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Conversations with Anne Rice: An Intimate, Enlightening Portrait of Her Life and Work Paperback – April 16, 1996

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Conversations with Anne Rice the creator of Lestat, Louis, and Lasher talks in depth - in her own words - about everything: from her early struggles toward publication to the tremendous literary reputation she has achieved. From the success and adulation of the vampire novels to the lesser known books that are her personal favorites. From the influence of classical and popular literature to that of Catholicism and eroticism. From the role of movies in her literary vision to her definitive critique of the film version of Interview with a Vampire, and far beyond. A candid and captivating dialogue with her audience.

From Kirkus Reviews

An extended interview with the author of Interview with the Vampire (1976), etc., conducted by an old friend who wishes to display ``how much fun she is to talk to, how interesting and thoughtful, how candid, how honest and even brave.'' Though autobiography is touched on--Rice's Catholic girlhood, her rebellious early marriage to an atheistic poet, her daughter's death from leukemia, the disaffected return from San Francisco to funky New Orleans, her kind of town--the emphasis of these near- monologues is on Rice's fluctuating inner state and her emotional involvement with her work. Fascinated as only the initially repressed can be by what she calls ``transgressive'' fiction, Rice explains how writing pornography under pseudonyms freed her to find the unique Rice voice and unify all her recent novels--whether about vampires, witches, or demons--into the Rice ``world'' or ``franchise,'' in which her many, many admirers take a proprietary interest. Though a reader of Flaubert and Yeats and a devourer of religious history, Rice endearingly states that she has ``never been a sophisticated writer'' and indeed that intellectuals can be ``rather merciless people.'' She continues to resent negative reviews but finds validation in a popularity that ranges ``from teenagers . . . to truck drivers'' and includes fans who tend to a neo-Victorian, S&M aesthetic. Though not foolish when it comes to dealing with publishers and filmmakers--her lengthily described duelling match with Hollywood on the way to filming Interview could try the patience of the undead--it is true that Rice's obsession with the configurations of sex, power, and violence partake of a self-regarding naivet‚, an almost militant lack of irony, that inflames both her friends and her enemies. It is the source, that is, both of mass love and not inconsiderable dislike. Riley lets Rice have her say. The result is essential for aficionados and basic homework for any critic. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (April 16, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345396367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345396365
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,383,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
How could I have missed his when it first came out? A friend of my got a copy as a gift and I snagged it before he could even open it. This is Q & A conversation between Anne Rice and Michael Riley. It seems clear they know each other well and he is aware of her work and history. It is wonderful to be as a "fly on the wall" and learn what Anne thinks about. the creative process, getting along with women, being a woman, the creative "buzz". determining "what the author meant when reading and discussing a book, Anne's body of work as literature............. and so much more.

As I was reading I fell into my old college mode of taking notes, jotting down page numbers and designating things to remember. I couldn't underline because.. ah. it isn't MY copy. I'll have to rectify that.

Should you but this book ? Absolutely. ....unless you are not a fan of Anne...in which case why are you even reading this?

I will share one thing I think is significant .. there are so many .....Anne is talking about struggling with "a dark period" ....."because I wanted very much to write that book" ......." I was struggling with all the questions that any writer faces" Then she says, "At one point I remember thinking, go home and just write, just produce, because if you don't do that, every thing is lost." I really needed to hear that. It motives me I am getting my stuff organized.. .. I have ideas that have been sitting, percolating, waiting for the right time... I think now, I need to just get going.

Oh, there is more about the process she uses and her life experiences and how she mines them for realness of emotion in her characters but I will let you discover that for yourself.
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Format: Paperback
She broke the mold of bestselling authors with her tormented vampires and complex witch families, often set against the mossy, misty backdrops of her native New Orleans. Anne Rice is one of the few authors whose lives and opinions are as interesting as what they write, and Michael Riley offers more insight than virtually any other interviewer has done.
Michael Riley was a friend of Stan Rice's, and met Anne Rice at her wedding to Stan; he remained a pal after Anne shot to fame. Yet "I had rarely if ever seen an interview or profile that I thought did justice to her." So the two sat down and discussed many things about Rice: Her youth and her Catholic upbringing, about good and evil, New Orleans, California, her mold-breaking fiction, the immensely popular vampire Lestat, the handling of sex in her books, intellectual pretentions and elitism, the movie adaptation of "Interview With The Vampire," and what in her life inspired aspects of her books.
A less respectful reviewer probably would have descended leering or sneering, given that Rice's works include erotica, S&M fiction, and a Lolita-type novel. But Riley is professional, affectionate yet not gushing, and his questions have brains behind them. (Not the usual "what's your favorite food? Do you have any pets?") His respect for Rice is clear, and it makes the book especially interesting that he has genuine interest in what she says. But of course, the book hinges on Rice and what she has to say to Riley -- whether or not you agree with what she's saying, her warmth and humor are in clear evidence, and she's clearly thought through what she says.
It may not be necessary to know the author to enjoy his/her works, but it definitely can't hurt. Fans of Anne Rice will find this a must-read, and even casual readers of her books should give it a shot.
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Format: Paperback
This just isn't a biography of Ann Rice, it's as if she's telling you herself all the answers to questions we've all wanted to ask. This is her thoughts on her family, fans, characters, and herself. She shares her opinions freely and openly. I truly developed another view of this remarkable woman after reading this. Michael Riley had a good idea when he decided just to write this in interview form. That's exactly what everyone's been waiting for: 'Interview with Ann Rice'
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