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Blackwood Farm: The Vampire Chronicles by…

Blackwood Farm: The Vampire Chronicles (original 2002; edition 2001)

by Anne Rice

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3,632341,451 (3.64)17
Title:Blackwood Farm: The Vampire Chronicles
Authors:Anne Rice
Info:Books On Tape (2001), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned

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Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice (2002)



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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Ever since Memnoch the Devil, I've become disenchanted with Anne Rice, and I stopped reading her books after the dull Vampire Armand. But rave reviews of this one persuaded me to give it a try.

Rice has regained the page-turning pace of her earlier novels. I was mesmerized by the main protagonist, Tarquinn Blackwood, and his story, and I had to restrain myself from finishing the book in one night. Unfortunately, the ending was a disappointment. The tense relationships that were cultivated during most of the novel were resolved in a way that seemed anti-climatic and unsatisfactory. Instead of concluding with a more mature character (I truly hoped that Tarquinn Blackwood would grow up and learn from his errors), the point of the book seems to be something like: "It's great to be a multi-billionaire immortal with powers to read minds and fly. Then you can do whatever you'd like." (That was not a spoiler, by the way; it's told within the first chapter, and one can surmise it from the back cover blurb.)

At least Rice took a huge leap forward, and instead of merely hinting that her vampires are bisexual or gay, she's finally allowed one to come out of the closet. Even more of a leap forward (in my humble opinion): This book features some genuine antagonists. Yes, bad guys. In an Anne Rice novel. We haven't seen one of those since, oh, say, Tale of the Body Thief, which was incidentally the most recently published Rice book I truly enjoyed. The antagonists in Blackwood Farm are painted in a sympathetic light--their motives make their actions almost condonable--but they're cruel enough so that I was rooting for them to die. One thing I've always liked about Rice is her talent for blurring the line between good and evil, and she did that beautifully here. Tarquinn Blackwood has a few rather severe personality flaws, and that makes him all the more human, and interesting, and I liked him in spite of his tendency to act like a spoiled little girl with the vocabulary of an English lord.

In closing, I'm going to gripe about the tone of the novel, which seemed to idealize and condone matters such as murder, incest, bribery, and sexual libido in children. At the same time, the tone was mildly squirmish about matters pertaining to masturbation and homosexuality. Some readers admire Rice for so boldly calling our modern ethics into question and for potentially taking us outside our comfort zones, but I feel that she has repeated these themes too often in her books, and my respect for her protagonists has deteriotated because of their cloned morality. The distinction between the personalities of Tarquinn, Goblin, Lestat, Merrick, Aunt Queen, Mona, Tommy, and Nash vary only slightly. They all have vastly different backgrounds, yet they view the world through similar eyes. I feel that the novel would have been stronger if they did not all stand on the same blurry piece of moral ground.

This review was originally published on my website. ( )
  Abby_Goldsmith | Feb 10, 2016 |
No one, and I do believe no one, writes vampires better then Anne Rice. I have no idea why I never finished her series, but this novel brought me back to Lestat and her ever evolving and growing coven of fantastic and brilliant vampires! ( )
1 vote Kiddboyblue | Aug 6, 2015 |
Pretty awful ( )
  turtlesleap | Mar 1, 2015 |
Quinn can see ghosts and has been haunted his whole life by a particular tenacious spirit. Now he has become a vampire, that spirit has turned violent and he turns to Lestat for guidance, after telling Lestat his life history. At length and in great great detail.

This book is labelled as a Vampire Chronicles novel. It has also been faintly labelled as a Mayfair Witches novel. I’ve heard it discussed as something of a cross over novel. Personally I’d call it a Mayfair Witches novel into which Lestat and Merrick have been crowbarred in with extreme force and zero elegance. If I were being less kind (yes, that was kind) I’d say it was a vast waffle of not very much with little hints of both series randomly thrown in but really not much about anything

Because like every single book in both series this book is rammed with a truly ridiculous amount of minutiae that is grossly unnecessary for anything resembling a plot. New vampire Quinn seeks to tell his story to Lestat. In that telling he covers his genealogy back 5 generations. No, really. He covers the genealogy of his servants back the same length of time as well. He even tells the genealogy of the vampires who made him who, almost immediately, decided to tell Quinn the same thing in ridiculous detail. He tells every last tiny detail about his life, so much of which is utterly irrelevant – Pops (his grandfather) having an illegitimate son? Meaningless. The bed and breakfast and the soprano he cries over that we were told about three separate times (ye gods why?) irrelevant. The fact he constantly shares a bed with elderly Black servants (ye gods why?) irrelevant. Every sexual encounter he’s ever had (why would you tell a stranger this? Why?) His first teacher and how very good she was? Really really really irrelevant. Why is this all here?

Why is this story which should have been about the ghosts that were plaguing Quinn and, perhaps, the vampires that made him and maybe the people who can see Goblin (and Rebecca – though, again, Rebecca ghost was another storyline that did nothing, went absolutely nowhere and was resolved in pointless seconds) so clogged with this much completely and utterly random backstory? Why would Quinn tell Lestat so many utterly personal secrets about himself?

And can everyone stop falling in love! I’m not even talking about Quinn seeing Mona across a restaurant and moseying over to declare that he intends to marry her (but, really? He sees a 15 year old girl across the room and wanders over to make marriage plans? What the hell? Why? Who? Where’s the damn restraining order?!) But Lestat, after hearing Quinn’s horrendous monologue declares how much he is in love with Quinn. Of course. After meeting Merrick for 5 seconds Quinn decides he loves her. Merrick probably loves him, I forget because everyone loves everyone else. Quinn loves Arion, random Greek vampire who is just kind of there because why not. They use the word “love” so often it no longer has any real meaning. I know it’s a running joke with this series but it’s actually a problem – because all of this overwrought, appallingly purple, melodramatic declarations of emotion are meaningless. All his excessive adoration of Aunt Queen and Mona means nothing because he’d use exactly the same language to describe someone he happened to be passing in the street. All of the emotional connections in this book – in this series – fall apart because they mean nothing, there is nothing special about them. True love is described in the same terms as casual acquaintance.

The characterisation is also just awful. I grudgingly accepted the ridiculously flowery, anachronistic and pure dubious language that the vampires were using as some kind of nod to their age. I even accepted it with David though there was no damn excuse. Quinn is 22. 22. Why is he calling Merrick “precious darling?” (even if she wasn’t a complete stranger?). Why is his voice exactly the same as vampires who are centuries older than him? And that voice itself is terrible, archaic and ludicrous?

And not just his voice – he kneels and kisses his great-aunt’s foot. I… I… why? He insists that some of his elderly Black servants sleep with him (not sex, just sleep). His behaviour, his choices over and over make no sense at all. And he seems to live in a weird time warp – this book was written in the 21st century, it reads like it would be old in the 80s!

It’s not just Quinn – no-one behaves in a way that makes even the remotest sense for a person. The one who stands out most for me is Patsy – the worst woman in the world. Seriously, she’s so utterly awful that it defies any description. She loathes her son on a level that would make comic book villains gasp in shock. She is slut shamed mercilessly, seriously every character may as well have just screamed “HUSSSY!” and pointed at her every time she appeared (bonus anti-choice moments with her not being able to have any children because she’d got rid of so many her “womb was weak”). It also has an added bonus of some kind of weird class shaming her for asking for money for her music career (and they even admit she’s talented! So it’s not like she’s chasing some unimaginable dream. But her music is pop and country, not classical so she’s so beneath them) And this shaming happens while the whole family is so damn rich that Aunt Queen takes a stretch limo to the shops and collects jewelled cameos… wait..

…Interrupting for a rant about the thrice damned CAMEOS. Oh dear gods I don’t believe anyone in the world, anywhere even remotely cares this much about cameos. There back to where I as…

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Sep 27, 2014 |
I listened to this one on CD. The narrator was excellent; really brought the story to life. The ending was pretty predictable. Good vampire story though and of course Lestat made an appearance. ( )
  Ginerbia | Feb 14, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne Riceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pittu, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My days have passed away, my
  thoughts are dissipated, tormenting my
They have turned night into day,
  and after darkness I hope for light again.
If I wait hell is my house, and I have
  made my bed in darkness.
I have said to rottenness: thou art
  my father; to worms, my mother and
  my sister.
Where is now then my expectation
  and who considereth my patience?
All that I have shall go down into
  the deepest pit: thinkest thou that there
  at least I shall have rest?
                              JOB 17:11 - 16 DV. 
Dedicated to my son, Christopher Rice
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Lestat, If you find this letter in your house in Rue Royale, and I do sincerely think you will find it-- you'll know at once that I have broken your rules.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345443683, Mass Market Paperback)

In the past few years, many fans have sworn off Anne Rice, flinging her later novels against the wall with cries of "First draft!" and "Never again!" But these same fans may want to take a chance on her Southern gothic Blackwood Farm, a fast-paced and erotically charged, though uneven, novel of the Vampire Chronicles. Blackwood Farm has an unusual flaw: it isn't long enough. Many of its triumphs and tragedies demand more development than they receive. Motivations are sometimes unlikely or unexplained, and the ending is far too rushed.

Blackwood Farm introduces Quinn Blackwood, the sexy, eccentric young gentleman who becomes both a vampire and the heir to the Blackwood estate. All his life, Quinn has been haunted by Goblin, a doppelgänger no one else can see--or believe in. But Goblin is real, and he is becoming maliciously tangible, strengthened by the blood that Quinn unwillingly drinks. Quinn's only hope of liberation from his increasingly dangerous doppelgänger is to find the legendary vampire Lestat. But Lestat has vowed to destroy any vampire who sets foot in New Orleans....

Blackwood Farm features characters from both the Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair Witches series, but this self-contained novel makes a good entry point for newcomers to Anne Rice's fictional world (however, Vampire Chronicle virgins really should start with Interview With the Vampire, the first in the series and arguably the finest vampire novel of the 20th century). --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:36 -0400)

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Haunted since birth by a mysterious doppelg?anger known as Goblin, Quinn Blackwood seeks out the legendary vampire Lestat to free him from the horrifying specter that draws him back to Sugar Devil Swamp and its dark secrets.

(summary from another edition)

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