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The Phantom of the Opera (Barnes & Noble Classics) [Paperback]

By Gaston Leroux & Isabel Roche (Introduction by)
Our Price $ 7.61  
Retail Value $ 8.95  
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Item Number 400246  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2007
Publisher   Barnes & Noble Classics
ISBN  1593082495  
EAN  9781593082499  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
The Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics: New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriateAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences-biographical, historical, and literary-to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. The Paris Opera is haunted-everyone knows it. Everyone, that is, except for the new managers, who spark a violent dispute with the Opera Ghost when they refuse to acknowledge his existence or submit to his demands. Sometimes surfacing as a disembodied voice in Box Five or appearing as a gentleman in evening dress with a death's-head, the phantom is obsessed with Christine Daae, a lovely and enigmatic novice singer endowed with an amazing voice. But impetuous Viscount Raoul de Chagny is in love with Christine, and he and his brother, Count Philippe, are sweptinto the phantom's deadly illusion with horrifying consequences.
Police reports, newspaper clippings, and witness interviews help a sleuthing narrator reconstruct the events of French author Gaston Leroux's most famous tale, one that had a significant impact on contemporary detective fiction. First published in 1911, The Phantom of the Opera has since been the basis for many adaptations, including Lon Chaney's silent film and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tony award-winning Broadway musical. Today, this thriller is recognized not only as a compelling yarn with gothic overtones, but an engrossing romance of stirring theatricality. Isabel Roche has a Ph.D. in French literature from New York University and teaches at Bennington College in Vermont. She wrote the book Character and Meaning in the Novels of Victor Hugo and has published articles in The French Review and French Forum,

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More About Gaston Leroux & Isabel Roche

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Anne Perry, the Edgar Award-winning author of more than thirty novels, is best known for her two Victorian mystery series. Her recent books include Death of a Stranger, The Whitechapel Conspiracy, and Funeral in Blue. She lives in Scotland.

Gaston LeRoux lived in Paris. Gaston LeRoux was born in 1868 and died in 1927.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
No one sees the Angel  Oct 28, 2008
The mask, the music, the dark mysteries, and the tortured, deformed genius who just wants love. "The Phantom of the Opera" is so well known that its story needs no explanation.

But Gaston Leroux's novel is still a spellbinding experience, full of atmospheric horror, a sense of gothic mystery, and lushly evocative language. But its crown jewel is Erik: a magnificently tortured anti-hero who inspires more horror, pity and sympathy than the rather flat hero and heroine.

The Paris opera house is said to be haunted by a ghost with a "death's head," who demands a small salary and a reserved box. Despite the sightings and fears of ballerinas and stagehands, the new managers are determined to stamp out this ridiculous story -- despite threatening letters and increasing accidents that happen around them.

Meanwhile, budding diva Christine Daae is taking Paris by storm, although nobody quite knows who taught her how to sing. And when her childhood friend Viscount Raoul de Chagny pays her a visit, he hears a passionate exchange between her and a man -- but there's no man there. She credits her new vocal abilities to the Angel of Music, but of course, that self-same Angel is the opera ghost.

As the Phantom becomes even more attached to Christine, Raoul soon finds that the ghost is actually a half-mad, horribly deformed musical genius named Erik -- and that after Christine saw his true face, he made her become engaged to him. The young lovers plan to run away together, but the "Angel of Music" isn't about to allow his beloved Christine to leave him...

Apparently there actually were some odd events -- including rumours of an opera ghost -- happening when Gaston Leroux began writing "The Phantom of the Opera." And it's a credit to his imgination that he was able to spin a some odd facts into a harrowing, heartbreaking love triangle that's based on music, obsession, adoration, and a bit of pity. And, of course, a frighteningly sympathetic "villain."

Admittedly the style is very "penny dreadful": melodramatic and overloaded on prose. But Leroux's talent shines through -- he drapes the book in a haunted atmosphere, full of snowy graveyards, dark opera backstages and underground labyrinths, all with Erik's presence hovering over it. The plot is mostly a slow, satiny procession toward the inevitable blowup, but Leroux does tinge it with scenes of romantic drama, a feeling of dread, one shocking action scene, and even some quirky humour at times.

And Leroux's writing is simply astounding as he describes the corpselike appearance of Erik ("... tore his terrible dead flesh with my nails") and his "death's" head appearance at the party. But he also excels at the more poignant moments -- Erik's final, rambling monologue to Christine after she kisses him is heartbreakingly clumsy and saddening.

Though Christine and Raoul are the hero and heroine of the book, they're actually kind of flat. Erik is the real star -- an arrogant genius who is also pitifully lonely. And insane. Despite his crazed behavior -- which results in at least two deaths -- it's hard not to feel sympathy for someone cursed with such a ghastly appearance, and so starved for human contact that a single kiss changes his life ("... he tried to catch my eye, like a dog sitting by its master").

Despite being a bit overblown in the style of its time, "The Phantom of the Opera" is a triumph of atmosphere, horror, and one of the most memorably sympathetic "villains" that you can find on the shelves. Magnificent.
 

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