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110 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talent runs in the family
Remember how you felt the first time you read "Interview With The Vampire"? Remember how you were torn between staying up all night to finish it, or savoring it slowly so you would have those wonderful characters and images in your head for as long as possible? That's what I remember reading Anne Rice's book for the first time all those years ago. There have...
Published on August 15, 2000

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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating...like an autopsy
I picked this book up a couple months after I saw it in book stores. As a long time fan of Anne Rice, I figured I would give her son's first novel a try. As a gay man, I figured I would have a book that would touch a nerve somewhere along the way. I was wrong.
Don't get me wrong, I finished this book in a 12 hour period, it reads that fast, but that doesn't mean...
Published on November 6, 2000 by Amazon Customer


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110 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talent runs in the family, August 15, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: A Density of Souls (Hardcover)
Remember how you felt the first time you read "Interview With The Vampire"? Remember how you were torn between staying up all night to finish it, or savoring it slowly so you would have those wonderful characters and images in your head for as long as possible? That's what I remember reading Anne Rice's book for the first time all those years ago. There have been few books since then that have drawn me in so completely, and how wonderful that the latest one to do that was written by Anne's son, Christopher.
"Unsuspecting" customers will see the gothic cover and the huge RICE name on the jacket and think they are getting a supernatural thriller along the lines of Mama Rice. At first, it seems like that is the case--and there are touches of it in the novel--but these bits of otherworldly business are just some of the many New Orleans touches that make THE CITY as much a character as the four lead characters. Stephen, Brandon, Meredith and Greg are a close group of friends until a shared incident occurs just prior to them entering high school. While the other three become popular, Stephen is hounded and is made miserable simply because he is, in the teenage world, something worse than vampire, witch or werewolf: a homosexual.
Oh, but Mr. Rice doesn't stop there--a huge supporting cast of well-drawn characters all play vital roles. For once, the parents also have juicy history and scenes. Everyone gets resolution or retribution. While he may not have his mother's knack for swoony prose (maybe NOT such a bad thing), he has a style all his own, and he certainly inherited her ability of lending a cinematic feel to his words. It's quite appropriate that this book was published by Miramax. I wouldn't be surprised if the movie rights haven't already been secured. I'm casting my vote right now for Kim Basinger and Ryan Phillipe for the plum roles of the mother and son team of Monica and Stephen! I do wonder if the current crop of young actors would be willing to play the gay sex scenes...and there are a LOT of them! It seems Christopher inherited his mother's talent for writing erotica too....But don't read the book for JUST that. It's the story that reels you in. Some of the action moves at such a heady pace, I felt my head swoon and had to re-read passages. And some I had to re-read just for the sheer beauty of the prose.
I highly recommend this book. I hope he he is working on his next story! (Oh in case you are wondering--I was greedy; I finished in one night!)
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Southern Gothic At Its Best, September 7, 2000
This review is from: A Density of Souls (Hardcover)
Evocative, lush, sexy, mysterious, violent, scandalous. These adjectives describe not only New Orleans but the characters and their stories which Christopher Rice has brought to life. The story opens with Stephen, Greg, Brandon, and Meredith. The overripe Lafayette Cemetery is the setting. They are innocent children, but not for long. Rice shows us that the truth, in fact, is that the friendship bonds we make in our childhood shape us through our entire lives. An event takes place between these friends that forever change the paths their lives take as they enter their adolescence. Homosexuality, crimes against humanity, alcoholism, domestic violence, and suicide are just as much main characters as the four friends. How they entwine together is one of the most mesmerizing, page-turning stories that I have ever read. During Part III of the book, a hurricane hits New Orleans . . . what a perfect climax . . .as a malestrom of emotions and secrets play out amongst the characters, shocking secrets are revealed. Not only are the homes and waterways tossed about; so are the lives of Rice's main characters. The reader is drawn into the story throughout but in the end, it's incredible. The outcome is simply shocking.
I'd love to see this book brought to the big screen. I also hope to see a new release by Christopher Rice very soon.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Dense About Density!, August 28, 2000
This review is from: A Density of Souls (Hardcover)
Lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced copy of Christopher Rice's first novel, I couldn't wait for it to be released so I could share my thoughts with upcoming readers. Rice starts out a little too poetic, and I feared he was forever trapped in the footsteps of his mother. Anne's work is beatifully written, but often too absorbed in its detail and straying from plot. Chris gives all that up quickly and dives deep into the souls of his characters, giving them life and meaning. I had to stop several times and reread a page just because it touched me so deeply. You feel every second of his youthful characters' rage, gripping the book tightly in your hands and holding your breath. The high school popularity, the homophobia, the family secrets, the madness and rage...there is something that will tease you and make you stop reading for just a second and think of your own life and your experiences. If you don't cry, if you get mad and throw the book down, or even if you don't hold your breath and rush to finish just one more page, then you will never experience the "soul" of this book. It is truly amazing, and one of the best books I have ever read from any new author. Forget for one moment who his mom is and what she has written; listen to Christopher and the story he has to tell. You will be amazed!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating...like an autopsy, November 6, 2000
This review is from: A Density of Souls (Hardcover)
I picked this book up a couple months after I saw it in book stores. As a long time fan of Anne Rice, I figured I would give her son's first novel a try. As a gay man, I figured I would have a book that would touch a nerve somewhere along the way. I was wrong.
Don't get me wrong, I finished this book in a 12 hour period, it reads that fast, but that doesn't mean that the book is well written, in my opinion it shows the lack of depth in these characters.
The book is something you can't turn away from, yet don't know why. It's a bit like watching an autopsy. More precisely, an autopsy on "Melrose's Place".
It seems this is Rice's way to purge his "straight-guy" obsession, by making the lead character so "desirable" that even "straight" guys fall into bed with him. If this represents reality, book me on a one-way to N'Orleans!
And is EVERYONE in Louisiana an alcoholic? Every character is this book is either drunk, or on thier way. I mean, I have nothing against alcohol (I even enjoy it), but come on, not everyone in the social elite of the Garden District is a lush. I cannot believe it.
On the other hand, this IS a first novel and the plot is a genuinely unique story filled with twists and turns. It is definitely entertaining, and I do look forward to more work by Rice. Alas, I look forward more to the improvement in the work rather than the work itself.
My opinion, take it for what it's worth.
PS...a note to Mr. Rice and his editor: Crawfish are crustaceans, NOT mollusks. Thank you.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Soul Begins!!!!, September 16, 2000
This review is from: A Density of Souls (Hardcover)
Christopher Rice's debut novel is a real page turner. It's the story of four young friends; Stephen, Greg, Meredith, and Brandon growing up in New Orleans, and how their lives are pulled in different directions as they grow up, enter high school, and drift apart. What an imagination this author has as there is everything in this book, including murder, suicide, and an unexpected ending. I thought the character of Stephen was well written and one that many young gay men can sympathize with because he is treated as an outcast by his friends in a school that viciously mocks him and makes his life miserable. Chris has written a book that makes you care about the characters, wonder what's going to happen to them next, and draws you right to the ending, non-stop, wishing and hoping there was more to learn and read about these people. In other words, you don't want the story to end, or to say goodbye to these people you have come to know. A wonderful debut novel. I certainly look forward to more from this new author over the coming years.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Souls" Survivor, August 11, 2000
This review is from: A Density of Souls (Hardcover)
Good Lord, was this fun to read. Involving from page one all the way through, with enough sex, shocks and Southern-friend secrets to keep me up way past The Witching Hour. Turning on four childhood chums torn apart, initially, by some dirty doings by a trio of the gang as high school looms, the book then careens from one tragic event to the next, all colliding five years later amid the clutter of ruined families and friendships. It's at this point that Rice's storytelling, much like the novel's characters, begins to show signs of maturity. Shadowy alliances develop between former enemies, a surprisingly touching love story emerges, only to be shattered by violence and a major character arrives halfway through the book and factors into every plotline without feeling contrived. Using hate groups, old-world New Orleans alcoholics and twentysomething angst, Rice has a simmering mystery here filled with believable characters both young and old, as well as heroic ones bravely stained with flaws. Much will probably be made of the fact that the author is Anne Rice's 21-year-old son, or the book's "gay" content. And that'll be a shame, because it may distract readers from a wholly satisfying novel that not only shows promise, but fulfills some as well.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great & Entertaining First Novel, October 13, 2000
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This review is from: A Density of Souls (Hardcover)
This is a great debut novel from someone so young as Christopher Rice is; I admit I was very sceptical about Anne Rice's son writing a book & I thought it only got published because of who he is, but I was mistaken-this is a good book. The storyline is weak in spots and somewhat unplausible, but I found it to be compelling and I couldn't put it down. I read it straight through, from 9:45 pm to 12:20 am, and then went back and read some of it again, I enjoyed it that much. The parts with Stephen and Jordan were the best; I wish their characters and story had been developed more fully, but Mr. Rice did a good job of portraying Stephen's feelings over his being gay. Actually, he did a good job dealing with homosexuality all around, from the reactions of high school students to gay classmates to the confusion gay teenagers feel to the loving relationship between Jordan and Stephen. It is good to see gays portrayed this way instead of as sexually promiscuous people who are incapable of having meaningful relationships. We need more portrayals like this in mainstream culture.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christopher Rice Astounds Me With His Debut Novel, August 20, 2000
By 
Travis J. Webb (Ventura, California USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Density of Souls (Hardcover)
Rarely does a book enthrall me as this one has. I finished "A Density of Souls" in just five days as I could not tear myself away from it. As a young man of 23, I have to admit that Rice taught me more about homosexuality and hate crime on a profound new level. Rices' "A Density of Souls" lured me into its rich characters, and devisive plot. Each page was like a slap in the face with every new revelation. The complex characters of Stephen, Meredith, Greg, Brandon and Jordan instantly resonate on some level with the reader; drawing us in to what could be real, even at times when it seems unbearably so. New Orleans successfully encaptures the solemn mood for Christopher as it did for his acclaimed mother, Anne Rice. This splendid location pitches the story to amazing levels. Somehow this book hits home. At once haunting to the imagination and sobering to the soul. I won't forget this book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading, January 15, 2001
By 
This review is from: A Density of Souls (Hardcover)
Unless of course you are a homophobe, then maybe you should pass. I enjoyed reading other reviews, the one calling for people to open their minds is true. I am a straight, married, Christian women who hated to put this book down. It really was good. So I'm adding my thoughts because I don't want straight people to feel like they couldn't relate. You don't have to relate, you can sit back and sink into New Orleans with Stephen, and really enjoy his storytelling. Good is good, straight or gay. I look forward to his next title.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My apologies to a brilliant new author!!, February 12, 2001
By 
Celticmoon (Orlando, Florida USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Density of Souls (Hardcover)
I adore Anne Rice. Indeed, she is probably my favorite author. So when I heard her son had written a book, there was no question that I'd buy it. I was also prepared to like it regardless, because it would seem somehow disloyal to her to not appreciate her child's work. How shallow that was of me!!
By the time I reached the middle of the third page of A Density of Souls, I had forgotten that the author had a famous mother, or that the book happened to be set in the same city where vampires and witches roam in other novels. I was totally ensconced in the world of New Orleans with four children, riding their bicycles through the humid, iron laced decadence that is the Garden District.
Stephen, Meredith, Brandon, Greg and the other characters of this book became my constant companions for the next few hours. I read while they grew, loved, hated and lived through what could very well be a true story. I think that the scariest stories of all are about the true feelings of people. In this book it shows, in all its ghastly truth, how one line uttered by one individual can change another person's destiny and life. I don't beleive that there isn't a time that any of us haven't tried to grasp what we think will be popularity or happiness at the expense of another individual. It's a nasty trait in all of us and this book shows how that kind of selfishness can effect, not just one, but several people.
Christopher Rice has a great knack of showing off the story at different viewpoints. Whether it's a character you like, or one of the characters you don't care for, you get a glimpse of what they are all feeling and what is compelling them to do the things they do. Don't get me wrong, you have to be patient, as the flower will not bloom completely until the book is almost over. But you will get all the answers and, if not relate to the character, at least you will understand them and what their motivation is.
A Density of Souls also happens to be a terrific mystery. It's not set up in the typical who-done-it formula. It's more an unveiling of emotions and actions that make for even more compelling reading. You grow with the characters, with society and within yourself as you read.
I would definately recommend A Density of Souls. It's by a really terrific new author. Coincidentally, his last name happens to be Rice. Judge him all on his own....he's worth it!!!
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A Density of Souls
A Density of Souls by Christopher Rice (Paperback - August 22, 2001)
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