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The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera

Written by Gaston Leroux

Narrated by Jeremy Nicholas and Peter Yapp


The Phantom of the Opera

Written by Gaston Leroux

Narrated by Jeremy Nicholas and Peter Yapp

ratings:
4/5 (74 ratings)
Length:
2 hours
Released:
Mar 1, 2006
ISBN:
9789629545499
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

This nineteenth-century French thriller tells of the mysterious Erik, grotesque and elusive ‘phantom’, who hides himself from the world in the labyrinthine bowels of the Paris Opera and entices with his angelic voice the beautiful opera singer Christine. Her abduction prompts a dramatic search not only for her, but also for the truth about her strange captor.
Released:
Mar 1, 2006
ISBN:
9789629545499
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

Gaston Leroux (1868-1927) was a French journalist and writer of detective fiction. Born in Paris, Leroux attended school in Normandy before returning to his home city to complete a degree in law. After squandering his inheritance, he began working as a court reporter and theater critic to avoid bankruptcy. As a journalist, Leroux earned a reputation as a leading international correspondent, particularly for his reporting on the 1905 Russian Revolution. In 1907, Leroux switched careers in order to become a professional fiction writer, focusing predominately on novels that could be turned into film scripts. With such novels as The Mystery of the Yellow Room (1908), Leroux established himself as a leading figure in detective fiction, eventually earning himself the title of Chevalier in the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award for merit. The Phantom of the Opera (1910), his most famous work, has been adapted countless times for theater, television, and film, most notably by Andrew Lloyd Webber in his 1986 musical of the same name.

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Reviews

What people think about The Phantom of the Opera

3.8
74 ratings / 85 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    Very enjoyable as an audiobook.
  • (3/5)
    It's an ok read, but I suggest seeing the stage play instead.
  • (5/5)
    Another classic which has been made into a musical. Like Les Miserables, this is an excellent book and an excellent musical. However, the musical Phantom differs significantly from the book Phantom. In fact, after reading the book, then reading synopses of the musical, I had a feeling I was going to be disappointed in the musical. Not so. The musical was excellent as well. Even though the musical was somewhat different than the book, the book is still required reading before seeing the musical, or you will, guaranteed, be totally lost during several parts. If you see this on Broadway, an added bonus is reserving your seats early enough that you can get seats in the first few rows (about 3 months in advance we had no problem getting second row center seats). If you do this, you will be right close to under the falling chandelier (if you don't know what I'm talking about, then get busy reading the book.) Spend the extra money; you won't regret it.
  • (4/5)
    An iconic love/ghost story... a deformed man haunts the Paris Opera House and mentors/ensnares a gifted, beautiful soprano. Tough sledding for non-readers but still worth reading. The Broadway musical will heighten its appeal.
  • (4/5)
    I find it impossible to separate the audiobook from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. The novel, naturally, has more detail than the musical, but Webber did such a fantastic job of staying close to the original source material that even if I got busy and only half paid attention to the audiobook, I was never lost. If you are a fan of the musical, you will definitely enjoy this.
  • (3/5)
    Love triangle with a ghost. Kept me occupied
  • (5/5)
    Very exciting!
  • (3/5)
    Ok classic book
  • (3/5)
    I found this hilariously over the top, for the most part, helped by the fact that in one of the versions I read, all emphasis was done by capitalisation. It just made me think of Erik as a troll on the internet, honestly...

    It's interesting how much more popular I'm told the musical is, than the book. And the book did badly originally, if I remember that rightly. There is something very dramatic about the book that might be best dealt with on the stage. And, of course, you can't hear the enchantment of Erik's singing, in the book.

    It's also interesting how devoid of a hero this book is, at least from my perspective. Christine is central, in that it's her that Erik fixates on, and who Raoul loves. Erik is central, in that he's probably the most fascinating figure of the book, but he's also self-centered and murderous and more like a villain. Raoul is important, but doesn't take much action. The Persian, with his ideas of saving Christine, is perhaps the most heroic, but rather in the background for most of the book. There's not much to hang onto and care about, in terms of characters.
  • (5/5)
    Delightful. I was a fan of the play first, of course, but the book adds so much more dimension to a story that is already beautiful and tragic. I loved learning more about Eric (the phantom), where he came from and how terrifyingly clever he was. Much more frightening than the musical. I'm trying to re-read it in French, but I keep getting side-tracked.
  • (3/5)
    This is the one and only time you will hear me say 'I liked the movie/play better' Because I did. Its still an enjoyable book, very creepy and romantic but I miss the music. Maybe if I listen to the soundtrack while I read it?
  • (4/5)
    I felt this book was a little disappointing. I wasn't really interested in any of the characters until the end of the novel and even at that point I only really liked Raoul and the Persian. Christine was just so stupid and the Phantom was so annoying with his whole "I'm ugly; pity me!" There wasn't any point in the book where I really wanted to read it until the end as it was building up towards the climax. Then just I was starting to feel like this book was actually going to be great, Gaston Leroux gave it an awful ending. I'm only going to give this book 3.5 stars and I would only recommend to fans of Gothic Literature or movie.
  • (4/5)
    “I want to have a wife like everybody else and to take her out on Sundays. I have invented a mask that makes me look like anybody. People will not even turn round in the streets. You will be the happiest of women. And we will sing, all by ourselves, till we swoon away with delight. You are crying! You are afraid of me! And yet I am not really wicked. Love me and you shall see! All I wanted was to be loved for myself. If you loved me I should be as gentle as a lamb; and you could do anything with me that you pleased.”

    Poor, unhappy Erik.

    As many people know, the Phantom of the Opera's plot is like the fairytale Beauty and the Beast with tragic ending instead of a happy one. The beast, the Opera Ghost, named Erik lived under a Opera House. He haunted it with his craftsmanship of trickery and illusions. Christine Daae, on the other hand, was an opera singer who were lured by the Opera Ghost; she believed that Erik was the Angel of Music. Raoul de Chagny was her lover.

    The author succeeded in interlocking his story to the real facts and events in real life. At the beginning, for a moment there, I was beginning to believe the story was real. But, I remember this book is under fiction. haha. I had a lull moment in the middle part which caused me to do something else and not finish this book at once. I picked the momentum again by reading ChapterXX (That's why I do not easily give up on books). I like the part of the Persian until the end of the book.
  • (4/5)
    [ Phantom of the Opera] by [Gaston Leroux] was a Gothic tale centering around the ghost of the Paris Opera House, Eric (as they call him). I have seen the musical twice and much prefer it over the book not because of the scenery, the costumes, or the music, but because of the tale, or the lack of it The book is very very detailed and we have a nice little wrapped up package in the end, where everybody ends up "happy", even Eric; who finds another opera house. I much prefer the "unknown" of the musical. The book also seemed to drag for about 4-5 chapters when telling about the dungeon. I read this and listened to it on audio while driving. The audio was very well done. A good read; not a great read.
  • (3/5)
    I thought this was good in most parts yet at times I found it either dull or confusing. But the good outweighs the bad.I think the third-person narrator swapping over to first person - allowing the Persian character to take over - was a mistake. I would rather have 'seen' what was going on with the heroine and the villain, rather than 'listening' to what the Persian and the hero could hear. The novel features as much humour as it does Gothic horror, which I enjoyed. I had to smile at the amount of times the hero bursts into tears through his passionate love for the heroine - she seldom cries yet he's easily set off!
  • (4/5)
    perhaps the reader. i couldn't focus well. maybe the writing style. tom liked this but he read it. so different from the musical!
  • (3/5)
    I was obsessed with The Phantom of the Opera in the sixth grade, after our otherwise useless music teacher taught a unit on the actual opera. I then read the book for a reading project in regular class.
  • (3/5)
    I read this after seeing the musical. I would never have read the book if not for the musical.Not my style of read.But I did read it many years ago and found it too "dark". I realize the Phantom had a life of tragic circumstances and lived as a result of society and its fears. It was well written and is a classic. I would suggest it be read. I just found it disappointing after seeing the musical.
  • (3/5)
    Die Geschichte um das Phantom der Oper ist natürlich ein Klassiker und auch zu Recht oftmals adaptiert worden. Allerdings ist das originale Buch schwerfällig und nicht allzu einfach zu lesen. Der Stoff ist eigentlich in den Adaptionen besser behandelt worden.
  • (2/5)
    I wanted to like this one more than i did. I hate when i dislike a classic because i feel like i'm just dumb and i'm missing something, but other negative reviews of this book make me feel a little bit better about the way i feel about it. (Also, it seems to me that a lot of the positive reviews are heavily influenced by the movie, which definitely skews things.) I was mildly interested in the plot. I think the story could have been told much better, mainly by following characters who were more directly involved with it. Instead, we get a lot of information second-hand and the action is interrupted by insignificant side stories. It was really slow and uninteresting at times. The phantom was probably the most interesting character and yet he still wasn't very well developed. I thought i'd learn more about him in the book, but i didn't. I didn't find it very easy to sympathize with him either as i felt i was supposed to. The rest of the characters were flat and dull, in my opinion. I almost liked how Leroux tried to pass this all of as a real event except that considering the descriptions of the phantom and a random rat-herder, there's no way that was a true story. Had the phantom been more realistic (and the rat-herder not existed, maybe?), i would have liked that aspect of it better. The book did explain the "Keep your hand at the level of your eyes!" thing better than the 2004 musical did, although, there was a very elaborate explanation that was mostly unrelated information, so that was kind of silly.*Review written on May 13, 2014.*
  • (3/5)
    A timeless classic in the Gothic horror genre, rightly compared with Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre-Dame. The afterword mentions an American reviewer's distaste for the opera ghost being merely human, but after seeing many horror movies in recent times where the face of the supernatural being is revealed, I am inclined to prefer the man masquerading as a ghost any time. Apparently Leroux wrote detective novels before this work and the influence is noticeable. The nature of the building and the brilliant descriptions (or more accurately, allusions) to the opera itself recall many a nightmare where one is trapped underground. Leroux had access to the Palais Garnier to research his work and it is obvious in the story. This was an easy and enjoyable read and one I should have completed many years earlier. While I do not usually have a preference for the Gothic genre, this 1910 classic presents a complex mood that, for me, was belied by the images of the phantom singing with Marina Prior that haunted Australian televisions screens throughout the 1990s.
  • (3/5)
    2.5 StarsI saw (one of the many) movie[s] when I was a kid and the opera itself about 12 years ago and I have to say I enjoyed the opera better than the book. As a book, it is just strange and odd with lots of long descriptions and telling and few scenes with dialogue. Played out on stage this is amazing, but I struggled reading through it
  • (1/5)
    OMG WORST BOOK EVER.
  • (4/5)
    I've seen the musical more than once and loved both the music and the story, and I remember feeling a little bit sorry for the phantom throughout it all. The unrequited love part of it all made me feel quite sad for this poor character, but now I've read the book my feelings have changed. Erik is a monster. He kills, blackmails and kidnaps. Thank you, Leroux, for such a dark character. The book is beautifully written and a wonderful Gothic tale.
  • (3/5)
    2.5 stars

    The Phantom of the Opera is almost universally acclaimed as a classic Gothic horror story, and I’ve often heard that it rivals Dracula or Frankenstein. There is no denying the influence of this book, and Leroux deserves a great deal of credit for creating an incredible plot. Conceptually, it is a perfect storm of Gothic nightmares: the ancient, labyrinthine opera house; the many colorful characters that make the beautiful Paris Opera House the center of their lives; a love triangle in which one of the lovers is an actual monster; echoes of Persephone and Hades... What more could a gothic aficionado want?

    Well, unfortunately, good writing is at the top of the list. Leroux's ambition far surpasses his ability. The book is poorly written in nearly every detail. The dialogue is ridiculous; even when the characters are engaged in the most serious discussions, their cartoonish dialogue ruins these scenes. The narrative itself is repetitious, tedious, and contrived, so that the overall effect is rarely horrific or suspenseful; ultimately it was quite mind-numbing and dull. The tone of the book careens widely from slapstick to the thrilling, with the result that any attempted atmospheric consistency is never fully established. The characters are not particularly interesting or sympathetic. Christine Daae is self-centered and manipulative, never demonstrating any admirable qualities. Okay, she is beautiful and talented, but her personality isn't worth all the trouble her suitors go through for her. Raoul, the young man who is madly in love with her, is never develops into a believable character. He is simply too plain to be accept as “real”. The Persian and the Phantom are naturally more interesting, given the air of mystery that surrounds both, but little is done to develop them to something more than minor set characters.

    Frankly, I struggled to finish, and skimmed the audiobook for the last hour or so. Ultimately, I just didn’t care what happened because of the lack of development mentioned above. The potential of the plot is great, but the story wasn’t brought to life for me.

    I also struggled with the narrator and the recording itself. It seemed to change sound levels and tone at random throughout the book, perhaps where the narrator stopped recording for the day, and picked up another time. Whatever the case, the sound guys didn’t save the settings, which didn’t help with the possibilities of this book.
  • (3/5)
    It was a different story from what I expected.I don't quite like this story.I thought Phantom was selfish. Phantom loved Christine, so he would try to gain her. But it might be because he was not loved. He was poor.
  • (4/5)
    Gaston creates a wonderful and dark, fascinating world in the Phantom of the Opera. This book is a quick read, and the story flows with each word. This is the story of Christine, who is a beautiful singer. The Phantom, Erik, falls in love with Christine. He would do anything for her. With Raoul de Chagny in the picture, comes a love triangle. Who will Christine choose to be with? Will she make the right choice when the lives of others depend on her choice? I liked the bond that Raoul and Christine had. The mystery of the whole novel was very intriguing. I wish I could go visit the opera house, and see for myself what Gaston was talking about. Who wouldn't want to go underground and go through a maze of tunnels.The managers were skeptical of the opera ghost, and the things they did added a little bit of comedy. As for the Phantom, he grows on you. He may have had a terrible past but he wants to redeem himself and be happy with someone that loves him. We all want to feel wanted and loved, and this is why I felt sympathetic towards him. There is also a message that goes along the book, but it might give away the entire book so I'll let you figure it out yourself.Four Stars!
  • (4/5)
    This story was mysterious.The phantom was terrible man.But he was poor man, too.
  • (5/5)
    My brother (who is a manager at Powell's City of Books) found me this copy of this book. I absolutely love it. It truly adds to the story.
  • (3/5)
    Phantom of the Opera was a decent story set in the Paris opera house. One of those classics that was on my TBR list. I listened to it on audio and found it to be a sad but interesting take on the love triangle story. I thought the underground city below the opera house fascinating, and the people who dwell there intriguing. The way the opera ghost managed to control everyone was also interesting.