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The Phantom of the Opera [Abridged] [Mass Market Paperback]

Gaston Leroux
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 8 1998
The lights dim at the Paris Opera House. The exquisite Christine Daae enraptures the audience with her mellifluous voice. Immediately, Raoul de Chagny falls deeply in love. But the legend of the disfigured "opera ghost" haunts the performance, and as Raoul begins his pursuit of Christine, he is pulled into the depths of the opera house, and into the depths of human emotions. Soon Raoul discovers that the ghost is real and that he wields a terrifying power over Christine--a power as unimaginable as the ghost's masked face. As Raoul and the ghost vie for Christine's love, a journey begins into the dark recesses of the human heart, where desire, vulnerability, fear, and violence unravel in a tragic confrontation.

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Review

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


From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

The novel that inspired the Lon Chaney film and the hit musical. "The wildest and most fantastic of tales."--New York Times Book Review. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
It was the evening on which MM. Debienne and Poligny, the managers of the Opera, were giving a last gala performance to mark their retirement. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thriller of a romance! May 3 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Phantom of the Opera incorporates mystery, romance, and horror to create a fascinating story that relates to heart and soul.
Don't be fooled by the title of the novel, because it is not only about a scary little phantom that runs around the Paris Opera House, scaring staff, performers, and patrons alike, but a story of love, fate, and the scrutiny of life. The first chapters of the novel are a bit slow for a faced paced reader, but gradually pick up as the novel progresses. As everyone knows the story is set in late 19th century Paris and it's magnificent opera house as the stage, where numerous key scenes take place. Apparently, many performers and staff experience a series of bizarre incidents which become attributed to the "Opera Ghost" a dark, mysterious figure who threatens with violent means if his demands are not met.
The story has three central characters-Christine Daae, the beautiful young opera singer, the Viscount de Chagny (Raoul), who has been in love with Christine since their childhood, and lastly, the Phantom (Erik), who is a horribly disfigured but musical genius, obsessed with winning the affection of Christine which he desires so much. Eric disguises himself as "the Angel of Music," which allows him to gain her trust when his vocal lessons bring out the passion in her voice and the envy of her peers. When his love is turned down and his face is unmasked, the dark side of Eric-a.k.a the Phantom-is revealed to her. This love torn relationship would arise a conflict when Christine, Raoul, and Eric are confronted by their feelings and the understanding that only one man can have her love. In the end, there is a sense of sympathy that is understandable for the pain which the Phantom has endured.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Earliest � One of the best! May 8 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Originally written in 1910, Leroux's novel became one of the precursors of the modern-day detective novel with a mixture of adventure, romance and some terrifying sequences. It's also a swift and engaging read, making it easy for adolescents who don't like to read to get into.
The novel deals with the employees and the patrons of the Paris Opera House and their interactions with the legendary Opera Ghost, a spiteful spirit who haunts the catacombs beneath the theatre. The heroine of the story, a young chorus member named Christine Daae, becomes the focus of the Phantom's obsession, and he seduces her under the guise of the Angel of Music. As the story progresses, The Phantom, who is actually a deranged young man named Eric, increases the viciousness and frequency of his acts, and Christine finds herself in the grip of a disfigured madman. The final scenes of the novel show Christine's love, the brave Raoul, descending to the bowels of the catacomb with the help of the mysterious Persian, to save his kidnapped love.
The themes of the novel are universal: love, obsession, madness, desire, sacrifice. It is at both times a tale of evil insanity in the form of Eric and his heinous actions, and innocent romance as can be seen in the childlike actions of Christine and Raoul. There are elements of the detective novel, of the pulps of the thirties and forties and even a maze of traps that for some reason reminds me of the "Goonies." The attitude towards the Phantom is also one of interest, Leroux originally painted his monster as a man stretched to insanity by the scorn of those he once loved, while in Webber's musical, the Phantom takes on a more darkly mystical apparition.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Most Interesting Horror Novel I've Ever Read July 19 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"The Phantom of the Opera" is set in the Paris Opera House in the 1800's. The manager has just retired and two other gentlemen have taken his place. Little do they know that they are up against a musical genius most commonly known as the Opera Ghost. Two lovers (Vicomte Raoul de Chagny and Christine Daae) are split apart when strange events begin taking place at the Opera House.
The French author Gaston Leroux has done a fantastic job of putting elements of romance, mystery, horror, drama, and adventure into his story, producing a brilliant novel that has lasted many years and will be read over and over by book-lovers. The characters are well-written, especially those of the mysterious Persian and the Phantom himself.
There is also the original silent film with Lon Chaney as the Phantom, many other films, some plays, and the Tony-award winning Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. The original film and the musical are the ones that keep the same basic story, but for the ultimate "Phantom" experience, turn to the Gaston Leroux classic that started it all: "The Phantom of the Opera."
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5.0 out of 5 stars I HEART ERIK Feb. 8 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I bought this book on a whim and read it when I had nothing better to do, and it exceeded my expectations by far!
Its one of my favorite books, and at fourteen, I've read quite a lot.
The 19th century atmosphere didn't phase me at all (maybe because I've read Les Miserables?), though I suppose it might be difficult for some.
The book was well-crafted. I enjoyed Leroux's style; it was interesting to read it as if it really happened. It made it more relavent; if he had written it as if it were just some random made-up story, I don't think I would have been interested.
Some characters were a bit flat, but many were quite good, I thought.
Daee (Christine's father- a dead character, but a major one) and Mme Valerius were interesting.
I love the managers. The relationship they have with each other and the previous managers is great; I always enjoy reading the bits about them.
Madame Giry was wonderful too- I love how she wisely tells everything that she knows (lol).
Erik, the Phantom, was a satisfyingly deep and complex character. In fact, he's one of my favorite characters of all time! I find him fascinating.
Its very complicated- I had to read it twice to fully understand everything.
Its an excellent, exciting, mind-gripping book that made me cry at the end. I would recommend it to anyone.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars No one sees the Angel
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... Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2009 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars No one sees the Angel
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... Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2008 by E. A Solinas
4.0 out of 5 stars No one sees the angel
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... Read more
Published on May 21 2008 by E. A Solinas
4.0 out of 5 stars No one sees the angel
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... Read more
Published on March 25 2008 by E. A Solinas
4.0 out of 5 stars No one ever sees the Angel
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... Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2008 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Want To Read Something Amazing
If you want to read something amazing, read the Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. It's a mystery and at the same time an aventure. There's a Forrest, a river and other places. Read more
Published on June 17 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Masquerade
The character developement in this book is absolutely excellent.
I would recommend it to anyone who wanted a good thriller, an interesting love story, or who wanted to know... Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars The Phantom of the Opera
I just love the phantom of the opera.It takes place in Paris,France which I would love to see someday.Erik A.K.A the phantom is a outcast,because he was born wrong. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, horrifying editing
Shame on the editor of this book! The incredible research that went into this book is belittled by the fact that it is not very well written. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by Winona Patterson
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