Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (1911)
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror September 29, 2015
In the kingdom of phantoms, ghosts, and the shadowy depths, The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux remains one of the most memorable and popular ghostly thrillers of all time. Even today this novel is still on the Amazon’s Kindle best seller list (#77 as of 9-27-15; buy here on Amazon.com for only 99 cents). Theatrical superstitions, ghostly apparitions, and the mystery of the music are a powerful combination for fiction. Published in 1911, Leroux was inspired to write this story after visiting a Paris opera house when a chandelier fell on the audience in 1896. Actor Lon Chaney starred in the film in 1924 and the life of this novel went on to film and Broadway audiences and is still running at full speed at the Majestic Theatre in New York.
Our story begins at the Paris opera house with the Prologue’s opening line “The opera ghost really existed. He was not, as was long believed, a creature of the imagination …”
Most of us know the story of the phantom hiding his face behind a mask and how he falls in love with the beauty Christine Daae. This singer is in love with Raoul, Vicomte De Chagny. A triangular love affair mixes with passion, jealousy, revenge, possession, and the pain of loneliness.
The New York Times Book Review called it “The wildest and most fantastic of tales.” And so it is.
Read the FREE novel Phantom of the Opera at the LiteratureProject.com.
Listen to the Librivox dramatic recording at Librivox.com
Leroux wrote other stories. His first story was The Mystery of the Yellow Room (1907). A “locked room” mystery. Mademoiselle Stangerson retires to bed in the Yellow Room. Suddenly revolver shots echo through the house and she screams for help. Her father and a servant run to the locked room where they find the wounded girl – alone. The only other exit, a barred window.
Read The Mystery of the Yellow Room at OnlineLiterature.com
The Secret of the Night (1914) is another short novel about a journalist in Russia who partly resembles Inspector DuPin (Poe) and Sherlock Holmes (Conan Doyle).
Read The Secret of the Night at OnlineLiterature.com
As a reader and a writer I love the idea of supernatural music, demons, angels, music phantoms. The idea of ghostly presences lurking among the melody and notes draws me in immediately. Many of you are aware my own supernatural musical mystery is about to launch in October. GREYLOCK has just a hint of flavor of Phantom of the Opera. Here’s an early review:
“Echoing notes of Phantom of the Opera, mixed with Raymond Chandler’s Marlowe, and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story, Greylock is a thrilling musical tragedy steeped in lore, mythology, and the madness of composition, leading to a crescendo of epic proportions. Paula Cappa is a gifted author, and this book will have you swooning in the aisles.” —Richard Thomas, author of Disintegration.
More early reviews to come … when the leaves fall … GREYLOCK
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