Anne Rice is FURIOUS!!!

Discussion in 'Horror' started by Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Sep 23, 2004.

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    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy Knivesout no more

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    Off amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/037541200X/ref=cm_rev_next/104-4868446-7593569?customer-reviews.sort%5Fby=-SubmissionDate&n=283155&customer-reviews.start=21&me=ATVPDKIKX0DER), a response by Anne Rice to some negative reviews of her last novel:

    From the Author to the Some of the Negative Voices Here, September 6, 2004

    Seldom do I really answer those who criticize my work. In fact, the entire development of my career has been fueled by my ability to ignore denigrating and trivializing criticism as I realize my dreams and my goals. However there is something compelling about Amazon's willingness to publish just about anything, and the sheer outrageous stupidity of many things you've said here that actually touches my proletarian and Democratic soul. Also I use and enjoy Amazon and I do read the reviews of other people's books in many fields. In sum, I believe in what happens here. And so, I speak. First off, let me say that this is addressed only to some of you, who have posted outrageously negative comments here, and not to all. You are interrogating this text from the wrong perspective. Indeed, you aren't even reading it. You are projecting your own limitations on it. And you are giving a whole new meaning to the words "wide readership." And you have strained my Dickensean principles to the max. I'm justifiably proud of being read by intellectual giants and waitresses in trailer parks,in fact, I love it, but who in the world are you? Now to the book. Allow me to point out: nowhere in this text are you told that this is the last of the chronicles, nowhere are you promised curtain calls or a finale, nowhere are you told there will be a wrap-up of all the earlier material. The text tells you exactly what to expect. And it warns you specifically that if you did not enjoy Memnoch the Devil, you may not enjoy this book. This book is by and about a hero whom many of you have already rejected. And he tells you that you are likely to reject him again. And this book is most certainly written -- every word of it -- by me. If and when I can't write a book on my own, you'll know about it. And no, I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut, or otherwise mutilate sentences that I have edited and re-edited, and organized and polished myself. I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me, and I will never relinquish that status. For me, novel writing is a virtuoso performance. It is not a collaborative art. Back to the novel itself: the character who tells the tale is my Lestat. I was with him more closely than I have ever been in this novel; his voice was as powerful for me as I've ever heard it. I experienced break through after break through as I walked with him, moved with him, saw through his eyes. What I ask of Lestat, Lestat unfailingly gives. For me, three hunting scenes, two which take place in hotels -- the lone woman waiting for the hit man, the slaughter at the pimp's party -- and the late night foray into the slums --stand with any similar scenes in all of the chronicles. They can be read aloud without a single hitch. Every word is in perfect place. The short chapter in which Lestat describes his love for Rowan Mayfair was for me a totally realized poem. There are other such scenes in this book. You don't get all this? Fine. But I experienced an intimacy with the character in those scenes that shattered all prior restraints, and when one is writing one does have to continuously and courageously fight a destructive tendency to inhibition and restraint. Getting really close to the subject matter is the achievement of only great art. Now, if it doesn't appeal to you, fine. You don't enjoy it? Read somebody else. But your stupid arrogant assumptions about me and what I am doing are slander. And you have used this site as if it were a public urinal to publish falsehood and lies. I'll never challenge your democratic freedom to do so, and yes, I'm answering you, but for what it's worth, be assured of the utter contempt I feel for you, especially those of you who post anonymously (and perhaps repeatedly?) and how glad I am that this book is the last one in a series that has invited your hateful and ugly responses. Now, to return to the narrative in question: Lestat's wanting to be a saint is a vision larded through and through with his characteristic vanity. It connects perfectly with his earlier ambitions to be an actor in Paris, a rock star in the modern age. If you can't see that, you aren't reading my work. In his conversation with the Pope he makes observations on the times which are in continuity with his observations on the late twentieth century in The Vampire Lestat, and in continuity with Marius' observations in that book and later in Queen of the Damned. The state of the world has always been an important theme in the chronicles. Lestat's comments matter. Every word he speaks is part of the achievement of this book. That Lestat renounced this saintly ambition within a matter of pages is plain enough for you to see. That he reverts to his old self is obvious, and that he intends to complete the tale of Blackwood Farm is also quite clear. There are many other themes and patterns in this work that I might mention -- the interplay between St.Juan Diago and Lestat, the invisible creature who doesn't "exist" in the eyes of the world is a case in point. There is also the theme of the snare of Blackwood Farm, the place where a human existence becomes so beguiling that Lestat relinquishes his power as if to a spell. The entire relationship between Lestat and Uncle Julien is carefully worked out. But I leave it to readers to discover how this complex and intricate novel establishes itself within a unique, if not unrivalled series of book. There are things to be said. And there is pleasure to be had. And readers will say wonderful things about Blood Canticle and they already are. There are readers out there and plenty of them who cherish the individuality of each of the chronicles which you so flippantly condemn. They can and do talk circles around you. And I am warmed by their response. Their letters, the papers they write in school, our face to face exchanges on the road -- these things sustain me when I read the utter trash that you post. But I feel I have said enough. If this reaches one reader who is curious about my work and shocked by the ugly reviews here, I've served my goals. And Yo, you dude, the slang police! Lestat talks like I do. He always has and he always will. You really wouldn't much like being around either one of us. And you don't have to be. If any of you want to say anything about all this by all means Email me at Anneobrienrice@mac.com. And if you want your money back for the book, send it to 1239 First Street, New Orleans, La, 70130. I'm not a coward about my real name or where I live. And yes, the Chronicles are no more! Thank God!
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    Lacedaemonian

    Lacedaemonian A Plume of Smoke

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    :: Much clapping of hands.

    Well that is not something you see every day.
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    The Master™

    The Master™ Science fiction fantasy

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    She certainly needed to vent... I like a person who really feels strongly enough about something to let the negative people know they are angry... I take my hat off to her...

    And she says that the Chronicles are no more... Does I, Brian know that she has called the death knell on this website???
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    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    Well, this website aside, did the Vampire Chronicles ever actually end?
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    Foxbat

    Foxbat I am a number

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    I've never read her work but it seems a real shame that a writer is driven to say 'Thank God' about a work that obviously means a lot and has taken up a period of their life. But at least she really told them.

    As we say in Ecosse: Gaun yersel hen! :D
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    Silk

    Silk As smooth as...

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    wow! i've never seen anything like that before in my life!

    fair play to Anne for letting them have it and join me in a standing ovation
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    ravenus

    ravenus Heretic

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    Amazing! Awesome! Spectacular!
    I could actually read through that letter without falling asleep or losing interest half-ways. Which is a lot more than I could say about my attempt to read through Interview with the Vampire, my sole brush with the Vampire Chronicles.
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    dwndrgn

    dwndrgn Fierce Vowelless One Staff Member

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    Don't hold back, tell us your true feelings! Congrats to Anne for putting people who feel the need to criticize just to say they have, in their place. It sounds as if she is speaking specifically to those who were posting maliciously, thinking it was fun, not the people who are giving an actual constructive critique. Now I'm curious as to what posts prompted this and what they said.
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    McMurphy

    McMurphy Apostate Against the Eloi

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    Anne Rice is FURIOUS? Get in line.

    I think she is making a fool out of herself. Not only does she dismiss the common person's criticisms of her writing as being ignorant, but then denies the role of an editor. Anne, editors are good things to have, regardless of how good you believe yourself to be.

    On the professional level, her vampire series has always received spotty reviews, and rightly so may I add. Lestat and all the characters had one thing in common: regardless of how different they were or what their motives were due to backstory, they were all incredibly whiney.

    She is furious? I bought Violin when it first came out in hard cover. It was far below the standards of professional writing. I am furious that I wasted so much money on it.

    Sample Reviews for Violin:

    Like watching a once-great athlete who continues to compete long past his physical prime, or seeing a once-great beauty whose face has been pulled tauter than a tightrope by a surgeon's knife, reading Violin, Anne Rice's 13th supernatural tome (13!--she should have known) is a depressing experience.... Better to go back to Lestat and rediscover Rice in her prime.
    ---Entertainment Weekly

    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.
    ---Booklist

    Favorite Response to Her Outrage:

    This is just to let all those who were doubting that this was indeed Anne Rice know that they should visit her website for confirmation. In a recent post she declares that she posted on Amazon regarding "Blood Canticle" and confirmed her email address. I understand completely your sense of shock and surprise over this, surely no one could have anticipated the REAL Anne Rice getting to the point and explaining herself in less than a trilogy, but it seems her mastery of self-editing has paid off.
    ---David Pace
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2004
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    rune

    rune rune

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    I did read Interview with a Vampire and found it OK, but didnt feel compelled to read any of her other works.

    I think it's great that she is addressing her critics. HOwever, I did find her reply a bit strange. I felt she didnt seem quite with the real world when she wrote of Lestat voice being with her and the intimate contact she had with Lestat.

    No disrespect intended to Anne Rice, but I think she needs to get her feet on solid ground and remember Lestat is just a fictional character she created. He's not real! :eek:
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    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    Actually, I can well empathise with the experience of characters being semi-real or perceptible real. The trouble is, you have to accept the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune - and being a best-selling writer entails that responsibility within that fortune. It is also worth learning when to accept criticism. If there is a general public consensus that the 13th books wasn't so great, then that's something to accept - not claim that the entertainer is seen to be failing only because they have a bad audience.
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    rune

    rune rune

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    Do you not feel that sometimes when an author has been working on a series this long they sometimes loose their edge?

    Some authors arent so bad and can keep things moving, especially if they change characters or introduce new ones and make brave decisions.
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    DNSimmons

    DNSimmons New Member

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    being an author now, and getting reviews on my work, I'm constantly curious as to what readers think about my novel. So far so good, but I think you have to simply accept the fact that you can not please everyone.

    You can only write for yourself, and hope the ppl enjoy the work you have done.

    I do think that fans tend to put a little TOO much pressure on some writers. They want their voices heard, they want the characters to be their characters and for the story to go on as they plan it.

    This is not always the case, and sometimes this is not the direction the author chooses to go in. There has to be a line of respect for both author and readers. I feel sorry for Anne in the case that her feelings were hurt to the point where she could no longer ignore the negativity and felt compelled to speak up and speak out.

    I also partially disagree with the manner of the "Way" she protested. I think some things could have been worded differently to seem slightly less offensive, but still able to get her point across.
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    McMurphy

    McMurphy Apostate Against the Eloi

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    Anne Rice: Queen of the Vampires....and self pity

    I must disagree with notions that Rice's response to criticism is made by someone normally level headed and has finally been pushed just too far this time. Most likely she is lashing out against the across-the-board poor critical reviews of her work by attacking the easiest target she could find. It is certainly easier to engage in banter with a few internet trolls than with the many professional literary critics who dismissed her latest work as being anything but noteworthy, now isn't it?

    I have seen and read enough interviews with Rice to know that she regards herself as mighty intelligent and deep, often coming across as impatient and arrogrant towards those who don't see the world in her one-note Gothic, fashionably '90s way. Her outlandish and embarrassing response is completely within her character and fits within her typical trend of behavior.
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    Re: Anne Rice: Queen of the Vampires....and self pity

    If this rambling, disjointed, and often contradictory response to her critics is a good example of her current writing style, no wonder Ms. Rice has received some poor reviews of late.

    Anyway, I, who am generally the last to ascribe mercenary motives, can't help wondering if this particular response really came about because her feelings were genuinely hurt, or because she thought a little controversy might give a healthy boost to her lagging sales. (Though I am sure that the equivalent of poor sales for Anne Rice would send most writers mad with glee.)

    But whether that was her intention or not, what do you want to bet that tens of thousands of people are now picking up her book, just to see what all the fuss is about?
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    Circus Cranium

    Circus Cranium New Member

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    Anne Rice is hit or miss, as are many authors we have seen reach great heights. I must agree that novels like Violin were actually painful to read. But I think her stinkers are the minority, and I believe she's brilliant as a writer, storyteller, character developer, and historical researcher. I thought that the Vampire Chronicles dropped off the interesting list for a while; the last good one being Tale of the Body Thief. But I really enjoyed the two most recent (and apparently last), Blackwood Farm and the sequel. I actually thought..........hey, she's back!
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    DNSimmons

    DNSimmons New Member

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    my favorites are The Vampire Armand and Blood and Gold, simply because I like the character. but BF was pretty good. I was not a fan of Blood Canticle, Memnock, Violin, Merrick and Pandora
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    Leto

    Leto Outside

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    IMO, after Queen of the Damned, her vampire work became too redundant and I still don't understand why Lestat and Louis swapt their personnality between the 3rd and the 5th books. The only book more recent I liked was Pandora, because it was a real new take of the series. And the Mayfair series should have stopped, still IMO, after the second ones.
    Frankly the works I've prefered in Anne Rice bibliography are Interview with the vampire (as a stand alone), Servant of the Bones and the Sleeping Beauty trilogy (can't remember the pseudonyme she used for it).

    Plus my personal pet peeves (common with the Buffy serie) : Vampires shouldn't fall in love with their food. Do I fantasize about my sirloin steak or my lasagna ? No.

    On her rant, I can understand she's upset but as others said it's too excessive to be sincere.
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    DNSimmons

    DNSimmons New Member

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    Hehee, I don't have a problem with that, vamps falling in love with their food is the way that vampires are made. what vampire wants to go around giving immortality to their most hated enemy. And cheeseburgers can't talk back,or make love to you, That could be our excuse. :)

    But I do agree with your opinion on Anne's comment.
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    Space Monkey

    Space Monkey Science fiction fantasy

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    I think Anne Rice is brilliant, and as far as this response goes, I say about time. The trash talkers slam a book it took them a week to read as though it's a cheap half-effort rather than a year or more of dedicated slog. Barely ever a mention of 'credit where credit's due' from the slammers, even if the book wasn't up your street. Like it or not, SHE created the Chronicles and is free to do with them what she pleases.
    I hated Lestat becoming a rock star, I couldn't stand Claudia dying, I despise Michael's life story about his near-death experience and psychic awakening. But so what? If I want Rice's stories, I read what she writes and appreciate it for what it is.

    People throw criticism about too freely regarding celebrities, almost as though they resent their success... (But no, it couldn't be that, because we're far too pleasant a species...)

    Why should authors be expected to listen to public misinterpretations of their work and not speak out?

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