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Pandora Hardcover – March 2, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anne Rice fans will greet Pandora: New Tales of the Vampires, the first of her new vampire chronicles, as hungrily as the Fang Gang facing a fresh new neck. Our heroine, Pandora, a senator's daughter in Augustus Caesar's day, flees to Antioch when her family gets killed and discovers the antidote to stern Roman rationalism in the occult wisdom of the East. "Something attacked my reason," Pandora writes. "The very thing the Roman Emperors had so feared in Egyptian cults and Oriental cults swept over me: mystery and emotion which claim a superiority to reason and law."

Pandora gets her sexy vampire initiation at the fangs of handsome Marius (who later inducted Rice's famed vampire Lestat). Pandora tells how a nice Roman girl became a vampire in modern Paris, but mostly the book celebrates the sights and sounds (and philosophical bloodlettings) of the classical world. Pandora is more like Robert Graves's sublime I, Claudius than Rice's The Complete Vampire Chronicles.

Yet Pandora is a logical extension of Rice's work, and Pandora is a combination of her past vampire heroes and the nakedly, horrifyingly autobiographical heroine of Rice's 1997 novel Violin. Now, Violin is remarkably messy, but it captures the volcanic passion that erupts in her best work--Rice calls it "a study in pain." Pandora is really a dramatized debate between passion and reason, which Pandora calls "male reason." She teases her vampire mentor: "Marius guarded his delicate rationality as a Vestal Virgin guards a sacred flame. If ever any ecstatic emotion took hold of me, he [would] tell me in no uncertain terms that it was irrational, irrational, irrational!" (To hear how close Pandora's voice is to her passionate creator, listen to the 1997 audiocassette Interview with Anne Rice.)

Rice's research gives fresh blood to her storytelling. Even her chronic third-act problem scarcely slows down this brisk romp of a novel. Pandora has intellectual thirst as well as blood lust, and she conveys the high old time Rice obviously had imbibing historical lore. "It is fun to read these mad Gnostics!" exults Pandora in the early Christian era. It is also fun to read this mad Pandora. Anne Rice hasn't been this fun to read in years.

From Publishers Weekly

Although Rice bid goodbye to the vampire Lestat in Memnoch the Devil, her fifth novel in The Vampire Chronicles, she has not abandoned vampires altogether. Two installments are planned this year in her New Tales of the Vampires series, and in the first of these, the ancient vampire Pandora tells her story. Urged on by David Talbot?fledgling vampire, self-appointed chronicler and former psychic detective?Pandora documents in sophisticated detail her pre-vampire existence as the privileged daughter of a Roman senator. She's a curious character, first introduced in The Queen of the Damned, in which Marius described her as the Greek courtesan who seduced him into making her a vampire and helped him care for the vampire progenitors until strife forced them apart. Here, Pandora herself sets the record straight. Born early in Augustus's reign, the educated, spirited Pandora was no courtesan?though we do see her challenge the sexual mores of her moment. When Tiberius brings chaos to Rome, and dishonor and death to Pandora's family, she goes to Antioch and tries to solve the mystery of her compelling blood dreams about Egypt. There, she reunites with her childhood crush, Marius, and learns from him what it means to be a vampire. Along the way, we find little of Rice's trademark eroticism, but Pandora has long been one of her more elusive characters, so fans will relish this vivid rendering of her life and times. Random House audio.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; 1st edition (March 2, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375401598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375401596
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.5 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (472 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #594,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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. Anne has spent more of her life in California than in New Orleans, but New Orleans is her true home and provides the back drop for many of her famous novels. The French Quarter provided the setting for her first novel, Interview with the Vampire. And her ante-bellum house in the Garden District was the fictional home of her imaginary Mayfair Witches.

She is the author of over 30 books, most recently the Toby O'Dare novels Of Love and Evil, and Angel Time; the memoir, Called Out of Darkness;and her two novels about Jesus, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana. (Anne regards Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana as her best novel.) ---- Under the pen name, A.N. Roquelaure, Anne is the author of the erotic (BDSM) fantasy series, The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. Under the pen name Anne Rampling she is the author of two erotic novels, Exit to Eden and Belinda.

Anne publicly broke with organized religion in July of 2010 on moral grounds, affirming her faith in God, but refusing any longer to be called "Christian." The story attracted surprising media attention, with Rice's remarks being quoted in stories all over the world. Anne hopes that her two novels about Jesus will be accepted on their merits by readers and transcend her personal difficulties with religion. "Both my Christ the Lord novels were written with deep conviction and a desire to write the best novels possible about Jesus that were rooted in the bible and in the Christian tradition. I think they are among the best books I've ever been able to write, and I do dream of a day when they are evaluated without any connection to me personally. I continue to get a lot of very favorable feedback on them from believers and non believers. I remain very proud of them."

Anne is very active on her FaceBook Fan Page and has well over a million followers. She answers questions every day on the page, and also posts on a variety of topics, including literature, film, music, politics, religion, and her own writings. Many indie authors follow the page, and Anne welcomes posts that include advice for indie authors. She welcomes discussion there on numerous topics. She frequently asks her readers questions about their response to her work and joins in the discussions prompted by these questions.

Her latest novel, "The Wolves of Midwinter," a sequel to "The Wolf Gift" and part of a werewolf series set in Northern California in the present time, will be published on October 15, 2013. In these books --- The Wolf Gift Chronicles -- Anne returns to the classic monsters and themes of supernatural literature, similar to those she explored in her Vampire Chronicles, and tales of the Mayfair Witches. Her new "man wolf" hero, Reuben Golding, is a talented young man in his twenties who suddenly discovers himself in possession of werewolf powers that catapult him into the life of a comic book style super hero. How Reuben learns to control what he is, how he discovers others who possess the same mysterious "wolf gift," and how he learns to live with what he has become --- is the main focus of the series. "The Wolves of Midwinter" is a big Christmas book --- a book about Christmas traditions, customs, and the old haunting rituals of Midwinter practiced in Europe and in America. It's about how the werewolves celebrate these rituals, as humans and as werewolves. But the book also carries forward the story of Reuben's interactions with his girl friend, Laura, and with his human family, with particular focus on Reuben's father, Phil, and his brother, Jim. As a big family novel with elements of the supernatural, "The Wolves of Midwinter" has much in common with Anne's earlier book, "The Witching Hour." Among the treats of "The Wolves of Midwinter" is a tragic ghost who appears in the great house at Nideck Point, and other "ageless ones" who add their mystery and history to the unfolding revelations that at times overwhelm Reuben.

In October of 2014, with the publication of "Prince Lestat," Anne will be returning to the fabled "Brat Prince" of the Vampire Chronicles, catching up with him in present time. This is the first of several books planned focusing on Lestat's new adventures with other members of the Vampire tribe. When the publication of "Prince Lestat" was announced on Christopher Rice's "The Dinner Party Show," a weekly internet radio broadcast, it made headlines in the US and around the world.

Anne's 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. She continued her saga of the Vampire Lestat in a series of books, collectively known as The Vampire Chronicles, which have had both great mainstream and cult followings.

Interview with the Vampire was made into a motion picture in 1994, directed by Neil Jordan, and starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas. The film became an international success. Anne's novel, Feast of All Saints about the free people of color of ante-bellum New Orleans became a Showtime mini series in 2001 and is available now on dvd. The script for the mini series by John Wilder was a faithful adaptation of the novel.

Anne Rice is also the author of other novels, including The Witching Hour, Servant of the Bones, Merrick, Blackwood Farm, Blood Canticle, Violin, and Cry to Heaven. She lives in Palm Desert, California, but misses her home in New Orleans. She hopes to obtain a pied a terre in the French Quarter there some time in the near future.

Anne has this to say of her work: "I have always written about outsiders, about outcasts, about those whom others tend to shun or persecute. And it does seem that I write a lot about their interaction with others like them and their struggle to find some community of their own. The supernatural novel is my favorite way of talking about my reality. I see vampires and witches and ghosts as metaphors for the outsider in each of us, the predator in each of us...the lonely one who must grapple day in and day out with cosmic uncertainty."

Customer Reviews

This book was a very fast read.
M. A. Ramos
This album got me hooked onto the Chronicles due to one of the songs on the album called 'Moon Over Burbon Street'.
Keth
I love Anne Rice, and the Vampire Chronicles are among my favorite books ever.
Swampsprite

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Susan Shams on November 30, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow! I was literally swept off my feet in this entrancing tale. This is Anne Rice at her best. This novel has it all, Romance, Intrigue, and Drama. But best of all, it has History.
Oh, how I love history. From Ancient Egypt, to the Roman Empires and Greek Mythology. It is just beautiful. Anne Rice is a great Historical storyteller. She obviously does meticulous research, and she takes her knowledge and spins a mesmerizing tale of olden times, when people lived life, just for the sake of living.
She writes of an era, when time was abundant. And it was spent with families and close friends, reading, writing and gaining insight into their life. Expanding their minds with philosophy and poetry and just about anything that was within their grasp. When time really did take a lifetime, and it was savored with all its beauty. Unlike now, with time passing by, faster than we can blink.
This is not another novel of a Vampire in Rices collection,this is the story of Pandora. A woman whose mind rivaled that of a scholar, her thirst for knowledge and the meaning of what it is to exist, her main quest in this life. She is a woman who is betrayed, but that will not stop her. She embraces her induction into vampire hood, because this way, she can savor her love of life and feel it all the more.
This is an exceptional book. My only regret is that it ends too soon. I would have gladly lived with Pandora for a thousand more pages.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Thomas E. Manes on October 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is Bruce P. Grether's review, though my partner's name appears on my reviews here for reasons known only to the Amazon software!

When the astonishing, elegant, and relentless Anne Rice published THE WOLF GIFT earlier this year, I was transported, as always by her remarkable prose. The new Man Wolf Saga (she tells us the next one comes in 2013) whetted my appetite to return to her magnificent Vampires.

Only where to enter?

PANDORA has become my new entry point. She appears first in THE VAMPIRE LESTAT and QUEEN OF THE DAMNED, as a sometime-companion of Marius, a somewhat sad, unhappy character, though she always intrigued me. In her own story, which she narrates, the novel PANDORA begins as David Talbot (post-BODY THIEF) persuades her to write in a couple of beautiful notebooks. I will try not to give major spoilers, but be forewarned, if you want to go into her story with no idea of its riches. (SPOILER WARNINGS: SORT OF!) Pandora's words sweep me back two millennia to the Rome of Augustus, an era that comes totally alive. Her first meeting with Marius when she is a prominent Roman's young daughter and he a tall, handsome "barbarian" dazzles me all over with premonitions.

Originally called Lydia, she narrates this vivid and totally plausible history, both personal and broader. When she purchases a handsome one-legged slave named Flavius, we are enriched with the kind of utterly believable and quirky character Anne frequently creates. Flavius prefers boys, yet Pandora clearly loves and wants him as a lover. Eventually Pandora persuades her first crush, Marius, to give her the Dark Gift, though she soon comes to regret it.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. on August 23, 2002
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
Sometimes when an author let's a character be an idealized version of themselves, it is poison. Other times it is brilliance, as in Hemingway's work. In my opinion Pandora is brilliance.
It's true that anyone who has listened to Anne Rice be interviewed will hear similarities between her and Pandora, but she still manages to give Pandora that measure of independence that sets her apart as a rounded character.
Having read some of the negative reviews here, I think some might be morning the less-than-happy ending without judging the beauty of the writing as a whole.
Here we have Anne Rice taking chances, rather than a torture soul, we have a vampire who laughs out of something other than malice.
In fact, Anne seems to be expertimenting with humor and pulling off like a pro. Of course, Kate Reading's delivery deserves some of the credit, but Anne's writing is in full bloom.
Also, the book has just enough independence from the rest of the Vampire Chronicles that it can be appreciated as a fantastic novel in its own right. You don't have to have read 8 other books before this one. Sure there are allusions to The Vampire LeStat and Memnock the Devil, but these are not so lengthy that a reader would feel in the dark about the story.
Perhaps, best of all, I really got the feeling that the writer was actually having fun writing it. Often authors suffer for their craft and feel the need to share that suffering with their readers. In Pandora, if there was suffering than it was well hidden.
On a personal note I have to admit I bought this unabrdige audio book years ago and listen to it at least twice a year. It is one of the jewel of my collection and I hope after reading this review, Pandora will be one of yours as well.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Euthanatos on November 16, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Reading amazon.com costumers'reviews, one tends to often be confused with so many different opinions, so this time I've taken the task of making one myself. I'm familiar with all the Vampire Chronicle books, and what you can expect from Pandora is an encounter with the early history of Marius and Pandora, in journeys that will take you throught Rome, in it's splendeour, and some other countries as well. The one thing I can advise to Rice fans, is that never start reading one of her new books expecting to read another The Vampire Lestat. All of Rice's books are different, specially now in this new phase. Pandora is a rich book, very rich in history and it's also very well structured, on context issues. I highly recommend it for those who love history ( specially the Roman Empire ) and worship Rice's dark avengers.
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