Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera, the best known of all of Leroux's works, is a horror romance published by the French publishing house Lafitte as Le Fantome de l'Opera. Mills and Boon of all people were responsible in the following year for the English version. Though much loved by readers and consistently popular the story was panned in its first New York Times review and has suffered from criticism elsewhere for being too populist. Leroux himself claimed in the opening of the novel that, "The Opera Ghost really existed. He was not, as was longed believed, a creature

of the imagination of the artists... Yes, he existed in flesh and blood, although he assumed the complete appearance of a real phantom; that is to say, of a spectral shade". Whether you believe this or not the story remains a compelling one. There is rumour at the Grand Paris Opera House of the existence of a ghost who has his own box at performances, and suspicion is turned to him when Joseph Buquet's death is reported. Viscount Raoul de Chagny then visits a performer Christine after her fine performance as a stand-in in "Faust". He hears mysterious voices in the dressing room but opens the door to find no one there. Panic ensues as after the Opera Ghost's written requests that the box be left for him the managers of the house sell it a strange voice is heard there telling them to leave. There is more mystery at a fancy dress party and with the disappearance of Christine and Raoul is drawn ever deeper inside the legend and the life of a certain Erik whose behaviour causes concern and suspicion.

Table of contents
I - Is it a Ghost?
II - The New Margarita
III - The Mysterious Reason
IV - Box Five
V - The Enchanted Violin
VI - A Visit to Box Five
VII - Faust AND What Followed
VIII - The Mysterious Bougham
IX - At the Masked Ball
X - Forget the Name of the Man's Voice
XI - Above the Trap-doors
XII - Apollo's Lyre
XIII - A Master-stroke of the Trap-door Lover
XIV - The Singular Attitude of a Safety-pin
XV - Christine! Christine!
XVI - Mme. Giry's Revelations
XVII - The Safety-pin Again
XVIII - The Commissary, the Viscount and the Persian
XIX - The Viscount and the Persian
XX - In the Cellars of the Opera
XXI - Interesting Vicissitudes
XXII - In the Torture Chamber
XXIII - The Tortures Begin
XXIV - Barrels! Barrels!
XXV - The Scorpion or the Grasshopper: Which
XXVI - The End of the Ghost's Love Story
Notes: The Paris Opera House

  By PanEris using Melati.

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