Gaston Leroux’s timeless tribute to love, sacrifice and the "Angel of Music" is given a sonorous send-up in the dulcet strains of acclaimed actor Grover Gardner, performing here as his prolific audiobook alter ego, Alexander Adams. A perennial "Golden Voice" award recipient, Gardner’s silky baritone has been aptly described as the "voice of sandpaper and velvet". Gardner’s singsong stylings befit Leroux’s tale of a Parisian opera house, haunted by a cellar-dwelling anomaly. The virtuosic "opera ghost" is as jealous and manipulative as he is lonely and lovelorn. Gardner is crisply articulate, yet emotive and intimate, as he traces the twists and turns of the phantom’s stormy relationship with prodigious young opera talent Christine Daaé, her heart torn by the affections of two lovers worlds apart.
The actors, singers, and patrons of the Paris Opera House say that a ghost haunts the labyrinthine chambers beneath its stage. While there are those who laugh off such superstitions, they always do so nervously, in the bright light of day. Nearly everyone connected with the Opera House in any way has felt the phantom's vague, troubling presence. But beautiful, talented young singer Christine Daae will soon experience a terror far more acute than any vague feeling of unease. For she is about to learn the secret of why the man who has made the tunnels beneath Paris his private domain must forever hide his face behind a mask.
Part horror story, part historical romance, and part detective thriller, the timeless tale of a masked, disfigured musical genius who lives beneath the Paris Opera House is familiar to millions of readers, as well as to movie and theater-goers. At the heart of the story's long-standing popularity lies a universal theme: the relationship between outward appearance and the beauty or darkness of the human soul.
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"The wildest and most fantastic of tales." (New York Times Book Review)
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, I love to learn about a great many things, and I enjoy a wide variety of genres. Me, bored? Never!
This story has always been on my short list of all-time favorites. And yet as many times as I've read it, I'm always a bit surprised by it because my memory keeps getting rearranged by other versions of the story. Much like with Dracula, Frankenstein, and all of the other classic monsters, it's always best to return to the source. In doing so, we're treated to a fresh reminder of just why these tales have stood the test of time.
Think you know the story? I always think so, but I learn new things all the time that continues to enrich my understanding of it. For instance, look up Swedish soprano Christine Nilsson sometime, for she is likely the real life inspiration for Christine Daae. I had other questions this time around. Who is the unseen lady who the Phantom in Box 5? And who is "the shade in the felt hat" haunting the cellars beneath the opera house whom the Persian believes is far more dangerous than the Phantom himself? These are questions I've been asking for a while because they're not answered here, and I stumbled upon some other books that dared an explanation. That's what prompted me to go through this tale again, so as to have the story once more fresh in my mind. Well, that and to find a better reading of the book. I have a CD copy of the Ralph Cosham narration, which I've always been disappointed with. This version is far, far better.
Regardless, whatever the excuse you need to go through this book again, if you love the story, go for it. If this is your first time to encounter the original, you're in for a treat.
I really enjoyed listening to this story. The narrator did a great job and it was very intreging. It's great!!!
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
Romantic and thrilling, a psychological study.
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