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The Phantom of the Opera (Wordsworth Classics) [Paperback]

Gaston Leroux
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov 1995 Wordsworth Classics
One of the greatest horror stories of all time, "The Phantom of the Opera" makes compulsive reading. It abounds with wonderful descriptions, extraordinary events, tragedy, horror, pathos, humour and a gallery of charming minor characters. Leroux's portrait of the hideous musician, crazed by his own extreme ugliness, shows compassionate insight into the criminally insane mind.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; New edition edition (Nov 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853262730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853262739
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 12.6 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,290,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


""A venerable, much-adapted story of grand, delicate feelings and gothic creepiness." --"New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The classic Gothic horror novel of haunted cellars, opera, murder and unrequited love that inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving book! 7 Mar 2004
By Z
Love, hate, horror, the Phantom of the Opera has all this, making it one of the most captivating books ever. The book by the detective writer Gaston LeRoux tells the tale of Paris Opera house and its resident phantom. The book conceived by the author after a thorough investigation brings a believable portrayal of the events that had occurred at the time. Its basis on realistic facts makes it all the more believable.
The plot surrounds several characters that work at an opera house. The opera, well renowned for its plays also holds a deeper secret. When the new managers receive threats from a mysterious ghost, leaving letters initialled “O.G.”, a series of events are triggered that cause chaos in the opera house. Although this is how the book is introduced, its tone changes later in the book, focussing on the personality of the opera ghost. A story of love and sadness is revealed, piece-by-piece. The ending is startling leaving an air of melancholy in the reader’s heart.
The book was set in the late 19th century, recently after the opera house was constructed. The author himself was a great fan of the opera, and frequented it quite often. After hearing tales of the famous opera ghost, the author explored the opera house behind the scenes and discovered a vast maze of tunnels. In fact the opera house is a combination of a theatre and a dungeon. This creates an atmosphere of mystery, because then, anything could hide in the vast maze of the opera house.
The author handles the story very well. This could do with the fact that many parts of the book are actually based on fact-based testimonies. However the way the author connected the stories to make a smooth narrative is to be praised.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please, read this book. 18 Oct 2005
By Rachel
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Depending on who you listen to this is either a masterpiece, or a shaky story which has since been improved through adaptations to film and stage. My opinion is the former. I had no trouble at all reading this book, in fact I had real trouble putting it down. For a phantom phan this is essential reading as the basis for all subsequent versions of the tale, and a very good read in itself. Those who know more recent versions of the story should not expect this to be exactly the same; in fact all the characters come across very differently, creating a very different overall storyline regarding the characters.
The writer, Leroux, spent much of his writing career as a journalist, and 'The Phantom of the Opera' is written in a style which suggests a real investigation and interview of the characters by the author (hence the continually resurfacing hope of phans that the Phantom truly existed). This style works exceedingly well, in my opinion, as it leaves plenty of mysteries for the reader to consider, reflecting the nature of the story. Debates about certain points and occurrences continue to this day!
This book truly is a must read, and as copies can be found cheaply most anywhere, you have no excuse for not reading it!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pick it up... you won't be able to put it down! 25 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This must be the best book I've read in a while. Once I started it, I was cut off from this world. The plot is simple yet really entertaining. It doesn't state too many extra details and doesn't tell a few different stories at once like many other books. I am a person who often needs to reread some sentences again and again before I get them, but this one went almost completely smoothly. It must be considered a classic. Once I started reading it I was so enthralled that I felt like all the characters at one point in the book. It's kinda spooky, but not as much as many other books, just enough to make you continue reading. Please excuse the spelling, it is very late at night.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poor Unhappy Erik! 20 Jan 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the most compelling book ever written, I assure you. This is a masterpiece and a classic in my eyes; and yours if you take the time to read this 'story.' I was left pondering after reading Harry Potter. What book could ever come close? 'The Phantom Of The Opera' ladies and gentlemen. Not close but better. However you came about looking up this novel here on Amazon, I suggest you buy it, and you buy it quick. Once you have it, you won't be able to put it down.
Reading through this story, one can start to think its a 'Ghost-story.' But the author, as it turns out, dedicated a part of his life to this 'Opera-Ghost,' wanting to be sure of his existence - or non-existence. He has sources, archives, spoken to the people of the time and he tells their story, and he tells it well! When I was reading this story, the possibility of this 'Phantom' of ever existing was totally ruled out in my book. What was this author thinking in seriously believing? How can one be in walls, have a bodiless voice, be here and there, be everywhere? Truth be told, the author has convinced me of his existence, that the Phantoms 'supernatural' behaviour wasn't so 'supernatural,' just a genius ahead of his time. And what a pitiful genius he was! This is one book that keeps you thinking long after you have read it.
If you know of Andrew Lloyd Webbers version, you will be impressed to learn that the book and the musical are very much different. Raoul in the musical seems brave and wise, in the book he strikes me as a pathetic love-sick puppy. A character which has no part in the musical has a dramatic effect on the real story; the Persian. Christine who seems to be a mad woman at the beginning turns into the pity stricken beauty towards the end as she is in the musical.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I read this book on my Kindle and it gives me so many memories of the first time I read it.
Published 2 days ago by Country Music Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Phantastic
This is incredible! It really draws you into the whole gothic setting, which led me on to read the book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lauren Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars what a love story
this book is just a great classic and well worth the money would recommend it strongly to friends . many thanks
Published 3 months ago by m reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars The Phantom of the Opera, book by Gaston Leroux
The Opera Populaire supposedly is based on the Paris Opera House. My only criticism is that Gaston Leroux wrote the book in the first person, instead of telling the story through... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Hausfrau
5.0 out of 5 stars The Phantom of the Opera
If you have seen the film or seen it at the theatre then its time you read the original book.
Published 7 months ago by AJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Phantastic!
A great book! Really well written and gripping storyline! It made the musical (Which you MUST watch if you haven't seen it as it is BRILLIANT) a lot easier to understand even... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Berry
5.0 out of 5 stars Phantom Book
I loved this book - I love the musical and the book hasn't dampened my love at all. It's a different way to look at the events of what happened at the Opera Populaire compared to... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Freyaxxx
3.0 out of 5 stars Get a different translation
This translation is more or less universally agreed to be the worst English translation of Phantom out there. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Laura
3.0 out of 5 stars Phantom of the Opera book by Gaston Leroux
I know that this is the original story, but I found it hard to read and having seen the film first and then the stage show
preferred their version.
Published 11 months ago by doff1000
4.0 out of 5 stars Don Juan Triumphant
Gaston Leroux, born in 1868, was a French journalist and author. Although a successful writer of detective novels, he is best known for the "The Phantom of the Opera" - which... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Craobh Rua
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