who love the book hate Kay's portrayal of Christine. While in the original novel Christine was rather naive and childlike at some points, she was still a fundamentally sensible and strong willed young woman who stood up to enormous mental pressure on all sides. In this book, however, it's flat-out stated she'll always have a child-like mentality and need a man to take care of her: "Whoever marries Christine is going to have to play the role of father as well as lover."
Force Feeding: Javert shoves food down Erik's mouth when the boy refuses to eat.
Foregone Conclusion: Erik running away from home, the horrors in Persia, Nadir's exile, the events at the Opera House, etc. The majority of Erik's youth in general - anyone familiar with the original tale knows that, however good it might currently be, it will not end well.
Heel Realization: After Erik is nearly killed by an angry mob, his mother realizes what a terrible mother she's been and resolves to be better in the future. Unfortunately, he runs away before she gets the chance.
Interrupted Suicide: A pubescent Erik attempts to poison himself when he's feeling particularly miserable among the band of Romani. He abandons the idea after remembering that it would just lead to his going to hell.
As per the original novel, Christine tries to kill herself via head bashing. She's stopped.
Kick the Dog: The mob trying to assault Madeleine's home kills Sasha and severely wounds Erik.
The assassins going after the first vizier stab him to death viciously.
The Khanum executes the slave girl Erik sent away.
Kids Are Cruel: The local village boys in Boscherville throw rocks at Madeleine's home, often mocking her and calling for the "monster."
When Erik first wakes in his cage, some Romani children poke him with sticks, only stopping when Javert arrives and when Erik stops responding. Erik also mentions the children throwing rocks at him and chanting names whenever he walked by them.
Love at First Note: A variant. Erik immediately becomes obsessed with Christine after first hearing her sing, because her voice is the most technically perfect thing he's ever heard, but she sounds completely soulless.
Love Epiphany: When she learns that Erik is dying, Christine is struck with the realization that she loved him all along, and immediately rushes to his side.
Near-Rape Experience: Erik has an extremely close encounter at Javert's hands. He manages to kill his master before anything else could happen.
Oedipus Complex: Erik's relationship with his mother is pretty twisted; then he goes and falls madly, passionately and irrevocably in love with Christine - who happens, by pure coincidence, to resemble Madeline exactly. Huh.
Out with a Bang: Never explicitly stated to happen, but since Christine was carrying Erik's child, and the only time she could have slept with him was when he was dying...
"Get up!" she stormed. "Get up, you spoiled, sniveling brat! All your life you've been spoiled ... by your parents, by Charles, by me ... everyone pandering to Madeleine, dear, pretty Madeleine. Well, it's not enough simply to be pretty, do you hear me, Madeleine? It doesn't excuse you from human obligations. It doesn't permit you to poison a child's mind and cripple his soul. You should hang for what you have done to him since he was born ... you should burn!"
Sadist: Nadir mentions that the Khanum takes sexual pleasure in watching Erik kill.
Sexless Marriage: Christine and Raoul end up with this, as giving birth to Charles nearly kills her and the doctor makes it clear that having another baby would finish the job. Raoul, being a staunch Catholic, rejects the idea of birth control and decides there's only one way to make certain Christine's life won't be put in danger again.
Someone to Remember Him By: Madeline's husband died while she was pregnant with Erik. Similarly, Christine gives birth to Erik's son after his death.
Spiders Are Scary: Averted on several occasions: Marie asks Madeleine not to kill a spider because it "can't help being ugly" and Erik mentions that he feels a certain kinship with spiders ("gorged on her triumph like a glutted spider", feeling jealous of spiders because even though they're ugly they get to mate). Played straight with Christine, who is terrified of a large spider she sees during her fortnight with Erik to the degree that she asks him to also find and kill its mate.
Spoiled Brat: Madeleine - which does not help when she has to deal with trying to raise Erik; Luciana - which likewise does not end well when she develops a crush on Erik. Also the Khanum, in a sense, since she often behaves childishly and her life of luxury has definitely turned her rotten.