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review 2018-02-17 10:51
Memnoch the Devil - Anne Rice

When Anne Rice fans are asked which of her books they feel most passionate about — whether positively or negatively — the answer is almost invariable: Memnoch the Devil. Acting as a bit of a precursor to Rice’s Christian fiction novels of the mid-00s, this book is tonally out of step with the previous Vampire Chronicles (save for, perhaps, Interview With the Vampire, as this too has the ‘feel’ of an interview in spots) And seems to be cause for great joy, and disgust, in many readers.


Lestat wants to know the will of God, and the Devil: what are their purposes for him? Which does he serve? What is Heaven, what is Hell, what is the true story of creation, where and why is purgatory? These questions and more Memnoch, Lestat’s guide of the spiritual regions, are answered. This one is steeped in biblical and evolutionary history; I found it fascinating but can understand those who can’t get on with this book.


Perhaps more than anything, this novel is remembered for the infamous scene in which Lestat feeds on the bleeding crucified Christ. That moment, I think, sums up this book well. This certainly isn’t for all readers, but I had a great time. This book offered up questions I often find myself pondering and will continue pondering for time to come. The idea of an imperfect, foolish God and a tricky, boastful, but generally well-natured Devil (or Memnoch) is intriguing . . . not to mention the concept of what Hell really is. But I won’t spoil that!


I’m totally addicted to this series now and am blowing through the books. I don’t want it to end.

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review 2014-12-14 00:00
Memnoch the Devil
Memnoch the Devil - Anne Rice After writing the two best novels in her Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice puts out a dud in this fifth installment. In this novel, the Devil, Memnoch, recruits Rice’s vampire bad boy Lestat, to fight God. Perhaps the premise was too far reaching for an effective novel, but the novel had too much backstory, and not enough actual story. Too much of the novel focuses on the story of creation and Memnoch’s fall from grace as an angel, who believes his damnation happened because he refused to accept that human suffering should be part of God’s plan. God and the Devil often take human form and get into philosophical debates. Meanwhile, Lestat is just there for the ride, more of a passive observer than an active participant.

This is the point in Anne Rice’s writing of her Vampire Chronicles that she starts to lose her way. Her previous novels were gripping and intriguing. This one really falls flats. The novel is overwritten. She could tell the same story with far fewer words and it would be much tighter. Lestat, normally entertaining and intriguing loses his luster. Not one of Anne Rice’s better novels.

Carl Alves – author of Blood Street
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review 2014-07-25 23:30
Memnoch the Devil (Vampire Chronicles #5) by Anne Rice
Memnoch the Devil - Anne Rice

Memnoch the Devil takes Lestat on an extremely long tour of the past, creation, angels, evolution, the passion of Christ and more – because he has a job proposition for the Brat Prince





Memnoch the Devil, also known as “the Bible according to Anne Rice” or “Anne Rice’s theological musings”. Perhaps even “Memnoch lectures you endlessly while Lestat practices his melodrama”.


What it isn’t, is much of a story or a plot. For a story or a plot to happen, well, things have to happen. Things do not happen. Oh there’s something tucked at the beginning. There’s something tucked at the end (a teeny tiny something). But that’s it


The rest of lecture. Info-dump. ONE LONG INFODUMP! One horrendously long, unbelievably unnecessary info-dump. An info-dump that I cannot even imagine having even the slightest relevance to the series. It really is just one long exposition on what the Bible could mean or a spin on it or on the nature of god. It’s a vast amount of world building that is utterly irrelevant to anything the vampires do in their daily lives


If Lestat weren’t being dragged around to occasionally declare himself impressed/awed/horrified it wouldn’t be relevant at all. The vampires are utterly superfluous to this story. All of the characters are utterly superfluous to this story. It may as well have been one long the logical lecture – inly told in the most long winded, dullest way possible.


I’d like to write more on this since it is the vast majority of the book, but there really is nothing more to say. It’s just a big splurge of theological theory pretending to be a novel. It’s completely irrelevant, not very interesting and probably better suited to analysis in a seminary than actually read as a novel in the ongoing vampire series.


But looking at the bits that actually involve the vampires rather than some of the dreariest and long winded exposition I have ever had the displeasure to ready, and it’s not much better or more sensible. Perhaps because these little add ons have just been forced to try and drag this info dump into her world


Lestat fell in love with his victim – I can buy that’s imply because within 10 seconds of meeting just about anyone, Lestat falls in love with them. It’s what he does, it allows even more pointless melodrama. So we get a really long and pointless backstory on this man and some books he read (which seem to be more part of the endless theological debate that basically comes down to “sex and pleasure and love are not bad things. Suffering is not valuable.” Seriously, that’s this entire damn theological diatribe that took an entire book to relate summed up in one sentence) which is never gain relevant. This goes on for countless pointless pages where we learn the pointless minutiae of someone who DOES NOT MATTER



Aaargh, this is something I’ve seen in Anne Rice’s novels time and again - especially n Queen of the Damned and The Witching Hour - every character briefly mentioned will get this endless examination of their lives. We do not need this much detail about every irrelevant side character


And there’s Dora, I’m going to leave aside the bizarre menstruation feeding, and just ask what is wrong with this woman?! Lestat comes to her having killed her dad and she starts calling him darling? Where did darling come from? What? Why?! And she goes from not caring about relics because they’re just physical objects and faith comes from within, to being completely enraptured and obsessive about... a relic. Her characterisation didn’t even begin to make sense


We do have the “everyone is bisexual” continuation – since even Lestat’s victims were. But it’s, again, not conveyed well. For a start the whole religious monologue that consumes this book puts the love for men and women as a dramatic holy amazing experience – and it’s always men and women. The divine heterosexual is really strong there.


And his new bisexual victim, Roger, slept with women and… boys? Why are we expressly saying “boys” there? And the only partner we learn any detail about is, of course, a woman – which is very reminiscent of the same problems in The Tale of the Body Thief




Read More

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review 2013-10-08 17:02
Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice
Memnoch the Devil - Anne Rice

Finishing this book was a chore. A sad realization considering how much I loved Anne Rice's previous books, but boy am I happy to be done with this one.


My reading experience can be summarized the following way: Yay! Lestat!, ok I'm bored, holy mother of vodka this is dull, should I drink? maybe if I had a drink this would be easier, oh well- heaven sounds interesting, yup still bored, ARE YOU KDDING ME?, boooooooooreeeeeeeeeeed, OMFG EW and IS IT OVER YET?


There is virtually no narration. Instead there are chapters upon chapters upon chapters of Memnoch (the Devil's real name, didn't you know) talking about creation and how God doesn't really care about humans, how he, Memnoch, wants to save all the human souls and take them to heaven and how he's winning his bet against God but God is really the ultimate winner either way. Yes, from chapter 6 until chapter 21 (I kept count), it was all one big monologue with some tedious, unnecessary interruptions by a whiny Lestat. My theory? This book is not really a novel but Ms. Rice's essay on cosmology. A really long, boring, rambling essay on cosmology with some characters thrown in.


Half the time I was rolling my eyes at the implausibility of what written in the pages before me, like Memnoch asking Lestat to be his lieutenant. Why? What made Lestat so special? Why on earth would Christ tell Lestat to suck his blood? Would a woman really let a man/vampire she barely knew get under her skirt, between her legs and suck the period right out of her? What there a point to all of this? Still don't know the answer to that one.


Lestat cries so much in this book that I felt obligated to create a drinking game. Take a shot every time Lestat bursts into tears! Had I actually gone through with it, I would've ended up in the ER with some severe alcohol poisoning. 


I refuse to believe Lestat transformed into this whiny child. I fondly remember him from my teenage years as this bad-ass vampire with a killer sense of style, a wicked sense of humor and an ability to be lovable in spite of all his obvious flaws. That Lestat is completely absent in this book so if you're looking for that, you definitely won't find it here.


Forget my bitching and moaning. This book is magical. It made time slow to a crawl for nearly five days. That's some serious sorcery right there.


Was there an unnecessary dump of description? Oh sweet Moses, YES. Is Ms. Rice's writing style still beautiful and haunting? Absolutely. Did my migraine finally dissipate? Almost.

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review 2012-03-22 00:00
Memnoch the Devil - Anne Rice Not as good as some of Rice's other works, but all in all, it is an interesting story. I liked how Rice depicted God as a flawed being not unlike ourselves; however, she kind of made him, for lack of a better word, a douchebag.
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