Memnoch The Devil by Anne Rice

memnoch_the_devilThe 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 (Amazon.com review)

From Publishers Weekly

Rice has made a career out of humanizing creatures of supernatural horror, and in this fifth book of her Vampire Chronicles she requests sympathy for the Devil. Having survived his near-fatal reacquaintance with human mortality in The Tale of the Body Thief (1992), the world-weary vampire Lestat is recruited by the biblical Devil, Memnoch, to help fight a cruel and negligent God. The bulk of the novel is a retelling of the Creation story from the point of view of the fallen angel, who blames his damnation on his refusal to accept human suffering as part of God’s divine plan. Rice grapples valiantly with weighty questions regarding the justification of God’s ways to man, but their vast scope overwhelms the novel’s human dimensions. God and the Devil periodically put on the flesh of mortals, and too often end up sounding like arguing philosophy majors. Meanwhile, the ever-fascinating Lestat, whose poignant personal crisis of faith is mirrored in Memnoch’s travails, becomes a passive observer, dragged along on trips to Heaven and Hell before being returned to Earth to relate what he has witnessed. Though Rice boldly probes the significance of death, belief in the afterlife and other spiritual matters, one wishes that she had found a way to address them through the experiences of human and near-human characters, as she has done so brilliantly in the past. One million first printing; BOMC and QPB main selections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

 

About Simon

Simon is an actor who found his way into audiobook narrating as a side-gig and seems to have made a success of it. With some training as an actor as a child (just a couple of hours a week, but it stuck) and 15 years working inside the BBC (ending up as one of the presenters/newsreaders on BBC Radio 4 in London) he found the ideal combination for an audiobook narrator. Found his way to California two decades ago and never left.

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11 Responses to Memnoch The Devil by Anne Rice

  1. Branwen September 29, 2016 at 10:38 am #

    Simon, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying your readings of the Vampire Chronicles and have just finished Tale of the Body Thief, having listened to the first four in order on Audible. Thank you so much for making such a brilliant job of all the characters and their subtleties πŸ™‚

    However, I’ve just been trying to find Memnoch the Devil, and although I can see it on the US Audible website and other similar stores I can’t seem to find it anywhere here the UK! Do you have any idea why that would be? Or do you know anywhere in the UK I could find it? I’m desperate to hear you continue the Chronicles!

    • Simon November 3, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

      Thanks for your comments! On the subject of Memnoch – I just looked on the site and it now appears to be there…maybe you have already discovered that. πŸ™‚

      • Branwen Munn November 3, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

        I have and am halfway through already! Thank you so much πŸ™‚ So good!

  2. Jo Wylde September 17, 2016 at 8:42 am #

    Would firstly like to say you are amazing on the vampire chronicles you are Lestat to me so can you please tell me will you be doing Prince Lestat and the realms of Atlantis if and when they put it to audiobook? ? thanks Jojo ?

    • Simon November 3, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

      It is done… Due out at the end of this month (November 2016)

  3. Pamela Winterbottom April 16, 2016 at 5:31 am #

    As you have already completed some of her other books, will you be reading “The Vampire Armand” by Anne Rice in the near future?

    • Simon May 2, 2016 at 11:38 am #

      I’m afraid the only answer I can give is that it depends on whether the publisher asks me – they do not keep me in the loop as far as what their future plans might be (much as I would love to plan that far ahead). Sorry not to be able to answer your question, but I hope by your asking it you mean you enjoyed the already existing recordings of Ms Rice’s books.

  4. Pema James August 18, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    Do you know which of the Vampire Chronicles you’re going to be recording? From what I can find online it looks like “The Body Thief” is being skipped. Just curious, I’d love to hear the whole set done in your style, the first 3 have been amazing so far. πŸ™‚

    • Simon August 23, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

      No idea why they skipped that one… Indeed even my contacts who commissioned me to record Memnoch were not aware that it had been missed… It’s a mystery πŸ™‚

      On the other hand, you may be aware that Anne Rice has written a new book in the Vampire Chronicles series (after a break of more than a decade)…. I wonder who is going to narrate it? πŸ˜‰

      • Shirley Stuart November 10, 2014 at 8:54 am #

        According to our local public library catalog, the audio version of “Prince Lestat” is on order, and it’s credited to you. Is this correct?

        • Simon November 26, 2014 at 10:52 am #

          Yes, it is. πŸ™‚

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