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Phantom [Mass Market Paperback]

Susan Kay
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)

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Mass Market Paperback, 31 Dec 1994 --  
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Book Description

31 Dec 1994
A child is born... His  mother's only gift is a mask. Precocious and  gifted, he will live friendless and alone. taunted and  abused, he will flee, only to find himself caged  again-as a freak in a Gypsy carnival. A brilliant  outcast... the world is his home. Filled with  bitter rage, he will kill to escape, becoming a  stonemason's apprentice in Rome... a dark magician at  the treacherous Persian court... and finally, the  genius behind the construction of the Paris Opera  House and the labyrinthine world below. Lacking  one thing only: A woman's love. Cloaked in secrets,  his power complete, he will see the exquisite  Christine and for the first time know what it means to  love. Obsessed, he will bring her into his eerie  subterranean world, driven to posses her heart and  soul. Phantom--A haunting  story of power and darkness, of magic and murder, of  sensuality and betrayal, and ultimately, the  unforgettable story of a man and a woman and the eternal  quality of love.


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 532 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group; Reissue edition (31 Dec 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440211697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440211693
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 11.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 945,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phantastic! A truly amazing achievement! 4 May 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Susan Kay has created a masterpiece. She tells Erik's story with surprising originality yet retains all the integrity of Leroux's original novel. Though Leroux's novel is a masterpiece in itself, there is always the sense that he could have done so much more, a truly amazing lifestory lying there waiting to be told if only someone had the patience, skill and love to do it. Kay has taken on this task and created one of the best novels I have ever read. It is clear throughout that she is passionate about the Phantom, as many of us are, but she never lets her obvious love of the character stand in the way of the realism. We love the Phantom of our own accord, not under her instruction. Her historical insight is extraordinary and it is clear she has taken great care to preserve the integrity of every aspect of Erik's life.
A truly great novel by all standards. Why it has not been reprinted I will never know.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, Solid Gothic 13 Aug 2006
By S. Caughie VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Having a weak spot for a good Gothic tale, I've had my eye on this for a while. However, I wasn't willing to pay the extortionate prices it tends to sell for - even, sadly, the reprint. I finally found a cheap-ish one a few weeks ago, deliberated (mainly due to the previous review!), finally bought it, and have just spent a very enjoyable few days reading it. I've decided to review it mainly because I don't quite agree with the prevailing 'It's the best book ever' assessment, nor with the criticism in the last review, particularly of it being 'sexed up'.

What this book is, is a solid novel in the old-school Gothic tradition. Given that, I didn't find Christine annoying - or no more so than your typical heroine of this genre (pretty, weak, and yes, occasionally insipid, but only where the plot demands it...) As for being sexed up, well, I suppose it is compared to the original novel, given the disparate times in which the two were written. But only one of the three characters who is still sexually attracted to Erik after seeing his face actually acts on it; meanwhile, all three have pretty solid - if not always socially acceptable - reasons for their attraction. And actually, for a romantic novel, there was remarkably little sex involved. Most of the book deals with the terrible hardships Erik endures due to his disfigurement, and I actually thought that Kay presents this, and his resulting conflicted personality, very well.

Why not five stars, then? A lot of little reasons it's not worth going into here, ending with personal bias...only a handful of books move me to the extent that I'd call them perfect. This isn't a perfect book; but it is a very, very good one. Look out for a copy that isn't 20, buy it, and enjoy it for exactly what it is.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow 25 April 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
One of the few books that, when I finished it, all I could say was wow. Atruly amazing, very moving piece of literature. I actually cried when Iread this. It adds much more depth to Gaston Leroux's story, and is reallyworth reading. Like the Phantom's voice, it seduces you. You have thislittle voice in your head, telling you to keep reading. I could hardly putit down. Read it, even if you're not a fan of the Phantom of the Opera.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating `could not put down` read. 19 May 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Susan Kay must have put a lot of hard work into this wonderful account of the life of the phantom, I found it so good I read it again and again, it is set out in individual character chapters, so you can choose your favourites when you have some spare time. There is a lot of research into places that add to the enjoyment, if, like me, you like to really picture where the action takes place. Be prepared to fall for the phantom all over again as you follow his life from birth with pity , anger, respect for his talent, and a whole gamut of feelings. Susan Kay`s phantom, Erik, is well travelled, self educated, talented, mysterious and imperious. At the same time,he is lonely and searching for the one thing that can make his dreams come true. A great book for real Phantom fans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The MOST romantic book that I have ever read! 1 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book evoked so much emotion in me and I rate it along with some of the most famous romantic movies. Susan Kay was able make me feel what the characters were feeling, with such ease. I cried when the book was finished - I just didn't want it to end. Having seen the The Phantom of the Opera, and hearing Andrew Lloyd Webber's music, made the book that much more real, as I was able to feel and imagine so much more vividly, this beautiful story. The book encompasses his life, from birth to death and it brings him to life and shows the beautiful person he was. I recommend this book whenever I can, and I thought it interesting that it was strongly recommended to myself by a man.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phantom is no ghost of a story 12 Jun 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When I read this book for the first time, it was like all my prayers for the perfect Phantom of the Opera novel were being answered. In my opinion, this spectacular piece of fiction far surpasses the original by Gaston Leroux. It answered questions that original had left unanswered and it touched me very deeply. The depth and intensity of the characters was amazing and it's a wonder that Kay isn't a very well known author. From the very first page you will not be able to stop reading. A definate suggestion for all Phantom of the Opera fans.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!
Such a wonderful exploration of character and the love that was merely hinted at in the original novel. I loved it!
Published 2 months ago by ash
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
I read this read 30 yrs ago and then lost the book I have been looking for it every since, one of the best I've ever read
Published 3 months ago by mags
5.0 out of 5 stars Phantom
"The cuckoo you see...the cuckoo is a beautiful bird..."

For those who have read this book, the above quotation needs no explanation, for those who have not read it,... Read more
Published 6 months ago by butterflies12
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!
I am half way through this book and so far I have not been able to put it down. It is quite a sad story but it is beautifully written. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Goobie22
5.0 out of 5 stars A new masterpiece
Kay's novel Phantom hardly needs more of an introduction than the word 'Phantom'. A living biography on Erik Destler the infamous Phantom of the Opera, his lonely and dangerous... Read more
Published 10 months ago by EveningStar
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for any Phantom fan
A fantastic book, thoroughly researched to resemble something that one could allow themselves to believe true. Read more
Published 11 months ago by LOC101
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books of all time
The world of the Phantom in Paris, brought together with his childhood and his demise. The entire passage of Erik in this world. Read more
Published 11 months ago by George Reilly
5.0 out of 5 stars just brilliant
Epic and beautiful. a must read for phantom fans! Gives you so much background about how amazing an intellect the phantom was!
Published 16 months ago by gardegate
5.0 out of 5 stars Phantom is truely amazing!
This book is amazing it goes everywhere the orginal book only hints at. It's an emotional rollercoaster of a book in so many ways some happy some sad some crazy, whether your a... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Frances1975
5.0 out of 5 stars Phantom is truely amazing!
This book is amazing it goes everywhere the orginal book only hints at. It's an emotional rollercoaster of a book in so many ways some happy some sad some crazy, whether your a... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Frances1975
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