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The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice

The Vampire Armand

by Anne Rice

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Anne Rice is the author to go to when you want to read a really good vampire novel. Not the type of vampire novels where vampires sparkle and are just too over the top (eye roll). This is vampires done well, with all the rich details and history to go along with them. I love this series and need to pick it back up again - I've gotten stuck on this one and need to push through it!
  justagirlwithabook | Aug 2, 2018 |
Armand until now has played a small role in the Vampire Chronicles. Here he assumes center stage, relating his five hundred years of life to fledgling vampire David Talbot, who plays amanuensis to Armand as he did to Lestat ... It's not just the epic plot but Rice's voluptuary worldview that's the main attraction ... Elegant narrative has always been her hallmark ... Rice is equally effective in showing how Armand eventually loses his religion and becomes "the vagabond angel child of Satan," living under Paris cemeteries and foundling the Grand Guignol-ish Theatre des Vampires. In the twentieth century, a rehabilitated Armand regains faith but falls in love with two children who save his life. By the conclusion of Armand, the pupil has become the mentor.
  Cultural_Attache | Jul 22, 2018 |
After a very long hiatus, I recently got back into Anne Rice, having read the first three books of THE VAMPIRE CHORNICLES many years ago. In THE VAMPIRE ARMAND, she takes one of her secondary characters from those books and gives him the center stage, letting him tell his story to the fledging vampire David Talbot in the wake of the events from MEMNOCH THE DEVIL. This book was written back in 1998, after Rice herself had stayed away from her beloved creatures of the night for a few years, but she clearly knew what her fans wanted, and most of all, liked in her fiction, so she went back to dancing with the ones who brought her. Only this dance was not with Lestat, her most famous and popular character, but with Armand, a teenage vampire with the face of an angel. What she was doing was obvious, expanding her vampire universe and seeing if she could do it without relying on, and in the process, exhausting, her most popular character.

How good were the results? I think this book will certainly please die hard Rice fans, for all the stuff she does well in on display here, including her mastery of characterization; her ability to make bygone cultures come to life on her pages, and not only that, but long vanished cities and places return in vivid detail. There are arcs in ARMAND that are Rice the story teller at her best, especially in first half, where Armand narrates how he was kidnapped as a child in medieval Russia and sold into slavery in Constantinople, only to be rescued by the ancient vampire Marius, who was once a Roman senator, and brought to the Venice of the Renaissance, where he lives in a house filled with other boys such as himself. How Armand comes to receive the Dark Gift and a subsequent trip back to Russia with Marius, where he is very briefly reunited with his grieving parents, is Rice at her best. In the other books, we have always seen Armand through the eyes of Lestat and Louis, but here we see him in full, and learn that he is truly a damaged child, eternally in search of the love he lost when the home of his maker was destroyed by fanatical blood drinkers. Attempts to find it in a coven underneath Rome, and later in Paris with Lestat, do not work out. Later, in the aftermath of the events of MEMNOCH, a badly burned and injured Armand is rescued by two precocious human children named Sybelle and Benji, and he has a chance to find love and a family once again, but this being Anne Rice, she throws in another twist before the resolution in the last pages.

And if the best of Anne Rice is on display, some of her worst faults can be found in ARMAND as well, starting with her well known penchant for over description, making sure we know everything about every crook and nanny of every house, hovel, palace, basement, and back room, it is a wonder she doesn’t describe the interior of the rat’s holes. Rice’s characters always talk a lot, her chatty undead are a staple that many love about her books, but boy do they talk here, as some scenes run on pages longer than they should. In the second half, there are long arguments about faith, philosophy, the nature of man and the mind of God, and what Christ meant. This has always been seen as Rice working out her own views on God and religion and man, and while I do not have a problem with it, I can see how this might try the patience of many readers. Some have noted that Rice was so successful at this point in her career that she no longer had an editor when she wrote this book, if it is true, then it certainly shows. Also, the ever present homo eroticism is not everyone’s cup of tea, and the part of the book concerning the Roman vampire Marius and his house filled with boys may make some uncomfortable in what it implies, but this is Rice portraying an older, and distinctly non Christian culture.

In the end, I found Armand to be good company, and an excellent narrator, treating the reader as an equal, as someone worthy enough to share his story with. There have been preparations for a TV series based on THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES, and I am sure that sooner or later, it will come to pass. When this happens, hopefully, they will do justice to Armand’s side of the story. ( )
  wb4ever1 | Jun 4, 2018 |
This was my favorite book by Anne Rice. I absolutely fell in love with Armand. All of her books are amazing, but Armand is my favorite character. ( )
  Kristinah | May 8, 2018 |
Gay vampire sex, Armand gets duped into joining/leading a cult, Lestat fucks shit up (as usual), Armand and Marius make amends. The end. Not her best work by any means. ( )
  TheReadingMermaid | Feb 27, 2018 |
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Jesus, speaking to Mary Magdalene:

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not;
for I am not yet ascended to my Father:
but go to my brethren, and say unto them,
I ascend unto my Father, and your Father;
and to my God, and your God.

The Gospel According to St. John 20:17

Brandy Edwards,

Brain Robertson


Christopher and Michele Rice
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They said a child had died in the attic.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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From the back:

Armand until now has played a small role in the Vampire Chronicles, Here he assumes center stage, relating his five hundred years of life to fledgling vampire David Talbot, who plays amanuensis to Armand as he did to Lestat...It's not just the epic plot by Rice's voluptuary worldview that's the main attraction...

The story tells how Armand eventually loses his religion and becomes 'the vagabond angel child of Satan," living under the Paris cemeteries and founding the Grand Guignol-ish Theatre des Vampires.

In the 20th Century, a rehabilitated Armand regains his faith but falls in love with two children who saved his life.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345434803, Mass Market Paperback)

In The Vampire Armand, Anne Rice returns to her indomitable Vampire Chronicles and recaptures the gothic horror and delight she first explored in her classic tale Interview with the Vampire (in which Armand, played by Antonio Banderas in the film version, made his first appearance as director of the Théâtre des Vampires).

The story begins in the aftermath of Memnoch the Devil. Vampires from all over the globe have gathered around Lestat, who lies prostrate on the floor of a cathedral. Dead? In a coma? As Armand reflects on Lestat's condition, he is drawn by David Talbot to tell the story of his own life. The narrative abruptly rushes back to 15th-century Constantinople, and the Armand of the present recounts the fragmented memories of his childhood abduction from Kiev. Eventually, he is sold to a Venetian artist (and vampire), Marius. Rice revels in descriptions of the sensual relationship between the young and still-mortal Armand and his vampiric mentor. But when Armand is finally transformed, the tone of the book dramatically shifts. Raw and sexually explicit scenes are displaced by Armand's introspective quest for a union of his Russian Orthodox childhood, his hedonistic life with Marius, and his newly acquired immortality. These final chapters remind one of the archetypal significance of Rice's vampires; at their best, Armand, Lestat, and Marius offer keen insights into the most human of concerns.

The Vampire Armand is richly intertextual; readers will relish the retelling of critical events from Lestat and Louis's narratives. Nevertheless, the novel is very much Armand's own tragic tale. Rice deftly integrates the necessary back-story for new readers to enter her epic series, and the introduction of a few new voices adds a fresh perspective--and the promise of provocative future installments. --Patrick O'Kelley

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:29 -0400)

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The vampire's story, from his boyhood in Kiev, his enslavement to a vampire masquerading as a Venetian painter, and his dedication to his two mortal children.

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