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The Grand Phantom

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The Keokuk Opera House was built in 1880 and was destroyed by fire on December 6, 1923. It was designed to be the finest theater west of the Mississippi River and was at one time considered the finest theater in the country in an up and coming community of Keokuk, Iowa. The Grand Theater was built in 1925 on the foundation of the Keokuk Opera House. Sixty years later time The Keokuk Opera House was built in 1880 and was destroyed by fire on December 6, 1923. It was designed to be the finest theater west of the Mississippi River and was at one time considered the finest theater in the country in an up and coming community of Keokuk, Iowa. The Grand Theater was built in 1925 on the foundation of the Keokuk Opera House. Sixty years later time hasn't been kind to the theater or to Keokuk for that matter.Present day college student, Chris has accepted a Thanksgiving weekend job working as a stagehand at the theater hoping to earn some extra cash. The theater doesn't live up to his expectations, but the prospect of working with his friend Kenny and getting paid for it has all the makings for a fun weekend. All begins well, but soon odd things begin to happen which threatens to reveal a dark past.In 1923 actors, Marta and James are planning their new life but William, Marta's ex-boyfriend and fellow cast mate, is casting a dark cloud over their happiness. Jealousy and resentment are poorly veiled and causing problems within the production. With shows planned for another couple of years Marta and James are looking forward to a time when they can expel William from their lives.Past and present intertwine when the theater's dark secret longs to reveal itself and goes out of its way to make its presence known.


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The Keokuk Opera House was built in 1880 and was destroyed by fire on December 6, 1923. It was designed to be the finest theater west of the Mississippi River and was at one time considered the finest theater in the country in an up and coming community of Keokuk, Iowa. The Grand Theater was built in 1925 on the foundation of the Keokuk Opera House. Sixty years later time The Keokuk Opera House was built in 1880 and was destroyed by fire on December 6, 1923. It was designed to be the finest theater west of the Mississippi River and was at one time considered the finest theater in the country in an up and coming community of Keokuk, Iowa. The Grand Theater was built in 1925 on the foundation of the Keokuk Opera House. Sixty years later time hasn't been kind to the theater or to Keokuk for that matter.Present day college student, Chris has accepted a Thanksgiving weekend job working as a stagehand at the theater hoping to earn some extra cash. The theater doesn't live up to his expectations, but the prospect of working with his friend Kenny and getting paid for it has all the makings for a fun weekend. All begins well, but soon odd things begin to happen which threatens to reveal a dark past.In 1923 actors, Marta and James are planning their new life but William, Marta's ex-boyfriend and fellow cast mate, is casting a dark cloud over their happiness. Jealousy and resentment are poorly veiled and causing problems within the production. With shows planned for another couple of years Marta and James are looking forward to a time when they can expel William from their lives.Past and present intertwine when the theater's dark secret longs to reveal itself and goes out of its way to make its presence known.

34 review for The Grand Phantom

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lora Milton

    This one came out of my free book slush and the cover and title gave me a Phantom of the Opera vibe, so I decided to read it. It didn't actually follow the plot of Phantom of the Opera very much, but was an interesting story in itself. I think it could have been fleshed out a lot more as it came over as YA Horror and though it alternated between two time frames, there weren't any real sub-plots. The characters were reasonably well done. At least they weren't all the same. Overall I had the impres This one came out of my free book slush and the cover and title gave me a Phantom of the Opera vibe, so I decided to read it. It didn't actually follow the plot of Phantom of the Opera very much, but was an interesting story in itself. I think it could have been fleshed out a lot more as it came over as YA Horror and though it alternated between two time frames, there weren't any real sub-plots. The characters were reasonably well done. At least they weren't all the same. Overall I had the impression of a not very experienced writer, but one with potential. It was an enjoyable enough read anyway.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lacey

    This was a very interesting story. Switching between the past and the present. It's a short story and a quick read. The writer was able to give you enough detail to keep it interesting without weighing it down with lots of details. If you are a fan of ghost stories, you'll like this one. There was some surprising details that sprung up towards the end that I found interesting. The Theatre history and description made it easy to imagine. Even though it is fiction and ghost story. It reminding a q This was a very interesting story. Switching between the past and the present. It's a short story and a quick read. The writer was able to give you enough detail to keep it interesting without weighing it down with lots of details. If you are a fan of ghost stories, you'll like this one. There was some surprising details that sprung up towards the end that I found interesting. The Theatre history and description made it easy to imagine. Even though it is fiction and ghost story. It reminding a quote I used to hear a lot. "The truth won't stay buried forever. It tends to find its way to the surface." I also felt connected to the location (Iowa). I am from southern Minnesota and I can imagine this great theatre in a budding town and to keep the city growing secrets had to be buried.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kate Baxter

    Oh my! The blurb on the book's back cover hadn't prepared me for this dark love-triangle telling. It contains an interesting story line with chapters alternating between the present and the Holiday Season of 1923. The tension is strong and the characters well formed. For me, the coarse language was unnecessary for character development and did not add to the plot line. Note: contains elements of horror. I am grateful to author Harold Cloninger and Goodreads First Reads for having provided a free Oh my! The blurb on the book's back cover hadn't prepared me for this dark love-triangle telling. It contains an interesting story line with chapters alternating between the present and the Holiday Season of 1923. The tension is strong and the characters well formed. For me, the coarse language was unnecessary for character development and did not add to the plot line. Note: contains elements of horror. I am grateful to author Harold Cloninger and Goodreads First Reads for having provided a free copy of this book. Their generosity, however, did not influence this review - the words of which are mine alone.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rob Price

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

  6. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Mckinney

  7. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Marsh

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  9. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Schroeder

  10. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carla

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  14. 5 out of 5

    Debee Sue

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ann Ellis

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jackie F

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ash Chamberlain

  18. 4 out of 5

    Susan Buffum

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Beck

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

  23. 4 out of 5

    Terry Pearson

  24. 5 out of 5

    Janice

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

  26. 5 out of 5

    Louise Carlson Stowell

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jacqualyn

  28. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Carnes

  29. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Kennedy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karen Thompson

  31. 4 out of 5

    Angelia

  32. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  33. 5 out of 5

    MIPat

  34. 5 out of 5

    Pam

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