(P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
I was quite impressed by this book. I did not know that this was a book and was eager to listen to the full unabriged story. The story was quite fascinating and I was eager to listen straight through without stopping. The narrator Ralph Cosham did a good job narrating the story. He has a nice clear voice and was able to make the different characters stand out from each other. I really enjoyed this title and would recommend it to others.
I'm usually a purist and read the book before I watch the movie. However, my children persuaded me to watch Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Phantom" and I found the story to be haunting and unsettling, so much so that I decided to get the book.
This audio book was fantastic! The reader did an outstanding job infusing emotion into the reading. Leroux develops the characters so much more than a movie is able to. I understood so much more of the emotions, character backgrounds, and even the plot than I had with the movie. I ached for Christine Daae with the decisions she had to make and the final outcome of the story.
If your only exposure to Phantom of the Opera has been either Weber's Phantom or any of the other movies made based on this story, you must read (or listen to) this book. If you've never been exposed to any version of the Phantom, you must read this book. It is Beauty and the Beast set in an opera house. In the end, the only thing that can defeat evil is love.
I liked the reading of this title so much more than then one narrated by Barrett Whitener, which seemed dry and forced. Ralph Cosham infused the story with more emotion which lent well to the delicate pronunciation of the text.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (French gothic classic) - I absolutely loved the play, which I saw in New York several years ago. This book isn't nearly as awesome -- no beautiful voices, costumes, stage effects, etc., but what it does is fill in the gaps of the story. Who is the Phantom? Is he real? Where did he come from? Why does he wear the mask? How does the story really end? These questions will be answered after you listen to this book. It is the original classic which inspired the plays, the operas, the movies.
The story takes place in (and under) a famous opera house in 19th Century Paris. It is basically a tragic love story about a hideously deformed creature who is obsessed with a young opera prima donna. Strange and horrible things happen in the opera house between performances and during them, and the Phantom (who supposedly lives under the opera house) is credited with causing them. The story is beautifully written and very engaging, but one thing I would criticize is that, as an American, I had a hard time keeping all the French names straight. Unfortunately, many of them sounded the same to me and I would end up getting characters confused, but I was able to keep the main characters straight so I suppose all is well.
PERFORMANCE - The narrator is male with a French accent. He does a good job but he doesn't attempt to distinguish between characters, so that will never receive over a three in my rating system.
OVERALL (actual rating 3.5) - Recommended for all lovers of the Phantom of the Opera in order to answer questions left after watching the play or the movie. The book isn't awesome, but it's enjoyable and informative. The language is clean and there are no sexual references, but be prepared for a dark story revolving around a very sad, disturbed main character.
Travel a lot for work and spend a good deal of time in the car.
I really really enjoyed this book. It fills in a lot of gaps of the phantoms story
This is one of my favorites, I'll listen to it again.
I've seen the movie and stage production of POTO, but have not read the book. The original book version gives more insight to the relationship between Erik, Christine and Raoul.
The narrator kept my attention. I liked his voice. Sometimes while listening to audiobooks my mind tends to wander if the story gets boring, but not so with POTO and Mr. Cosham's narration.
I could listen to it in one sitting, but instead I listen to books during my commute to and from work (45 min. one way) It helps pass the time and takes me places new and exciting instead of the same old drive everyday.
Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane. Reviewer at BiblioSanctum.
Thanks to the plays, movies, and operas, I think that sometimes people forget this story started life as a novel–well, a serial actually. I’m guilty of this as well. I have been a long time fan of The Phantom of the Opera in its visual formats for many years, but I’d never read the novel until now, and my review might show my total bias as a fan.
Starting with the narration, I found Ralph Cosham’s reading to be a bit more bland than I’d like. There were so many passages where I felt he should’ve been more passionate, more animated. Everything was read in such a straightforward manner, and I may be biased after watching the movies and operas and just expected more from him based on my experiences. He wasn’t a bad narrator and I quite liked his accent, but his reading just did very little to make the story compelling for me. If I wasn’t already invested in this story because of other media, I’m not sure if I would’ve finished it. There were also some audio issues where sometimes he’d sound like he was in the bathroom reading this book or his voice would sound strangely dubbed. If considering the audiobook, I don’t know if I can highly recommend this reading. There are other narrators available.
As for the story, the atmospheric aspects such as the horrors that you can just perceive out the corner of your eyes, the psychological mind games, are here. The eerie ghost story effect is here intertwined with music and romance. The themes explored in this novel are still explored today, showing how books like this served as a foundation for the horror genre as we’ve come to know it. Being that this started life as a serial, you can kind of tell there was probably some padding just to get to whatever count he needed. Much like modern serials, there are segments that well-balanced, and there are some that feel either too flimsy or seem to be a bit rambling. The characters aren’t terribly rounded save for Christine and the Phantom and even they lack some substance. While this may not be the scariest thing anyone has read and some people treat this as a unrequited love story featuring a tortured soul rather than a Gothic horror, this story is one that proves to be enduring.
I love to travel and train dogs. I can't seem to find the time to sit down and read so I listen while I'm on my way to...well...anywhere!
Yes. I don't think I could of read the book but b/c I spend so much time in a car, I found it interesting to listen to.
This was an absolutely enthralling audiobook! I have listened to it more than once just to be swept away to the lower depths of the opera. I would recommend this to anyone who loves mystery, romance, redemption, and most of all emotive responses to love. Give it a try- you will not be disappointed!
This is a wonderful story and well told. It will help your understanding of the book to go to Wikipedia first, where you can get a list of the characters involved.
"Let down by the narrator"
I didn't enjoy this much because of the strange way the narrator reads it.
Glad I'd got to the end of it.
it's a good story so I persevered
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