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Phantom

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  8,296 ratings  ·  613 reviews
"Powerful.moving tour de force." says Publisher's Weekly, Phantom "adds.new depth to the original story].. Haunting and unforgettable.a sensual and.poetic exploration of a man's internal conflict between good and evil and of a search for love amidst darkness and despair."
Paperback, 464 pages
Published November 24th 2005 by Media Creations Inc (first published 1990)
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Dominique It is an author's interpretation of Erik, the Phantom of the Opera's, life story starting from his birth. If you are familiar with the Phantom of the…moreIt is an author's interpretation of Erik, the Phantom of the Opera's, life story starting from his birth. If you are familiar with the Phantom of the Opera book written by Gaston Leroux then you should be able to understand/enjoy the book. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Echo
Jun 03, 2010 Echo rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Phans and only phans
Shelves: romance, duds
If Kay had stopped where The Phantom of the Opera book and musical started, she would have had a decent book on her hands. Despite turning Erik, the Phantom, into a terrible Gary Stu, she did give him an interesting and detailed history. In fact, if you stop reading the book before Christine comes in, I'd imagine it's pretty enjoyable. However, I kept reading, and there's my problem.

(Possible SPOILERS)

Once Christine and Raoul entered the story, I moved from wariness, to shock, to disbelief, to t
...more
Karin
Wow, I cannot say enough about this book. If you were captivated by any version of The Phantom of the Opera and loved the characters - especially Erik - you need to read this book. It was the first book to ever make me cry. Kay was so imaginative when she wrote the character of Erik and I thought she wrote him beautifully. I loved finally getting to explore his mind and the reasons why he was the way he was, and enjoyed reading of his supposed travels and finding out how he gained all of his kno ...more
Anne
Feb 09, 2011 Anne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults
Recommended to Anne by: Phantom Phans

Well, I finally read Susan Kay's "Phantom." Before I wrote my own book, I had read nothing but the original Leroux book as I did not want to be influenced by any other writer.
I must admit that this book is heartwrenching, sad, but beautifully crafted. I was continually amazed at the ability of the author to see into each character in the book and put it to paper.
Erik, of course, broke my heart. I was sick after the first chapter when I saw how his mother treated him. It was a miracle that he wa
...more
Karla
This book pretty much killed my future enjoyment of published "fanfiction" (like all the Jane Austen stuff and whatnot). Not because it was bad, but because it was so good. Kay didn't give the feel that she was a silly fan playing around in her idol's sandbox, like what is the case with so many who write books based on another's creation. This book was an agonizing read, and the Erik here is a brilliantly rendered character. His journey from the depths to heights of humanity yanked me through th ...more
Brittain (Tara Belle Talking)


Phantom by Susan Kay has been a favorite of mine for a really long time. I first got hooked on Phantom of the Opera stuff in high school. I watched the movie with Gerard Butler, I read the original novel by Gaston Leroux and I found this book. Then, in college among moving stuff from dorm to home and back again, I lost my copy of it! It's probably still floating around somewhere but I bought a new copy and I'm so thrilled that I was able to read it again.

Phantom really delves into the mind of th
...more
Meelazou
Sep 23, 2007 Meelazou rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody who likes to read
Shelves: favourites
First I have to say, I never really was interested in the Phantom of the Opera. I'm still not inclined to see this musical anytime soon.
But the book is different. The author uses beautiful language that describes the emotions of the characters so well that you really emphasize with them. Especially the main character Erik, who was born with a mutilated face and has to wear a mask constantly to hide it.
The book is divided in several parts with different point of views. The first part is written f
...more
Bookish
My mind has touched the farthest horizons of mortal imagination and reaches ever outward to embrace infinity. There is no knowledge beyond my comprehension, no art or skill upon this entire planet that lies beyond the mastery of my hand. And yet, like Faust, I look in vain. I learn in vain...For as long as I live, no woman will ever look on me in love....

My kingdom lies in eternal darkness, many feet below the level of the Parisian streets outside, shrouded in the chill silence of the grave. Dar
...more
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna
Rating: 4.5 stars

I recently read The Phantom of the Opera, and while I liked it, I didn't love it. The character of Erik fascinated me, but I resented it when Christine and Raoul interrupted his story; they seemed almost superfluous, they bored me, they got in the way. So when Susan Kay's Phantom was recommended, I jumped at the chance to discover more about the enigmatic Erik.

Phantom begins with his birth; horribly disfigured, he's instantly rejected by his mother, a rejection which will impac
...more
Hannah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie
Oh boy. I could talk about this book for longer than it takes to read it, but I think I can sum up my feelings on it in one sentence.

It is my absolute favorite novel that I have ever read.

I have read quite a few novels. It's hard to decisively say which is my favorite. That is, it would be hard, had I not read this book.

I've been in a sort of love affair with the story of the Phantom of the Opera for a year or so now. It started with a webcomic. That's another story. Right now we're talking abou
...more
Eric
I first heard about this book when I happened to see an interview with Hugh Panaro, the then-star of "Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway. He suggested the text as required reading for anyone looking to play the character of the Phantom or anyone looking to understand his character on a deeper level. Since "Phantom of the Opera" is (hands-down) my favorite Broadway show, and since I promised my father that I would find a way to produce the show with the Drama Club I direct, I thought I'd give it a ...more
Cailin
This is one of my favorite books. If you like the story of the Phantom of the Opera, you'll be both astounded and heartbroken by Susan Kay's portrayal of Eric's life - from his birth, to after his death.
Often, with tales from the "bad guy's" perspective, you start to feel sorry for the antagonist. The traditional Phantom of the Opera does this already; you feel sorry for the "bad guy," but you ultimately end up siding with Christine.
Phantom does something a little different. You fall in love wi
...more
Gemma
I've met my match. I have never ever ever come across a book, barring this one, that I just couldn't handle reading for extended periods of time. Not because it was bad, but because it was just so darn sad!

I'm a huge fan of Leroux's original novel and I'm always nervous about reading anything to do with Phantom of the Opera (I'm still recovering from The Phantom of Manhattan), but there really wasn't anything to worry about with this one. Susan Kay did a remarkable job of fleshing out Erik's pre
...more
MAP
I first read this book when I was 14, so it's hard to know how I would have felt about it if I'd read it now, because it is so deeply ingrained in how I approach the Phantom mythology and the character of Erik.

That said, I loved this book so much at 14 I remember reading the book during my freshman year classes, and then reading the whole thing over and over and over. Even now, I can pick up this book, flip to any random page, and just love wherever I'm at. There are only 2 other books I can do
...more
rachel nicole
I love Phantom of the Opera more than... a lot of things. In fact, I'd say that it is my all-time favorite "love" story/musical/production/movie (2004) ever. I have no shame in the fact that I'm literally obsessed with POTO. But, of course, there are a few problems. I think this book a phenomenal retelling of the origianl work, and I appreciated how she attempted to stay (somewhat) close to Gaston Leroux's, and I enjoyed learning about Erik's past, whether or not it was true. I had some problems ...more
Kristine
As soon as I finished this book, I paused for a few minutes and then turned to page one to relive the whole journey again. I loved Kay's writing style. The story was imaginative and fit like a glove for my idea of Erik. I can't say enough about the first 2/3 of the book. AND THEN...I don't know what happened. The last part of the book (essentially where Christine and Erik meet) didn't sit right with me the first time I read it. It was even worse the second time. I realize Kaye had to somewhat st ...more
Ann
I was REALLY into Phantom of the Opera when I was about 13, and still love the story and atmosphere, even if I'm not as enthralled with the musical as I was then. I read the novel a few years ago and liked that as well, so at that time I made a list of Phantom-based books, including this one. Basically, it's glorified fan fiction, but it wasn't terrible. One of the great appeals of the Phantom is speculating over his past, and this novel satisfies that in ways I enjoyed more than I anticipated. ...more
Michelle
What can I say about this book, really? This was a re-read. A re-read, in fact, of many many times. I've lost count of how many times I've read this book since it first came out in the early 1990s. The book tells the story of Erik's (the Phantom of the Opera) life from birth to death. Kay does an amazing job with taking those little hints Leroux gives about Erik's life and expanding them out into believable sections that ultimately shaped the man to become who is seen in the Leroux novel (which ...more
Jennifer
The description reads that this book is 'Haunting' and that is pretty accurate. When I see the pic of the book cover, I still feel the same way I did when I was reading the book. I'm one of those corny Phantom-lovers so you'll have to take my review with at least that grain of salt.

I LOVED this book and would read it again. I also read this one on a cruise and if you are looking to get lost in a book, this is a great one to get lost in. The author is a wonderful storyteller and this book will ca
...more
Leyla Fernandez
I read this novel a long time ago. I remember I was a teenager when I read this book. I've read it like 5 times and it still makes me burst in emotions.
I remember the book's edge slightly peeping between others in my parents book shelf, all red and full of dust. I just wanted to read something and I was instantly drawn to pick it up. And when I did, I blew the dust away and there I saw the beautiful cover. A golden mask, the name "Phantom of the Opera" by Susan Kay in all its red background glo
...more
Briana
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathryn
Sep 21, 2009 Kathryn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Phantom of the Opera Lovers, Romance Lovers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ioet
I love Phantom of the Opera. I'm completely obsessed with it. However, unlike most of the Phantom fans I know, this book really didn't do that much for me - it's not that good - in the end, all I cared about in this story were the animals.[return][return]First, I really did enjoy it. It held my attention well enough. But I found that there was something in it that was just *missing* - I think it may be the writing itself. It's not particularly well-written. It didn't make me cry or laugh or yell ...more
Ingrid
Sometimes (a lot of times) I need to reread a novel. Most of the time when I do that, I end up thinking differently of the book the second time. I pick up on things that I didn't notice the first (or second, third, fourth time in some cases.) Such was the case with this gem.

Why did I feel the need to reread this? Because I had a crazy dream featuring the Phantom of the Opera as a car-obsessed, gothic mansion, poisner person (yes, it was me he poisoned, but he gave me the antidote immediately!)
...more
E.A. Bucchianeri
Gaston Leroux's tale of a disfigured genius living in the cellars of the Paris Opéra and falling in love with a beautiful singer has become a classic, thanks due to the many film adaptations and especially to Andrew Lloyd Webber's award-winning musical sensation.

After the début of Webber's version, the Phantom theme has grown into a cultural phenomenon with a league of “Phans” enthralled with the love story cum mystery thriller similar to the Romantic generation of the 19th century that was capt
...more
Summer
It's rare that I hear this much about a book before reading it, and have so many expectations. The beginning was not nearly as painful as I thought it should be and the ending, for reasons I can't even explain, was vastly more so. It felt a little odd that the author sets up the tiniest details in the beginning to jive with Leroux and then, once the story as we know it begins, jumps into a retelling that's one part the original novel, one part of the musical, and one part something else beside - ...more
Ashley
What can one say about the Phantom of the Opera that has not already been said. Susan Kay said a lot. I was surprised by this book multiple times. I loved the first 100 pages discussing the Erik's childhood. There were moments where I thought I could cry for him. I found his intellect to be astonishing and interesting.
However, there were many instances where I felt Kay's writing lacked. Many times she would repeat the same exact scenes from a different perspective, which were not needed. I bel
...more
Dottie
If you liked the play Phantom of the Opera, you will love Susan Kay's book Phantom! Because Gaston Leroux left so many holes in his tale, such as where did the Persian come from? Why did he feel responsible for Eric? How did the Phantom come to live in the Opera House? How could he have built his underground world? How did he get the wedding ring on his finger when they found him after his death?

Susan Kay fills in all of those gaps as she tells the story of Eric from the beginning. She remains
...more
Nicole
This is definitely a must-read for any Phantom fan!

There are truly no words to explain the beauty and the humanity that Erik a.k.a. The Phantom possesses in this book. It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me gasp in horror and tremble with anticipation. Susan Kay does a fantastic job capturing the war-ravaged heart of Erik, giving him a horrible, loveless background but a deep-set humanity that surpasses all expectations. It is needless to say that I fell in love with this man for the beau
...more
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Susan Kay (b. 1953) is a writer.

She is most known for her book, Phantom, which expands upon the history of Erik, the character from Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera, in an episodic format of seven chapters from different characters' points of view.

Susan Kay did not travel to Iran to research the novel, although she did research in person at the Paris Opera House.

Her first novel was Legacy,
...more
More about Susan Kay...
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“None of us can choose where we shall love...” 302 likes
“My mind has touched the farthest horizons of mortal imagination and reaches ever outward to embrace infinity. There is no knowledge beyond my comprehension, no art or skill upon this entire planet that lies beyond the mastery of my hand. And yet, like Faust, I look in vain, I learn in vain. . . . For as long as I live, no woman will ever look on me in love.” 31 likes
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