Friday, October 29, 2010

Anne Rice

Ah! The Queen of the modern Vampire, or Queen of the Damned as some may call her since this is the title of one of her novels. No longer are vampires in the dark. They have seen the light! They have played, fought and loved all in the sight of the humans in this world. Edward would have never been able to go to high school in the series Twilight. Vampires Bill Compton and Eric Northman could not have gone out into the daylight and survived without Sookie Stackhouse’s part-fairy blood. We can thank Anne Rice for this and more.

Anne Rice was born Howard Allen O’Brien and I have often wondered if this is the reason that she features bi-sexual characters. She spent most of her formative years in New Orleans, a city steeped in religion and the supernatural. These influences are prominent in her writing. Rice published her first book, Interview with the Vampire, in 1975. This started the first of over a dozen books in the popular Vampire Chronicles series. Rice has said of her work “ One thing that unites (my books) is the theme of moral and spiritual quest....the quest of the outcast for ....meaning”. So whether this outcast is a vampire, an angel or Jesus Rice has written sympathetically about them all.

Anne’s most famous characters are Lestat de Lioncourt and Louis du Pointe de Lac. Just like there is a Edward vs. Jacob camp with Twilight fans there are camps for each of Rice’s characters. I must admit that I was a Louis fan, (and still basically am) but Lestat took over as the main character for the series. Louis is very emo, brooding, anti-social, and a loner. Lestat is very much in your face, challenging both the human and vampires community’s ideas. Rice has stated that Lestat was based on her husband, poet Stan Rice: on his vigor, his will and courage and is also Rice’s alter-ego, lover, muse and the unabashed hero. Lestat is a survivor in every sense of the word. He is a romantic man of sensibility with the will to survive regardless of the rules of the human or vampire laws.

In October 2004 in a Newsweek article Rice announced that she would “write only for the Lord”. She has written a series of books about the life of Jesus Christ which includes the books Christ the Lord: out of Egypt and Christ the Lord : the road to Cana. Yet on July 28th, 2010 Rice denounced her belief in Christian by stating “ ....It’s simply impossible for me to belong to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious and deservedly infamous group..... I refuse to be be anti-feminist...following Christ does not mean following his followers....”

Here are some of my favorite Anne Rice novels:

Interview with a Vampire
Cry to Heaven
Angel Time
Exit to Eden (written as Anne Rampling)
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty (written as A.N. Roquelaure) )
Of Love and Evil (soon to be my favorite ? release date in November )

So whether you choose to read her vampire, witch, angel or Jesus novels, Rice writes beautifully on each of these subjects.

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