Books like The Phantom of the Opera Similar Novels
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8 Tragic Love Books Like The Phantom of the Opera

For those like me who were deeply moved by the tragic love story in Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera, here’s a selection of books that capture a similar romantic essence. These stories, while not all gothic, resonate with the classic themes of love, loss, and heartache found in Leroux’s classic (and the musical too).

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My pick of books like The Phantom of the Opera that you’ll enjoy!

The Phantom of the Opera Similar Books

1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Set on the Yorkshire moors, Wuthering Heights is a tale of passionate and tumultuous love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, an orphan brought to live at Wuthering Heights. Their intense relationship, marked by jealousy and revenge, creates a storm of emotions that affects generations.

Why you’ll be captivated:
This story delves into the complexities of love and the pain of longing, mirroring the intensity and heartache of The Phantom of the Opera.

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Wuthering Heights (Penguin Classics)
3,626 Reviews
Wuthering Heights (Penguin Classics)
  • Emily Brontë (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages - 12/31/2002 (Publication Date) - Penguin Classics (Publisher)

2. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s timeless play Romeo and Juliet tells the story of two young star-crossed lovers whose tragedy ultimately reshapes their feuding families. Set in Verona, it beautifully explores themes of love, fate, and the tragic consequences of pettiness and misunderstanding.

Why you’ll be drawn in:
The themes of forbidden love, sacrifice, and tragedy in Romeo and Juliet resonate with what transpired between The Phantom and Christine, albeit told in a different writing medium.

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Romeo and Juliet (Folger Shakespeare Library)
3,140 Reviews
Romeo and Juliet (Folger Shakespeare Library)
  • Annotated
  • Shakespeare, William (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Also check out our 1-minute summary of Romeo and Juliet’s plot.

3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby’s obsession with Daisy Buchanan drives the narrative. Set in the roaring twenties, this novel explores the American dream, love, and the disillusionment that comes with idealization and unrequited love.

Why you’ll be intrigued:
Similar to The Phantom of the Opera, I believe The Great Gatsby is a short but powerful book that explores the pain of unrequited love and the lengths one will go to for their affection. The setting is vastly different but, in my opinion, the emotional beats resonate the same.

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The Great Gatsby (Deluxe Hardbound Edition) (Fingerprint! Classics)
1,559 Reviews
The Great Gatsby (Deluxe Hardbound Edition) (Fingerprint! Classics)
  • It is easy to carry.
  • The Great Gatsby (Deluxe Hardbound Edition) (Fingerprint! Classics)
  • Hardcover Book

4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina is a tale of love, infidelity, and the pursuit of happiness. The novel revolves around Anna’s affair with Count Vronsky and its repercussions. Set against the backdrop of Russian society, it delves into the moral complexities and tragic consequences of untamed passion.

Why you’ll be mesmerized:
I think Tolstoy’s exploration of illicit love and tragic endings will appeal to those moved by the deep and visceral emotions in The Phantom of the Opera.

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Anna Karenina (Everyman's Library)
4,095 Reviews
Anna Karenina (Everyman's Library)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Leo Tolstoy (Author)

5. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Les Misérables offers a panorama of Parisian society and delves into the lives of characters like the tragic Fantine and the lovelorn Eponine. Their stories of love and sacrifice amidst national conflict and political upheaval amplifies the emotional landscape found in The Phantom of the Opera.

Why you’ll be absorbed:
Hugo’s magnum opus portrayal of love and sacrifice in adversity shares a similar emotional depth with The Phantom of the Opera. Les Miserables is by far one of my favorite books of all-time. It’s a lengthy read for sure. But it is an exquisite, heartrending classic, especially when it comes to Eponine’s unrequited love

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Les Miserables (Signet Classics)
1,321 Reviews
Les Miserables (Signet Classics)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hugo, Victor (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

6. Atonement by Ian McEwan

Similar to other books like The Phantom of the Opera, Atonement explores the themes of love, guilt, and the desire for forgiveness. It revolves around the lives of Cecilia and Robbie, whose relationship is irrevocably changed by a false accusation, leading to a narrative filled with longing and the quest for atonement.

Why you’ll be enchanted:
The novel’s exploration of lost love and longing for redemption resonates with readers touched by The Phantom of the Opera, particularly The Phantom’s character arc.

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Atonement: A Novel
8,881 Reviews
Atonement: A Novel
  • Ian McEwan
  • fiction
  • classics

7. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

Set against the backdrop of World War II, The English Patient explores the story of a mysterious, badly burned man, recounting his tragic affair and the complex emotions surrounding love, identity, and the ravages of war.

Why you’ll be moved:
This narrative, with its classic themes of love and traumatic loss, parallels the dramatic pulses of The Phantom of the Opera, albeit told at a different, more subdued pace.

The English Patient: Man Booker Prize Winner
3,973 Reviews
The English Patient: Man Booker Prize Winner
  • Ondaatje, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 305 Pages - 11/30/1993 (Publication Date) - Vintage Books (Publisher)

8. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca tells the story of a young woman who marries a wealthy widower, Maxim de Winter, and moves to his estate, Manderley. There, she finds herself in the shadow of his deceased first wife, Rebecca, and unravels the mysteries and secrets surrounding her.

Why you’ll be intrigued:
This novel’s exploration of love overshadowed by the past mirrors the haunting and tragic elements of The Phantom of the Opera, especially the troubled life-story of The Phantom. A gothic thriller that I think fans of Gaston Leroux will surely enjoy!

Rebecca
25,587 Reviews
Rebecca
  • Maurier Daphne Du (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 428 Pages - 01/30/2003 (Publication Date) - HACHETTE (Publisher)

Did you enjoy my list of tragic love books similar to The Phantom of the Opera? Check out our other fiction book lists!