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The Phantom of the Opera
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The Phantom of the Opera

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  109,503 ratings  ·  3,030 reviews
First published in French as a serial in 1909, "The Phantom of the Opera" is a riveting story that revolves around the young, Swedish Christine Daaé. Her father, a famous musician, dies, and she is raised in the Paris Opera House with his dying promise of a protective angel of music to guide her. After a time at the opera house, she begins hearing a voice, who eventually t...more
Hardcover, Collector's Library, 312 pages
Published August 2004 by Crw Publishing Limited (first published 1910)
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Emily May
Jun 07, 2014 Emily May rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who don't view Wuthering Heights as a romance (and maybe those who do ^_^)
Persons who are visited by the Angel quiver with a thrill unknown to the rest of mankind. And they cannot touch an instrument or open their mouths to sing, without producing sounds that put all other human sounds to shame.

Erik, AKA The Phantom of the Opera, is Paris's answer to Heathcliff. This book is a darkly romantic tale of a man's descent into violence and madness, and the woman who forms the obsession at the centre of his life.

I should probably confess: I am a shameless lover of The Pha...more
TheKBSeries
This book changed my life...I'm so not kidding. I saw the play years before I decided to read this book. I'm so sorry that I waited so long because it was fantastic! I plan to re-read it again! It has everything in it! It's scary, creepy, romantic, sweet, sexy, dark, sad, depressing, etc. This is the third book on my list that I would recommend to anyone that i meet! (having harry potter and the twilight series at number one and two spots. haha)

W A R N I N G *MAY be a spoiler in this next parag...more
Henry Avila
Sorelli, a principal dancer in the beautiful, new, and fabulous Paris Opera House ( circa 1880), is angry, her dressing - room has been invaded, by half a dozen hysterical young ladies, ballet dancers. The frightened performers have seen the legendary Phantom (Ghost), claiming to have noticed a very ugly man, but well dressed, in the passageway. The superstitious but brave woman, opens the door quiet slowly and takes a peek. The shadowy, in gaslight, reddish walls, give a strange ambiance, but t...more
Madeline
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jonathan

While I was in New York City, living it up on 7th and 27th, I decided that I would go see a musical, with friends, on Broadway. However, being the 'buy-first-think-later' student that I am, most of the musicals were out of my price range. The suitcase load of cheaper comics and novels had something to do with this. However, I did have enough cash to go with two of the ladies on the trip and get tickets to The Phantom of the Opera with Peter Jöback staring as the eponymous character. We all dress...more
Amanda
Sep 11, 2008 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amanda by: I saw the play - it was incredible
This book was surprisingly good... a surprise because most books written around this time (I believe this was written in 1909) seem to be very boring and/or difficult to read. I have seen the play (and loved it) and was always curious about the original novel, which, I'll say right now, is definitely worth reading. Very captivating and suspenseful and emotion-invoking. My only real complaint is on the character of Raoul who is often described as what I would call a "weenie" - crying alot and ful...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This is another book that has been lingering around with a bookmark sticking out of it since October. It's not that it's a hard read - on the contrary, for an "old" book, it's incredibly readable. I don't know who did this translation or whether that has anything to do with it, but it is easy to read. But to be honest, it lacks something. It's just not as dramatic as the musical, though it has its moments.

I've never seen the musical, sadly; I've only the seen the most recent movie version - whi...more
Gemma
"Masterpiece" doesn't cut it. It's a work of art. To be honest, I didn't even know this was a book until I found it in the library, but now it's one of my favorites (let's put it this way -- I read it in one day). I love Gothic novels, but this one tops everything I've ever read. I'll admit it's not for everyone, but I have no idea what people mean when they say it's hard to read. The characterizations are so vivid, it was like being sucked into the pages. From the follies of the opera managers,...more
Liz
Sep 28, 2014 Liz rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: favourite, classics, i-own

The story takes place in the Parisian opera house and the famous Phantom lives somewhere in its undergrounds.
Mysterious and music-loving, he even has a private lounge.
One of the chorus girls, Christine, lost her father who always told her about the Angel of Music and once, she hears this angel singing and follows him through a hidden door in his dark empire.

From this moment on the Angel of Music teaches her and Christine improves her singing until she is a well known and treasured singer. B...more
Shaun
By current standards, this is not the easiest book to invest/lose yourself in, yet I'm still going with five stars and here's why.

A little background

Best described as a Gothic mystery/romance, The Phantom of the Opera is a beast meets beauty affair presented as if a true story being told through the eyes of Leroux and based on his own personal inquiries and research. It was originally published in French as a serialization in the early 1900s, and was later collected and published together as a...more
Hadrian
The plot is simple enough, our heroine has a nasty case of Stockholm Syndrome, and it's only too obvious that this is a patchwork serialization, but the author has a talent for writing an enchanting Gothic atmosphere. A good bit of fun for an afternoon.
Gina Mora
One of my new favorite books of all time...and one of the saddest. I never realized what a tragic character Eric, or the Opera Ghost, was. He just wanted to be loved. This does not excuse all of his behavior, but it does explain it. From his childhood, even his mother rejected him and despised him. I know that Christine is supposed to be the heroine of the novel and Raoul is supposed to be the hero. Yet, I found Raoul to be whiny, immature and just young- in the throws of a first love like all t...more
Black Elephants
Hold your hand up at your eyes as if you are about to pull the trigger of a pistol because we are about to discuss the ins and outs of the the mystery that Gaston Leroux claims to have succintly unraveled in The Phantom of the Opera. Like most great science fiction—Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein, etc—Leroux promises that the indepth research, second-hand accounts and confessions he has collected will finally unveil the labyrinthine scandal that still is fresh in the memories of Parisians.

And what...more
Karen Powell
What is interesting about this novel in light of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, is that the novel seems devoid of a hero. Erik, the Phantom, is a murderous psychopath. His muse, Christine, is a fragile wreck, and her lover Raoul is described as childish and whiny by the author. Yet, the gothic tale is very suspenseful, and we almost don't know who to root for. Erik's background is fascinating, and his genius almost overshadows his murderous rampages. The decent beneath the Opera House is very...more
Suvi
I hate when people try to compare this to the movies. Apart from the silent movie they have nothing to do with this story, except that the characters and the plot are almost the same. Same goes with the musical. Although enjoyable as its own, it has a completely different approach to the situation. The book just has more depth and is overall a great gothic twist of the basic Beauty and the Beast folklore. It's not scary for modern readers, yet it is a wonderful and twisted love story. Then again...more
Emily
Nov 27, 2007 Emily rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: classical-books
This is such a great, memorable book of all time. I love the story.

I've seen the Broadway Musical and the 2004/1925 movies, i expected the story to be as romantic and touching as A.L. Webber's original musical. And, yes, it WAS romantic and touching. However, the 1925 movie probably was the closest version of movie i saw towards the original piece of book, by Mr. Gaston Leroux.

At first, I didn't know the book was a horror story, but i was thrilled and was even afraid to read it in the dark--...more
Chrysann
There are so many things I could say about this book, and most of them aren't good. There was literally ONE thing I actually enjoyed.

Leroux presents the "strange affair" of the Phantom to us as if it were fact. Normally that wouldn't bother me too much, but it is continually insisted upon until you want to shout that there is no way it is at all possible and to kindly take your insanity elsewhere in case it's catching.

The plot is convoluted at best and constantly bounces between the main action...more
ShaLisa
Is the phantom to be pitied or despised? Is he cruel or passionate? Afterall, he a genius and a murderer. This book had layers of symbolism. I appreciated the depth - a story that presents a man of unparallel genius but also has an ugly face turning him into a monster. His story is sad. He is unloved and wants desperately to be loved and pleads with Christine to love him as though he could force such a thing. Does Christine love him? He is her angel of music, her tutor, the phantom that fills th...more
Laurel
**Added Note: THIS IS HOW YOU LOVE TRIANGLE**

I will never forget nor will I ever grow tired of the Phantom of the Opera.

The classic is amazing and immortal.

The musical is amazing and immortal.

The silent movie is breathtaking and hopefully immortal.

The 2004 Gerard Butler shitfest can burn forever, minus Emmy Rossum's Christine and Patrick Wilson's Raoul.



Linda
What a seriously tragic (and misunderstood!) human being! I mean, if you're treated like a monster because of the way you look, naturally, you develop some psychological disorder. If you have never been loved, even by your parents, it's really difficult to know what's right or wrong. It will have repercussions.

My only regret is that we get to follow Raoul, and his jealousy (which was pretty entertaining occasionally, but annoying most of the time). I had wanted to see the world through Christine...more
Elizabeth
I. LOVE. PHANTOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This all started when I saw the movie a long, long time ago for the first time. I loved it right away and watched it again ... and again ... and again ... and again! Then, just a month ago, I saw the Broadway show and I LOVED IT EVEN MORE!!! I highly recommend seeing it, it's fantastic. Anyway, then I decided to read the actual book that started it all. The beginning of it was a little tough to get into, but after that it was fantastic. The play,...more
Marvin
It is about time I've read this old horror classic. I've seen the 1925 Lon Chaney film, The 1943 movie with Claude Rains movie (My favorite even though it is the less horrific and inundated with light operatic moments), the 1962 Hammer film and the film of Webber's musical (My least favorite. I am sure the stage musical was in no way as boring). So I guess I felt the novel wouldn't have anything new to say. I should have known better. It is always best to go to the source. Of all the cinematic e...more
Chrissie
Don't look at my star rating to judge this book. I am not your typical mystery reader. Yup, it is amusing. Yup, all the parts weave together perfectly. It is very different from the musical, which I totally loved. I was pulled in and moved by the musical, not by this. This had parts that were quite funny, completely absent from the musical. Still, I was glad when it ended. Yeah, it deserves three stars, but not from me.

P.S. More discussion in the comments below.
Jemidar

Hmmm...maybe 3.5 stars.

Even though I've not seen the musical version of this and came to it with no real preconceived expectations, it was still totally not what I expected. For me the love story was secondary to the fascinating story of the opera house and it's inhabitants.

Buddy read with Anna :-).
Burgendya
This book is a wonderful gothic literary work. Gaston Leroux brillant writing has me as well as other readers with this masterpiece.

The Phantom of the Opera is about an insane musical genius haunting the Paris Opera House. Christine Daae, a new chorus girl, catches Erik's (phantom) eye and for the first time, the phantom falls for her. He comes to her as an Angel of Music and as he watches her from behind her mirror, he teaches Christine how to bring people to their knees with the splendour of...more
Candiss
I have seen this story performed as a musical several times, both live and on television or film, and I've always enjoyed it. I was afraid that without the iconic songs something might be lost for me, but honestly I think I liked the book even more than the musical. Even though this was written over one hundred years ago, it didn't feel overly formal, and I was never bored. The author kept me engaged throughout, although there were several passages that seemed to drag due to extended description...more
Lisa
The Phantom of the Opera has all the elements of gothic tales (see my review of Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho for further elaboration) with the added frisson of its contrast with the extravagant world of opera. Even in Australia where we tend to be casual about dress codes, people usually dress up for the opera, and our opera houses (not just the famous one in Sydney) are places of glitz and glamour. The Paris Opera is one of the most beautiful and opulent opera houses in the world, b...more
Erika
The title "The Phantom if the Opera" always sounded to me like a very delicious and interesting piece and it always got my attention. I always thought "man, i want to read that" but then thought of the huge list of classics i want to read and that made me hold myself back and not add it to my TBR pile.

I didn't realize how bad i wanted to read it until i came across a free audio version of this book and couldn't resist the temptation, i knew i had to get it and i began to listen immediately. I re...more
Sara
I'm a fan of Gothic novels, so this was a fun read. I haven't heard the story of the Phantom since my parents took me to see the musical (incidentally, my cousin told me that the chandelier fell into the audience and I totally believed her).

I'm really fascinated by the idea of a labyrinthine second world under the opera house. Apparently Leroux set his story in the real Opera Garnier, which makes me wonder how much of the underground rooms actually exist. Wikipedia tells me that there really is...more
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Gaston Louis Alfred Leroux was a French journalist and author of detective fiction.

In the English-speaking world, he is best known for writing the novel The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, 1910), which has been made into several film and stage productions of the same name, such as the 1925 film starring Lon Chaney, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 musical. It was also the basis of the 1...more
More about Gaston Leroux...
The Mystery of the Yellow Room Le parfum de la dame en noir The Phantom of the Opera (Great Illustrated Classics) Le fauteuil hanté The Secret of the Night

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“If I am the phantom, it is because man's hatred has made me so. If I am to be saved it is because your love redeems me.” 314 likes
“Erik is not truly dead. He lives on within the souls of those who choose to listen to the music of the night.” 300 likes
More quotes…