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The Phantom of the Opera: The Original Novel Mass Market Paperback – December 30, 1987


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Mass Market Paperback, December 30, 1987
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; New edition edition (December 30, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060809248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060809249
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.3 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (536 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,043,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Ingenious . . . breathless suspense.”—The Nation


From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation)

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Customer Reviews

Read the book and found it hard to put down.
jbriggs
I have always been a fan of Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera, and have considered the 1925 movie version the best of all versions.
Timothy S. Rauser
This is definately a very wonderful book, and a beautiful love story (tied in with a chilling horror tale).
Forevermore33

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

207 of 211 people found the following review helpful By A. T. A. Oliveira on August 8, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Before the Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, there was Gaston Leroux's original novel "The Phantom of the Opera". I have never seen the production stage, and I knew only a few things of the story, so when I reached the middle of the narrative I was surprised because it is totally different from what I expected. And it was a great surprise.

More than a love story, "The Phantom of the Opera" is a gothic tale of obsession --leading to madness. The Paris Opera House and its hidden rooms, and underground are perfect place to develop a horror story. Leroux noticed this potential. His descriptions of the place are creepy and in the end we start wondering if it is not a true story indeed.

Leroux was very smart, writing a novel like he was only reporting something --and not creating a work of fiction. Therefore there are police reports, newspapers' scraps, witness interviews. More than a narrator, the person who is telling the story is only gathering useful information for the reader.

His characters are real human beings --even the `ghost', than throughout the narrative we realize that he is the one with most human characteristics. Sometimes, Christine is a little stereotypical, mostly when she says she wants to be `the mistress of her faith' or something like it. And so is Raoul --but that doesn't diminish the qualities of this engaging novel.

All in all, this is a French classic that I highly recommend --however one must be patient because the narrative is a little confusing and slow sometimes, but never boring.
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100 of 103 people found the following review helpful By JR Pinto on January 30, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third translation of Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera that I have purchased, and I don't regret it. Most of us are familiar with the "official" translation - the one that is the tie-in for the musical (and countless other editions). Leonard Wolf gives us a newer and - as he feels - more faithful interpretation of the French text. (Sidenote: In the tie-in translation, the Phantom never refers to himself as the Phantom: only as the Opera Ghost, or O.G. In this version, he is always the more musical Phantom of the Opera.)

If you have not read Phantom yet, you may be a bit distracted by the voluminous footnotes. For the familiar reader however, the footnotes are the main reason to buy this edition. Wolf provides valuable insight into many areas of the text. He points out inconsistencies: Raoul goes from being 21 to 20. He provides commentary on the mythological allusions in the text.

Most valuable, he provides artistic commentary on the book. He shows how Phantom fits into Gothic conventions: the damsel-in-distress being menaced by a sexually threatening outsider, only to be rescued by a non-sexual aristocrat. But it is not quite that simple; Wolf shows that there are only two protagonists in the piece: Christine and Erik. He rightly shows Raoul for the foolish little sap that he is. He thinks that Leroux intended it to be that way, and that Christine has a much stronger bond with Erik than she does Raoul.

On the whole, I wish Wolf had written more. How about interpretive essays on the various adaptations, including the Lloyd Weber musical? He does include a lengthy introduction about the novel and Gaston Leroux himself. This volume is a must-have for any Phantom-enthusiast.
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102 of 105 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 5, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
The mask, the music, the dark mysteries, and the tortured, deformed genius who just wants love. "The Phantom of the Opera" is so well known that its story needs no explanation.

But Gaston Leroux's novel is still a spellbinding experience, full of atmospheric horror, a sense of gothic mystery, and lushly evocative language. But its crown jewel is Erik: a magnificently tortured anti-hero who inspires more horror, pity and sympathy than the rather flat hero and heroine.

The Paris opera house is said to be haunted by a ghost with a "death's head," who demands a small salary and a reserved box. Despite the sightings and fears of ballerinas and stagehands, the new managers are determined to stamp out this ridiculous story -- despite threatening letters and increasing accidents that happen around them.

Meanwhile, budding diva Christine Daae is taking Paris by storm, although nobody quite knows who taught her how to sing. And when her childhood friend Viscount Raoul de Chagny pays her a visit, he hears a passionate exchange between her and a man -- but there's no man there. She credits her new vocal abilities to the Angel of Music, but of course, that self-same Angel is the opera ghost.

As the Phantom becomes even more attached to Christine, Raoul soon finds that the ghost is actually a half-mad, horribly deformed musical genius named Erik -- and that after Christine saw his true face, he made her become engaged to him. The young lovers plan to run away together, but the "Angel of Music" isn't about to allow his beloved Christine to leave him...

Apparently there actually were some odd events -- including rumours of an opera ghost -- happening when Gaston Leroux began writing "The Phantom of the Opera.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Narya of the fire on May 4, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Everyone at one point in their lives has heard of the story of The Phantom of the Opera whether it is the oringal novel version or Andrew Lyod Webber's musical. However this is where it all began with the publication of Leroux's original novel.

I must admit that at first glance the book seems very dry and written more or less from a reporter or journalist's perspective. More or less it reminded me of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula in the fact that many of the areas of the book are written though the point of others. But once you get past seemingly the dry exterior you find an immeasurable cornucopia of amazing characters, events and one of the best literary love's and gothic work of fiction. IT personally took me a good 20 pages before I became completely absorbed in Leroux's rich world of amazing detail.

The story mainly revolves around the Vicomte Raoul de Chagny who has fallen in love with the beautiful Christine Daae who is being haunted by a mysterious "ghost" in her dressing room. The plot moves as anyone would suspect when Christine begins to return the feelings of the Vicomte but then he soon comes to realize that Christine's ghost is real and has a thing or three to say about their relationship.

I found this novel amazing, I read it in one day from the moment I picked it up and nearly had it confiscated when I was reading it in class when I should have been taking notes. There is just so much raw emotion, mystery and love in this amazing story. I could not help but be swept up in it like a tidal wave. The book gives the character of the Phantom, or Erik, so much more depth and emotions than what the ALW version even began to scratch the surface of.
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