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The Phantom of the Opera (Penguin Classics) Paperback – May 29, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

About the Author

Gaston Leroux, born in Paris in 1868, was a French journalist, playwright, and detective/thriller writer. Beginning his career as a crime reporter and war correspondent, he lived an adventurous life that took him to Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and even into North Africa disguised as an Arab. His high-spirited, often dangerous, escapades and questioning nature provided much of the background and plot material for his sensational mystery and adventure stories, particularly those starring his reporter-sleuth, Joseph Rouletabille. One of his most famous detective novels, The Mystery of the Yellow Room, was published in 1907, and his works have been called “among the finest examples of the detective stories we possess.” But Leroux’s best-known story is The Phantom of the Opera (1911), whose macabre hero has been played in film by classic horror film stars Lon Chaney and Claude Rains. Leroux died in Nice in 1927.

Mireille Ribière is a freelance author and translator. She holds a PhD in twentieth-century French literature from the University of London and is a well-known specialist of the work of French writer Georges Perec. She has published extensively in the fields of twentieth century literature, as well as photography and the visual arts.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Revised edition (May 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141191503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141191508
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Whitney on April 8, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Its the most beautiful of the English translations but sacrifices some of the old style and wording to keep it lyrical and smooth to read--a tone that really suits the plot better than the original; however seeing as its supposed to be "a true story in editorial format" the journalistic tone does make more sense for the story if not the plot.

All it in all, more than worth the read and its my favorite to re-read of the translations but if you're looking for the most detailed translation or one to reference for a paper, the Lowell Bair one would be a better bet
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 30, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Janet Cohen on May 5, 2014
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This really gives the flavor of Belle Epoch Paris. The descriptions of the Opera Garnier, the backstage life and the stage door romances are at once charming and I am very convinced founded on a wonderful combination of first hand observation and first rate imagination. All the characters are at once impossible, fascinating, type cast, and fun. The scenes are complex and involve unending secret passages, doorways, rivers, closets. You can spend hours trying to conjure up the action that is described and still be confounded. I highly recommend this book for all fans of Paris.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phantomholdsmyheart on June 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The story of The Phantom of The Opera is one of the best loved of all time, from movies, to musicals, to sequels, and fan fiction. And who wouldn't love the story of the disfigured musical genius and his love for the beautiful Swedish soprano? There is so much life, so much feeling and emotion within this book. It's something to be treasured again and again. The self-sacrafice and redemtion of Erik, and the otherworldly connection that binds him and Christine together.

This new translation of a timeless classic is lyrical and enthralling. As I had previously only read the Alexander Texeira De Matthos translation(which is murder to the original)I was shocked to find how much had been omitted! Mirielle's prose is detailed and haunting. The annotations are informative and interesting, though I do wish that they hadn't been in the back, and rather on the same page as their indications..., but that's a minor thing. The introduction was fascinating and studious. Buy it. You won't be dissapointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Weldon on October 23, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The Phantom of the Opera is one of my favorite stories ever. I watched the old movies as a child, I went to see the play by Andrew Lloyd Weber, which is awesome, and the movie with Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum is fabulous, I can watch it over and over. But it's great to read the book and get in touch with the original story. It's a classic for me and I'm very pleased to include it in my library of great reads!
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Unique writing style keep the suspense going, as well as the action. Old school page turner. I read this book a long time ago, saw the movie, watch the play, yet I was still captivated by the book not just because of the story but also because the rythm.
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By Amazon Customer on February 26, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow ... Not sure I can ever watch the musical again. I had NO IDEA there is so much more to the story! Now, so many things make sense - but I will never understand why so much that's really integral to understanding the story was cut.
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By Heather on June 6, 2013
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My daughter wanted to read this and loves it immensely. A++++++++, highly recommended for anyone who loves to read books.
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