The Phantom of the Opera

By Gaston LeRoux, Lowell Bair (translator),

Book cover of The Phantom of the Opera

Book description

The novel from the early 20th century that inspired the Lon Chaney film and the hit musical. In the 1880s, in Paris, the Palais Garnier Opera House is believed haunted. One night, a young woman, Christine, is asked to sing in place of the Opera's leading soprano, who is ill;…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Phantom of the Opera as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This passionate paranormal romance between a talented soprano singer and a macabre musical genius blends mythical aspects of a legendary ghost haunting the Paris Opera House. I was enthralled by the supernatural forces and deliciously dark seduction of Christine Daaé by the unlikely Romantic hero, the Phantom. I enjoyed how the chivalrous Raoul, le Vicomte de Chagny, nobly battles the diabolical Phantom like a medieval knight defending his Lady. I read this classic in its original French language version while obtaining my MA in French literature, and I loved both the English translation as well as the modern musical film…

Gaston Leroux was a journalist and writer of detective stories, and may have invented the ‘locked-room mystery.’ This book was first published in 1909 and made a timeless classic by containing all the classic necessities: a damsel in distress, an apparently omnipotent villain who’s not completely a villain because he’s doing it all for love, and the self-contained world of an opera house with its own landscape, populace and rules. All these basic elements are present in the stage show, still my favorite. (Not so much the sequel, Love Never Dies, an abomination never again to be mentioned in…

From Lisa's list on crime for music lovers.

We all know the story, but not many people have read the book, which to me, was much spookier than the play. I absolutely adore the ambiance of this story. You feel ensconced in smoke and ghosts. You feel you’re standing right alongside the characters. It is undeniably spellbinding.

This classic, riveting story is a delight to read and has all the makings of a classic piece of literature - romance, obsession, suspense, and mystery. What more could you want?

From A.I.'s list on that will give you goosebumps.

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