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The Phantom of Manhattan

2.99  ·  Rating details ·  2,681 ratings  ·  312 reviews
The stunning continuation of the timeless classic The Phantom of the Opera.

In The Phantom of Manhattan, acclaimed, bestselling suspense novelist Frederick Forsyth pens a magnificent work of historical fiction, rife with the insights and sounds of turn-of-the-century New York City, while continuing the dramatic saga which began with Gaston Leroux's brilliant novel The Phant
Paperback, 263 pages
Published December 15th 2000 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published June 1st 1996)
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Average rating 2.99  · 
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 ·  2,681 ratings  ·  312 reviews

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Jun 19, 2008 rated it did not like it
A book that would have been readable had it not tried to be a sequel to Phantom of the Opera; a book that would have been readable had it not been for the arrogant, conceited preface in which the author has the gall to insist that Gaston Leroux did not understand his own characters and that Andrew Lloyd Webber corrected these errors. The preface is truly the only remarkable prose in this novel as it is completely unnecessary and is riddled with fallacies in logic in the author's attempts to just ...more
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
I'm not entirely sure what to think of this novel still. I heard so many terrible things about it that it actually wasn't as bad as I imagined it to be. In fact, I'd probably say it is no worse than Susan Kaye's "Phantom."

Some of the things it has going for it
The characters aren't too terribly out of character. Christine is a heck of a lot more mature than I remember her to be in the original novel, but this is ten years and one child later. Raoul doesn't really play much of a part, but he seem
Nov 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
Honestly, I think Frederick Forsyth should be ashamed of himself for writing such absolute tripe. He clearly is unfamiliar with Leroux's original novel and casts Erik in a humiliating light that the original character would never countenance. To be avoided at all costs. ...more
Feb 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
Never in my life have I chanced upon an unauthorized "sequel" to a classic (cult classic is more appropriate in this case, perhaps) that insults the original within the first five sentences. That is impressive! And it continues, page after page, scoffing at Leroux's original novel and pointing out how unremarkable it was for most of his life, arguing the most inane points against it that seem to miss the point of dramatic effect entirely. Claiming something is true in a work of fiction is a lite ...more
Sep 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
Tweaking slightly because I felt like it...

So this is what regret feels like....

Against my better judgment and the advice of everyone I've heard mention this atrocity, I went to the library and borrowed The Phantom of Manhattan. Thank God I didn't actually waste money on buying it. I ended up reading it as fast as I could--not because it was any good at all, but just to get it over with as soon as possible. And I still have no clue how I managed to keep from throwing the stupid thing across the
Jolene Haack
Sep 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
If you began this book and only got as far as the preface, it would be forgivable. Forsyth begins by saying that Leroux's novel is garbage and he misunderstood the character of the Phantom and the Persian and he got his facts wrong and blah blah blah. This is all interesting except for the fact that Leroux CREATED the characters. Forsyth then goes on to say that Andrew Lloyd Webber's creation is the only one that gets it right and is the only one worth paying attention to. As a massive fan of th ...more
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
As the book was out-of-print, I read this on my Kindle (which I hardly ever do). Forsyth prefaces his novel with an analysis of Leroux's "The Phantom of the Opera" (which serves as the prequel to Forsyth's story). The analysis provides both a critical perspective on Leroux's text as well as an explanation for the rationale behind Forsyth's novel. It is worth the read.

As to the novel itself, it presents a somewhat unique narration in that the narrator changes from chapter to chapter. This techniq
Feb 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
What a piece of utter rubbish.
(Apologies if this review seems like a rant kind of is.)
I must confess that I didn't actually read through the entire book, but instead skimmed it because I had already heard various reviews on how miserable this book is. And that is all completely true.
Mr. Forsyth sets himself up for failure from page 1, with his pompous 'preface', where he insists on bashing the original Phantom of the Opera novel by Gaston Leroux.
Let me tell you. If you are ab
Jun 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a litte girl I had an obsession with The Phantom of the Opera. From the time I was 4 years old I could sing the Original Toronto Cast Recording Soundtrack from beginning to end (and hit the notes too)! I dreamed of being Christine and was totally in love with the Phantom. To this day, an original copy of the soundtrack is still in my car and 20 years later, I'm still singing along and reciting random lines from the stage production. When I went to see the production again, when it returned to ...more
Apr 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
A perfect example of someone who messed something he really should not have. This is one of the more ridiculous attempts at a Phantom Sequel which unfortunately spawned "Love Never Dies". Thankfully, ALW did NOT take a lot of the elements in this book into the stage version, but my views on the stage version are already documented on Facebook.

The first error the author made was a cheap shot at Rauol by having him castrated. This seems to be something so many phan phiction writers like to do to p
Camille Maio
As a long-term Phantom fan, I've read many iterations of fan fiction and always enjoy the different spins on it. I liked Forsyth's take on putting Erik in Manhattan and the way it was told through multiple points of view was very original. It wasn't a page turner to me, but an important one to read, I think, for other Phans who can't get enough of the story. ...more
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
First off, this is full of spoilers. If anything could really spoil this book more than actually reading it.

I had heard some absolutely scathing things about this book, which only made me want to read it more (word-of-mouth can work either way sometimes). To summarise; it really wasn't as bad as I had heard.

The thing that irritated me the most about the book was the preface, in particular the argument that Lloyd Webber's version of the story was "the only one to make sense". That I don't agree
Alexandria Brim
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: american-history
Is there a way to edit the Goodreads synopsis? Because it says this is a sequel to Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Operabut it's not. Forsyth in his prologue/intro/whatever admits this is based on the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. (view spoiler) This isn't a bad thing as so far, Webber's adaptation is one of the more faithful ones I've seen since the original sile ...more
Jul 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Phantom of the Opera, orignally written by Gaston Leroux, has been adapted innumerable times for broadway and the theatre. Each adaptation has been different in its own way and so has been the one by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Webber has taken the key elements of the Leroux's version and knitted his own tale of the The Phantom of the Opera in which he has removed the shady aspects of Leroux's phantom. Webber's phantom is devoid of the ruthless brutality and the demonic cunningness that were so int ...more
Christine Starkey
Apr 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
After Andrew Lloyd Webber announced he was making the sequel to “The Phantom of the Opera” based on Frederick Forsyth’s book “The Phantom of Manhattan”, I was very disappointed. I am a “PHANATIC” when it comes to Webber’s Phantom musical and Gaston Leroux’s book, and both had already perfect endings for the characters that are heart-breaking and true. Why do a sequel? How COULD you do a sequel?

Curiosity gave in and I got a hold of this book. I was disappointed before reading it, I was pissed aft
'Oh my God, I'm dying. I see a tunnel with light at the end. I feel my soul leaving my body.' Uff... not the best kind of writing. Most of the story is told through monologues with a minimum of dialogues and practically no narration - it is rather tell than show. Then at 40% we are treated to the detailed and IMHO superfluous infodump of a backstory of father Joe, camouflaged as a dialogue between father Joe and his ward, young Pierre de Chagny. Pierre interrogates him as if they haven't been kn ...more
Rachel Swords
Jul 31, 2011 rated it did not like it
I'm pretty sure enough people have trashed this story, so all I'm going to say is if this is what Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to his award winning hit will be based on, musical theatre is in trouble as we know it. Also, as a Creative Writing major, and one who hasn't had many works published yet, I feel like I already know a bit more than Mr. Forsyth as far as taking on a beloved story: it's all very well to continue the tale, but you do NOT bash the story nor the author that came before it! Su ...more
May 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read most of the susan kay novel of the phantom up to the point where he was with Christine in the last few chapters.I agree with most people today that this is a tragedy and not a horror. In this book you could see Eric's genius and how he put it to use to become wealthy. Characters from the phantom of the opera are talked about and brought into play like Cristine and Madame Giry. But I don't feel that Eric's emotional state was done as well as susan kay painted him. I read it mostly because ...more
Oct 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: phantom phans
Most Phantom fans hated this book but me...but it was wrong to say that it is the sequel to the original novel by Gaston Leroux, it was the sequel to Andrew Loyld Webber's musical (thank you very much :D) I love the style it was written in like the original novel and the fact that it takes place in New York. Can't say much about this unless your a "phan" but don't judge a book by its cover if you haven't read it give it a shot and see what you think. ...more
Ann Thomas
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. Extremely clever - gripping and tear-jerking. The Phantom didn't die, but escaped to Manhattan, where he lived for years, unseen, plotting a reunion with Christine. ...more
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
So I actually read this book because I found out it was the source material for Andrew Lloyd Weber's Love Never Dies. Let me tell you, I have some opinions. This book was SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING than the plot of LND. Barely ANYTHING from this book made it through to the finished musical - basically just the idea that the Phantom went to New York and opened up a park on Coney Island. The whole Pierre thing (re-named Gustave? for some reason?) was so much more ambiguous in the musical as well. Th ...more
Matthew Cross
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
fantastic book , first i dont get the hate , having just read the phantom of the opera i fully get forsyths introduction every thing he said was write including how a chandelier of 200000 or so tones hang from an opera sealing ? fantastic sequel that led on to the brilliant show adaption of love never dies
surprisingly makes more sense than Love Never Dies.
Colee B
Aug 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
The plus side of this book is that it's terribly short, so if you do feel a need to read this then it won't take too much of your time. The positives pretty much end there. I knew that POM has not been well received in the Phan community before I picked this up, but I adored Love Never Dies so much that I wanted to give this a go. Unfortunately, the charm and passion from LND is nowhere to be found, and instead replaced with horrible pacing, predictable story and lackluster writing. The fact tha ...more
Christina Williams
Aug 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
I was completely disappointed by this book. I'm in love with the original and the musical so I was super excited to read this. I was absolutely disappointed. I thought it was not true to the characters I loved from the book and the musical. The original leads you to believe that Christine, traumatized by everything that happened, is happy to marry Raoul and retire to quiet life in the country.

This book turns that all on its head. I absolutely hated the thought that Raoul became some bitter man w
Nov 30, 2010 rated it did not like it
Well let's just say this is at the very bottom of my books now getting covered in dust, unlike the others it does not get taken back out and smiled at and opened, it just sits there.

Forsyth could not have started this book more horribly I swear. You cannot start a book that is supposed to be a sequel by saying the first was all wrong and how his character's were not who they were. It is a work of FICTION so how can the author get everything wrong when he is it's creator?

Also how every other chap
Jun 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dark
This book made me cry. I thought it was a very clever offshoot from the Phantom of the Opera story. I love the humanity that is finally expressed in a protagonist that has always been somewhat Byronic...I don't even know if a lot of people would refer to him as the protagonist, previously.
I also enjoyed Raoul's emasculation...that just warmed me up inside, especially since I never particularly cared for him at all. When I saw the play in person, I was annoyed beyond compare when Raoul had to si
Philippa Evans
May 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
I cannot really say that I enjoyed this book. Forsyth, in the introduction, lists the absurdities and contradictions to be found in Gaston Leroux's "Phantom of the Opera", but I do not think that the author does a better job in "The Phantom of Manhattan". I found the characters to be rather one-dimensional, and some of their choices bizarre. While the penultimate chapter had some interesting things to say about the importance of journalism, the book, as a whole, fell short of my expectations. In ...more
Jul 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Ever wonder what the Phantom did after Christine dumped him to marry her handsome suitor? Well, this book answers that question. In fact, it begins before his years underground, in the Paris Opera House, introduces us to the woman who changed his life, and takes us along on his journey to the United States, where he develops an empire and becomes the Donald Trump of his day (all through a surrogate, so he never had to appear in public). The woman who changed his life very early, also changes his ...more
Dec 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
Who in their right mind would allow an author to pervert and trample a classic the way Forsyth has done with this sorry excuse for a "sequel"?

Serves me right, anyhow. I'm rarely impressed by sequels.

It seems to me that he [Forsyth] marketed this one to readers who are totally oblivious to the existance of Leroux's novel, and who have latched on to the idea that "the play" is where it all began.

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Frederick Forsyth, CBE is an English author and occasional political commentator. He is best known for thrillers such as The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File, The Fourth Protocol, The Dogs of War, The Devil's Alternative, The Fist of God, Icon, The Veteran, Avenger, The Afghan, and recently The Cobra and The Kill List.

The son of a furrier, he was born in Ashford, Kent, educated at Tonbridge Scho

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