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Violin Hardcover – October 11, 1997

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st trade ed edition (October 11, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679433023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679433026
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,286,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

If neatness counts for you, don't count on Anne Rice's musical-ghost novel Violin. It is an eruption of the author's personal demons, as messy as the monster bursting from that poor fellow's chest in the movie Alien. Like Rice, the heroine Triana lives in New Orleans, mourns a dead young daughter and a drunken mother, and is subject to uncanny visions. A violin-virtuoso ghost named Stefan time-trips and globetrots with Triana, taunting her for her inability to play his Stradivarius--which echoes composer Salieri's jealousy in Amadeus and possibly Rice's jealousy of her successful poet husband Stan Rice in the years before her own florid, lurid writing made her famous. The storytelling here is too abstract, but the almost certainly autobiographical emotions could not be more visceral. At one point, the narrator exclaims, "Shame, blame, maim, pain, vain!" But Rice's dip in the acid bath of memory was not in vain--she packs the pain of a lifetime into 289 pages.

From Booklist

Advice to Rice: don't write so much. She could have easily skipped her latest novel. She simply doles out hackneyed Rice themes and motifs and expects them to fly. They don't. In her New Orleans home, 54-year-old Triana Becker attends her partner Karl's death by AIDS; despite her focus on this horrible experience transpiring before her eyes, she is distracted by a violin-playing figure stepping in and out of shadows. Triana, in adolescence, had wanted to be a concert violinist, but the dream never materialized. Now she is seduced by this elusive figure's playing, and his seductiveness draws her into his netherworld, where she must encounter not only troubled memories but also the apparition's troubled past. But his violin--in her hands, will it give her the star-musician status she always dreamed of possessing? By the time that question is answered, the reader is weary of Rice's clumsy prose style and her lack of inventiveness in terms of plot. But she has fans galore, so be prepared for high demand. Brad Hooper

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

I would not recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys classic Anne Rice.
Elizabeth Norris
While not the most interesting action-wise of Rice's books, Violin was incredibly rich in emotion and drawing that same emotion out from this reader.
I have noticed that a few of her books have slow intros but this one....I had to read over 100 pages of a 300 page book to get into it.
Caroline Hay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By L. Zook on April 23, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Just as the title suggests, this book really was a wonderful read. I have read nearly everything by Mrs. Rice and this is in my top 5 of her works. The character of Stefan was just so decadently tragic. His tale was something I wanted to desperately to relate to yet I found myself closer to Triana because of the swooning madness and her neverending love for her husband, his work on St. Sebastion, and the music of Beethoven. I have a strong love for the violin; it's voice, it's passion screams out like no other instrument in mortal hands or lips. And this story did such justice to the violin. The story reads like a beautifully worded poem that you cannot help but pray it won't end. It is indeed a tragic tale. Sometimes, I feel like Triana when she stole away the violin from Stefan, and I want to play the way she did purely from the heart. You can hear every note when she plays upon the stage. Anyone who gives this book fewer stars has not read deeply enough (or even finished it for that matter) to critique it to its complete worthiness. If you have a passion for the violin, love a good yet tragic and always beautiful story about mysterious circumstances, daydreaming, undying love, and the pain of ascent and descension, then this is the book for you. I would also recommend "Cry to Heaven" by Mrs. Rice. Please please pick up these two books. And finish them. I promise you will learn something more than what you read on the printed pages. Thank you, Mrs. Rice, for sharing your gift with the world.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Fiore on February 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Few authors handle the English language as musically and rhythmically as Anne Rice; this book is a beautifully flowing wash of words. However, the book is also supremely and tiresomely self-indulgent.
In this book, Rice has committed an egregious offence popular to many amateur authors: she talks directly of raw emotions rather than showing them in the actions of the characters, or building them into the atmosphere of the scenes. Unlike most of Rice' other works, which are a more even (and effective) mix of plot and introspection, Violin is simply chock-full of endless internal ponderings on death and guilt.
We begin the book with the death of Triana's AIDS-ridden husband Karl. Triana falls into a trance of despair and denial, and spends a couple of days alone in the house with the corpse and memories of all those she has loved and lost. So far so good! But somewhere in this wallowing in thoughts of death, we lose Karl. He becomes nothing more than a vanished benefactor, who paved Triana's life with money.
And then comes her ghost. From the beginning, the ghost is ambiguous. Good or evil? Bringing pleasure or pain? And for what purpose? Eventually, Triana takes up the position that the ghost intended to drive her insane. But it seems more a rationalization than a truth.
The remainder of the tale has no internal logic. Triana and her ghost ramble about from century to century, palace to palace, luxury to luxury. Triana progresses from wealth to talent to renown, and on to an ultimate victory. Why? How has she earned this? Where is the conflict or sacrifice? Should Triana's obsessive and unjustified guilt for the deaths of her loved ones earn such rewards?
Sorry Anne, it doesn't work.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "jcuo26" on September 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In my own never-to-be humble opion I beleive this to be Anne Rice's most authobiographical work thus far. It's apparent to me that Triana is in so many ways similar to Anne Rice. She describes herself for all practical purposes, right down to the bangs she has worn for as long as I've seen pictures of her. Even the way Triana dresses is Anne Rice right down to the long skirts of velvet. Of coarse the most poignant detail of the similarities is the daughter, dying of cancer with her angelic face puffy from chemotherapy and already having lost her beautiful blond curls gone before she was six years old. I think Triana was Anne's own voice regarding the horrible and unthinkable nature of burying your own baby. I really enjoyed this book obviously given the 'five stars'. I think Triana is a wonderful, human character which of coarse I was unaccustom to with Rice's work. It was lovely being able to aspire to her courage as she was 'just' a human, beautiful, scared, frail and strong all at the same time. She had her late husbands money to sheild her from the horrors of life whilst she suffered the fallout of having loved him and lost him. I didn't find it disturbing really at all her 'keeping' her Karl to herself for a few days after he passed on. In days of old, the family always prepared the corpse for burial, who else would be so loving and careful? It was disturbing, yes, but life's beautiful moments would be so much less so should we not have dark ones to balance them. The end of the book left me crying, as she helped yet another soul cross over, but this soul left her also with a beautiful gift. (I shall try not to give the end away, but suppose I already have, haven't I?Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on December 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Wow, I am one of a few here who really liked this book by Rice. I found that it had depth-- you could almost taste the main characters greif in this story and also the passion that the ghost in the story has for the violin and music. I did not have a problem maintaining interest in this book from start to finish. It may be my second favorite Rice book. :)
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