Read Phantom by SusanKay Online


A child is born... His mother's only gift is a mask. Precocious and gifted, he will live friendless and alone. Taunted and abused, he will flee, only to find himself caged again - as a freak in a Gypsy carnival. A brilliant outcast...the world is his home. Filled with bitter rage, he will kill to escape, becoming a stonemason's apprentice in Rome...a dark magician at the tA child is born... His mother's only gift is a mask. Precocious and gifted, he will live friendless and alone. Taunted and abused, he will flee, only to find himself caged again - as a freak in a Gypsy carnival. A brilliant outcast...the world is his home. Filled with bitter rage, he will kill to escape, becoming a stonemason's apprentice in Rome...a dark magician at the treacherous Persian court...and finally, the genius behind the construction of the Paris Opera House and the labyrinthine world below. Lacking one thing only: A woman's love. Cloaked in secrets, his power complete, he will see the exquisite Christine and for the first time know what it means to love. Obsessed, he will bring her into his eerie subterranean world, driven to posses her heart and soul.Phantom - A haunting story of power and darkness, of magic and murder, of sensuality and betrayal, and ultimately, the unforgettable story of a man and a woman and the eternal quality of love....

Title : Phantom
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780552137584
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 527 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Phantom Reviews

  • Echo
    2019-05-29 13:50

    If Kay had stopped where The Phantom of the Opera book and musical started, she would have had a decent book on her hands. Despite turning Erik, the Phantom, into a terrible Gary Stu, she did give him an interesting and detailed history. In fact, if you stop reading the book before Christine comes in, I'd imagine it's pretty enjoyable. However, I kept reading, and there's my problem.(Possible SPOILERS)Once Christine and Raoul entered the story, I moved from wariness, to shock, to disbelief, to tears.First of all, the relationships are not at all true to the characters. In other versions, Christine turns to Raoul for help because of her fear of the Phantom. In this novel, Christine only runs to Raoul when she's angry at Erik because she's jealous of his cat or because he's scared her. Raoul becomes little more than a tool for a tempermental little girl to punish her would-be lover.Raoul isn't much better. In the other stories, he's patient and kind to Christine. He sticks by her side like the loyal guy he is. In Phantom, when Christine won't let him have his way, he stalks off to sulk until his next encounter with her. Since Christine seems to have mysteriously lost her fear of the Phantom, and therefore doesn't need to turn to Raoul for protection, Raoul becomes nothing more than a prodding figure. He's continually trying to cut Christine's ties with Erik, and all the while it's not what Christine REALLY wants, but she goes along with Raoul because she's confused.Then there's Christine and Erik. In other versions, the Phantom has the shadow of his disfigurement hanging over him and it distorts his soul. In those versions, it's Christine who shows him love and kindness and helps him find the good in himself. In Phantom, it's the other way around. Despite his tendency to murder people and kidnap people and act like a sociopath, Erik becomes the enlightened figure in Kay's novel. The more Christine is around him, the more educated she becomes, the more deeply she thinks about things. She starts to become ashamed of herself because she doesn't have the courage to touch him. She realizes that the Phantom has loved her as no man has loved a woman before. And yet, I'm not convinced. Because he lies to her? Kills in order to possess her? Yells at her for, say, asking him to kill a spider? Wants to possess her even if it is not what she wants/not what is best for her? Or perhaps it's because he is only content to let her go (and yet STILL doesn't) when he realizes that she likes him best.It occurred to me that this was the sort of story I would expect to read in a fan fiction, where the story didn't turn out the way some fangirl wanted it to, so she twists and distorts the situations and the characters to fit her own means. Don't get me wrong. I adore the Phantom. I think he's a phenomenal character. But this, to me, is not a great love story. It is the story that ignores the flaws of the Phantom, and therefore makes his redemption meaningless. In the other stories, when Christine shows him love, she helps him let go of the obsession that made him want to possess her at any cost. Instead, he becomes a noble figure as he realizes that she loves Raoul and he lets them both go, even though it pains him. It's a bittersweet ending, no doubt, but it has an integrity. In Phantom, I felt like that was lost. After all, he loses his moment where he shows his love for her for the first time by allowing her to leave with Raoul. In Phantom, we're robbed of that moment. Instead, the only side we ever see of the Phantom and his love for Christine is the selfish, "I want her because I love her and I'll do whatever I have to do to make her stay with me to make me happy," side of him. In the end of Phantom, I wanted to cry because I felt that all three of the characters were cheated in order to make a "happy ending." But the happy ending, when it is the wrong ending, is not the best ending.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-06-14 07:48

    Fantom, de L'Opera = Phantom of the Opera, Susan Kay Phantom is a 1990 novel by Susan Kay, based on the Gaston Leroux novel The Phantom of the Opera. It is a biography of the title character, Erik.تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و سوم ماه اکتبر سال 1999 میلادیتوضیح: «شبح اپرا» اثر: گاستون لورو؛ میباشد که با ترجمه: مرتضی آجودانی، نشر کتابهای جیبی در سال 1343 آن را منتشر کرده، این اثر ملهم از آن اثر استعنوان: شبح اپرای پاریس؛ نویسنده: سوزان کی؛ مترجم: ملیحه محمدی؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، 1377؛ در 499 ص؛ شابک: 9645571057؛ چاپ دوم 1378؛ چاپ سوم 1385؛ شابک: 9789645571052؛ چاپ پنجم 1390؛ چاپ ششم 1393؛ موضوع: شخصیت داستانی شبح اپرا؛ قرن 20 مسوزان کی، نویسنده کتاب میگوید: شبحی که در این کتاب نشان داده شده، شامل تمام برداشت‌های گوناگون از شخصیت شبح در دو قرن اخیر است، و بدیهی ست که مدیون آفریننده‌ ی نخستین آن «گاستون لورو» ست. البته دگرگونی و تغییر شکل تا آنجا که با طراحی تخیل من هماهنگ باشد ناگزیر بود. شخصیت افسانه ای دارای جذابیتی مسحور کننده است، که زمان نمیشناسد، و من تردید ندارم که فرآیند برداشت‌های نو از آن، در قرن‌های آینده نیز ادامه خواهد یافت. پایان نقلدر این کتاب داستان از پیش تولد شبح (اریک) شروع، و از زبان چند نفر از جمله: خود اریک، دورانهای زندگی‌ اش روایت می‌شود. قسمتی از این روایت را شخصی ایرانی به نام «نادر» انجام می‌دهد. «اریک» در قسمتی از زندگی اش در ایران (دوران ناصرالدین شاه و امیرکبیر) زندگی می‌کند. واویلاا. شربیانی

  • Karin
    2019-06-18 07:53

    Wow, I cannot say enough about this book. If you were captivated by any version of The Phantom of the Opera and loved the characters - especially Erik - you need to read this book. It was the first book to ever make me cry. Kay was so imaginative when she wrote the character of Erik and I thought she wrote him beautifully. I loved finally getting to explore his mind and the reasons why he was the way he was, and enjoyed reading of his supposed travels and finding out how he gained all of his knowledge.I was so happy when it came back to print and it's still a book I read over and over.

  • Anne
    2019-05-26 15:36

    Well, I finally read Susan Kay's "Phantom." Before I wrote my own book, I had read nothing but the original Leroux book as I did not want to be influenced by any other writer.I must admit that this book is heartwrenching, sad, but beautifully crafted. I was continually amazed at the ability of the author to see into each character in the book and put it to paper.Erik, of course, broke my heart. I was sick after the first chapter when I saw how his mother treated him. It was a miracle that he was able to become such a renowned musician, architect, painter and magician. I was constantly saddened as I read each stage of his terribly unhappy life, his desire to be loved, his wish for only a kiss from his mother, which she refused, his treatment in the gypsy caravan and in Persia. then his awakening to the human love with Christine and her gradual awakening to his heart, and the final gift she gave him and the result of that gift, her son, Charles. I must admit, I do not like pre-marital sex, but this was so beautifully written with no vulgarity, but only the desire of Christine to give Erik something that no other woman ever had or would. Her gradual opening to him where she was able to see him as a man rather than a freak, with all a man's feelings, desires and wants, was poignant and beautiful. And I believe while they were alome in her room, and she had his wedding ring, that they did make special vows to each other. I am reminded of reading many books about the Scottish Highlands which were served by way too few priests, and a man and woman could enter into a handfast marriage, which they could annul after one year if there was not child. I believe that is what Erik and Christine did. So I did not feel terrible about what she did. It was not an act of sex but an act of the deepest love.I was also, as a Christian, touched by Erik's constant battle of trying to find God and to understand why he had been made the way he had.I love the way the Phantom was portrayed by Gerard Butler. The idea of a half beautiful, half terribly disfigured face, somehow seemed almost harder to deal with than a totally horrific face like Leroux and Kay's Phantom. I could see how he could have constantly been reminded of what might have been.This is the one which stole my heart and made the Phantom part of my life.However Kay's book is special in its specialness of the truth of Erik as portrayed by his creator, Leroux. I found it much harder to deal with that ALW's Phantom, although both had me in tears.My rating of 4 stars was given rather than five, only because I was so sad when I finished the book. With only the final pages of redemption and forgiveness, the rest was hard to deal with. But it is a very special book.

  • Karla
    2019-06-08 11:42

    This book pretty much killed my future enjoyment of published "fanfiction" (like all the Jane Austen stuff and whatnot). Not because it was bad, but because it was so good. Kay didn't give the feel that she was a silly fan playing around in her idol's sandbox, like what is the case with so many who write books based on another's creation. This book was an agonizing read, and the Erik here is a brilliantly rendered character. His journey from the depths to heights of humanity yanked me through the whole gamut of emotions. Kay took what Leroux created and launched into an epic backstory that is as grand and crazy as the source material, but also eminently plausible.

  • Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
    2019-05-28 13:51

    Buddy-read with the amazing Hufflepuff Kitten commencing (finally! Thank you for your patience, my dear ♥ ) June 22nd!

  • Brittain *The Baddest Female*
    2019-06-07 08:52

    Phantom by Susan Kay has been a favorite of mine for a really long time. I first got hooked on Phantom of the Opera stuff in high school. I watched the movie with Gerard Butler, I read the original novel by Gaston Leroux and I found this book. Then, in college among moving stuff from dorm to home and back again, I lost my copy of it! It's probably still floating around somewhere but I bought a new copy and I'm so thrilled that I was able to read it again.Phantom really delves into the mind of the Phantom, Erik. He isn't just a mindless psychopath living in the basement, praying on young women. He has motivation. He has his arrogance. He is brilliant and so broken in this. Every aspect of his adolescence is so twisted, from his mother refusing to give him any warmth to his imprisonment in the gypsy camp to losing the one man who he could call a father figure. You begin to understand how he became the way that he did.God, this book hit me so hard in the heart the first time I read it. It's so dark. It's so hopeless in many ways. You see someone suffering for how they look, despite their amazing mind and you wonder what would have happened if he had had love as a child instead of fear and scorn.“I am not forsaken! I'm no longer alone in the darkness! Before my eyes I see a thousand little devils lighting black candles along the path which leads toward the edge...the blindingly beautiful edge.”The secondary characters are remarkably well built as well. I hated his mother, Madeleine but you can understand her fear. In that time, Erik would have been seen as an abomination. There would be no place for him in society because of his image and you desperately hope that wouldn't be the case now. She was scared of this child that had so much intelligence but was hampered by her revulsion towards him. She was a young mother whose husband just died and she saw Erik as a curse. I can't imagine.And then the Daroga. And the architect in Italy. Where he had once had hope and friendship, he managed to lose it all. I feel like throughout the book, up until he meets Christine, Erik strives to be a better person but his situation in life turns him into the sadistic person that he is.“My mind has touched the farthest horizons of mortal imagination and reaches ever outward to embrace infinity. There is no knowledge beyond my comprehension, no art or skill upon this entire planet that lies beyond the mastery of my hand. And yet, like Faust, I look in vain, I learn in vain. . . . For as long as I live, no woman will ever look on me in love.”My biggest fault with this book is the last ten to fifteen percent. The last little bit where he finally meets Christine and succumbs to the madness that he has been fighting for so long.“She wanted an Angel of Music . . . an angel who would make her believe in herself at last. I'd been the Angel of Doom for the khanum. There was no reason in the world why I could not be the Angel of Music for Christine. I couldn't hope to be a man to her, I couldn't ever be a real, breathing, living man waking at her side and reaching out for her . . . But I could be her angel"I hated Christine. She follows blindly and doesn't question anything. Lamb to the slaughter. And I'm not saying that she was supposed to be more worldly since she was only 20 and had hardly experienced any of the world but I wanted her to have more doubt than she did. Erik loved the idea of her more than anything else and she knew it. She couldn't make decisions on her own except on the occasions of threats against her or others. She ruined Erik's character for me since he had been so resolute and strong for most of the book but finally crumbles under an obsession.But I guess that's the point of it all. He is supposed to lose it. Erik finally relinquishes control of his mind and basically damns himself. It's all so sad and terrible and that's why I love this book.If you haven't read this book, you need to. It is such a beautiful supplement to the story that most are familiar with and it only enhances the musical and the original book. Seriously, go get it. Now. Do it. It's wonderful.Review also posted at Tara Belle Talking

  • Eve
    2019-05-21 14:53

    My mind has touched the farthest horizons of mortal imagination and reaches ever outward to embrace infinity. There is no knowledge beyond my comprehension, no art or skill upon this entire planet that lies beyond the mastery of my hand. And yet, like Faust, I look in vain. I learn in vain...For as long as I live, no woman will ever look on me in love....My kingdom lies in eternal darkness, many feet below the level of the Parisian streets outside, shrouded in the chill silence of the grave. Darkness and silense have been my companions since the day I chose to turn my back upon the world of men and create an empire that was solely mine.From the moment of my birth my destiny was to be alone."I don't know of one person who didn't think Christine Daae a fool for going off with the lackluster Raoul rather than stay with the Phantom. Disfigured he may be, but the Phantom has endured as a magnetic figure of endless fascination. In Phantom, Susan Kay explores the Phantom's life, from birth to death - Much happened before he ever set eyes on the winsome Christine. We love our misunderstood outcasts and mysterious princes of darkness, which Erik is. Brilliant and artistic, he has been reviled since birth, even rejected by his own very beautiful mother. We follow Erik as he is captured by the evil Javert and exhibited as a freak. Finally escaping the gypsy carnival, he makes his way to Italy to become a master stonemason's apprentice and to his first love, which ends in tragedy. He next surfaces as the dark magician in Persian court. Everywhere he goes, cruelty and devastation follow until at last he retreats to Paris. He becomes the secret genius behind the building of the famous Opera Garnier, where he ultimately decides to hide from the world. From there, the story roughly follows the well-known Phantom of the Opera storyline, a mix of both the Gaston Leroux novel and the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Kay manages not only to pay homage to both, but surpass them in this superb, beautifully written version. This novel is for all those who, if given the choice, would have picked the Phantom every time.

  • Meelazou
    2019-06-07 08:40

    First I have to say, I never really was interested in the Phantom of the Opera. I'm still not inclined to see this musical anytime soon.But the book is different. The author uses beautiful language that describes the emotions of the characters so well that you really emphasize with them. Especially the main character Erik, who was born with a mutilated face and has to wear a mask constantly to hide it.The book is divided in several parts with different point of views. The first part is written from the point of View of Erik's mother and describes his birth and her disgust when she first sees her son.It was a sad read which I usually can't stand, but it also builds a lot of suspense so you always want to read on.It was really interesting to understand how Eriks character changes throughout the years: he is rejected from society time and time again and therefore learns to hate the human race which he distances himself from.The love story from the original story is only dealt with at the very end of the book. It was also intersting but only a very small part of the book.

  • Hannah
    2019-05-22 12:04

    I can see that I'm very much in the minority here. This book did nothing for me, and even though I wasn't expecting to enjoy it all that much I still feel pretty disappointed with it. Susan Kay's 'Phantom' is a spin-off of Gaston Leroux's 'The Phantom of the Opera' (although Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical was obviously an influence on it as well). It retells the life of Erik a.k.a. the Phantom from his birth right up to his death. I first heard about 'Phantom' a couple of years ago but I was extremely sceptical about it and it turns out I was right. In fairness I wouldn't say that this book is TERRIBLE. At least not all of it is. The first half of 'Phantom' is actually quite decent. OK, it is a bit contrived and sensationalistic in places but these are only minor flaws. I will give Kay some credit here. She does a good job of fleshing out the details of Erik's backstory that are only hinted at in Leroux's novel. I have to admit that I found the Rome and Persia sections of this book pretty interesting and I was impressed by the sheer amount of research that Kay must have done. In fact, if Kay had ended her novel right where Leroux's book and the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical start off then I think she would have had a decent prequel to POTO on her hands. Unfortunetly, Kay doesn't choose to end her novel at this point and I carried on reading it.The second half of 'Phantom' is a total let-down - and to be perfectly frank I think most of it really sucks. First of all, we find out that Christine Daae bears an uncanny resemblance to Madeleine, Erik's mother. Now surely I can't be the only person who finds this a bit creepy and Freudian?! And besides, Madeleine hated Erik and vice versa so wouldn't Christine's physical resemblance to his mother be off-putting to him? Another thing that I found extremely irritating about this book are the bizarre alterations from Leroux's original story that occur. It's really strange because Kay has obviously made an effort, in the first half of this book at least, to keep Erik's physical appearance and backstory accurate to Leroux's descriptions - but when she actually comes to the story that we all know and love she makes weird changes. I'm sure that Kay probably wanted to put her own twist on things and to make the story her own but the way that she did this was just too fanfiction-y and off-canon for my tastes. There are so many scenes in this book that supposedly take place in Leroux's novel but are in reality nothing like those scenes at all. For example: Leroux's novel has Carlotta croak like a toad on the same night that the chandelier falls, but in Kay's 'Phantom' the chandelier falls on a different night much later on. The unmasking scene here is nothing like the unmasking scene in Leroux's novel. By far the most cringeworthy scene in this book has to be the one where Christine hears Erik's music for Don Juan Triumphant. The music is described as being like a sob in Leroux's novel, as the ultimate expression of grief and rage. Christine is frightened and disturbed. Here though, the music is so incredibly sexy and arousing that Christine *ahem* ends up getting herself off to it. Okaaay then...The book then proceeds to delve even further into the realms of bad fanfiction. I get the strong impression that Kay didn't like how Leroux's novel ended and decided to twist and distort the characters and events of that novel to suit her own purposes like a lot of bad fanfiction writers do. I love the Phantom in Leroux's novel and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical. I think he's a fantastic character and very sympathetic. In Kay's novel, I felt barely any sympathy for him at all. Also, I can't say that I was ever a massive fan of Christine in Leroux's novel (because I never really found her all that interesting) but reading Kay's novel actually made me appreciate her a whole lot more. OK, Christine does come across as being a bit helpless in Leroux's novel but at least she had some backbone. She was in love with Raoul and was determined to save him. In Kay's novel, Christine is completely incapable of making decisions by herself and seems incredibly childish and bratty. I know that Christine is supposed to be naive and a very young and innocent girl from reading Leroux's novel - childlike as opposed to childish - but Kay seems to take this to mean that 'Christine is stupid and mentally challenged'. Er, no she isn't! Kay strips Christine of every ounce of intelligence and integrity that she has in Leroux's novel and what we have instead is an incredibly annoying character. She also has an aggravating habit of always saying exactly the wrong thing to Erik and she uses Raoul horribly. Basically, she only runs off to Raoul in this book whenever Erik has done something to upset her: whether it's because he shouted at her or because she's jealous of his cat. Raoul is just some tool for Christine to punish Erik with. I felt really sorry for Raoul in this book and he must surely deserve some sort of medal for the crap that he has to put up with! Christine ends up sleeping with Erik right before their wedding - hmm, what recent musical does this remind me of?! - and forces him to accept this. She then takes Erik's cat to live with them and has a son that turns out to be Erik's! Poor Raoul has to put up with the fact that his wife, his son and even his pet are all Erik's! How harsh is that? To sum up: if you're an E/C shipper who hates Raoul, loves the Phantom unconditionally, and always thought that Christine should have chosen Erik and was in love with him all along then 'Phantom' is a must-read and you will love it. And if you're not, don't bother. Give me the Leroux novel and the ALW musical anyday!

  • Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
    2019-06-13 09:35

    Re-read For Valentines Day :)And won't change my rating...still 5 stars!In the Original novel by Gaston Leroux, few details are given regarding Erik's past, although there is no shortage of hints & implications throughout the book.Susan Kays novel Phantom, fills in those missing parts starting with Erik's birth & the fact his mother was horrified by his appearance. The story unfolds with how she copes or I should say dosen't cope with this "monster child." Right away you feel such powerful emotion for Erik, and although you want to despise Madeline for her treatment of her son, you can also understand her plight. At times you feel she does love & want to protect him but the extreme measures she takes will scar Erik for the rest of his life. When in a fit of anger his mother reveals her hatred of him & he in turn for her just about breaks your heart. It was a scene that he would carry to his grave. At this point Erik runs away..and too late, Madeline realises her love for her son. For the rest of the story before it leads up the meeting with Christine, is such a powerful, emotional journey that you take with Erik. You feel his visit his "dark side" as well as the very tormented & wanted to be loved side.This book drew me in from the very first page..and had me crying at the end and wishing it wouldn't end. The only thing I recommend you have with this book is a box of Kleenex. This one goes on my keeper shelf! Not to miss for fans of Phantom Of The Opera!

  • Anna
    2019-05-24 08:54

    Rating: 4.5 starsI recently read The Phantom of the Opera, and while I liked it, I didn't love it. The character of Erik fascinated me, but I resented it when Christine and Raoul interrupted his story; they seemed almost superfluous, they bored me, they got in the way. So when Susan Kay's Phantom was recommended, I jumped at the chance to discover more about the enigmatic Erik. Phantom begins with his birth; horribly disfigured, he's instantly rejected by his mother, a rejection which will impact upon his life forever. Persuaded by a priest to take him home and care for him but to never show him in public, the first thing she does is fashion a mask for her newborn son. But the mask cannot disguise her revulsion and the care she gives him is the basic minimum, unable and unwilling to show him any love or affection.Hers is the first rejection of many, and as Erik grows from boy to man he suffers every humiliation and betrayal, retreating into the angry solitary life he creates for himself, living by his own set of rules and hardening his mind against humanity. Precociously gifted and perpetually feared, he travels the world with his mesmerising talents and murderous tendencies, but beneath the cruel exterior lies a man with a heart and soul, desperate for love and acceptance however suppressed those feeling might be; this heart and soul are glimpsed by a very select few who lives are touched by his loyal and gentle compassion. Up until this point, I adored everything about this novel. It's haunting and heartbreaking, and oh how my heart bled for this tender, terrifying man. Unfortunately, the book came undone for me in the last quarter where it joins forces with The Phantom of the Opera in a virtual retelling of Christine and Raoul's part. With my preconceived dislike of them I accept that I'm to blame here, but I lost interest and began skim-reading; a frustrating end to an otherwise utterly riveting read. 2 stars from when Christine takes centre stage which brings my overall rating down, but the full 5 stars for Erik's spellbinding backstory; his tragically tormented tale will stay with me for a long time.

  • Eric
    2019-06-02 09:42

    I first heard about this book when I happened to see an interview with Hugh Panaro, the then-star of "Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway. He suggested the text as required reading for anyone looking to play the character of the Phantom or anyone looking to understand his character on a deeper level. Since "Phantom of the Opera" is (hands-down) my favorite Broadway show, and since I promised my father that I would find a way to produce the show with the Drama Club I direct, I thought I'd give it a whirl.I was impressed with Kay's knowledge of the source material. Rather than simply looking over Lloyd Webber's Broadway show or a movie version, she went back to the original material of Gaston Leroux. She sets her story (initially) long before the events of Leroux's novel; her focus is on the character of Erik, the "phantom." Kay traces his life from birth through the events of Leroux's work and beyond. Taking a cue from both Leroux and Lloyd Webber, Kay spins a tale of a young man with tremendous talents who faces scorn and isolation because of his unfortunate deformation.Kay slowly unfolds the character of Erik, providing him with sufficient backstory to explain his talents and abilities while simultaneously peppering his life with events to mold his character and response to humanity. The most interesting thing is that Kay accomplished this through a variety of narrators. Each phase of Erik's life is told to the reader through the eyes of a new figure; Erik only narrates about one-third of the book. The use of outside perspectives to narrate the bulk of the story offers a certain objectivity to the reader. The reader can generally relate to the narrator more than Erik since the narrator often mirrors the perspective the reader would likely have. This allows for a deeper sympathetic reaction to Erik's trials and tribulations than would be possible were it Erik who was telling his own story the whole way through.If you like "Phantom of the Opera" (in any of its iterations), this is a must-read.

  • Jamie
    2019-05-23 14:53

    Oh boy. I could talk about this book for longer than it takes to read it, but I think I can sum up my feelings on it in one sentence.It is my absolute favorite novel that I have ever read.I have read quite a few novels. It's hard to decisively say which is my favorite. That is, it would be hard, had I not read this book.I've been in a sort of love affair with the story of the Phantom of the Opera for a year or so now. It started with a webcomic. That's another story. Right now we're talking about an absolutely brilliant book.I've read this book cover to cover twice. The first time, while it affected me, I really hadn't thought about the character enough to realize how in-depth the story goes. The second time I read it, I could only read a couple of pages at a time before having to put it down because of how damn powerful it is.Susan Kay really knows how to use characters and the dynamics between them. Every relationship is believable, from that of Madeleine to Marie to Erik and Nadir. They all have their distinct characterizations. Kay has created what is one of the best books that very few people seem to know about. I would recommend it to literally anyone.

  • A.G. Howard
    2019-06-10 09:43

    I have no words for how amazing this book is. BEST adaptation of the Phantom of the Opera I've ever read. Just ... wow.

  • Ghazale Kave
    2019-06-16 14:58

    داستان در مورد یه افسانه قدیمی هستشیه موجودی که بخاطر قیافه خاصش طرد میشه و اواخر داستان عاشق میشه...نکته ای که برام جالب بود این بود که این نابغه نازیبا مدتی رو در ایران در زمان ناصرالدین شاه گذرونده و در قتل امیرکبیر هم نقش داشته ! نویسنده اطلاعات خوبی داشته از کشور هایی که در خلال داستان ازش نامی برده شده

  • Kamryn (GreyZone)
    2019-05-28 08:43

    This novel seems to flawlessly set up every mysterious bit of The Phantom of the Opera, only to then proceed to fix every "mistake" of the story. At first I was baffled by how diligently Kay wove the tapestry of Erik's only life to scream "screw you!" at Leroux directly after.I'll be the first to admit it - I have never finished the original novel; however, I do consider myself a connoisseur of the stage show, and know enough of the work it's based upon to realize just how many liberties Kay decided to take with the classic work.If you read Phantom with no prior knowledge of the story it's paying homage to, it would still be a good novel with character development and plot and good pacing. But what amazed me as a fan and Team Erik member for five years was the new depth that Kay managed to give to Christine and the Phantom. She royally ignored every other character such as Giry, Meg, and Raoul; although, the work done with those such as Erik's mother and the ones involved early in his life - the ones who shaped him into the twisted man we see when the show begins - makes it okay in the end.Questions I have had burning on my mind have been answered. Even if they aren't "official," they still bring light to the situations left as mysteries, along with giving motive to what seems as pure madness in previous tellings.Along with that, I've talked with many people who wonder why in the world Erik loves Christine. She comes across as a pretty bimbo with no personality or emotions or depth. And yet, Kay tackled this problem head on. We see her through a lens in Erik's mind that actually makes sense, but then again, Kay did alter major plot points, so who knows?One issue for me personally was Erik's child narration occasionally reading too much like an adult, making it hard to stay invested in what was happening in the story. He is a prodigy, but I do feel as if he could have sounded more like a highly intelligent boy rather than a man. Pushing aside the voice, his childhood was interesting and well planned.All in all, I think this is a good read for any Phantom fan. Reading this work, it feels as is Kay enjoyed the ideas, people, and themes of the work but reconstructed what happened to her own liking. It bites its thumb at the original, yes, but the added dimensions to the characters doesn't make this seem like too much of a loss.

  • MAP
    2019-06-12 09:42

    I first read this book when I was 14, so it's hard to know how I would have felt about it if I'd read it now, because it is so deeply ingrained in how I approach the Phantom mythology and the character of Erik.That said, I loved this book so much at 14 I remember reading the book during my freshman year classes, and then reading the whole thing over and over and over. Even now, I can pick up this book, flip to any random page, and just love wherever I'm at. There are only 2 other books I can do that with.This is the reason why I love how goodread's star system work. The stars don't indicate "good book, ok book, bad book" but "I loved the book, I liked the book, etc." I would never tell you this book should be up for a Pulitzer prize, it's not Dostoevsky or Vonnegut, but it is absolutely one of my favorite and most enjoyed books of all time.And just BTW -- why are so many reviewers calling him Eric? How could you have read a 500+ page book about this character and still get his name wrong? It's Erik. ERIK. With a K.

  • rachel erskine
    2019-06-10 08:38

    I love Phantom of the Opera more than... a lot of things. In fact, I'd say that it is my all-time favorite "love" story/musical/production/movie (2004) ever. I have no shame in the fact that I'm literally obsessed with POTO. But, of course, there are a few problems. I think this book a phenomenal retelling of the origianl work, and I appreciated how she attempted to stay (somewhat) close to Gaston Leroux's, and I enjoyed learning about Erik's past, whether or not it was true. I had some problems, though, with the blatant Christine x Erik pairing. Personally, I don't like the two of them together, and I don't believe that they would ever be together. The ending was also hard for me to appreciate with the boy probably being Erik's and with Christine dying so soon after Erik. I felt like Kay almost didn't give Christine enough credit - she made Christine weak and fragile, the damsel in distress. While, yes, I would agree that she is the damsel in this novel, it was frustrating how no one seems to realize that Christine kissed the Phantom in order to save Raoul, and I feel like that was kind of a major downfall for me? Like that she still insisted on making Christine be in love with Erik. That was such a small portion of the book, though, and I definitely think the rest of it was amazing. I loved Nadir's relationship with Erik, especially, and his love for Nadir's son.

  • Nicole
    2019-06-03 09:45

    This is definitely a must-read for any Phantom fan! There are truly no words to explain the beauty and the humanity that Erik a.k.a. The Phantom possesses in this book. It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me gasp in horror and tremble with anticipation. Susan Kay does a fantastic job capturing the war-ravaged heart of Erik, giving him a horrible, loveless background but a deep-set humanity that surpasses all expectations. It is needless to say that I fell in love with this man for the beauty of his feelings, the innocence in his heart and the darkness that threatens to consume his soul. Every narrative moment is precious and truly captivating. This is a book that I will definitely re-read it. Even if you're not a Phantom of the Opera fan, this is an excellent book all on it's own. You too will fall under his spell and reach out for that strong hand that lead you to the Music of the Night.

  • Cailin
    2019-05-31 14:55

    This is one of my favorite books. If you like the story of the Phantom of the Opera, you'll be both astounded and heartbroken by Susan Kay's portrayal of Eric's life - from his birth, to after his death. Often, with tales from the "bad guy's" perspective, you start to feel sorry for the antagonist. The traditional Phantom of the Opera does this already; you feel sorry for the "bad guy," but you ultimately end up siding with Christine.Phantom does something a little different. You fall in love with him, you obsess over him and with him, you despair with him, you agree with his every action and cheer him on, and you're surprised by his strength and intellect on every single page. And don't worry, you can see his art and hear his music as you read. Yes, it's THAT awesome.

  • Una Tiers
    2019-06-11 10:03

    A long look into the mind of the Phantom of the Opera. I love the music and the opera and now understand the underground architecture. Poor Erik is raised without affection although he has talents and skills that are insurmountable.A sad ending to a hard life.

  • Wren [t(he)y]
    2019-06-07 09:51

    Review to come

  • E.A. Bucchianeri
    2019-06-06 08:00

    Gaston Leroux's tale of a disfigured genius living in the cellars of the Paris Opéra and falling in love with a beautiful singer has become a classic, thanks due to the many film adaptations and especially to Andrew Lloyd Webber's award-winning musical sensation.After the début of Webber's version, the Phantom theme has grown into a cultural phenomenon with a league of “Phans” enthralled with the love story cum mystery thriller similar to the Romantic generation of the 19th century that was captivated by Goethe's “Faust”. The story of the Phantom, the man with a devil's face and an angel's voice, has inspired many fan-based fictions and professional re-creations. There are the prequels revealing the life of Erik, the man fated to become L'Opéra's resident ghost, how he assumed the phantasmal role and meets Christine, the object of his passion. Then we have the sequels, the myriad of “what if's” that could have happened to the main characters after the tragic love triangle has sung its last trio at the opera house. The urge to explore the characters in more depth is difficult to ignore: Gaston Leroux left many blanks and character-development enigmas that remain unanswered in his novel. Who is the mysterious “Persian” and how did he become the Phantom's one and only friend? Why did Christine refuse to leave with Raoul, her sweetheart, when he provided the opportunity to escape? Did she really love Erik but was afraid to admit it? The biggest mystery is Erik's life: the Phantom of the Opera wasn't always a Phantom.Leroux hints at the sad details in the Epilogue of his novel, but that is all they are, vague glimpses into a shattered childhood and loveless existence. In a few paragraphs, Leroux declares Erik's father was a stonemason and that he was born in a small town on the outskirts of Rouen. Because of his facial deformity, he was an object of horror and shame to his parents and was forced to run away. Eventually his extraordinary talents in music caught the attention of a travelling showman and he put Erik on display as “The Living Corpse” similar to the “Elephant Man”. How he was treated and how long he was forced to live like this, we do not know. Erik's talents also extended to many other fields, architecture being one, and he travelled to the Middle East, entering into the service of the Shah of Persia and the Sultan of Turkey. In addition to constructing some of the palaces, he entertained his royal employers with his inventions and magic arts, in the process he became privy to many state secrets. However, because he knew too much, was compelled to flee the executioner both times. He finally returned to France and the rest is history as they say. Leroux focused his story on just the last six months or so of Erik's tragic yet adventurous life, and leaves all the rest. Is it a wonder Phans want to hear more?As far as I am aware, Susan Kay's novel was one of the first prequel / sequel recreations that appeared in print from a major publisher, and in fact, may have started the “vogue” to retell the Phantom's story, hence the sudden explosion in Phantom books. By far, it is still the best Phantom-based literary creation after Leroux's original ~ any time a Phan recommends someone to Leroux's book, the next phrase they will usually utter is, “You will have to read Susan Kay's book too.” I agree. Kay delves into the depths of the human element of the story where Leroux concentrated on the mystery-thriller aspect of his novel. Of course, Kay had to use her own imagination to fill the blanks, and there are many parts and new characters that are her own invention, such as Erik's providential introduction to an Italian stonemason during his teenage years, and his first experience of falling in love only to have it end in tragedy, meaning Christine is not his first love according to Kay. Kay also rewrites what happens at the opera house since she cannot complete rehash Leroux's work, which would be plagiarism, but I think he would be pleasantly surprised by her re-working of the story if he could read it today. In addition to her emotionally-charged exploration of the characters, Kay's research into the history of the times is very accurate and she handles the story in its historical context admirably. Furthermore, her writing style is a pleasure to read. This a page-turner from beginning to end. Definitely worth a Five-Star rating. A note to parents, if you are wondering if this is for suitable for Young Adults (YA), I would suggest you read it first: while there are no over-the-top racy scenes, there are one or two sections that are of a mature / adult / disturbing subject matter that you may want to be read for yourself and decide if it suitable for your children.E.A. Bucchianeri author of“Faust: My Soul be Damned for the World, 2 vols)”“Brushstrokes of a Gadfly”“A Compendium of Essays: Purcell, Hogarth and Handel, Beethoven, Liszt, Debussy, and Andrew Lloyd Webber”

  • Leyla
    2019-06-14 09:50

    I read this novel a long time ago. I remember I was a teenager when I read this book. I've read it like 5 times and it still makes me burst in emotions. I remember the book's edge slightly peeping between others in my parents book shelf, all red and full of dust. I just wanted to read something and I was instantly drawn to pick it up. And when I did, I blew the dust away and there I saw the beautiful cover. A golden mask, the name "Phantom of the Opera" by Susan Kay in all its red background glory. I was fifteen years old at the time... I already new the original popular story. But, curiosity got the best of me. It's pages old and yellow. And that smell!!!! You know how old books smell? How could I refuse? Once I began reading, it was a rollercoaster of emotions. I felt disgusted, I cried, I felt admiration, passion, frustration. I couldn't stop reading it no matter how it hurt!!! I was lovestruck and enamored! Susan kay takes us to the very begining of the Phantom's existence, even before he became a ghost of a theater. We withstand Eric's history and how he evolves from a genius to a mad man in love. There are certain slight changes in the characters actions, but that does not alter the beauty and horror of this novel. Christine has more childish personality, although I've never liked her,this version is much more likebale. Raul reminds me of "Gaston" from 'Beauty and the beast'. Other than slight details, the story maintains its true origins. But it allows us to live the Phantoms struggles with every detail of his history. With exquisite pace and detail. And as soon as I finished reading it, I couldn't help smile between tears. To summarize... I highly recommend this book!!! And it deserves full 5 stars! I bid you farewell and hope your future reads are fab!

  • Gemma
    2019-06-03 13:45

    I've met my match. I have never ever ever come across a book, barring this one, that I just couldn't handle reading for extended periods of time. Not because it was bad, but because it was just so darn sad!I'm a huge fan of Leroux's original novel and I'm always nervous about reading anything to do with Phantom of the Opera (I'm still recovering from The Phantom of Manhattan), but there really wasn't anything to worry about with this one. Susan Kay did a remarkable job of fleshing out Erik's previously shadowy past. Her original characters were well-drawn; I still have mixed feelings about Madeleine and I liked Giovanni almost as much as Nadir. The part that concerned me the most turned out to be the part that most blew me away: Erik's characterization. It wasn't overdone or understated, it was just right. The pain, the passion, the was all so Erik I can't find the words to do it justice. It turned me into a sniffling, sobbing wreck!I do have just one little problem with it, though. From Erik's birth to his taking up residence in the Opera House was told in such detail that when Christine finally arrived on the scene, it seemed to fly by too fast by comparison. I understand that the Erik/Christine/Raoul triangle was covered good and plenty by Leroux so there's no need to go all-out when the book had already gone on so long, but I thought a little more time might have been spent on it. It was the most pivotal, important relationship of Erik's tormented life, and as such it should have been treated with more thought. And yet I have to hand it to Ms. Kay. She worked me over so well with the last scene at the house on the lake I wanted to tear my hair out in anguish. It was so intense and so electrically charged I couldn't sleep after reading it (which was pretty rough, as I couldn't stop thinking about it, thus furthering the torment). And the last bits from Raoul's perspective were rather touching, which came as a surprise since he seemed like such a minor character up until then.All in all, a must-read for phans and heck, anyone who needs a good cry. Take the advice I didn't, and keep the tissues handy!

  • Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
    2019-05-30 09:57

    After all this time?Always.That quote can really apply to just about any romantic story, but especially the Phantom of the Opera. And this book, in particular. I'm coming back to this now after 10-ish years and it still holds up and I'm so content right now.Okay, so here's my life story with this whole phenomenon. Apparently my mother had the musical cast album when I was a kid but it scared me (not something I remember, I was probably 2ish). Got obsessed with the musical to the point of writing fanfiction/drawing fanart/dressing as POTO for Halloween, loved the 2004 movie (ohhhh 2004 me, you poor dear) and read just about anything I could find to do with it, starting with the original novel (which I disliked at the time bc NOT ROMANTICCCC), the Phantom of Manhattan, an erotic retelling, even a book where Erik met Sherlock Holmes.But of everything I read in that 2-3 year period of obsession pales in comparison to this book. This isn't so much a retelling as an origin story, a la Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Erik's life is utterly fascinating, from his infancy to his time spent among the Romany, honing his magicianship, to working as a mason and then an architect alongside some of the greatest minds in the world, and as an assassin in the court of Persia. This book really gives Erik a life of his own, something we are sorely without in the original Leroux novel. And all this so that when Christine and Raoul finally do surface in these pages, we can analyze Erik like any other character because we have a solid grip on where he's been and what he's had to deal with and rise above in getting to his house on the lake.Susan Kay writes masterfully, weaving through everywhere Erik goes and pinning it all down in a historical context -- the amount of research staggers me. If nothing else, treat this as a historical fiction novel and be amazed.

  • Kathryn
    2019-05-20 11:48

    I absolutely loved this book. It gave me all of the details of Erik's life that I craved to learn that weren't mentioned enough in Gaston Leroux's version. The characters were all believable and wonderfully written. I can not give enough praise for this novel.It begins with Erik's birth and ends almost twenty years after his death, but the detail and the events are wonderful. Erik was the insane genius I love so much, and Christine Daaé's personality had an unexpected note that wasn't really told in Leroux's version.It is obvious that Susan Kay worked hard on this novel, and she researched a lot. She gave every aspect of Erik's life the detail and credit it deserved, and she made use of his many talents.One thing I do wish is that she had stopped near or very soon after the original had ended. I could have lived without the fast-forward seventeen years after the Phantom's death. Oh, I suppose I could have also lived without the fact that Christine closely resembled his mother. I know that had some psychological quasi-importance, but it was completely unnecessary, and I wish it hadn't been there.I would recommend everyone read this book, but it is extremely important to read The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux first.

  • Kristine
    2019-06-02 07:59

    As soon as I finished this book, I paused for a few minutes and then turned to page one to relive the whole journey again. I loved Kay's writing style. The story was imaginative and fit like a glove for my idea of Erik. I can't say enough about the first 2/3 of the book. AND THEN...I don't know what happened. The last part of the book (essentially where Christine and Erik meet) didn't sit right with me the first time I read it. It was even worse the second time. I realize Kaye had to somewhat stay with the orginial Leroux idea of the Phantom and she added in elements from Lloyd-Webber's Broadway show, but in the end that last part was nothing more than sappy fan-fic, in my opinion. I've read it again and each time I feel like another author took over at the moment that Erik hears Christine singing in the theatre. I had to create my own ending in order to put things right in my mind. BUT...all in all, suffering through the fan-fic in the last part was absolutely worth the glory and perfection of the first part.

  • Ann
    2019-06-01 11:41

    I was REALLY into Phantom of the Opera when I was about 13, and still love the story and atmosphere, even if I'm not as enthralled with the musical as I was then. I read the novel a few years ago and liked that as well, so at that time I made a list of Phantom-based books, including this one. Basically, it's glorified fan fiction, but it wasn't terrible. One of the great appeals of the Phantom is speculating over his past, and this novel satisfies that in ways I enjoyed more than I anticipated. It is of course over the top and can get cheesy, but Susan Kay is much more interested in the character of the Phantom than in the horrible crimes he commits in the opera house. These are barely mentioned, in fact. And for all the melodrama of the writing, I can't really fault her for giving me exactly what I wanted. Even though she pulled me in with manipulated feelings, I'm rating it high. Four stars is quite generous, but I'm giving it for enjoyment factor, although 3.5 is more accurate.