Nowadays there probably is no one in this country who hasn't heard of the 'Phantom', but really it is only because Hollywood has produced this so many times, and then the musical became so popular that it is easy to get hold of a copy. Originally serialised before being published in book form this tale never really gained that much attention and has been out of print a number of times in the twentieth century.
What may put people off is the way it is written, some of it seems to read like a history of the opera house and some of it like newspaper reportage, as well as the actual story. When a new young singer starts at the opera house she comes to the attention of the phantom, a legendary figure that supposedly haunts the building. With the increase of the phantom's obsessive fixation and love for our heroine it is not long before death and disaster strike, ultimately leading to the abduction of the heroine and the subsequent search for her and the phantom.
This is quite a quick read and it definitely pulls you in and you find yourself soon rushing through it to the ultimate climax. Once read this is a tale that will long linger in your imagination and you will come to see and appreciate why it has slowly grown a large readership. Although the mixed type of narrative that makes up the story may seem perhaps a bit weird at first you will soon come to feel that it is a true story the way it reads.