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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving book!
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...
Published on 7 Mar 2004 by Z

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Christopher Lee rocks but the book is shortened
Christopher Lee reads the book wonderfully but the book is shortened. Whole chapters are missing which should be informed when marketing. (And not the best translation either.) Pleasent to listen and I recommend it to any Christopher Lee fan or any Phantom of the Opera fan who's ok with a half of a Phantom.
Published on 20 Dec 2009 by OG


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a haunting tale of unrequited love, 5 Mar 2004
I first came across the book about 7months ago when i first saw Andrew Lloyd Webbers musical Version. And i found that the book and the musical are quite different. The book is set in the breath taking Paris opera house, where a figure known to the "Opera Ghost" haunts the backstage, and brings fear into the hearts of all who utter his name. But it seems that the author dedicated part of his life to proof the exsistance of this "opera ghost". The book is full of interviews and documents from the people who lived under the "ghosts" reign!But we find out that this ghost is no more than a man, a genius ahead of his time. An he is willing to murder to get his way. we discover that he is in love with a beautiful young opera singer, Christine Daae, who she believes him to be her angel of music. but his affections are not returned by christine, in fact they are directed at Raoul, Vicomte de Changy a childhood friend of hers.
Christine seems to be a mad women, but by the end of the story she is a pity stricken beauty like at the end of the musical. And the character of Raoul in the book is one of a love sick puppy where in the musical he is a bold strong character.
This story is amazing and its one which once you start to read that first page you cant put it down!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poor Unhappy Erik!, 19 Sep 2003
By 
Nicola Jarvis (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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. 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 leaves you questioning 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. Andre and Fermin are not so comical in the book as they are in the musical. The story is twisted and turned. So just because you have seen the musical, does not mean you know the story of the Phantom of the Opera!
This book is a very smooth, easy read, being written in the early nineteen-hundreds. Its possible to get mixed up with names, but the characters that you do get mixed up with are extremely unimportant to the plot, so it doesn't really matter. The narrative keeps you reading and you will curse whatever it is from every day life that pulls you away from it.
The character of the Phantom will stay with you forever, Compelling stuff. I can't recommend this masterpiece enough.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phantastic, what more could you expect?, 6 Feb 2005
By 
Mr. C. Gore "C.G." (Wigan, Lancashire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Phantom of the Opera (Mass Market Paperback)
After seeing the stage play and watching the movie, i was only encouraged to read the original novel of 'The Phantom of the Opera'. Both stage and screen adhere closely to Gaston Leroux's classic tale of mystery and suspense, (however parts do differ and have to be altered), tells the tale of young opera singer Christine and the 'Phantom' Erik, set in the glourious Paris Opera House in the 1880's.
A amazingly enjoyable read and recommeded to any phan of 'Phantom'!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, romantic, tragic and deeply moving., 6 Oct 2002
By 
Ms. Rebecca Hancox "Becky" (Pontefract, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Before reading The Phantom of the Opera I thought I knew the story from the films I had seen. On reading I was surprised to find the plot only vaguely similar and the best features of the book had been overlooked.
The Phantom of the Opera is a deeply psychological novel which keeps the reader in suspense right up until the end and leaves the reader (certainly myself at least) with an overwhelming sympathy for the Phantom - something that the films cannot create. I was pleased to see that the only faithful adaption of the novel is the amazing Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. It's a shame that the book was practically overlooked until the musical came about, it's a truly great book.
Some may feel the book is slightly drawn out, particularly with the Persian's account and the frequent repetition. However, at the opening of the novel, Leroux declared that: "the opera ghost really existed". The novel acts simply as an account of the strange goings on of the Paris Opera House at that time which accounts for the sometimes documentary style of it. This is not a flaw though - far from it.
Read it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different, but brilliant, 27 April 2012
If you buy and read this after having seen the musical on stage or on film, then be prepared to be shocked. It is different in many many ways.

I won't spoil the plot of the novel (as that where the most difference lies), but the section where Christine gets kidnapped by the Opera Ghost to his lair and Raoul goes after them is brilliant. I wish they'd kept that bit when creating the musical, it was incredibly exciting. (The musical version is much more tame than this!)

I wish there would have been more insight into the Opera Ghost's thoughts, as it was only evident in one of the last chapters. There's more emphasis on Raoul, while not necessarily a bad thing, gets a bit boring at times.

I bought this after being a fan of the musical for years, and I regret not having read it sooner.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely addictive, 10 Jun 2005
By A Customer
After seeing the motion picture as well as the opera on stage, I was intrigued to read the novel which had inspired such a passionate and awe inspiring tale. However, I must admit that I was unsure whether while reading the novel I would be constantly comparing it to the motion picture.
However after finishing my a level english literiture exam, I was ready to get my teeth into some serious reading!! So after searching the many shelves at my home for a book which I hadn't already devoured, my mother handed me a copy of phantom of the opera, and I quickly read the book cover to cover within two days, unable to put it down for any other reason that eating or trips to the loo!!!
Needless to say this is an amazing novel!! Extremely well written, and easy to read, meaning that though you may sit down thinking that you will only skim the first chapter, soon family and friends will have to claw the book from your hands to get any sense out of you!!
The novel is written in a detective style, but those who, like myself, generally dislike detective novels should not be put off my this fact!! Leroux writes the novel in such a way that by the final page you actually believe that the phantom was a real figure who stalked the underworld of the opera house. The epilgue at the end is also a must read, especially if like myself you were desperate for the novel not to end!!
The references made my Leroux in regards the actual opera house made my desperate to jump on the next plane to Paris and search out all the back-passages and underground catacombs which the phantom haunts, especially the fanous box five!!
I cannot stress enough how much you should read this novel!! It will fasinate and encapsulate you from the first page. It is very little like the motion picture or the stage play, but even for a firm fan such as myself, this in no means takes away from its spectacular style and storyline!! READ THIS BOOK NOW!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No one sees the Angel, 21 May 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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." And it's a credit to his imgination that he was able to spin a some odd facts into a harrowing, heartbreaking love triangle that's based on music, obsession, adoration, and a bit of pity. And, of course, a frighteningly sympathetic "villain."

Admittedly the style is very "penny dreadful": melodramatic and overloaded on prose. But Leroux's talent shines through -- he drapes the book in a haunted atmosphere, full of snowy graveyards, dark opera backstages and underground labyrinths, all with Erik's presence hovering over it. The plot is mostly a slow, satiny procession toward the inevitable blowup, but Leroux does tinge it with scenes of romantic drama, a feeling of dread, one shocking action scene, and even some quirky humour at times.

And Leroux's writing is simply astounding as he describes the corpselike appearance of Erik ("... tore his terrible dead flesh with my nails") and his "death's" head appearance at the party. But he also excels at the more poignant moments -- Erik's final, rambling monologue to Christine after she kisses him is heartbreakingly clumsy and saddening.

Though Christine and Raoul are the hero and heroine of the book, they're actually kind of flat. Erik is the real star -- an arrogant genius who is also pitifully lonely. And insane. Despite his crazed behavior -- which results in at least two deaths -- it's hard not to feel sympathy for someone cursed with such a ghastly appearance, and so starved for human contact that a single kiss changes his life ("... he tried to catch my eye, like a dog sitting by its master").

Despite being a bit overblown in the style of its time, "The Phantom of the Opera" is a triumph of atmosphere, horror, and one of the most memorably sympathetic "villains" that you can find on the shelves. Magnificent.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ!!!!, 20 Feb 2005
This review is from: The Phantom of the Opera (Mass Market Paperback)
When I say that this book is really fantastic I really mean it!!!! I first saw the film and I was really absorbed in the story. Then I bought the book and I found that the story is really UNMISSABLE!!!!!!! Many important events were left out in the film, that is why I am telling you to read this story because it is really magnificent! The Phantom is not really a ghost but he's real. Will he really destroy a quarter of Paris if Christine refuses to love him? Well if you want the answer just read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read if you Loved with your mind, body and soul... and found out that it was all one sided..., 7 Dec 2006
Pure love, so intense,it burns you alive. Thats the summming up!

Most people, those out there who are true romantics, will LOVE Erik, the phantom. Non-romantic specie might find it impossible to imagine that such intense love exists, but it does. You know it does. A must read for those who loved, dreamy teenage girls, bored housewives looking for love, old women who love to remember that one special man, for those who believe in true love, belive that its pious, selfless, intense and, most of all, exists. But, according to my sister, I love this book because I am "a sadist with a capital S." Is it my fault that I also love with the same intensity as Erik's.I finished the book at midnight. By morning, my eyes were so swollen I could barely see. But you see, i wept with Erik, for Erik, as I'm sure You will!

If you like these verses, you will like the book:

Forgotten Love

It came to me last night,

As I was lying down on my bed,

The moon shone down through the window,

The old wounds ached and bled.

Softly, it entered my heart,

Vibrating through my whole being,

I trembled, and whispered your name,

With streaming eyes... unseeing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm absolutely and utterly in love with this book, 16 Dec 1998
By A Customer
Take one beautiful, mysterious and talented soprano opera singer, add two bold opera house owners, a dashing, confused, in-love young man in searh for the opera singer's heart, and one tortured, genius, masked man, and you've got one great book. This book is not merely a book, but a haunting story of horror and love. The noted opera singer, Christine, has been taking secret opera lessons from her adoring Angel of Music, who loves her enough to kill an opera and its audience. Christine also has another admirer, Raoul, who would do anything for her, including save her from the dread Opera Ghost who kills everyone who stands in his way, with the help of the Persian who is owed a favor by the Phantom. As we read on, we find that Erik, The Phantom of the Opera, the Angel of Music, and the Opera Ghost (a.k.a. O.G.) are one, and indeed a terrifying collaboration. Christine refuses to marry Erik, so she, the persian and Raoul are in fatal danger. For years upon reading the haunting story, I can't get it out of my head. I love it. The opera is one to see also. This book will enthral a captivated audience, I quite assure you.
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The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (Mass Market Paperback - Oct 1991)
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