4.8 125
by Susan Kay

View All Available Formats & Editions

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


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 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Retelling and expanding upon a well known and beloved classic is risky business, but Kay acquits herself with brio in this retelling of Gaston Leroux's 1911 tale, The Phantom of the Opera . In a powerful and moving tour de force (the American debut for this British writer whose first novel, Legacy , won the Georgette Heyer Historical Novel Prize and the Betty Trask Award), she adds a new depth and perspective, moving well beyond the familiar boundaries of the story. This version begins with the birth of the horribly disfigured Erik and continues into the years following his doomed romance with Christine, ending in an unexpected and triumphant redemption. The narrative encompasses Erik's disastrous formative years with his mother, his caged existence among a gypsy tribe and a period of relative happiness in Rome, where he perfects his skills as an architect and builder. He goes to Persia, where he masters his talent for torture and murder and, finally, he is involved in the construction of the Paris Opera House--and the creation of his labyrinthine world beneath that structure. Haunting and unforgettable, this is a book to be savored, a sensual and often poetic exploration of a man's internal conflict between good and evil and of a search for love amidst darkness and despair. BOMC and QPB featured alternates. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
YA--Phantom of the Opera fans no longer need to ponder what was in Erik's past, as Kay has created one for him in this deeply moving, poignant story. The terrible effects of a 19th-century Western society that could not accept someone different, combined with the horrible influence of drugs, prevent anyone from knowing Erik, an extremely gifted musician, architect, and magician. His character is especially well drawn in his dual roles of adored hero and hated villain. The book looks long, but pacing is rapid. The author's talent for weaving a complex tale is apparent, as the first-person narrator changes from section to section with the climaxing chapter alternating between Erik and Christine. This shows the development of Erik's character from his own point-of-view as well as that of other significant people in his life. This sad, but beautiful, novel will be especially popular with students who have enjoyed the current musical .--Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA

Product Details

Aeon Publishing Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.60(d)

Related Subjects

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Phantom 4.8 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 125 reviews.
Gnomadic More than 1 year ago
I am a huge Phantom of the Opera fan and was not disappointed with this book. Going beyond the normal storyline of the phantom comes the story of Erik who was born horribly disfigured but excelled in everything that he did. This book is both darkly psychological and romantic all at once. There have been many books before this one but Susan Kay blows the genre out of the water and breathes new life into the mythos that is The Phantom of the Opera. A very quick and excellent read and you will find yourself drawn deeper into the history of the time and the fiction that makes this tale so great!
Kath11leen More than 1 year ago
This is a truly remarkable book; it seemed so real that I couldn't put it down. A wonderful story.
Varwen More than 1 year ago
Susan Kay did a most excellent job of taking the time honored tale of the one we simply knew as "The Phantom" and allowing us to take a look at how he developed into the role he claimed as his own. Whether it was a story told from the perspective of Erik's own mother, Christine, or from Erik himself, Kay weaves you into the tortured and longing mind of Erik. She bases most of the book on Leroux's original, so this should make it that much better for those rabid fans who insist that no further written work is needed. Even if its your first incursion on the journey into Erik's life, it will be a wonderful trip nonetheless. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I cannot believe that I didn't want to read this at first because I THOUGHT THAT IT WOULD INTERFERE WITH MY ERIK PERCEPTION. How could I have been so wrong? This book grabs from the first sentence. Susan Kay is an incredible writer with a style that easily conveys the message, often in quite a heart-rending way--about halfway into the book I started crying and I didn't stop until a few minutes after I'd finished. There is also humor--see page 210 for a particular zinger--yet another object which serves to enhance Erik's spectacularly presented 'as all the others are, too--Sasha and Ayesha, I love you!'character. We get POV of multiple characters, extensive exposition 'very well handled', and a remarkable ending. I intend to buy this book as soon as posible, as it has immediately earned the rank of 'favorite' in my library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Susan Kay has effectively taken the classic Leroux story and completed it, lifting the veil of mystery that shrouded Eric's early life. This volume must go side by side with the original in my library. I found myself in tears along with the infant Eric and feeling his rage at the injustices played out later in his life. This lush epic-like story will leave you with a little better understanding of Leroux's enigmatic 'Opera Ghost'. A beautiful and haunting story that will stay with you long after finish it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay so it isnt the classic phantom of the opera. This book takes a look into the past, starting from Erik's birth and ending with his death. He goes from tragidy to tragidy, making you cry, laugh, and scream in excitement. Every turn of the page brought a new and eonderful look into the life of everyones favorite opera ghost. I enjoyed this book EVEN MORE THAN THE ORIGNAL! If you are a fan of the movie, play, or orginal book then do mot hesitate to read susan kays phantom. Erik has a womderful sense of humor that kept me laughing. Love this book, totally worth it to buy!
broadway_darling More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book of all time. It took an eternity to get it from the store because they do not keep it in stock, but everything was worth it. I have been enthralled with Phantom of the Opera ever since the recent movie with Gerard Butler. I then read the Gaston Leroux novel which was dazzling in its descriptions of Erik. The phantom is my favorite literary character of all time so when I discovered this novel I was estatic. It is a mesmerizing journey of a scorned soul who it appears will never find happiness, or is too blind to see it. All of the characters are fantastically developed and it follows the Leroux novel rather well. I prefered this ending naturally. Erik is a tortured and beautiful soul. This book is a curse because you will become enthralled in the world of the phantom.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book several years ago before ever seeing the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. After seeing the show, I HAD to purchase this book and read it again. The show leaves you asking questions like where did the Phantom come from, why does he act the way he does, and so many more. This book answers all those questions and more.
MysticRae More than 1 year ago
This is truly my favorite book. I'm a real 'phanatic' when it comes to Phantom of The Opera. I felt so drawn to this book. I read many, many great reviews on it. Before I was even done with it I already wanted to read it again it was so good. Susan Kay wonderfully expresses Erik and the conflict within himself and the rough journey throughout his life. It is written in mutiple prospectives. From his mother, to the persian. Which was a nice touch. This is a sad story and you may feel like crying at some parts. Susan Kay deserves much praise for this wonderful book. She also remains faithful to Gaston LeRoux's Phantom. She adds depth and perspective to Erik's long struggle to survive in a world that could never accept him as he is. Being born deformed, Erik had to find some type of escape from the world. Susan Kay explains his drive to widen his knowlegde of the world and its wonders. With my life struggles, this book has been a great escape for me. I was truly moved and touched by this book. I loved Phantom of The Opera already. This just made everything better. So, this book has a special place in my heart. I highly recommend this book. Even if you're not a 'huge' fan of Phantom of The Opera. Read this! Even the cover has a beautiful desgin. On top of everything else that's great about this book. Overall, if you even liked "The Phantom Of The Opera" by Gaston LeRoux or know someone who does. You/They will like this. You are not wasting time or money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This adaptation is the best I've ever read as a true phan I must reccommend it to all true fans of The Phantom of The Opera
Estherz More than 1 year ago
I have this book and would snap it up in ebook format in a heartbeat. One of the best books I've ever read. If I could I would give it 6 stars...
PhDrSeuss More than 1 year ago
i have been wantin to read this book for so long that i got tired of waiting 4 it at the library so i purchased it myself and u know what ---- ITS WORTH THE PAY IN EVERYWAY!!! and am glad that i made the purchase instead of wait. Erik was my favorite character from the moment i began reading. he's everythin 1 could ask for (which is my opinion). i fell in love him as i read on. Phantom made me think of beauty & the beast. Erik has gone through so much in his life & didnt let that stop him from living on. it also tells the tale of survival, care, emotions, love & life which is all descrbed thru erik. i was so glad when he discovered what love really was when he met christine. for she was the one who showed him what love was really about & it didnt have to do with the outside and how one looks/appears. its all from the inside. Phantom is somewhat similar to the classic Phantom of the Opera by author Gaston Leroux but has more to it than one would expect. almost like tellin the life story of the character creaated by Leroux but from the day he was born til his end. i am so glad that i purchased it. i dont know why but as i read it i felt so familiar with the story. as if i been there already. when i came 2 certain parts it was as if it were things that i, myself, went thru. Phantom has become 1 of my favorite books & could be yours too. i have recommended it several other people & already know they too will love it. dont let this chance to get Phantom get away --- GRAB IT ASAP. you wont regret it ---- i know i didnt. NOR WILL U 4GET IT...i know i wont. if it never comes back to the library i can understand why (and it probably never will).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the first line of the novel I was hooked and coudln't stop reading. This book is a must read for the "Phanatic" and it does not disappoint.
kerilynn More than 1 year ago
i have read many phantom books but i keep coming back to this one. i enjoy finding out what happened to erik in his past that Leroux eluded to. you can better understand the pain he suffered. i also enjoy the ending, it helps any erik lover like christine a little more. i personally have read this book 8 times, going on 9.
DinFaroreNaryu78 More than 1 year ago
I discovered this beautiful gem after reading the Gaston Leroux version, and loving the musical. It is rare, since being out print for a long time, but once I recieved it, I was spellbound. Divided into different perspectives throughout the story, it shows the story of Erik before he reached Paris and fell for Christine (that's near the end). His life of the cruel circus, traveling to Rome and Persia; this is a novel everyone has to read at leat once in their lifetime. Its sad she hasn't anything since this, but she has left behind a legendary story with an original concept, compelling characters, and classic lines from the Phantom himself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hello. Most amazing book which I could take the opportunity to read it. I'm Persian and THE NADIR section impressed me . while reading this book you really feel the scare within yourself , then you decide to put it away but a wonderful power invited you to go ahead, continue , scare , fear , even scream or shout but don't put the book away. It's a power which originated from creativity of the writer. Thank you SUSAN KAY. thank you very much. Best rgds, Reza
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a HUGE 'Phantom of the Opera' movie fan, so I decided to check out the books. I first read Leroux's novel, which is a classic but it dissapionted me because it talked more about Raoul than Erik, the Phantom. So I decided to try Susan Kay's novel. Let me tell you that I usually hate reading, but I actually enjoyed this book (and I'm very picky.) But this book is outstanding! You get to know more about Erik, his past, and why he does what he does. I can't put the book down once I've started, and with other books I get bored reading one sentence. This is the absolute best book ever the only book I've ever liked. Also, it made me love Erik even more than you have before. He is so musical, passionate, and loving- this book helps you see it more. I recomend this book to anyone, even people who usually hate reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book. i find it interesting that he has had such a horrible childhood and had not known the loving touch of a woman. it is a very touching tale and the end made me cry because even though he was very mean to Christine, in the end they still shared a love that would overcome everything...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read this book in the mid-nineties... i loved it, i made the mistake of allowing a friend borrow it who never returned it. I am so extatic that i have been able to find it agian. This is one of those books that over time you have read so many time you really dont know why you bother to re-read it... but its a fantastic book... a definate must!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my all-time favorite books. I was changed forever by this hauntingly beautiful story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Susan Kay, I am your biggest phan! If I could, I would make a library of just this book, so that I could loan it out to everyone to read! Everytime I do, I never get the book back and have to buy it again! It is, by FAR, the best book I have ever read. I can't see the classic Phantom of the Opera ever again without my heart being ripped out of my body. The characters become so real, and make you feel so many things. Why this isn't a best seller is BEYOND me! I could probably read it 100 times and not get tired of it. If you wonder at all about nature vs nurture, this is a wonderful piece that exhibits how "nurture" tragically overwhelms "nature". If you have not read this wonderful work yet, I highly recommend that you do it! You won't regret it! I can guarantee you will never watch the movie or see the show the same way again... Thank you Susan Kay!! If I could give you 10 stars I would!
DweamGoiL More than 1 year ago
I discovered this book when it first came out over 2 decades ago and have read it multiple times. I love it each time I read it. My old copy is yellowed, musky, and the binding has been compromised, but I will never part with it. It is one of my all time favorite books. I am so glad it's now a Nook Book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is fantastic, I'm a literature major and when I give my list of favorite works, I'll list this alongside classics. The writing is gothic, elegant, sensual (that is, not sexual but of the senses, the sights and sounds, in her writing you can almost hear the music playing), its historically accurate. Heartfelt and heart breaking it is an absolute must read even for those who are not fans of the various musicals or the original novel (which I would reccomend all of as well) Its a shame that there's no newer version with a better looking cover, as it deserves a special edition reprint. Always in hope that Ms. Kay writes another novel, she's a stunning writer with endless talent. In here you're going to laugh and snicker but also cry and swoon--Erik becomes a thoroughly human figure and all the other characters get a fascinating, fully fleshed out backstory that Leroux's novel lacked. The amount of historical detail of 19th century Paris, Italy, Persia and Russia is enough to draw in readers. I cannot recommend this novel enough, I personally re-read it at least once a year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago