Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
There are two major traditions when it comes to vampire fiction. In the first and older conception of them, they are out-and-out monsters, demons lusting after mortal blood from beyond the grave. Examples of this would include Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot or the original Dracula to some extent. The second tradition humanizes vampires, focusing on the men and women they once were rather than the supernatural beings they have become. Interview with the Vampire is of the latter camp, one I admit I have had little patience for in the past. Anne Rice won me over, however, with her fascinating study of the impact immortality and the supernatural might have on the mortal mind, as well as her startlingly poignant prose and elegant narrative s... Read More
Anne Rice(1941- )
Anne Rice was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in English and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. Her first novel, Interview with the Vampire, was published in 1976 and has gone on to become one of the best-selling novels of all time. It was made into a motion picture in 1994. Anne Rice lives in Palm Desert, California. Learn more about her at Anne Rice’s website.
The Vampire Chronicles — (1976-2003) Publisher: Witness the confessions of a vampire. A novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force, it is a story of danger and flight, love and loss, suspense and resolution, and the extraordinary power of the senses.
New Tales of the Vampires — (1998-1999) Publisher: Anne Rice, creator of the Vampire Lestat, the Mayfair witches and the amazing worlds they inhabit, now gives us the first in a new series of novels linked together by the fledgling vampire David Talbot, who has set out to become a chronicler of his fellow Undead. The novel opens in present-day Paris in a crowded café, where David meets Pandora. She is two thousand years old, a Child of the Millennia, the first vampire ever made by the great Marius. David persuades her to tell the story of her life. Pandora begins, reluctantly at first and then with increasing passion, to recount her mesmerizing tale, which takes us through the ages, from Imperial Rome to eighteenth-century France to twentieth-century Paris and New Orleans. She carries us back to her mortal girlhood in the world of Caesar Augustus, a world chronicled by Ovid and Petronius. This is where Pandora meets and falls in love with the handsome, charismatic, lighthearted, still-mortal Marius. This is the Rome she is forced to flee in fear of assassination by conspirators plotting to take over the city. And we follow her to the exotic port of Antioch, where she is destined to be reunited with Marius, now immortal and haunted by his vampire nature, who will bestow on her the Dark Gift as they set out on the fraught and fantastic adventure of their two turbulent centuries together.
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Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
Anne Rice's second vampire novel is both a prequel and a sequel to her original story Interview with the Vampire. A sequel because it is framed by a sequence of events in contemporary times, and a prequel because it recounts the history of the vampire Lestat, the sire of the protagonist Louis in Interview. After waking from centuries-sleep in 1980's New Orleans, Lestat discovers the Interview manuscript and goes about setting the story straight, recounting his mortal life as a young French aristocrat, his transformation into a vampire, and his ongoing quest to find the answers behind his new condition. Stretching from the French Revolution to Egyptian myth to the modern day world, his journey is one that only an immortal could take, and we're lucky enough to be taken along for the ride... Read More
The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
Anne Rice’s The Vampire Lestat is the second (and probably best-regarded) of her VAMPIRE CHRONICLES. The Vampire Lestat is probably the seminal work of vampire fiction since Bram Stoker. Much of what was implied in Interview with the Vampire is made concrete here as Rice broadens and deepens her mythology, all the while creating one of the archetypal figures of the genre.
The first thing one should say about The Vampire Lestat in comparison with Interview with the Vampire is that if you spent the first novel sighing to yourself that all of this was rather good, but Louis was a whiny sort of fellow who liked to talk more than to act, you shall be overjoyed with this installment. Lestat is the vital, charismatic ... Read More
The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
I have to admit to being rather disappointed with The Queen of the Damned. I came into the third book in Anne Rice’s VAMPIRE CHRONICLES fresh from the excellent The Vampire Lestat and ready for more. At the end of The Vampire Lestat, the reader is left with the distinct impression that everything in Rice’s meticulously constructed vampire universe is about to explode, and I was excited. It was the grand conclusion of the initial trilogy! Told from multiple perspectives! It was called The Queen of the Damned! (Honestly, that has to be the best title ever for a vampire novel.) In short, I was not burnt out on the series by this point. I was ready to love the novel. It just wasn’t to be.
The major problem with The Queen of the Damned Read More
Merrick by Anne Rice
I was looking forward to the story of Merrick, a distant biracial cousin of the famous Mayfair Witches, who practices voudoun. I was looking forward to Louis's quest for the ghost of Claudia — but then I've always liked Louis. In this book, in fact, a lot of interesting things happen to Louis — the Claudia thing, a new love, and a complete change of heart about how much vampiric power he wants. (I'll try not to commit a spoiler by telling any more details than that.) In other words, lots of character development.
So, my major gripe with this book is that it isn't told from Louis's point of view, but David Talbot's. See, David has had a crush on Merrick since she was a teenager seeking refuge with the Talamasca. And while some of the interaction between David and Merrick is interesting, I would have preferred to cut a few of the chapters describing the infatuation, making room for more Louis-stuff. Fascinat... Read More
Blood and Gold by Anne Rice
I enjoyed this book, except for the subplot about the Norse vampire, Thorne, at the beginning and end. This frame story had a lot of promise but ended up making little sense to me. I think maybe it alludes to Norse myth, which has never been my forte. Whatever the reason, it left me scratching my head.
But at least it gets Marius telling his life story, and perhaps because the "interviewer" is a stranger, he feels comfortable opening up about all sorts of things. In the words of Alanis Morissette, it's "strangely exciting, to watch the stoic squirm." Yes, at times Marius's story seems really familiar, since most of the major plot events have been told already in The Vampire Lestat, Pandora, and The Vampire Armand.
But now we know just how broken-up Marius was about some of the... Read More
Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice
In the ninth book in The Vampire Chronicles (though the books are self-contained and can be read out of order) we meet Tarquin "Quinn" Blackwood, a fledgling vampire with a serious problem. The book opens with a letter he has written to the famous Lestat, begging him for advice in how to deal with the continued presence of Goblin, a spirit that has dwelt with Quinn for his entire life but is now taking on frightening new characteristics and powers after Quinn's conversion to vampirism.
To Quinn's surprise, Lestat agrees to help him, and joins him at his grand home of Blackwood Farm where Quinn begins to tell his story. Beginning in childhood and ending with his transformation into a vampire, Quinn's autobiographical account takes up 90% of the book, with only a few chapters front and back that deal with events in the present time. This account is equal parts intrigu... Read More
The Lives of the Mayfair Witches — (1990-1994) Publisher: Demonstrating once again her gift for spellbinding stoyrtelling, Anne Rice makes real a family of witches — a family given to poetry and incest, to murder and philsophy, a family that is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous and seductive being.
The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
Although Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles are undoubtedly her most famous and best-selling novels, there is much to be said for her witch trilogy: The Lives of the Mayfair Witches. Although none of the characters who populate The Witching Hour are quite as memorable as her vampires, the plot and pacing of her witch-stories appeal to me more than anything else she has written to date. Her skills as a novelist are on fine display here and her storytelling techniques are utterly unique, including introductory chapters told through the eyes of family associates who experience unsettling experiences with the Mayfair family; the gradual intertwining of her two main characters through a series of `coincidental' events; and a large chunk of the novel devoted to the records of an investigative... Read More
Lasher by Anne Rice
As part of Anne Rice's The Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy, this installment comes after The Witching Hour in which we were introduced to three major concepts: a secret organisation called the Talamasca (best described as a supernatural FBI), a powerful family of witches known as the Mayfairs, and a strange spirit called Lasher that has haunted generations of Mayfairs, and been investigated by the Talamasca for centuries.
In the previous novel Rowan Mayfair, the latest matriarch of the Mayfair clan, rediscovered her roots and returned to her ancestral home in New Orleans. Marrying Michael Curry (who by strange coincidence has connections to both her and her circumstances), and learning about her heritage (which was documented diligently by the Talamasca), she eventually met the spirit Lasher and devised a way for h... Read More
Taltos by Anne Rice
The problem with this final installment in The Lives of the Mayfair Witches, is that the main plot (and most of its subplots) were begun in The Witching Hour and wrapped up neatly in its sequel Lasher. In these two previous books, Doctor Rowan Mayfair has returned to her family, discovered her witch heritage, married Michael Curry, come into contact with an organisation called the Talamasca (best described as a supernatural detective agency) unleashed the spirit Lasher on the world and — together with her husband — stopped him from achieving his goal of populating the world with his own species: the Taltos. What more was there to tell?
Well, there were a couple of loose threads, but nothing that couldn't have been cleared up in Lasher, and nothing that takes... Read More
Songs of the Seraphim — (2009-2010) Publisher: It’s the present day. Toby O’Dare — aka Lucky the Fox — is a contract killer of underground fame on assignment to kill once again. He’s a soulless soul, a dead man walking. His nightmarish world of lone and lethal missions is disrupted when a mysterious stranger, a seraph, offers him a chance to save rather than destroy lives. O’Dare, who long ago dreamt of being a priest, seizes his chance. Now he is carried back through the ages to thirteenth-century England, to dark realms where accusations of ritual murder have been made against Jews, where children suddenly die or disappear. In this primitive setting, O’Dare begins his perilous quest for salvation, a journey of danger and flight, loyalty and betrayal, selflessness and love.
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Angel Time by Anne Rice
Anne Rice’s body of work plays a huge role in my history as a reader, and in fact was one of the “gateway drugs” that led me to fantasy. I discovered her books the summer before I left for college and spent the next several years procrastinating my studies all too often in favor of devouring her backlist. And a hefty backlist it was; her old books kept me busy for several years. The first one I read “new” was Pandora. Then, in the late nineties and early 2000s, Rice began to change her style and her portrayals of favorite characters, and I didn’t like her new books as much. I’d heard that her new Songs of the Seraphim series marked a return to her old writing style. Curiosity and nostalgia convinced me to give Angel Time a shot.
Angel Time’s protagonist is Toby O’Dare, a skilled hitman who has ju... Read More
Of Love and Evil by Anne Rice
I started Of Love and Evil with modest expectations. I’d been underwhelmed with the previous Songs of the Seraphim novel, Angel Time. I’m also increasingly annoyed with the trend toward publishing extremely slender books in hardcover. As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised by Of Love and Evil. (I still think it makes a pretty skinny hardcover, though, at 192 pages.)
When we last saw Toby O’Dare, he had just learned that, ten years previous, his girlfriend Liona had given birth to his son. As Of Love and Evil opens, Liona brings Toby junior to California. Toby gets to see his old love again and meet his son for the first time. He’d love to spend more time with this newfound family, but the angel Malchiah has another mission for him.
Toby is sent to Renaissance Rome, where ... Read More
The Wolf Gift — (2012) Publisher: A whole new world — modern, sleek, high-tech — and at its center, a story as old and compelling as history: the making of a werewolf, reimagined and reinvented as only Anne Rice, teller of mesmerizing tales, conjurer extraordinaire of other realms, could create. The time is the present. The place, the rugged coast of Northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest. A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer… An older woman welcoming him into her magnificent family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency… A chance encounter between two unlikely people… An idyllic night — shattered by horrific unimaginable violence, the young man inexplicably attacked — bitten — by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness… A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation, as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing what he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift. As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf” by authorities, the media, and scientists (evidence of DNA threatens to reveal his dual existence)… As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there may be others like him who are watching — guardian creatures who have existed throughout time who possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge. And throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man.
The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned — (1989) Publisher: Ramses the Great has awakened in Edwardian London. Having drunk the elixir of life, he is now Ramses the Damned, doomed forever to wander the earth, desperate to quell hungers that can never be satisfied. Although he pursues voluptuous aristocrat Julie Stratford, the woman for whom he desperately longs is Cleopatra. And his intense longing for her, undiminished over the centuries, will force him to commit an act that will place everyone around him in the gravest danger….
Servant of the Bones – (1996) Publisher: In a new and major novel, the creator of fantastic universes o vampires and witches takes us now into the world of Isaiah and Jeremiah, and the destruction of Solomon’s Temple, to tell the story of Azriel, Servant of the Bones. He is ghost, genii, demon, angel–pure spirit made visible. He pours his heart out to us as he journeys from an ancient Babylon of royal plottings and religious upheavals to Europe of the Black Death and on to the modern world. There he finds himself, amidst the towers of Manhattan, in confrontation with his own human origins and the dark forces that have sought to condemn him to a life of evil and destruction.
Violin – (1996) Publisher: Anne Rice’s Violin tells the story of two charismatic figures bound to each other by a passionate commitment to music as a means of rapture, seduction, and liberation. At the novel’s center: a uniquely fascinating woman, Triana, and the demonic fiddler Stefan, a tormented ghost who begins to prey upon her, using his magic violin to draw her into a state of madness. But Triana sets out to resist Stefan, and the struggle thrusts them both into a terrifying supernatural realm. Violin flows abundant with the history, the drama, and the romantic intensity that have become synonymous with Anne Rice at her incomparable best.