Dueling Shows: Ruggero Leoncavallo wrote an opera (premiered in 1897, but written contemporaneously with Puccini's), also entitled La bohème and based on Murger's novel. His version is rarely performed today.
Very Loosely Based on a True Story: the novel apparently differed slightly from accounts of Murgur's real early life, and the opera radically changed the personality of Mimi (whose relationship with Henri was definitely over when it was over.) Marcello is a Composite Character of two different painters.
Virtually every major character in the opera was to meet an early and depressing end- several of them died of the same disease as Mimi, including Henri Murgar. The real Musetta saved enough money to give up her profession and emigrate to start a new life in the French colony of Algeria... but died when her ship sank in the Mediterranean.