The stunning continuation of the timeless classic The Phantom of the Opera.
In The Phantom of Manhattan, acclaimed, bestselling suspense novelist Frederick Forsyth pens a magnificent work of historical fiction, rife with the insights and sounds of turn-of-the-century New York City, while continuing the dramatic saga which began with Gaston Leroux's brilliant novel The Phantom of the Opera...
More than two decades have passed since Antoinette Giry, the mistress of the corps de ballet at the Paris Opera, rescued a hideously disfigured boy named Erik from a carnival and brought him to live in the labyrinthine cellars of the opera house. Soon thereafter, his intense, unrequited love for a beautiful chorus girl set in motion a tragic string of events, forcing him to flee Paris forever. Now, as she lies dying in a convent, Madam Giry tells the untold story of the Phantom and his clandestine journey to New York City to start anew, where he would become a wealthy entrepreneur and build the glorious Manhattan Opera House...all so he could see his beloved, now a famous diva, once again. But the outcome of her visit would prove even more devastating than before-- and yet, would allow the Phantom to know, for the first time in his brutal life, the true meaning of love...
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|File size:||235 KB|
About the Author
Frederick Forsyth is the author of many bestselling novels, including The Day of the Jackal and The Dogs of War. He lives in Hertfordshire, England.
Read an Excerpt
Hospice of the Sisters of Charity
of the Order of St.-Vincent-de-Paul,
Paris, September 1906
There is a crack in the plaster of the ceiling far above my head and close to it a spider is creating a web. Strange to think this spider will outlive me, be here when I am gone, a few hours from now. Good luck, little spider, making a web to catch a fly to feed your babies.
How did it come to this? That I, Antoinette Giry, at the age of fifty-eight, am lying on my back in a hospice for the people of Paris, run by the good sisters, waiting to meet my Maker? I do not think I have been a very good person, not good like these sisters who clean up the endless mess, bound by their oath of poverty, chastity, humility and obedience. I could never have managed that. They have faith, you see. I was never able to have that faith. Is it time I learned it now? Probably. For I shall be gone before the night sky fills that small high window over there at the edge of my vision.
I am here, I suppose, because I simply ran out of money. Well, almost. There is a little bag under my pillow which no one knows about. But that is for a special purpose. Forty years ago I was a ballerina, so slim and young and beautiful then. So they told me, the young men who came to the stage door. And handsome they were too, those clean, sweet-smelling hard young bodies that could give and take so much pleasure.
And the most beautiful was Lucien. All the chorus called him Lucien le Bel,with a face to make a girl's heart hammer like a tambour. He took me out one sunny Sunday to the Bois de Boulogne and proposed, on one knee as it should be done, and I accepted him. One year later he was killed by the Prussian guns at Sedan. Then I wanted no more of marriage for a long time, nearly five years while I danced at the ballet.
I was twenty-eight when it ended, the dancing career. For one thing I had met Jules and we married and I became heavy with little Meg. More to the point, I was losing my litheness. Senior dancer of the corps fighting every day to stay slim and supple. But the Director was very good to me, a kind man. The Mistress of the Chorus was retiring; he said I had the experience and he did not wish to look outside the Opera for her successor. He appointed me. Maîtresse du corps de ballet. As soon as Meg was born and put with a wet nurse I took up my duties. It was 1876, one year after the opening of Garnier's new and magnificent opera house. At last we were out of those cramped shoe boxes in the rue le Peletier, the war was well over, the damage to my beloved Paris repaired and life was good.
I did not even mind when Jules met his fat Belgian and ran off to the Ardennes. Good riddance. At least I had a job, which was more than he could ever say. Enough to keep my small apartment, raise Meg and nightly watch my girls delighting every crowned head in Europe. I wonder what happened to Jules? Too late to start enquiring now. And Meg? A ballet dancer and chorus girl like her mamaI could at least do that for heruntil the awful fall ten years ago which left the right knee stiff forever. Even then she was lucky, with a bit of help from me. Dresser and personal maid to the greatest diva in Europe, Christine de Chagny. Well, if you discount that uncouth Australian Melba, which I do. I wonder where Meg is now? Milan, Rome, Madrid perhaps. Where the diva is singing. And to think I once used to shout at the Vicomtesse de Chagny to pay attention and stay in line!
So what am I doing here, waiting for a too-early grave? Well, there was retirement eight years ago, on my fiftieth birthday. They were very nice about it. The usual platitudes. And a generous bonus for my twenty-two years as mistress. Enough to live on. Plus a little private coaching for the incredibly clumsy daughters of the rich. Not much but enough, and a little put by. Until last spring.
That was when the pains began, not many at first but sharp and sudden, deep in the lower stomach. They gave me bismuth for indigestion and charged a small fortune. I did not know then that the steel crab was in me, driving his great claws into me and always growing as he fed. Not until July. Then it was too late. So I lie here, trying not to scream with the pain, waiting for the next spoonful of the white goddess, the powder that comes from the poppies of the East.
Not long to wait now for the final sleep. I am not even afraid anymore. Perhaps He will be merciful? I hope so, but surely He will take away the pain. I try to concentrate on something else. I look back and think of all the girls I trained, and my pretty young Meg with her stiff knee waiting to find her manI hope she finds a good one. And of course I think of my boys, my two lovely tragic boys. I think of them most of all.
"Madame, Monsieur l'Abbé is here."
"Thank you, Sister. I cannot see too well. Where is he?"
"I am here, my child, Father Sebastien. By your side. Do you feel my hand on your arm?"
"You should make your peace with God, ma fille. I am ready to take your confession."
"It is time. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned."
"Tell me, my child. Keep nothing back."
"There was a time, long ago, in the year 1882, when I did something that changed many lives. I did not know then what would happen. I acted on impulse and for motives I thought to be good. I was thirty-four, the mistress of the corps de ballet at the Paris Opera. I was married but my husband had deserted me and run off with another woman."
"You must forgive them, my child. Forgiveness is a part of penitence."
"Oh, I do, Father. Long since. But I had a daughter, Meg, then six years old. There was a fair out at Neuilly and I took her one Sunday. There were calliopes and carousels, steam engines and performing monkeys who collected centimes for the hurdy-gurdy man. Meg had never seen a circus before. But there was also a show of freaks. A line of tents with notices advertising the world's strongest man, the acrobat dwarves, a man so covered in tattoos that one could not see his skin, a black man with a bone through his nose and pointed teeth, a lady with a beard.
"At the end of the line was a sort of cage on wheels, with bars spaced almost a foot apart, and filthy reeking straw on the floor. It was bright in the sun but dark in the cage so I peered in to see what animal it contained. I heard the clank of chains and saw something lying huddled in the straw. Just then a man came up.
"He was big and beefy, with a red, crude face. He carried a tray on a sash round his neck. It contained lumps of horse manure collected from where the ponies were tethered, and pieces of rotten fruit. 'Have a go, lady,' he said, 'see if you can pelt the monster. One centime a throw.' Then he turned to the cage and shouted, 'Come on, come near the front or you know what you'll get.' The chains clanked again, and something more animal than human shuffled into the light, nearer to the bars.
"I could see that it was indeed human, though hardly so. A male in rags, crusted with filth, gnawing on an old piece of apple. Apparently he had to live on what people threw over him. Ordure and feces clung to his thin body. There were manacles on his wrists and ankles and the steel had bitten into the flesh to leave open wounds where maggots writhed. But it was the face and head that caused Meg to burst into tears.
"The skull and face were hideously deformed, the former displaying only a few tufts of filthy hair. The face was distorted down one side as if struck long ago by a monstrous hammer and the flesh of this visage was raw and shapeless like molten candle wax. The eyes were deep set in sockets puckered and misshapen. Only half of the mouth and a section of jaw on one side had escaped the deformation and looked like a normal human face.
"Meg was holding a toffee apple. I do not know why, but I took it from her, walked to the bars and held it out. The beefy man went into a rage, screaming and shouting that I was depriving him of his living. I ignored him and pushed the toffee apple into the filthy hands behind the bars. And I looked into the eyes of this deformed monster.
"Father, thirty-five years ago when the ballet was suspended during the Franco-Prussian War, I was among those who tended the young wounded coming back from the front. I have seen men in agony, I have heard them scream. But I have never seen pain like I saw in those eyes."
"Pain is part of the human condition, my child. But what you did that day with the toffee apple was not a sin but an act of compassion. I must hear your sins if I am to give absolution."
"But I went back that night and I stole him."
"You did what?"
"I went to the old shuttered opera house, took a heavy pair of bolt cutters from the carpentry shop and a large cowled cloak from wardrobe, hired a hansom cab and returned to Neuilly. The fairgrounds was deserted in the moonlight, the performers asleep in their caravans. There were curs who started to bark, but I threw them scraps of meat. I found the cage trailer, withdrew the iron bar that held it closed, opened the door and called softly inside.
"The creature was chained to one wall. I cut the chains on wrists and feet and urged him to come out. He seemed terrified, but when he saw me in the moonlight, he shuffled out and dropped to the ground. I covered him in the cloak, pulled the cowl over that dreadful head and led him away to the coach. The driver grumbled at the awful smell, but I paid him extra and he drove us back to my flat behind the rue le Peletier. Was taking him away a sin?"
"Certainly it was an offense in law, my child. He belonged to the fair owner, brutal though the man may have been. As to an offense before God ... I do not know. I think not."
"There is more, Father. Have you the time?"
"You are facing eternity. I think I can spare a few minutes, but recall there may be others dying here who will also need me."
"I hid him in my small flat for a month, Father. He took a bath, the first in his life, then another and many more. I disinfected the open wounds and bandaged them so that they slowly healed. I gave him clothes from my husband's chest and food so that he recovered his health. He also for the first time in his life slept in a real bed with sheetsI moved Meg in with me, which was a good thing to do because she was terrified of him. I found that he was himself petrified with fear if anyone came to the door and would scuttle away to hide under the stairs. I also found that he could talk, in French but with an Alsatian accent, and slowly over that month he told me his story.
"He was born Erik Muhlheim, just forty years ago. In Alsace which was then French but soon to be annexed by Germany. He was the only son of a circus family, living in a caravan, constantly moving from town to town.
"He told me that he had learned in early childhood the circumstances of his birth. The midwife had screamed when she saw the tiny child emerging into the world, for he was even then horribly disfigured. She handed the squealing bundle to the mother and ran away, yelling (foolish cow) that she had delivered the devil himself.
"So poor Erik arrived, destined from birth to be hated and rejected by people who believe that ugliness is the outward show of sinfulness.
"His father was the circus carpenter, engineer and handyman. It was watching him at work that Erik first developed his talent for anything that could be constructed with tools and hands. It was in the sideshows that he saw the techniques of illusion, with mirrors, trapdoors and secret passages that would later play such a part in his life in Paris.
"But his father was a drunken brute who whipped the boy constantly for the most minor offenses or none at all; his mother a useless besom who just sat in the corner and wailed. Spending most of his young life in pain and in tears, he tried to avoid the caravan and slept in the straw with the circus animals and especially the horses. He was seven, sleeping in the stables, when the big top caught fire.
"The fire ruined the circus, which went bankrupt. The staff and the artistes scattered to join other enterprises. Erik's father, without a job, drank himself to death. His mother ran away to become a servant in nearby Strasbourg. Running out of money for booze, his father sold him to the master of a passing freak show. He spent nine years in the wheeled cage, daily pelted with filth and ordure for the amusement of cruel crowds. He was sixteen when I found him."
"A pitiable tale, my child, but what has this to do with your mortal sins?"
"Patience, Father. Hear me out, you will understand, for no creature on the planet has ever heard the truth before. I kept Erik in my apartment for a month but it could not go on. There were neighbors, callers at the door. One night I took him to my place of work, the Opera, and he had found his new home.
"Here he had sanctuary at last, a place to hide where the world would never find him. Despite his terror of naked flame, he took a torch and went down into the lowest cellars where the darkness would hide his terrible face. With timber and tools from the carpenters' shop he built his home by the lake's edge. He furnished it with pieces from the props department, fabric from the wardrobe mistress. In the wee small hours when all was abandoned he could raid the staff canteen for food and even pilfer the directors' pantry for delicacies. And he read.
"He made a key to the Opera library and spent years giving himself that education he had never had; night after night by candlelight he devoured the library, which is enormous. Of course most of the works were of music and opera. He came to know every single opera ever written and every note of every aria. With his manual skills he created a maze of secret passages known only to himself and having practiced long ago with the tightrope walkers he could run along the highest and narrowest gantries without fear. For eleven years he lived there, and became a man underground.
"But of course before long rumors started and grew. Food, clothing, candles, tools went missing in the night. A credulous staff began to talk of a phantom in the cellars until finally every tiny accidentand backstage many tasks are dangerouscame to be blamed on the mysterious phantom. Thus the legend started and grew."
"Mon Dieu, but I have heard of this. Ten years ... no, it must be more ... I was summoned to give the last rites to some poor wretch who was found hanged. Someone told me then that the Phantom had done it."
"The man's name was Buquet, Father. But it was not Erik. Joseph Buquet was given to periods of great depression and certainly took his own life. At first I welcomed the rumors for I thought they would keep my poor boyfor thus I thought of himsafe in his small kingdom in the darkness below the Opera and perhaps they would have done, until that dreadful autumn of '93. He did something very foolish, Father. He fell in love.
"Then she was called Christine Daae. You probably know her today as Madame la Vicomtesse de Chagny."
"But this is impossible. Not ..."
"Yes, the same one, then a chorus girl in my charge. Not much of a dancer, but a clear, pure voice. But untrained. Erik had listened night after night to the greatest voices in the world; he had studied the texts, he knew how she should be coached. When he had finished, she took over the leading role one night and by morning had become a star.
"My poor, ugly, outcast Erik thought she might love him in return but of course it was impossible. For she had her own young love. Driven by despair Erik abducted her one night, from the very center of the stage, in the middle of his own opera, Don Juan Triumphant."
"But all Paris heard of this scandal, even a humble priest like me. A man was killed."
"Yes, Father. The tenor Piangi. Erik did not mean to kill him, just to keep him quiet. But the Italian choked and died. Of course it was the end. By chance the Commissioner of Police was in the audience that night. He summoned a hundred gendarmes; they took blazing torches and with a mob of vengeance-seekers descended into the cellars, right to the level of the lake itself.
"They found the secret stairs, the passages, the house by the lake, and they found Christine shocked and swooning. She was with her suitor the young Vicomte de Chagny, dear, sweet Raoul. He took her away and comforted her as only a man can, with strong arms and gentle caresses.
"Two months later she was found with child. So he married her, gave her his name, his title, his love and the necessary wedding band. The son was born in the summer of '94 and they have brought him up together. And she went on these past twelve years to become the greatest diva in all Europe."
"But they never found Erik, my child? No trace of the Phantom, I seem to recall."
"No, Father, they never found him. But I did. I returned desolate to my small office behind the chorus room. When I drew aside the curtain of my wardrobe niche, there he was, the mask he always wore, even alone, clutched in his hand, crouching in the dark as he used to beneath the stairs at my apartment eleven years before."
"And of course you told the police...."
"No, Father, I did not. He was still my boy, one of my two boys. I could not hand him over to the mob again. So I took a woman's hat and heavy veil, a long cloak.... We walked side by side down the staff staircase and turn out into the street, just two women fleeing into the night. There were hundreds of others. No one took any notice.
"I kept him for three months at my apartment half a mile away, but the 'wanted' notices were everywhere. And a price on his head. He had to leave Paris, leave France entirely."
"You helped him to escape, my child. That was a crime and a sin."
"Then I will pay for it, Father. Soon now. That winter was bitter cold and hard. To take a train was out of the question. I hired a diligence, four horses and a closed carriage. To Le Havre. There I left him hidden in cheap lodgings while I scoured the docks and their seedy bars. Finally I found a sea captain, master of a small freighter bound for New York and one to take a bribe and ask no questions. So one night in mid-January 1894, I stood on the end of the longest quay and watched the stern lights of the tramp steamer disappear into the darkness, bound for the New World. Tell me, Father, is there someone else with us? I cannot see but I feel someone here."
"Indeed, there is a man who has just entered."
"I am Armand Dufour, madame. A novice came to my chambers and said that I was needed here."
"And you are a notary and commissioner for oaths?"
"Indeed I am, madame."
"Monsieur Dufour, I wish you to reach beneath my pillow. I would do so myself but I am become too weak. Thank you. What do you find?"
"Why, a letter of some sort, enclosed in a fine manila envelope. And a small bag of chamois leather."
"Precisely. I wish you to take pen and ink and sign across the sealed flap that this letter has been delivered into your charge this day, and has not been opened by you or anyone else."
"My child, I beg you hurry. We have not finished our business."
"Patience, Father. I know my time is short but after so many years of silence I must now struggle to complete the course. Are you done, Monsieur le Notaire?"
"It has been written just as you requested, madame."
"And on the front of the envelope?"
"I see, written in what must surely be your own hand, the words: M. Erik Muhlheim, New York City."
"And the small leather bag?"
"I have it in my hand."
"Open it if you please."
"Nom d'un chien! Gold Napoleons. I have not seen these since ..."
"But they are still valid tender?"
"Certainly, and most valuable."
"Then I wish you to take them all, and the letter, and take it to New York City and deliver it. Personally."
"Personally? In New York? But madame, I do not usually ... I have never been ..."
"Please, Monsieur le Notaire. There is enough gold? For five weeks away from the office?"
"More than enough, but"
"My child, you cannot know this man is still alive."
"Oh, he will have survived, Father. He will always survive."
"But I have no address for him. Where to find him?"
"Ask, Monsieur Dufour. Search the immigration records. The name is rare enough. He will be there somewhere. A man who wears a mask to hide his face."
"Very well, madame. I will try. I will go there and I will try. But I cannot guarantee success."
"Thank you. Tell me, Father, has one of the sisters administered to me a spoonful of tincture of a white powder?"
"Not in the hour that I have been here, ma fille. Why?"
"It is strange but the pain has gone. Such beautiful, sweet relief. I cannot see to either side but I can see a sort of tunnel and an arch. My body was in such pain but now it hurts no more. It was so cold but now there is warmth everywhere."
"Do not delay, Monsieur l'Abbé. She is leaving us."
"Thank you, Sister. I hope I may know my duty."
"I am walking towards the arch, there is light at the end. Such sweet light. Oh, Lucien, are you there? I am coming, my love."
"In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti ..."
"Ego te absolvo ab omnibus peccatis tuis."
"Thank you, Father."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Phantom of Manhattan is a very well written book. It was filled with drama, love, action and sorrow. I could not put it down! It was told by more than one person which I liked because it really showed everyones story and personality. This book intrigued me and left me guessing at the end of each chapter. The author did a great job and I wish there was a second book. This book made me feel sorrow for the main character, he loved a woman he knew he couldn't have. This also made me feel hatred for the woman who turned him down when all he wanted was someone to love. The author made everything seem so real and all the details were very precise. I recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt lonely, sad, or just loves drama. This was one of my favorite books. The ending will have you in tears and you will want more.
I have almost completed my Phantom collection but this book, the Original Phantom book and Etienne de Mendes' "The Return of the Phantom" are all my top favourites! This book is one those that you can't put down, it has a mesmerizing spell to it that makes you want to read it all at once and it is an almost eerie story with a romantic twist. In this book, we get to hear a little more of the Phantom's (Erik) side of the story. It is a sad tale that proves love is deadly. It is unfortunate that Andrew Lloyd Webber (the genius behind the Phantom film) took all the credit for his upcoming "Love Never Dies" because "Love Never Dies" is largely based on "The Phantom of Manhattan," not something Webber came up with.
After reading the Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux and seeing the stage production by the ingenius Andrew Lloyd Webber the question that remained was 'What ever happened?' Especailly to the mysterious figure, the Phantom? For those who've seen the musical know the end and the burning question of his remains are at large. A friend recommeded me to read this book and immediately fell in love with it because I am a phantomphan! Forsyth gives us the between the line reading story that some of us missed in the novel and the play. Facts and fiction all come together to make on beautiful tale that seems to haunt us all forever. I really enjoyed the book and have read it more that three times now. Give it a try and I garantee that this is a outstanding, suspenseful, shocking and masterpiece told classic.
I absolutley love this book! Normally I'm not for the first-person reads but Forsyth's wrighting style make it awesome! You hear from different peoples accounts and his righting style is just awesome... I see from other people that this is a book you will either Love Or Hate. No in between, my only recomendation is give it a try. you can alway donate the book to your library or sell it to a used book store. but give it a chance. The book gives you a deffinant sence of realism as far as could this have happended to Eric after he shatters the mirror? Just try it!
One of the past reviewers asked why this was made because the phantom died but that is not true. If you have watched the play d the movie you will know that he is not dead. In the play he vanishes so it is left a mystery and in the movie it shows that christine dies before all of them.
I only wish I understood it well enough... Well, I can say I've read The Phantom of the Opera, and this book. As with The Phantom of the Opera, I had a bit of trouble understanding what was going on. This is rare for me, as I consider myself an avid reader, however, I am a modern girl, and "jolly high" just made me frown and think it through. I also wish these books were written from someone's point of view where it makes SENSE. There's a bunch of random people thst have something to do with it and I just lose it. I did love this book, though, it was fantastic, and I almost cried at the end, Cholly made me laugh a lot, and Christine was not as smackable as in some stories. The Phantom will always be the Phantom, and I love him in Love Never Dies, too. However, I think the conclusion of Love Never Dies was much easier to comprehend, because at the end of this, I thought "???" which is usually never in my head. I'll qui my ramblin' though, this book is good!
I came to this story already having listened to the cast recording of Love Never Dies, so my expectations were very low. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that this was a very enjoyable sequel that brought back the characters we know and love from Leroux's original story. While they have grown and changed, they are still the characters we recognize, unlike Mr. Lloyd Webber's take on the story which turned them into vile, self-centered, bilious poor excuses for human beings. If only he had stayed with Frederick Forsyth, he might have come up with a much more enjoyable, and successful, show. The sense of mystery and dread still permeates the story, making it a compelling, if too short, read. While it is somewhat obvious what is going on, due to the fact that this is a sequel, it is enjoyable to follow the story to its conclusion, although I do have to say that the conclusion arrives rather quickly and is then suddenly over, giving it the feeling of having been rushed, a feeling further supported by the brief length of the book itself. However, reading this over a weekend provided for a very satisfying escapist experience and I highly recommend it to fans of the original Phantom. With that said, there were numerous typos throughout the book that really became distracting. Not having a physical copy of the book in my possession, I'm unable to say if these were simply a direct replication of errors in the original printing, or, as I suspect, unique to the Nook version. While B&N has really been pushing the Nook device, they are paying scant attention to the quality of the ebooks themselves. Almost every book I have purchased has had glaring typos, and while the publishing industry as a whole seems to be much more tolerant of errors than it was 20-30 years ago, the typos seem excessive and leads me to wonder how much quality control is going into the creation of the ebook files. If B&N wants the Nook to really take off and give its competitors a run for their money, they need to pay attention to what the Nook is intended to be used for - reading ebooks, and ensure that the experience is comparable to reading a physical copy of the book, especially considering that the nookbooks are not much cheaper than the physical copies.
Perhaps the author should have given it a different title ao that some would not associate it with the other popular movie. I could not put this book down. It had its ups and downs and the love story was beautiful. Growing up ion Brooklyn, I was able to relate to many scenes in the book. I felt like I was there. If you grew up in Brooklyn, especially around Coney Island and Manhattan before 1950, then you MUST read this book!!
I've seen a lot of bad reviews for the book, it seems there's a lot of controversy about it. I've seen a lot of people complaining that Erik died in the original novel so this couldn't happen. This is a sequal to the stage version, in which Erik doesn't die, he leaves the Opera House. And of course it won't be written like the original novel. No one peron can duplicate another's style of writing. I've been on writing sites for several years and I've noticed that. Another complaint I've seen a lot is madame Giry's completely different than in the original novel. I've read the original and I know she's different in the play as well as this book. Did anyone complain then? I couldn't have been happier when I found out there was a sequal to the musical because I had wondered what became of Erik. I've also seen people complaining that he let Christine go wiht Raoul because he wanted her to be happy and now he shouldn't be trying to get her back. That may be the reason but did you honestly think he could stop wishing she had stayed with him? He loved her so intensely he could never, ever, stop wishing she had stayed with him. Now he has another chance. I haven't reached the end yet but I do sincerely hope Christine winds up with the Phantom in the end because H never liked Raoul, I strongly dislike him and I wouldn't be sorry to see him miserable in the end.
When I had first heard about this book, I was a little skeptical. I had kept hearing about how horrible this book was, but being a phantom phan I just had to buy it anyway. I must say I absolutely adored this book, I could not put it down! It took me six hours to finish and I did not get up at anytime, it captivated me that much! This is one of the few good phantom sequels out there and it surely should not be excluded from anyone's phantom collection!
I read the original Phantom and it was enjoyable but I am a true Phantom of the opera Musical fan so I can't really compare this to the origial book, to me this was a great story and it had it's own twists and turns that were very suprizing exspessally the part about Christine's child that totally shocked and yet confused me cuz I kept asking myself, How? When? What!? the part about Raoul was nit nececerry cuz why did you really need to know that? The only pat that disapointed me was that Erik was such a greedy person. What happened to the Phantom of the Opera who loved people and sent Chadaleres crashing from the cealing? The book was good but could have been much better.
While I must agree with my fellow Phantom Phreaks and Phans that this book is not even close to the quality of Leroux and Kay, I found the book good in its own right. Forsyth is fairly true to the Erik, Andrew Lloyd Webber created. His cast includes Mme. Giry, who opens the story, as she lays dying. Some new characters are Darius, Erik's servant, and definately evil. Then there's 'Cholly' Bloom, who plays an important role, at least in so far as he tells most of the story. Next we have Father 'Joe' Kilfoyle, Pierre's tutor, priest to the Changy family. And last, but NOT least, is Pierre, 12 yr. old son of Erik and Christine, who proves that Webber's Christine won her freedom with more than a kiss. Erik learns of his son from a letter from Mme. Giry. Upon discovering he has a son, he has the famous soprano, Christine de Changy brought to star in the inaugural performance of his Opera House. Erik has resigned himself to the fact that Christine is lost to him, but is determined to not be left out of his son's life. Several elements from Webber's musical resurface here, including an opera, written by Erik, in which the lead tenor is suddenly unable to finish the show, and a mystery singer fills in. One of the draw backs to the story is that Forsyth talks about the story, but too often shies away from the story itself, leaving the reader frustrated at Forsyth's delay to 'get on with it.' Despite all, I recommend this book. Forsyth almost succeeds in creating a 'could be real' phantom. His only problem is that Phantom Phreaks and Phans will not like the personality of his Erik, which will be, and has been, a strong mark against him. But rather than hearing everyone else complain, berate, or praise the book, why don't you read it and find out what all the talk is about for yourself?
Frederick Forsyth's 'The Phantom Of Manhattan' was an exceptionally good novel. Showing a unique perspective to both Erik's continuing existance in the world was both intriguing and amusing at times. 'The Phantom Of Manhattan' sheds a new light upon yet another possiblity of Eriks background, and shows the other realms the Phantom can yet attain with his fierce hold on life. Forsyth has put both humor, tragedy, love, and harsh reality into this wonderful book. Highly recommended to those who seek the many points of view that one can take on our beloved Erik.
Never having read the original, I didn't have the strong negative reaction that others seemed to have towards this novel. If you have read the original, skip the foreward to this book and just read it on it's own merits. Trying to follow up such a successfull and beloved story as Phantom would be a difficult job under any circumstances and one that would be greeted with scepticism by many fans no matter how good or bad the sequel might be. Having seen the Andrew Lloyd Webber version several times, I still managed to enjoy this book even though it is definitely not as strong a story or even remotely as moving as the musical and the ending of this novel should have been stronger. I would still recommend it to all fans of Phantom who are willing to read it with an open mind.
A quick read, fun for the phantom obsessed. Tells the story of what happened after Andrew Lloyd Weber's Phantom of the Opera muscial ends.
Phans everywhere will want to read this just to see what is imagined for the main characters' future, but the writing is awful. Even the novella format is too long, so expect to skim most of it to get to the climax.
I really don't think I can express in mere words how much I dislike this book, but I will try.I have loved The Phantom of the Opera since I stumbled upon Leroux's novel in 1992. I intended to read a chapter before going to bed. I ended up reading the whole thing that very night, and as the sun came up in the morning, I was crying over poor Erik's fate.I hadn't any idea that a "sequel" existed until 2004. Once I heard that it existed, I simply had to buy it.I was instantly put off by the preface. Forsyth has the audacity to talk about what a horrible book Leroux wrote; he even goes so far as to dismiss "poor Gaston" and his "mistakes," which were "corrected" by Andrew Lloyd Webber. How ridiculous. Leroux wrote the original story. It's fiction. He didn't make "mistakes" that had to be "corrected" by the self-indulgent "geniuses" that ALW and Forsyth apparently think they are.The book was horribly bad. The Erik presented here is not recognizable as either Leroux's enigmatic creation or ALW's watered-down shadow. The Erik in this book is a pathetic, sniveling creature that inspires nothing; not pity, or anger, or fear, or anything (except maybe a mild form of loathing). Forsyth had the gall to criticize Leroux's novel, and yet Forsyth churned out a horrible "sequel" that is simply awful.But the most awful part of all is that there is going to be a stage musical "sequel" that uses large chunks of this story. That is truly a tragedy.
As a fan of both the Kay and Leroux books, I would like to think that I love both the original story and the newer versions. I'll even admit to listening to the Love Never Dies soundtrack a few times( the music was lovely but the plot could use some work), but this book is the most horrific thing to ever bare the Phantom name. Not only does Mr.Forsyth insult the original author but uses his characters in a way that they would never act and he completely disregards the ending of the original story and any and all character development he could. This book is bad from the standard of someone who knows nothing of Phantom, not just long term fans. The plot has so many holes and is very diffcult to follow, not only that but there are pages upon pages of hard to follow conversations that have absoltutely no effect on the plot what so ever( the latin translation scene with Pierre and Father Joseph). And Mr.Forsyth attempts to cover up the plot holes with nonsense reasoning, like how does Christine know that Pierre is not the Vicomte's son, easy, apparently Raoul got his balls shot off. Great problem solving there Frederick. This book absoltutely disgusts me and if you hold any fondness for the original story or good books, I advise you to run screaming from this book.
Love Never Dies will be touring the U.S. in 2017. Unfortunately Ramin will not be in it, but I'm still EXCITED AS HECK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I saw Love never dies and it was......................................................................................................................................................................................................................AWSOME!!!!!!!
I am a die hard fan of "The Phantom of the Opera" by Gaston Leroux. I'm one of those fans who always wish that the original book ended another way and this book did that for me. I am pleased to welcome this book into the phantom world as a sequel. The writer took few liberties as to changing the characters and that helps the illusion of the book match Gaston's. I first read this book in high school and I wanted to read it again now that I'm in college. If you liked this book or the musical, you may enjoy "Love Never Dies" by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It is his musical sequel the "The Phantom of the Opera". The only reason I would give 4 stars instead of 5 initially is that it was written by a different author and therefor is not a true sequel. The author, however, did an amazing job capturing the essence that lives in Gaston Leroux's book. I give the author 5 stars for his ability to recreate a world I love so dearly, but the book 4 stars.
In the end of Phantom of the Opera, it is understood that Erik is dead. And if that in faxt is true, than this book shouldnt have been written. It undermines both Mr. Loyd Webber and Missiour Le Roux.
As a huge fan of Love Never Dies, I was sorely disappointed by The Phantom of Manhattan. The entire text was convoluted and confusing, and oftentimes I was questioning the goingson. The plot was hard to follow, and the enire story was summed up in te last chapter. The characters had as much depth as thr pages of paper they were living on, and the book did not do justice to Leroux's work nor Andrew Lloyd Weber's. I would be content with sticking to the soundtrack of Love Never Dies for my fix of a Phantom sequel. I do not reccomend this book to anyone!