The story of a man named Erik, an eccentric, physically deformed genius who terrorizes the Opera Garnier in Paris. He builds his home beneath it and takes the love of his life, a beautiful soprano, under his wing.
The inaugural release in the Horror Writers Association Haunted Library of Horror Classics series will be a revelation to those familiar only with the musical based on the 1910 novel by LeRoux (1868 1927). The tale of a Paris opera house inhabited by a spectral figure with seemingly magical abilities remains genuinely creepy today. Much of the book's power stems from the author's presentation of his narrative as the factual product of his own diligent archival research and interviews with survivors of the phenomenon. This understated treatment means that even his spoiler-laden prologue heightens rather than lessens suspense. A turnover in the management of the opera house coincides with sightings of the so-called Opera ghost and the grim discovery of the hanged corpse of Joseph Buquet, the company's chief scene-shifter. These events are followed by an unexpectedly triumphant performance by Christine Dae , who previously had an undistinguished singing career, which proves to be linked to the phantom. Fans of literate horror, whatever their opinion of Andrew Lloyd Weber, will be gratified.