Customer Reviews: Vittorio, the Vampire (New Tales of the Vampires)
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on April 14, 1999
I can hardly express how much I enjoyed Vittorio. I do have to say though, that I went into reading this amazing work NOT looking for Lestat, or the Witching Hour, or blood and gore. I read it with an open mind. It is NOT one of the Vampire Chronicles, and shouldn't be read as such. I'm dissapointed with the fans that couldn't grasp the concept that there are vampires outside of the small ring. It is wonderful, lush and rich on its own. Yes, it does paint a dark picture of Italy, but that is due to Vittorio's circumstances, having just witnessed the massacre of his family! How should he describe his world? And as for the book being mostly set in his mortal life, it is a change. And change is good. It is supposed to be the story of his early life, which is what it is. And it is amazing. I completely enjoyed the angels' involvement, it was a surprising and lucious twist. I would be greatly dissapointed if Anne didn't challenge what she has done before, and push the boundries of her own worlds, but she does. This is why I will continue to love her. She has never been a "Horror" writer for me, no one should pick up one of her novels expecting this, for you will only be dissapointed. She makes vampires human, giving them thoughts, feelings, and voices, each unique and individual. It's not just about the blood. The imagery in Vittorio is rich, and deep and it is a wonderful work all on its own. She made me really feel Vittorio's pain, and I almost dreaded the moment Ursula tricked him into the dark gift. Though it seems he should have been smarter, I think he really wanted to be fooled. Ah, well, what can I say...Anne has done it again. I think she is growing beyond the little world we've grown comfortable with, and I look forward to seeing what else lies in store.
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on August 16, 2011
I stayed up late to read this little book in one evening, and wow was it worth it. An avenging vampire boy led by angels, and broken by love. This story is so unlike all the others she wrote that it truly is a stand alone. Vittorio is not part of the "Coven of the Articulate" though he does mention them, he makes it clear that he is in no way associated with them. He is not like her other characters in that at the end of his story, he seems to actually be somewhat happy and at peace with who and what he is. When reading his tale, you feel medievel Italy all around you, and understand what may have driven the people living in that time to behave like they did. I found Vittorio to be a little stronger and more passionate than some of her characters. He was a very brave and angry boy bent on vengence, and oh did he get it! But he also got love in the bargain. Sit down with a cup of coffee some quiet evening,and open yourself up to his story. You will not be sorry you did. Vittorio, beloved by both angels and creatures of darkness!
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on February 22, 2000
As all of Anne's books are, not only was Vittorio the Vampire a story of adventure and revenge and vampires and religion, but it was also a book about love, the human character, and above all about passion and belief. Perhaps I'm too sentimental or imaginative, but who could not have fallen in love with Vittorio? His character, however short the book may be, was beautifully developed throughout the pages. Anne's romantic descriptions of Florence and of the arts of that time were beyond wonderful. Besides the sublimely fluid writing style, what attracted me most to the book was the conflict and the struggle for Vittorio between Good and Evil, between Heaven and Hell, between Love and Obligation. So greatly and so truly are Vittorio's emotions described that the novel reaches and touches the deepest parts of your soul, and questions your greatest beliefs. As Vittorio says, "Have I not rendered a conflict so full of torment that something looms here which is full of brilliance and color...?" The sentence captures the true essence of the book.
To add one more comment, Anne's angels were beautiful. Her descriptions of them, yes, but moreover their relationships with Vittorio, their, for lack of a better word, personalities, and their differences were absolutely intriguing. How can anyone who has not spent time pondering religion, life, and death not find their endless contributions to the depth of the story fascinating?
My last words here: Read Vittorio.
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on November 6, 2001
"Vittorito the Vampire" is a beautiful book. Anne Rice proves that she may be the greatest writer in the English language today. Her prose is beautiful and fluid and in this book she stays away from her over-the-top descriptions so many other fans hate (personally I love it...). I loved how this story was made independently of other vampire stories. At first I was skeptical, but Rice proved me wrong. This stroy more than almost any other of ther vampire books gives us a glimpse of how a vampire can love, hate, and wonder. The passages witht he angels are unearthly beautiful and the love between Ursula and Vittorio rivals that of any other romance she's written so far. Read this book and fall in love with the Vampires again.
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on December 24, 2000
Once upon a time. Oh how the heart of every reader quickens with those simple words. Oh how the soul of every reader is touched by them. Now, see if you can resist the inexorable pull of the following words: "When I was a small boy I had a terrible dream. I dreamt I held in my arms the severed heads of my younger brother and sister. They were quick still, and mute, with big fluttering eyes and reddened cheeks, and so horrified was I that I could make no more of a sound than they could. The dream came true." Thus begins Vittorio, The Vampire, Anne Rice's second book in her wonderful New Tales Of The Vampires series. Vittorio di Raniari, as the title implies, is a vampire. He has, as he puts it, "...been in bed with the dead since 1450...," or, in other words, since the glory days of the Medici in Italy's aptly called Age of Gold. Vittorio became the creature he is today at the tender age of sixteen. He was still "...A beautiful boy for the time. I wouldn't be alive now if I hadn't been. That's the case with most vampires, no matter who says otherwise. Beauty carries us to our doom. Or, to put it more accurately, we are made immortal by those who cannot sever themselves from our charms..." In what has become a distinctive trademark style of narrative for Anne Rice, Vittorio writes for us the fable of his making from what is now the tallest tower of the ruined mountaintop castle where he was born well over five-hundred years ago. And what a mesmerizing fable it is! It begins with a nearly incomprehensible tragedy. In the latest, darkest hours of one fateful night, a band of evil demons invades the peaceful ancestral castle and its surroundings where Vittorio lives with his beloved family. All but Vittorio himself are mercilessly slaughtered, and the only reason he is spared is because he has caught the eye and the heart and the soul of the beautiful young demon, Ursula. The next day, a reeling Vittorio sets out with nothing but vengeance in his heart, and little thought for his own well-being, on a determined quest to track down the demons. Inevitably, perhaps, his quest lands him in the very mouth of hell, a horrific place with the oh-so fancy name of 'The Court Of The Ruby Grail,' where the demons rule as they have for centuries. There, in the dominion of the demons, Vittorio is made a witness as well as subjected to a mind numbing array of perversions, degradations and horrors that only the dark imagination of Anne Rice could envision let alone write about in such evocative and loving detail. Does Vittorio survive 'The Court Of The Ruby Grail'? Is he ever able to avenge his family? Suffice to say all is revealed as the fast-paced narrative unfolds in a way that would make Poe, Hawthorne, Shelley and all of the other long-dead masters of the macabre in Rice's literary lineage sit up and take careful notice from their very graves. The great William Shakespeare is also a presence in Vittorio, The Vampire, as he has been in many Anne Rice novels. Rice has stated that Vittorio, The Vampire, is, in fact, her vampire Romeo and Juliet. Whether this was a deliberate choice on her part, or if it grew organically out of the strength of story and character, I have, of course, no way of knowing. Regardless, she succeeds brilliantly with this affect because it is so subtle. Here's a hint: think of vampires as the Capulets, and think of human beings as the Montagues, and remember that these two families were at mortal war with each other in the tragic play; then think of Vittorio and Ursula as the doomed young lovers Romeo and Juliet, and the affect becomes clear. Setting literary influences aside, Rice has with Vittorio, The Vampire, written a powerful tale about the inevitable loss of innocence we all must go through on our way to becoming our adult selves. Not to mention the fact that Vittorio, The Vampire is, simply, a darn good read, first page to last. Don't be tempted to pass up Vittorio, The Vampire just because it doesn't deal with the more familiar characters from Rice's celebrated Vampire Chronicles. You'll really be missing out on something special if you do. Vittorio, The Vampire is most definitely an exceptional book in its own right and deserves a place on your bookshelf right next to Pandora, the elegant and beautifully written first volume of the New Tales Of The Vampires series.
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on November 3, 1999
While I do enjoy almost all of Rice's work, Vittorio left me somewhat hungry. It's always great to read about new characters, but this book was a complete departure from the magical world Rice has weaved that started with the Chronicles. I might have enjoyed it more had there been even a rudimentary tie to another Vampire character but when you're reading an established series, to introduce a completely alien character is somewhat traumatic. Why should we care about Vittorio? That was never explained. The book was, as usual, well written, but I would have much preferred a novella of a more established character, like Rice did with Pandora. She introduced a host of promising characters in Queen of the Damned, and I wish she had continued along that vein. I, for one, am still waiting for the explanation of where Mekare was during her separation from Maharet. Was she really sleeping the whole time? How depressing!
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on March 19, 1999
For all those people out there who have never before picked up an Anne Rice novel, either because they were grossed out by the movie of Interview with the Vampire, or because they, like Oprah, don't want to "contribute to the forces of darkness"; you just ran out of excuses. Within the pages of Vittorio the Vampire, Rice explores the nature of good and evil; art and life; innocence and wisdom, themes that she also delt with in an earlier novel, Memnoch the Devil. In Vittorio, she explores her themes by making references to literature and art, incorporating the works of such diverse writers as St. Augustine; Dante; Sheridan Le Fanu; and te painters Fra Angelico and Fra Filipo Lippi. This kind of grand scheme could only be achieved by a writer of Rice's caliber; a writer at the height of her power. Vittorio marks the first time that Rice has used angels as major characters, and her description of the light, ethereal qaulity of the angels is in direct contrast with the heavy symbolism of the Court of the Ruby Grail. Letting loose her imagination on the beauty of Italy, Rice is able to see with the eye of an artist, bringing to life through words the colour; texture; light and beauty that is Italy. One of the things that is striking about the book, besides Vittorio's story itself, is the fact that Rice appears to be using words to create a kind of painting of her view of Italy. Even her references (the book includes a bibliography of books of Italian art and history) are not heavy handed, as they can be when a writer starts to show off their literary knowledge. Instead, Rice is able to incorporate her references into the context of the story, so that even if the reader is not familiar with the work of Fra Angelico or St. Augustine, it doesn't spoil the novel as a whole. No need for an appendix here. The details of life in Florence, as well as the decadence of the Court of the Ruby Grail, are drawn with the same loving hand and an eye for detail that makes all of Rice's work so compelling. Known for her well developed characters, Rice's Vittorio is no exception. He becomes a very sympathetic character, one who, unlike the infamous Lestat, has no desire to be good at being bad. Since Vittorio the Vampire is a seperate and distinct work from Rice's Vampire Chronicles, it really is a wonderful book to read if you have never before read any of Rice's novels, and want to see what all the fuss is about. You will certainly not be disappointed. Since Anne Rice seems to get better with every novel she writes, I can safely say that Vittorio the Vampire is one of the best books that Anne Rice has written, so far. END
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on April 23, 2000
I had seen "Interview with a Vampire" in the cinemasand having loved it, read "The Vampire Lestat" and "TheQueen of the Damned". Afterwards I ordered the rest of thechronicals and started reading one after the other. When I started to read Vittorio, I knew it would be the last of the magnificant chronicals till ... "The Vampire Armand 2" is going to be published. So I tried to read it slowly and enjoy every breath of it.But, "as always" I was soon through it...But this time I can't simply start to read the next tale of my beloved Vampires... :(
I felt familiar with Vittorio the moment I read his introduction to his "autobiography". Though he is in no way as extravagant as Lestat or feminine as Louis,Vittorio is one of the most human vampires of Anne Rice. I'm sure there will be a second book about Vittorio, because having finished it, I felt there was so much more I'd like to know about him. I hope Anne won't dissappoint me. :)
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on January 27, 2000
Vittorio was like going down a new road for me. It turned away from the traditional characters that Rice has been playing with for years (Lestat, Louie, Marius, etc...) and makes up some new ones. Unfortunately, while the plotline was superb and creative, the book needed more depth. If it had been 200 pages longer it would have made the story so much fuller. As it stood, I was very upset that when i finished, I felt as though i were missing something. I felt like i'd skipped some pages while i read. But on the whole, what i did read was great, Vittorio is a grand character; it only needed more depth to be more rich. All the same, I recommend this book, as it is quite good.
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on March 3, 2000
I, unlike many of the other people who are fans of Anne Rice, had only read one of her books (The "Vampire Lestat," which I thought was fairly good, but not great). This book, on the other hand, drew me right in. I love the descriptions of the Angles, the character interaction, the descriptions of Vittorio's physical surroundings were great, and it captured lots of emotions. I understand that this book posed some contiunality problems in relation to the other Vampire books, but as a single-shot reading for a person who has never read Anne Rice, this book is well worth it.
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