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Gaston Leroux (1868–1927)

Author of The Phantom of the Opera

214+ Works 16,221 Members 272 Reviews 18 Favorited

About the Author

Gaston Leroux is best known as the creator of the 1911 novel, The Phantom of the Opera, about a masked figure who haunts the hidden parts of the Paris Opera House. The novel appeared first in serial installments a year before publication, ultimately grew into several movie versions, and later show more became an Tony Award-winning Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Leroux was born in Paris in 1868. The only child of financially well-off parents, he moved easily into a clerk job in a law office. While working there, he wrote essays and short stories, many of which were accepted by publishers. This fired his enthusiasm, and he became a full-time reporter/writer in 1890. Law experience covering famous cases and theater reviews fueled his writing career, but it was his news reporter job that took him around the world at the turn of the century, providing details for his novels. Leroux wrote several mystery and fantasy novels, including the well-received The Mystery of the Yellow Room (1907) and The Man Who Came Back from the Dead (1912). Leroux also helped pioneer the character of the amateur detective who solves crime, so commonly seen today in movies and television. Gaston Leroux continued to write until his death on April 16, 1927. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Gaston Leroux

The Phantom of the Opera (1910) 12,804 copies
The Mystery of the Yellow Room (1907) 1,239 copies
The Phantom of the Opera and Other Gothic Tales (2018) — Contributor — 171 copies
Le Fauteuil hanté (1909) 100 copies
The Secret of the Night (1913) 81 copies
100 Eternal Masterpieces of Literature - volume 1 (2017) — Contributor — 56 copies
The Phantom of the Opera [Penguin Readers] (2002) — Original Story — 37 copies
La Poupée sanglante (1923) 36 copies
The machine to kill, (1923) 31 copies
Storie macabre (1996) 28 copies
Le château noir (1969) 22 copies
The Bride of the Sun (1960) 22 copies
The Double Life (1903) 17 copies
Rouletabille chez krupp (1917) 16 copies
Chéri-Bibi et Cécily (1974) 14 copies
Das Phantom der Oper (1991) 13 copies
Cheri Bibi Tome 1 (1990) 12 copies
Le Crime de Rouletabille (1976) 11 copies
Le fantôme de l'opéra (1989) 10 copies
Mister Flow (1947) 10 copies
The Floating Prison (1921) 9 copies
La reine du sabbat (1970) 7 copies
Un homme dans la nuit (1977) 7 copies
The Dark Road (1924) 6 copies
Les Mohicans de Babel (1977) 6 copies
SARI ODANIN ESRARI (2020) 6 copies
Balaoo (2009) 6 copies
De Bruid van de Zon (1995) 6 copies
In Letters Of Fire (2011) 5 copies
De Moordmachine (1993) 5 copies
Wolves of the Sea (1923) 5 copies
The Phantom Clue (1926) 5 copies
Phantom of the Opera (1999) 4 copies
FATALITAS. (1954) 4 copies
Palas et cheri-bibi. (1974) 4 copies
Le Coeur cambriolé (2003) 4 copies
Nomads of the Night (1925) 3 copies
Fantom iz Opere (2017) 3 copies
CHERI BIBI (1974) 3 copies
Det gule rom (2012) 3 copies
El sillon encantado (2000) 2 copies
Romans mystérieux (2008) 2 copies
Horror omnibus 2 copies
The Masked Man 2 copies
Invasionen 2 copies
Fantom opery 2 copies
La butaca maleïda (1989) 1 copy
Not' Olympe 1 copy
Chemikovo tajemství (1992) 1 copy
1988 1 copy

Associated Works

The Phantom of the Opera [2004 film] (2004) — Original novel — 772 copies
The Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories (2000) — Contributor, some editions — 294 copies
Weird Tales (1988) — Contributor — 269 copies
The Phantom of the Opera [1925 film] (1925) — Author — 109 copies
The Ghouls (1971) — Contributor — 106 copies
Phantom of the Opera [1943 film] (1943) — Original novel — 55 copies
Bodies in the Library Short Stories (Gothic Fantasy) (2020) — Contributor — 33 copies
Masters of Mystery: A Study of the Detective Story (1931) — Contributor — 24 copies
The Phantom of the Opera [1962 film] (1962) — Original novel — 14 copies
The Second Book of Unknown Tales of Horror (1826) — Contributor — 14 copies
Great French detective stories (1983) — Contributor — 14 copies
Classic Horror Omnibus: Vol.1 (1979) — Author — 9 copies
Black Magic Omnibus Volume 2 (1976) — Contributor — 8 copies
The great weird stories (1977) — Contributor — 4 copies
Weird Tales Volume 19 Number 2, February 1932 — Contributor — 2 copies
Weird Tales Volume 14 Number 2, August 1929 — Contributor — 2 copies


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Common Knowledge

Legal name
Leroux, Gaston Louis Alfred
Date of death
Burial location
Cimetiére du Château, Nice, France
Paris, France
Place of death
Nice, France
Cause of death
Places of residence
Paris, France
Nice, France
Faculté de droit de Paris (Licence, Droit, 18 89))
Lycée de Caen, Calvados (Baccalauréat, 18 86)
Collège d'Eu, Seine-Maritime (1880)
theater critic
court reporter
Leblanc, Alfred Gaston (Fils)
Société des Cinéromans, Société de production cinématographique, Nice (Fondateur, 19 18)
La Matin, Journal (Chroniqueur judiciaire, 18 94 | 19 01, Grand reporter, 19 01
L'écho de Paris (Chroniqueur judiciare, 18 91| 18 94)
Barreau d'avocat, Paris (18 90 | 18 94)
Awards and honors
Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur (1902)
Short biography
Gaston Louis Alfred Leroux (6 May 1868[1] – 15 April 1927) 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, notably the 1925 film starring Lon Chaney, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 musical. His 1907 novel The Mystery of the Yellow Room is one of the most celebrated locked-room mysteries



Phantom of the Opera By Gaston Leroux Sep 2021 LTER in Reviews of Early Reviewers Books (September 2021)


The great Paris Opera House is haunted. All the stories are fanciful and rarely agree so most people tend to agree there is no ghost. Young, Swedish Christine Daaé, a nobody at the Opera is suddenly somebody. No one knows where she learned how to sing and no one believes her story of an Angel of Music. Raoul, an old childhood friend, sees her on stage and decides to ignore their station and confess his love for her—the reason he left many years ago. The Angel of Music, the Opera’s Ghost, isn’t going to let anything separate him from Christine, and I do mean anything.

I have no idea if this edition is a good translation, but I can tell you it is horribly formatted and is in serious need of a proofreader! This is a terrible edition and I don’t recommend it to anyone. The story, however, that I do recommend you read. It’s a slow starter, has some flow issues, but a classic worth reading at least once. Maybe another edition will flow better? So the edition is one star and the book three.

If you’re expecting anything like Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, you’re going to be disappointed. The essence is pretty much there, but the book is stranger and darker. Gaston Leroux leads us as the narrator through his investigations into the rumors of the famous Opera Ghost many years after the events occurred. He informs us of the evidence and interviews he conducted to show us the rumors are actually fact. I had the strangest sense of déjà vu through the entire last third of the book; but I can’t find anything telling me I’ve read this before, or even think of another story is resembles...

Anyhow... The Opera Ghost, aka the Phantom, aka Erik, has a dark past as well as serious mental issues in addition to his physical deformities and has the entire Opera doing his bidding without their knowledge. Christine is a very young woman who knows little of the world and is easily led. Raoul, for all his worldliness and travels, is a weak young man and rarely listens to his elders. The Persian is the strongest character in the book and the only one who knows what’s going on. Even though I was left with many questions and not enough closure, it is an intriguing read.
… (more)
killarowan | 202 other reviews | Mar 1, 2024 |
I read this book to practice my french. It is an abridged adaptation of the novel by Leroux, suitable for children and people that want to learn french.
jd7h | Feb 18, 2024 |
Eh I don’t think I’d recommend it anytime soon. I wasn’t a big fan of the writing style it didn’t engage me in the way I wanted it to. Kind of drawn out, although I did like the conclusion. I could definitely imagine it as a better opera or play adaptation than it is a book alone, especially if they make it as engaging as I would hope (keeping the 5th box empty, etc), and going along with the story as if it was an opera, where the audience is more a part of the performance than mere spectators. The one redeeming factor that bumped it from 1 stars to 2 stars is the setting. Placing this story in an opera house in the late 1800s was really interesting. I enjoyed learning about the inner workings of an opera house and seeing how the author uses every aspect of the opera house management, architecture, and performances as important pieces of the story. I can tell a lot of thought went into weaving the opera house into the story and I was really impressed by it, it makes me want to go to an opera and get a tour of an opera house, especially it’s underground.… (more)
Radar12378 | 202 other reviews | Nov 30, 2023 |
"If I am the phantom, it is because man's hatred has made me so. If I am to be saved it is because your love redeems me."

The story of 'The Phantom of the Opera' is well known thanks to popular culture with its movie and stage adaptations but Gaston Leroux's classic gothic novel is less well known.

The book is set in a Parisian opera house that is “haunted” by a mysterious and alluring ghost. The phantom falls in love with young soprano Christine Daaè and this is a story about romance, obsession and mystery.

Unlike the musical the novel is more about the relationship between Christine and her childhood friend Viscount Raoul de Chagny than with the phantom. The book goes into more depth about Christine’s childhood with her violinist father and the phantom’s backstory. As a child Christine had been told stories by her father about an 'Angel of Music' who he will send to her when he dies. When she first hears the voice of the phantom she initially thinks that he is the 'Angel' and befriends him but soon comes to realise that he has more ominous intentions.

This book was very detailed and at some points extremely complicated. The author paints himself as an investigative journalist using memoirs as his evidence making him an unreliable witness. There are some very detailed descriptions of the Opera house's architecture and there are some boring parts particularly in the middle, but most of the time the book kept me engaged. There are some heavy psychological elements but what I wasn't expecting was the quite comic segment concerning the two managers and the missing money. However, I felt that the book was somewhat let down by the ending which was just too neat IMHO but overall I feel that it deserves to be more widely read.

"Erik is not truly dead. He lives on within the souls of those who choose to listen to the music of the night."
… (more)
PilgrimJess | 202 other reviews | Oct 27, 2023 |



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½ 3.7

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