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The Wolf Gift Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 14, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 1,546 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


From Booklist: (Kristine Huntley)
Rice weaves her trademark meditations on the role of supernatural creatures in society into an often thrilling, page-turning  yarn.  HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY:  News that the legendary vampire chronicler has written a novel about werewolves is mobilizing Rice's multitude of library-card-carrying fans.

From Library Journal:
Verdict Fans of Rice's "The Vampire Chronicles" and "The Lives of the Mayfair Witches" series should delight in this new saga delivered in the author's distinctive style. Part creation story, part love story, and all excellent! [See Prepub Alert, 11/9/11.]--Amanda Scott, Cambridge Springs P.L., PA

From Alan Cheuse
The Boston Globe:
The plot in which all this unfolds is magnetic, the characters fascinating, and Rice's style as solid and engaging as anything she has written since her early vampire chronicle fiction. 

The Wolf Gift is vintage Anne Rice—a lushly written, gothic…metaphysical tale. This time, with werewolves.”
—Alexandra Alter, The Wall Street Journal
“Anne Rice has done it again.  In her latest novel, The Wolf Gift, the woman who single-handedly, reinvented the vampire genre puts her formidable talent to work rewriting ‘were-wolf’ lore and in the end succeeds magnificently.”
—Nola Cancel, Examiner
“[Rice] returns to the lushly evocative scenery and gothic atmosphere of her vampire novels with great success. . . her reimagining of a well-worn mythology is fresh and intriguing. Fans of Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles and The Lives of the Mayfair Witches series should delight in this new saga delivered in the author’s distinctive style. Part creation story, part love story, all excellent!”
—Bette Lee Fox, Library Journal (starred)
“I want to howl at the moon over this…I devoured these pages…[A] terrific new novel. . . . The plot [is] magnetic, the characters fascinating, and Rice’s style as solid and engaging as anything she has written since her early vampire chronicle fiction.”
—Alan Cheuse, The Boston Globe
“Rice weaves her trademark meditations on the role of supernatural creatures in society into an often thrilling, page-turning yarn”
—Kristine Huntley, Booklist
“[A]n energetic gambol, feisty and terrific fun. . . . [A] fast-paced, heady romp that ranks with her best. . . . Wolf Gift is irresistible.”
—Joy Tipping, The Dallas Morning News

“[I]n Rice’s hands, The Wolf Gift evolves from a fantastical romp into an engrossing thriller. . . .”
—Liz Colville, San Francisco Chronicle

“Anne Rice combines a vast literary gift with a shameless love of sex, beauty and pop culture. Her artistic vision is part Bela Lugosi, part Andy Warhol, part Christina the Astonishing, the medieval holy woman who could famously “smell sin.”…The Wolf Gift will leave open-minded readers howling for more.”
—Aidan Johnson, The Globe and Mail

“[E]xciting tale of a contemporary werewolf. . . . Rice’s classic concerns regarding good and evil and shifting views of reality play out wonderfully in what will surely please fans and newcomers alike.”
Publishers Weekly

“[O]ne part ‘Beauty and the Beast’ love story, one part meditation on morality and immortality, and one part superman tale. . . . Told in the memorable style that won Rice’s vampire series so many readers, The Wolf Gift is an intriguing new take on the classic werewolf legend…Rice deepens and gives nuance to classic werewolf lore.”
—Diana Pinckley, New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Rice has never shied away from tackling Big Issues…The Wolf Gift marks a return to form while still giving a nod to spiritual matters…[A] delectable cocktail of old-fashioned lost-race adventure, shape-shifting and suspense.”
-Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post

“Anne Rice is back”
—Tirdad Derakhshani, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“[W]ritten with compelling modernity…The Wolf Gift is a strong—and welcome—return to the monster mythology that made Anne Rice famous.”
—Rob LeFebvre, Shelf Awareness

“With both thrilling acts of horror and a final act that is deeply based in the mythology of the Wolf Gift and its history --- and bordering on lycanthropic existentialism --- this novel opens readers up to a world they only thought they knew…The characters come alive, and the strange history of the Nideck family will jump off the page and enter the readers’ nightmares as Rice has found a new gothic saga to sink her teeth into.”
—Ray Palen, Bookreporter.com

From the Author

Writing this book was a pure joy.  It was a return for me to gothic motifs --- the old dark house,  a mysterious death, the promise of family secrets, and the supernatural monster as hero -- that I had used in the Vampire Chronicles, and the Tales of the Mayfair Witches.  And once again,  I felt compelled to create an origin story and a cosmology --- this time for my protagonist, Reuben Golding, who finds himself periodically turning into the werewolf of legend.  Only unlike the doomed werewolves of so many popular films, Reuben retains full awareness during the transformation and a keen enjoyment of his immense wolfen powers.  He never becomes a four footed animal, but remains a deeply conflicted, fierce but compassionate beast-man,  hungry for power, and for answers as to the mystery of what he has become.  Though similar in many ways to my vampires novels,  Reuben's story is almost entirely contemporary.  And for the first time in my writing career I explored the haunted atmosphere of California's cold, mist shrouded redwood forests, and the romance of the windswept northern California coast.  I lived in northern California for over thirty years, and it was a great pleasure to get back to it, to have my hero dining in San Francisco's North Beach, or meeting his lady love in the quaint town of Mill Valley for breakfast, or driving his sports car north on Highway 101 as he pushes deeper into a grim but at times glorious adventure.  ------ I've been asked: will this be a series? I don't know.  I held nothing back in the writing of The Wolf Gift, but the characters are alive in my imagination, as vividly as any I've ever created, and I see the grand house of Nideck Point looming against a leaden sky, beckoning me just as it beckoned my hero, Reuben.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780307595119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307595119
  • ASIN: 0307595110
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,546 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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 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 returned 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. "Prince Lestat" debuted at #3 on the New York Times Best Seller list and ran for nine weeks during the height of the competitive Fall-Winter season, with another week on the extended NYTBSL. ----

Anne's latest novel, "Beauty's Kingdom," is the fourth in her "Sleeping Beauty Erotica Series," and the first to be launched in hardcover. Though the first three novels were published in the 1980's under the pseudonym, A.N. Roquelaure, the name, Anne Rice, was added to the series in the 1990's. About her erotica, Anne has this to say: "I believe in the erotic imagination. I believe men and women have a right to write and read erotic fantasies. My goal with the "Sleeping Beauty" books is to provide the most authentic erotica that I can for those who share BDSM fantasies."

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.

In 2014, Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment optioned "The Vampire Chronicles" for a full reboot of the franchise.

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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It has been years since I've read an Anne Rice novel, and I was initially hesitant about this one. However, the premise sounded interesting, so I ordered it anyway just out of curiosity. I'm very glad that I did. I started this book day before yesterday, but late in the evening , and went to bed only a couple of chapters in. I picked it up again yesterday afternoon - and by the time I realized that it was far past my bedtime, I was almost finished and NEEDED to see how it ended.

Reuben is a fledgling reporter in San Francisco, the youngest son of a fairly well-to-do family. He heads up to Mendocino County to do a story about an old house with a lot of history being sold. He finds himself falling in love with the place, but wakes during the night to hear his host being attacked. As he goes to defend her, he is attacked himself, and then mysteriously saved. During his recovery, he finds that he is...changing. He is becoming what he always assumed was a werewolf. But as he learns more about himself and his new abilities, he has to decide whether what is has been given is actually a curse - or whether it is truly a gift.

The Wolf Gift is not your typical werewolf story - it turns the genre on its head in more than one way. There is a strong thread of Good vs. Evil within the story, but the parts are not necessarily played by those you would expect. How does one know true Evil? Can something seen as evil actually be a servant of Good? Tied to the Good and Evil debate is a strong exploration of the existence of God, and our expectations of right and wrong.

However. This is not a heavy-handed religion book.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of Anne Rice's work since I was probably too young to be reading it, and I was cautiously optimistic when I heard that she was writing a werewolf book- would this, could this maybe be a return to the dark, intoxicating dream world of the early Vampire Chronicles?


The book isn't all terrible. As always, Ms. Rice's powers of description are unmatched. As a relatively recent and wholehearted transplant to California's northern coast, I absolutely loved how she translated the unique beauty and character of this area into written words. Her spin on the classic werewolf legend is every bit as creative as any fan could expect it to be. There were a few parts of the story that fascinated and gripped me; unfortunately, those parts had nothing to do with the main plot or characters.

Really, I had two main issues with the book: one, nothing much happens; and two, most of the characters are irritating, undeveloped, extraneous, or all of the above.

The main character is Reuben Golding. He's 23, but sounds and acts like he's about 70. Seriously, the most cultured and mature of 23-year-old men do not sound like this guy, and if they did they'd be every bit as annoying as Reuben. He doesn't even dress like a young man... does anyone even wear turtlenecks anymore, let alone with double breasted blazers? Reuben is tall, beautiful, and wealthy... and that's pretty much it. He's supposedly intelligent and poetic, but he just comes across as pretentious. He reminds me quite a lot of Quinn Blackwood, actually. That's not a good thing.

Reuben doesn't do much of anything except rip bad guys apart, have sex, and write widely praised newspaper articles. Despite this, the "werewolf superhero" angle doesn't go very far.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anne Rice's latest offering, "The Wolf Gift," marks her long awaited return to the Gothic Horror genre in which her popular Mayfair Witch and Vampire Chronicles reside, bringing the ancient werewolf myth, with certain strange new twists, into modern times. "The Wolf Gift" weaves a tale of complex moral questions, stark violence and monstrous brutality against a hauntingly picturesque Northern California.

Charmingly, in the Wolf Gift Ms. Rice has created her most eloquent tribute to the writers of the 1800s, those who wrote older Werewolf stories to which her "Distinguished Gentleman" sometimes refer. She sets the story not in summer, but in the perpetually rainy and overcast Bay Area of Wintertime, evoking images of Victorian Gothic Novels with their London weather. She paints her forests with damp under brush and rolling fogs, her architecture - especially the increasingly mysterious mansion at Nideck Point in Mendocino - with secret places, trapped doors, and the same kind of detailed and loving brush which caused Gothic Horror to be named for its Gothic architecture.

But below all of this is a modern take on the coming-of-age story. Set in the present, its protagonist is very unlike Interview with the Vampire's Louis, who had and lost a wife and family by the age of 25: Reuben is the modern boy-man; still unsure of who he is at the age of 23, and completely unable to break away from the expectations of a brilliant, overbearing mother. Intelligent and creative, but naive and sheltered, two years out of college, he is still having trouble defending starting out on a career path of his own choosing, and is still living at home with his parents. Even his girlfriend seems to be someone chosen to please his family.
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