Sunday, February 22, 2015

Phantom Moments: Introduction, Gaston Leroux - Phantom of the Opera and Phantom's Dance

So you all might know that I'm a huge fan of The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical and any retellings of it. This is in honor of that.

So let's start at the beginning with the book by Gaston Leroux. 

Yep. That's my copy of it. It's not my favorite cover ever but I like it because it looks like a painting.
I read the book in the summer of 2013 and loved it. I haven't read many classics but it's one of my favorites so far. I actually always regretted not reviewing the book. I think it's a bit hard to review classics because some are so well known but maybe I can use this as an excuse to re-read it sometime.

Here are two other covers that I love of the book:

For those of you who don't know (I can't imagine that many people don't...) The Phantom of the Opera was written by a frenchman and (obviously) written in french so the original title is: 
Le Fantôme de l'Opéra

I just love the sound of the title in french and I do know some french but I'm really not that good with it so I probably won't ever read it in the original language, sadly enough. 

About the author:

Gaston Louis Alfred Leroux was a French journalist and author of detective fiction.

In the English-speaking world, he is best known for writing the novel The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, 1910), which has been made into several film and stage productions of the same name, such as the 1925 film starring Lon Chaney, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 musical. It was also the basis of the 1990 novelPhantom by Susan Kay.

Leroux went to school in Normandy and studied law in Paris, graduating in 1889. He inherited millions of francs and lived wildly until he nearly reached bankruptcy. Then in 1890, he began working as a court reporter and theater critic for L'Écho de Paris. His most important journalism came when he began working as an international correspondent for the Paris newspaper Le Matin. In 1905 he was present at and covered the Russian Revolution. Another case he was present at involved the investigation and deep coverage of an opera house in Paris, later to become a ballet house. The basement consisted of a cell that held prisoners in the Paris Commune, which were the rulers of Paris through much of the Franco-Prussian war.

He suddenly left journalism in 1907, and began writing fiction. In 1909, he and Arthur Bernède formed their own film company, Société des Cinéromans to simultaneously publish novels and turn them into films. He first wrote a mystery novel entitled Le mystère de la chambre jaune (1908; The Mystery of the Yellow Room), starring the amateur detective Joseph Rouletabille. Leroux's contribution to French detective fiction is considered a parallel to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's in the United Kingdom and Edgar Allan Poe's in America. Leroux died in Nice on April 15, 1927, of a urinary tract infection.

Let's talk about some of the retellings I know of Phantom of the Opera next.
I've read only three so far, but there are many many more out there. 

So let's start with my favorite one!

Phantom's Dance by Lesa Howard

Not surprising this is my favorite Phantom retelling so far. The book is sweet yet dark at the same time. Readers who've read it will definitely know what I'm talking about. On the one hand we have Christine, who's a kind person, talented and a little naive and on the other hand we have Erik, who's mysterious, also talented but has a very dark side. And to top it all we have a great set of secondary characters like Raoul, Jenna and Van. 

More about the book:

Title: Phantom's Dance
Author: Lesa Howard
Publication: April 6th 2014 by Boot in the Door Publications

Christine Dadey's family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance. Now, two years later, Christine struggles to compete among the Academy's finest dancers, her parents are on the brink of divorce, and she's told no one about her debilitating performance anxiety and what she's willing to do to cope with it. Erik was a ballet prodigy, a savant, destined to be a star on the world's stage, but a suspicious fire left Erik's face horribly disfigured. Now, a lonely phantom forced to keep his scars hidden, he spends his nights haunting the theater halls, mourning all he's lost. Then, from behind the curtain he sees the lovely Christine. The moldable, malleable Christine. Drawn in by Erik's unwavering confidence, Christine allows herself to believe Erik's declarations that he can transform her into the dancer she longs to be. But Christine's hope of achieving her dreams may be her undoing when she learns Erik is not everything he claims. And before long, Erik's shadowy past jeopardizes Christine's unstable present as his obsession with her becomes hopelessly entangled with his plans for revenge. 


Also available for audiobook on:

What other reviewers said about Phantom's Dance:

5 stars:

"The plot is extremely well written and there is a flow that will definitely keep you hooked "

4 stars:

"Phantom's Dance is a captivating and beautiful story about ambitions and how dangerous obsessions can be."

4 stars:

"It was a refreshing version of the main story and it took place in the modern world. I can definitely recommend it!"

I'm not the typical author. I didn't always enjoy reading or writing. While in school, I found it to be a chore I'd just as soon skip. I would rather have been daydreaming, my favorite past time. It wasn’t until I grew up and didn’t have to, that I realized reading was fun. I soon discovered that reading fueled my daydreaming. So, remembering a short story I'd written in high school, I began imagining expanding that story into a book. Before long I found I had loads of ideas for not just the short story but other books and stories as well. Fast forward a few years, a lot of studying about writing, practicing my writing, studying some more, taking classes from people who knew what they were doing, studying and practicing yet more, and ta-dah, author! In the same way I had learned I loved reading, I learned I loved writing, too. It’s just that writing is a lot harder than reading.

Soooo... I really want to hear you guys' thoughts about this Phantom post. It's a bit different from what I usually post about I think. So please don't hesitate to comment. 

Do you love Phantom of the Opera too, whether it's the classic book, musical or anything else? Do you know any good retellings? Feel free to tell me!

And finally... there's so much more I was planning to include in this post. I planned to talk about the musicals and other things too but I realized this post would be way too long. So I'm going to make this a monthly thing until I have absolutely nothing to talk about about anything that concerns The Phantom of the Opera.

Also, you can win an e-copy of Phantom's Dance along with a book of choice from TBD on my new blog design giveaway here. Be sure to stop by!

Until next month! 


  1. What a wonderful beginning for your Phantom Moments, Stephanie! I haven't read the book yet but I've always enjoyed the musical and the mystery of the Phantom.

  2. The musical is what got me into everything about Phantom of the Opera too :D

  3. Awesome first post for this interesting series you've started. Needless to say I'm THRILLED that you say Phantom's Dance is your favorite retelling. :)


  4. I've been thinking of Phantom of the Opera lately. Cool to see the books. :D Thank you!!


Share your thoughts! ♥