- Series: Vampire Chronicles (Book 5)
- Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (May 28, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345409671
- ISBN-13: 978-0345409676
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (693 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Memnoch the Devil (Vampire Chronicles) Mass Market Paperback – May 28, 1997
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The fifth volume of Rice's Vampire Chronicles is one of her most controversial books. The tale begins in New York, where Lestat, the coolest of Rice's vampire heroes, is stalking a big-time cocaine dealer and religious-art smuggler--this guy should get it in the neck. Lestat is also growing fascinated with the dealer's lovely daughter, a TV evangelist who's not a fraud.
Lestat is also being stalked himself, by some shadowy guy who turns out to be Memnoch, the devil, who spirits him away. From here on, the book might have been called Interview with the Devil (by a Vampire). It's a rousing story interrupted by a long debate with the devil. Memnoch isn't the devil as ordinarily conceived: he got the boot from God because he objected to God's heartless indifference to human misery. Memnoch takes Lestat to heaven, hell, and throughout history.
Some readers are appalled by the scene in which Lestat sinks his fangs into the throat of Christ on the cross, but the scene is not a mere shock tactic: Jesus is giving Lestat a bloody taste in order to win him over to God's side, and Rice is dead serious about the battle for his soul. Rice is really doing what she did as a devout young Catholic girl asked to imagine in detail what Christ's suffering felt like--it's just that her imagination ran away with her.
If you like straight-ahead fanged adventure, you'll likely enjoy the first third; if you like Job-like arguments with God, you'll prefer the Memnoch chapters. --Tim Appelo
From Publishers Weekly
Rice has made a career out of humanizing creatures of supernatural horror, and in this fifth book of her Vampire Chronicles she requests sympathy for the Devil. Having survived his near-fatal reacquaintance with human mortality in The Tale of the Body Thief (1992), the world-weary vampire Lestat is recruited by the biblical Devil, Memnoch, to help fight a cruel and negligent God. The bulk of the novel is a retelling of the Creation story from the point of view of the fallen angel, who blames his damnation on his refusal to accept human suffering as part of God's divine plan. Rice grapples valiantly with weighty questions regarding the justification of God's ways to man, but their vast scope overwhelms the novel's human dimensions. God and the Devil periodically put on the flesh of mortals, and too often end up sounding like arguing philosophy majors. Meanwhile, the ever-fascinating Lestat, whose poignant personal crisis of faith is mirrored in Memnoch's travails, becomes a passive observer, dragged along on trips to Heaven and Hell before being returned to Earth to relate what he has witnessed. Though Rice boldly probes the significance of death, belief in the afterlife and other spiritual matters, one wishes that she had found a way to address them through the experiences of human and near-human characters, as she has done so brilliantly in the past. One million first printing; BOMC and QPB main selections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
If those reviewers were looking for a straight up vampire novel, then yes, they were most likely disappointed then for that aspect. If the highly religious read this book and are the type that can’t separate their personal beliefs from reading a work of fiction, then yes, they were also probably highly offended by this book and would in turn not find any kind of enjoyment out of it either.
MEMNOCH THE DEVIL is a controversial work, without question, as it takes us on an examination of the Christian religion, with Lestat being the central character that is faced with his grandest moment yet of self reflection and questioning of everything he ever thought true in his 200+ years of existence as the Devil himself takes him through the story of God, Jesus, Heaven, Hell and creation.
Do I agree with the views in this book? Do I think this book is a revelation of what is REALLY going on in the spiritual world? The answer to both of those questions would be no. I do however think that Anne Rice wrote an extraordinarily deep work of fiction, so deep that if one finds themselves open-minded enough, it may in fact place some imaginative wonder into your thinking about just how little we really know of the afterlife, creation, how we got here etc; the likes of which you may have never pondered before. And to me, stories like that, are the very best written works you can possibly read!
To those doubting this book….just read it! You may find yourself being very impressed like I was. I enjoyed this book immensely, so much in fact that it may be my favorite one of the series so far!
The reason for this was I wanted to give it to others so they can understand why it captured me so.
This book made me question a lot of things when I first read it about 15 years ago. It challenged what I thought I knew about religion, life, and everything anyone has ever told me was true. It led me down a path of spiritual enlightenment, questioning and self reflection that ultimately led me to a place where I finally feel at peace with such things. I feel this is much like Anne Rice herself has done throughout her life.
If you are looking for a typical vampire novel, this isn't what you want. This is something much different and unexpectedly placed withing the vampire chronicles. The character of Lestat is the perfect creature to meet with the devil and go through this adventure however, and his unique lavish selfishness, and the depictions of hell and Memnoch's story about "the truth behind the devil" really conflict with Lestat at this point in the story. After the events of the Queen of the damned, where the main characters face creatures of unbelievable power and cruelty Memnoch the Devil offers readers another confrontation with the all powerful, and one that not only deeply affects the character, but the reader as well.
Not for the weak of will.
Has been my favorite author since Jr High, and I have always been quite the bibliophile (now in my 30s). I have my 7th grade daughter reading these books now. They are transforming, rich, educational, and complex. I have more respect for Anne Rice then any other fiction writer rivaled only by Daniel Quinn, possibly. Her characters and dialogues are so well written that I would easily believe that she listened to these conversations as they happened. Vampires that were "created" 6,000 years ago to today from locations all over the world provides readers with tantalizing glimpses into histories and cultures that must have cost Rice quite a bit of research to deliver. Romantic and dark, her books find the spark of poetry in the most Stoic of souls--- as poetic as that may sound, I am known for being fairly Stoic.