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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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The Witching Hour (Lives of Mayfair Witches) Mass Market Paperback – March 22, 1993

4.3 out of 5 stars 975 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In this engrossing and hypnotic tale of witchcraft and the occult spanning four centuries, we meet a great dynasty of witches--a family given to poetry and incest, to murder and philosophy, a family that over the ages is haunted by a powerful, dangerous and seductive being.

From Publishers Weekly

"We watch and we are always here" is the motto of the Talamasca, a saintly group with extrasensory powers which has for centuries chronicled the lives of the Mayfairs--a dynasty of witches that brought down a shower of flames in 17th-century Scotland, fled to the plantations of Haiti and on to the New World, where they settled in the haunted city of New Orleans. Rice ( The Queen of the Damned ) plumbs a rich vein of witchcraft lore, conjuring in her overheated, florid prose the decayed antebellum mansion where incest rules, dolls are made of human bone and hair, and violent storms sweep the skies each time a witch dies and the power passes on. Newly annointed is Rowan Mayfair, a brilliant California neurosurgeon kept in ignorance of her heritage by her adoptive parents. She returns to the fold after bringing back Michael Curry from the dead; he, too, has unwanted extrasensory gifts and, like Rowan and the 12 Mayfairs before her, has beheld Lasher: devil, seducer, spirit. Now Lasher wants to come through to this world forever and Rowan is the Mayfair who can open the door. This massive tome repeatedly slows, then speeds when Rice casts off the Talamasca's pretentious, scholarly tones and goes for the jugular with morbid delights, sexually charged passages and wicked, wild tragedy. 300,000 first printing; BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Lives of Mayfair Witches (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (March 22, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780345384461
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345384461
  • ASIN: 0345384466
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (975 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought the electronic version of this book because my hardcover copy was getting a bit worn. Actually more than a bit worn.

As blasphemous as this may sound, this is probably my favorite book by Anne Rice. Maybe it was the age I was at when it was released. I don't know. I can honestly say that I have read, and pretty much loved every book she's written, but this one put so many hooks in me that I guess I never got away.

There are so many stories going on. There is the child, practically stolen at birth. The ghost that gives wealth and power while it plots it's future. The lost women, used and discarded. An evil woman so cloaked in self righteousness that she believes her behavior is not only acceptable, but necessary. And the witch determined to free the family from it's curse.

Witch burnings, the Renaissance, moving to the New World, the Jazz Age. After all, this story covers some 300 plus years. And then there is New Orleans and the House. There is simply no other place like New Orleans. Even today the streets, houses, cemeteries, people, churches and sometimes, it seems, the very air are different. A very Old World place plopped down in the New.

I truly believe that in just about anyone else's hands all of the threads of this story would be a knot so tangled it would require a knife to undo. A really big knife. How she manages it is beyond me- but she does. Beautifully.

So, if you like history, romance, mystery, suspense, and some seriously spooky goings on, you might love this book as much as I do. Well, almost as much.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This may be my all time favorite book. Ever. I first read this book when I was 9 years old. I skimmed through it, reading bits and pieces. As I got older, I kept picking this book up and re-reading it, gleaning more and more of the information contained within the text. So many different stories, so many different characters. I remember re-enacting some of the stories with my dolls.

This novel is epic, both in length and in the story. Dr. Rowan Mayfair discovers that she is adopted several years after the death of her adoptive parents and after the death of her biological mother, a woman she never even knew existed. Rowan is an heiress to a massive fortune and a large mansion in the Garden District in New Orleans. Along with the house and fortune, Rowan inherits a massive family with a long and twisted history and a family ghost.

Maybe I love this novel because I too, am adopted. I think every adopted child fantasizes about their biological parents,, imagining them to be someone famous, royalty or very wealthy. Anne Rice created a character that seems absolutely real from the beginning, coming alive off the page and turning into a living, breathing woman before your eyes.

All of Anne Rice's characters throughout the novel have a tendency to leap off the page and become real for the reader. I can almost hear their voices, accents and inflections in the dialogue, as if I was watching a mini-series in my head. With each re-read of this book, I enjoy it more and more. With each turn of the very last page, I feel as though I have uncovered yet another dark secret from within the novel. A sense of accomplishment comes every time I read the last few words.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Witching Hour," Anne Rice's 1990 foray into witchcraft and the occult, is not really a change of pace for the uniquely gifted author more than it is a better realized creation emphasizing her strengths and obsessions. As most readers know, Rice cut her teeth with the enormously successful Vampire Chronicles including "Interview with the Vampire" and "The Vampire Lestat." With "The Witching Hour," Rice has taken a well-deserved break from the immortal lives of her witty vampire clan, creating a fascinating legend of a family of witches stretching back four centuries and two continents.
The witches, known as the Mayfairs, are connected by the haunting thread of the mysterious spirit Lasher, appearing ghost-like to a selected few, standing within the shadows of ominous trees and forming within mirrors, tears streaking his pale face. Lasher forms an eerie, if not erotic bond with the women of the Mayfair clan, providing untold riches and eventually amorous damnation. But Lasher, much like the legacy of the Mayfair family, is an exotic mystery waiting to be solved, and this intimidating responsiblity falls into the modern-day hands of Michael Curry and Rowan Mayfair. This appealing, love-struck couple, set out for New Orleans to solve the mystery and reclaim the souls of the Mayfair family.
"The Witching Hour" was eventually followed by two sequels, but it stands alone as one of Rice's greatest novels, an enthralling, complex epic filled with gothic mystery, dancing ghosts and heartbreaking irony. Her descriptions of the decayed mansion on First Street, situated in the Garden District of New Orleans, a moody, ancient home owned by the Mayfairs for over 100 years, provides some of this novels most sensual and memorable passages.
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