I've seen this question posted before on other forums and thought I would post it here. I don't think I have ever seen a character as maligned as Raoul. I know there are people out there who are ardent Raoul fans and I am among them. But I think we are the vast minority.

Unlike the musical or the movie, Leroux's Raoul is no match for Erik. He's not even a serious threat to Erik. Despite his bravery and his accomplishments, he's labeled a fop, a wimp, jerk, and a thousand other criticisms. He's accused of "taking" Christine from Erik, having a bad temper, interfering where he doesn't belong, and many other bad attributes that I won't name here.

I read parts of Leroux from time to time, and in my opinion, Leroux himself may have been the instigator for all of this Raoul bashing. Raoul has some very good points. For instance, we are told of his bravery and his intelligence early in the book. Yet, after those one or two sentences, Leroux simply chooses to ignore those great qualities and instead focuses on Raoul's bad attributes. This young man simply cannot get a break. In the end, Erik still wins despite the fact that Christine loves and hurries off with Raoul.

So.....did Leroux start the Raoul bashing trend?