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text 2019-08-02 16:45
Halloween Bingo 2019 PreParty -- Question for 08/02 (Day 2): Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies or Other?
The Little Witch - Anthea Bell,Otfried Preußler,Winnie Gebhardt-Gayler
Witch Hunts in the Western World: Persecution and Punishment from the Inquisition Through the Salem Trials - Brian A. Pavlac
Macbeth - William Shakespeare
Women & Power: A Manifesto - Mary Beard
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett,Neil Gaiman
Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett
Men at Arms (Discworld, #15) - Terry Pratchett
Ladyhawke - Joan D. Vinge
Dracula - Bram Stoker
The Vampire Lestat - Anne Rice


One of my very first literary heroine was a little witch who manages to get the better of all the bigger, older witches after having been put down by them -- the heroine of Otfried Preußler's Little Witch.  (In fact, I loved that book enough to write my very first fan letter to the author about it ... and I still love it enough to have put it on MR's "1001" list.)


Ever since, I've come to be interested in them because women are almost always maligned as "witches" when people are afraid of them because they -- the women in question -- happen to be better at something (or are merely perceived as being better at something) than others.  That's true for the poor ladies of centuries past who just happened to know their herbs a bit better than their neighbors, potentially even better than the local monastery's herbalist, and who, after having helped countless community members with every ailment from headaches to abortion, were duly burned at the stake for their troubles the second they even inadvertently stepped on someone's toes.  And it's still true for women who happen to be better at their jobs nowadays than their (mostly, but not necessarily male) colleagues.  Other slurs such as plainly denigrate -- "witch" (and to a certain extent also "bitch") implies an irrational element of fear.  In light of that, the transformation of witches -- or their perception -- from the worst of evil bogey(wo)men conceivable to a positive identification with the "women's power" movement is a thing to behold; not least in literature.


Which, incidentally, is just one more reason why I love Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens.   And along the same lines, who wouldn't love Mr. Pratchett's Granny Weatherwax and her coven?



Though, speaking of Pratchett, he has also created just about the only werewolf I can get behind (and for similar reasons) -- Angua of the Night Watch. 


And, well, yeah, in terms of stories that were films before they were books, Ladyhawke of course ... which isn't so much a horror as a "doomed lovers" story, obviously.



Vampires, though?  Hmm.  I mean, on the one hand, give me Dracula rather than Edward Cullen any day of the week (and I'm saying that as a confirmed non-horror reader).  On the other hand, I read Anne Rice's vampire novels -- until she turned BBA, that is -- for just about everything but the horror aspect; in fact, if she'd ramped up that one I'd have been gone in a flash.  (Incidentally, Rice once revealed in an interview that Lestat's character was inspired by Rutger Hauer's portrayal of Etienne de Navarre in Ladyhawke.  Go figure.)




And zombies?  Leave me alone and get the hell out of here.  They creep me out so badly I won't even go anywhere near them in a supposedly humorous context (like the "white trash zombie" novels that are currently all the rage).



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text 2016-09-07 21:39
Not sure what to make of this...
Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis: The Vampire Chronicles - Anne Rice

The gods definitely work in mysterious ways.  I just received a free copy for review.  LOL.

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review 2015-08-25 19:59
Why I gave up...
Prince Lestat - Anne Rice

"So where is this all going?" I asked. I tried not to sound exasperated. 

Answer: nowhere fast. 

Every time I thought things were going to pick up and actually GO somewhere, we ended up right back in the same place. I feel like every chapter repeated the same thing, from the view of a different vampire:
1. Where are the elders? Why is everybody hiding from each other? 
2. (Lestat) What is that Voice that's in my head?
3. Are we going to suddenly catch on fire?!
4. Boy, you know what was great? Those other Vampire Chronicles. They were so poetic and philosophical. They changed everything! (Yes, all the vampires talk about how awesome and beautiful the books are... which is true but also weird. It's basically like she's reminding you "HEY, remember what a great writer I was? Ignore that you're bored to death by this and remember The Vampire Lestat.") 
5. Lestat is the best, Lestat is amazing, where is he? 
6. I have an iPhone!
7. What is this science you speak of, for some reason I just can't understand it! 

Those last two annoyed me a lot. Half the time I felt like I was in an ad for the new Apple products. The science thing was the biggest bullshit though. I mentioned this in my first post when I first started reading- for some reason, a lot of the older vampires just can not wrap their brains around modern science, and Lestat says that he would constantly "forget how to use the computer". The explanation is given early on that vampires can't retain knowledge that wasn't available for comprehension when they were made. Which is RIDICULOUS. In chapter 9, the vampire Gregory talks about being taught by another vampire, Flavius, after he was made. He teaches him about "whole histories of peoples of the Earth he'd never known or seen"... I would argue that a totally unfamiliar culture, for example Japan, would count as "knowledge that wasn't available for comprehension" for someone from Ancient Egypt. No one else in Ancient Egypt knew about the peoples of other lands, so technically he, as a vampire, shouldn't be able to retain that information. And say that counts, because it's not "new" knowledge, it's just unfamiliar. Fine. What about all the scientific advancements that have occurred since the times of Ancient Egypt? Gregory can't comprehend what gravity is, or how electric light is made? Come on. 

What I will say is that there were some points in Gregory's story that gave me a little bit of hope for the rest of the novel. I liked the way he talked about anything past Ancient Egypt being so ridiculously advanced- it was a good way to remind us not to take for granted the miracles of modern life, and to Gregory "modern life" started in Ancient Rome. But I didn't want to wade through another chapter of some unfamiliar vampire's story (probably ending with 'where are the elders, I love Lestat' like all the other ones) to get to more of "What's that Voice!?" (yeah I flipped ahead a little bit).
I could get more detailed about the tiny bits here and there I liked, but they'll be countered immediately by the bits that ruined it, so screw it.

As an Anne Rice fan I'm going to say don't bother with this one. Maybe it's just bad timing and if I had more patience I would like it a little better... but I think maybe in her old age, Anne Rice has fallen victim to mediocrity. Be happy with the Vampire Chronicles you have and go pick up The Witching Hour if you haven't already. 

-Sorry about spilling that truth tea,

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text 2015-08-25 02:49
I've read 160 out of 464 pages... and I'm giving up.
Prince Lestat - Anne Rice

Alright Anne Rice, I've given you almost 200 pages to hook me and I can't believe I'm saying this, but you've failed. Maybe this book will become enjoyable at some point but I don't have time to wait around and find out.
My thoughts on Prince Lestat are summed up quite well at 1:53 in this episode of Home Movies (it should link right to 1:53).


I don't know if anyone else watches Home Movies but it's one of my very favorite shows, it used to come on adult swim. I swear, this quote is the very first thing that popped into my head when thinking about this book. I'll probably do a more detailed post tomorrow, but maybe not. I already feel like I've wasted so much reading time on this thing. 

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text 2015-08-18 06:42
Reading progress update: I've read 106 out of 464 pages.
Prince Lestat - Anne Rice

It's pretty decent so far... 

but I don't expect "pretty decent" from Anne Rice. 

I expect to hang on every word, to soak in the decadence of her language, to lose myself in the supernatural world she reveals, to weep at the beauty of that world as Lestat himself would and I'm not weeping!

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