Susan Kay, Author Delacorte Press $19.95 (458p) ISBN 978-0-385-30296-8
Retelling and expanding upon a well known and beloved classic is risky business, but Kay acquits herself with brio in this retelling of Gaston Leroux's 1911 tale, The Phantom of the Opera . In a powerful and moving tour de force (the American debut for this British writer whose first novel, Legacy , won the Georgette Heyer Historical Novel Prize and the Betty Trask Award), she adds a new depth and perspective, moving well beyond the familiar boundaries of the story. This version begins with the birth of the horribly disfigured Erik and continues into the years following his doomed romance with Christine, ending in an unexpected and triumphant redemption. The narrative encompasses Erik's disastrous formative years with his mother, his caged existence among a gypsy tribe and a period of relative happiness in Rome, where he perfects his skills as an architect and builder. He goes to Persia, where he masters his talent for torture and murder and, finally, he is involved in the construction of the Paris Opera House--and the creation of his labyrinthine world beneath that structure. Haunting and unforgettable, this is a book to be savored, a sensual and often poetic exploration of a man's internal conflict between good and evil and of a search for love amidst darkness and despair. BOMC and QPB featured alternates. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Paperback - 466 pages - 978-1-933626-00-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 544 pages - 978-0-440-21169-3
Paperback - 468 pages - 978-1-933626-04-8
Hardcover - 458 pages - 978-1-933626-03-1
Hardcover - 978-0-04-402951-9
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