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Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice
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Memnoch the Devil (original 1995; edition 1997)

by Anne Rice

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6,84761816 (3.52)61
Member:Kythe42
Title:Memnoch the Devil
Authors:Anne Rice
Info:Ballantine Books (1997), Edition: 1st Ballantine Bks Domestic Mmkt Ed.1997, Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library, Read, Own
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, Fantasy, Anne Rice, Paranormal, The Vampire Chronicles, Vampires

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Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice (1995)

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English (57)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (59)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
I read the first three book of Anne Rice’s VAMPIRE CHRONICLES many years ago, along with THE MUMMY, and thoroughly enjoyed all of them, but for some reason or another, I put her works aside, even as she churned book after book as the 90’s moved into the 2000’s, giving her readers more adventures by her vast cast of blood drinking immortals, witches, and in recent years, werewolves. Some of those books ended up on my shelf, but only recently have I picked them up and found out what I had been missing out on.

MEMNOCH THE DEVIL, published in 1995, was the fifth book in her vampire series, and it was certainly the most ambitious of her works to that date, in that her most beloved character, the Vampire Lestat, meets God and Devil, learns about Heaven and Hell, and is offered a job by the Fallen Angel himself. In these pages, we get a view of creation and human history from the title character, one that does not square with Christian teachings at all. If you are a fundamentalist or a materialist, this book is probably not for you, but if you are willing to indulge in something provocative, then MEMNOCH THE DEVIL should be a great read.

But if you are expecting another adventure with Lestat and her large cast of the Undead, it may not be your book either, for MEMNOCH was her most atypical work up to that date. In the opening chapters, we meet, Roger, a cultured drug kingpin, who has been marked for killing and feeding by Lestat, and his daughter, Dora, a young TV evangelist. I agree with most reviewers who say these new characters are far from Rice’s most compelling, but once Lestat does away with Roger, he appears before the vampire as a ghost, an encounter that is the preamble for the book’s main act, where Lestat is confronted by a supernatural entity whom he has sensed following him for some time. It turns out be an angel named Memnoch, who reveals himself to be the Big Bad of Christian theology, and after watching Lestat for some time, he has a job offer for the vampire to come to work for him in opposition to God the Creator. It seems Memnoch and the Almighty are not on as bad a terms as the Good Book would have us think, instead they have a deep philosophical difference as to what God’s plan entails and the significance of human suffering. Memnonch wants Lestat to join him in Hell, or Sheol, to enlighten the souls there that God has seemingly abandoned, for according to the Gospel of Anne Rice, it is the one who walks with goat’s hooves who really loves humankind the best, because, though God created them, he can never truly understand the suffering he puts his most beloved creations through, even after assuming the flesh and blood of a man in the person of Jesus and dying on the cross.

To many, this middle section is make or break for the book, profound to many readers, absolutely boring to just as many others. This is where Rice slips into her habit of having characters just sit and talk, and talk, and talk, recounting events they have participated in and observed, while giving us the action second hand. This might just be Rice’s ultimate conversation sequence, one that I found it riveting, as it we meet a version of God and a recounting of historical events from a unique perspective. What works in this section is Rice’s well developed skill at description; I could smell the trees and dirt of the primeval forest and the stench of the streets of Jerusalem at the crucifixion. The ending feels a bit anti-climatic, as there is a reveal that hints at the possibility that everything Lestat has been told is far less than the truth.

Rice has been very up front with her own spiritual journey over the years, and it has infused much of her work, and though I have not read all of her works, I think MEMNOCH is her most personal work. So much so, that many think she went too far when Lestat encounters Christ carrying the cross on his way to Golgotha; I will say that what ensues does not offend me, but that is only in the way Rice handles it.

There have been plans for TV series based on VAMPIRE CHRONCILES, I would sure be interested to see how they will tackle MEMNOCH THE DEVIL, which I feel is Anne Rice’s most ambitious book. All in all, a book that was well worth my time. ( )
  wb4ever1 | Aug 6, 2018 |
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 got stuck on the 6th one and need to push through it! ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Aug 2, 2018 |
In the fifth Vampire Chronicle, Lestat is searching for Dora, the beautiful and charismatic mortal daughter of a drug lord. Dora has moved Lestat like no other mortal ever has, and he cannot get her out of his visions. At the same time, he is increasingly aware that the Devil knows who he is and wants something from him. While torn betwen his vampire world and his passion for Dora, Lestat is sucked in by Memnoch, who claims to be the Devil himself. Memnoch presents Lestat with unimagined opportunities: to witness creation, to visit purgatory, to be treated like a prophet. Lestat faces a choice between the Devil or God. Whom does he believe in? Who does he serve? What are the element of religious belief? Lestat finds himself caught in a whirlpool of the ultimate choice
  Cultural_Attache | Jul 27, 2018 |
not my favorite of the series,? ( )
  Kim_Sasso | Mar 14, 2018 |
A little too religious for my taste, but I could easily see Lestat going that direction at least at some other time in his life ( )
  LGandT | Feb 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
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What God Did Not Plan On. Sleep well, Weep well, Go to the deep well As often as possible. Bring back the water, Jostling and gleaming. God did not plan on consciousness Developing so Well. Well, Tell Him our Pail is full And He can Go to Hell. Stan Rice 24 June 93
The Offering. To the somethingness Which prevents the nothingness Like Homer's wild boar From thrashing this way and that Its white tusks Through human beings like crackling stalks And to nothing less I offer this suffering of my father. Stan Rice 16 Oct 93
Dedication
For Stan Rice, Christopher Rice and Michele Rice. For John Preston. For Howard and Katherine Allen O'Brien. For Katherine's brother John Allen, Uncle Mickey and for Uncle Mickey's son, Jack Allen, and all the descendants of Jack. And for Uncle Marian Leslie, who was in Corona's Bar on that night. With live for you and for all our kith and kin this book is dedicated
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Lestat Here.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345409671, Mass Market Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:37 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In Anne Rice's extraordinary fifth novel of "The Vampire Chronicles", irresistible antihero Lestat encounters his most dangerous adversary--the mysterious being Memnoch, who claims to be the Devil. Ushered through the realms of Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell, Lestat must finally decide if he can believe in the Devil or God--and which, if either, he will serve.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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