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Merrick Paperback – 1 Nov 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New edition edition (1 Nov 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099271486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099271482
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 3.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 728,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anne Rice is the author of internationally bestselling books including 'The Vampire Chronicles' (from Interview with the Vampire to Blood Canticle), her 'Mayfair Witches' sequence, Blackwood Farm and Blood Canticle. She lives in Rancho Mirage, California.

Product Description

Amazon Review

With the splendid Merrick, Rice is firing on all cylinders, and this latest volume in the best-selling Vampire Chronicles has all the elements that we expect from her: richly evocative use of locales; flesh-creeping horror (the squeamish should steer clear); rich, operatic characterisation and (most of all) that strange, overwrought prose style which is hers alone. The Vampire Armand ended with Lestat being revived in modern-day New Orleans. But the central character in this new volume is Lestat's friend Louis de Pointe du Lac (who first appeared in the 18th-century France of Interview with the Vampire ), another one of Rice's tortured vampires. Louis is dealing with the memory of the dead child vampire Claudia, to whom he was devoted. But when the Machiavellian organiser David Talbot joins Louis in appealing to the beautiful Merrick (mixed-race daughter of a New Orleans Mayfair clan) to invoke the ghost of Claudia, Merrick's very individual brand of black magic becomes the one thing that can save Louis' sanity. This tampering results in other malign spirits being released, and soon Rice's narrative is knee-deep in bloody mayhem and voodoo.

The novel has the feel of a massive, sprawling canvas, teeming with colour and invention, the locales move from her beloved New Orleans to a colourfully realised Brazilian jungle, and set against this are the larger-than-life characters Rice excels in. Merrick takes a little while to establish herself but when she assumes centre stage, the reader will find the wait well worthwhile. The big set pieces are as gripping as ever (in the usual sanguinary fashion):

Suddenly she lunged at the altar, never letting go of her bottle, and, grabbing the green jade perforator in her left hand, she slashed a long cut into her right arm. I gasped. What could I do to stop her, I thought, what could I do that wouldn't enrage her? The blood streamed down her arm and she bowed her head, lifted it, drank the rum and sprayed the offering on the patient saints once again. I could see the blood flowing down her hand, over her knuckles. The wound was superficial but the amount of blood was awful. Again she lifted the knife...
--Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Rice's writing is wonderfully imaginative and as creepily splendid as a hot-house orchid" (Sunday Times)

"Rice knows what her readers want... she has the knack of touching on our deepest fears" (Times Literary Supplement)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on 5 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback
Not having read any reviews of this book it came as a splendid surprise to have some of the old characters back. David Talbot was always one of my favorites. To learn about his experience with magic and to have him introduce such a provocative and mystical witch was fascinating and quite a departure from the Rice that we know. She is no passive dabbler in mind-reading. Unlike the Mayfair Witches of First Street, the exotic Merrick is a priestess of ceremonial magic, a spirit conjurer of the highest order.

Although Rice departs from her usual vampiric adventures, delving more into Voodoo and witchcraft, she moves the story of her much beloved blood drinkers along seamlessly. If you are a fan of The Vampire Chronicles then you will be pleased by some of the revelations in this episode.

NOTE: It is unnecessary to have read The Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy to understand and appreciate this book. While many say that this is a union of the Rice's witches and her vampires is not entirely accurate. Only a single character from the First Street Mayfair bloodline is mentioned and only to make the most flimsy of connections. It would be a truer statement to say that this novel is a melding of Rice's vampires (read: characters) with the world of her witches (read: rules, physics, and powers).

However I do suggest you read this AND the witches trilogy before reading Blackwood Farm or Blood Canticle
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Format: Paperback
Anne Rice is a writer with whom I've spent a lot of time over the years. In my mid-teens, I read nothing but vampire fiction for six months. Novels by Ms. Rice became part of my staple diet. Since my period of gluttony, I've read few vampire stories, but thought that I would return to the genre. Picking up where I stopped, I found a copy of 'Merrick' and read it cover to cover.

At first, there was nothing to dissuade me. 'Merrick' is hardly an intimidating novel. Margins are wide, vocabulary is simple, and the dialogue is declarative. Regrettably, these became faults of the book. Ms. Rice writes little in the way of detail. It became difficult to conjure images in my mind with statements like: 'There was a mountain.'

Another problem with 'Merrick' is that Ms. Rice writes in a reminiscent style. Characters spend much of their time sitting with friends and recalling traumatic events. This would be fine for a single scene, but this technique dominates the novel. Overall, 'Merrick' loses any sense of narrative drive. Reading the book was like pushing a boulder up a hill.

In summary, I recommend Ms. Rice's earlier novels - especially 'Interview with a Vampire' - but give this one a miss.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Nov 2001
Format: Paperback
I find this book to be a massive improvement on the turgid prose of its predecessors, The Vampire Armand and that attempted re-write of Dante's superior work, Memnoch the Devil. However, this book is by no means anywhere on a par with the first three novels in a previously compelling series.
Although Rice's prose has improved a little, the characterisation of Louis and Lestat is totally unforgivable. Louis, that dark, sensual vampire of "Interview With the Vampire" is terribly twisted now. His reasoning-- can there be redemption for a killer-- is discarded because he wants, like any teenager, 'to belong'. Ahh.
And Merrick, well, she drinks rum. And she's spiritually talented. She's clever and loved instantly by *every* character and despite the nasty trick she performs on Louis, is forgiven, because she's so lovable. That's characterisation so shallow that you can see the words on the other side of the page. Or, for the unitiated, it's what many writers call a 'Mary-Sue', a beautiful, amazing person based on the author with no faults whatsoever.
So, are there any strengths?
Well, yes, sort of. What I will say for this book is that, as someone who loves the sheer *feel* of New Orleans-- that mixture of heat and the occult and offbeat history-- it is beautifully portrayed in this book. For that reason alone, it merits the two stars.
I'm also annoyed at those who proclaim that if we don't like these drastic changes, we can lump it. What a silly suggestion-- the people who loved those first books and rushed out to buy them made Rice's career. I think we are right to expect a good adventure, or none at all.
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By Anita on 9 July 2014
Format: Paperback
Great product great value :)
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By B. hill on 3 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A really good introduction to the mayfair witches, puts a really interesting spin on the vampire chronicals
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By Meachelle Bullock on 26 Jun 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once again great work by Anne rice. Highly recommended read before the Mayfair witch series as it gives an introduction to the family.
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By Miketang on 23 Aug 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good points: the usual Anne Rice talent for atmosphere (especially historical or weird atmosphere); fast-paced adventure that can make for a real page-turner; fascinating knowledge of ancient cultures and magic rituals; good plot line and variety. Like others, I find the mixture of witches and vampires makes for a refreshing change.

Not so good: for me she tanks on romance and "love interest", veering into sentimentality that's just not believable - l suppose it appeals to some but not to me (imo her treatment of gay attachments tends to be more credible); in this novel the transformation of the title character in Eliza Doolittle fashion by the Talamasca is cliche verging on the risible. It may appeal to those identifying with her of a narcissistic bent. From impoverished, neglected waif to brilliant scholar of "perfect Greek" and ability to speak conversational Latin in 4 years? but not without weaknesses such as a liking for the bottle (no goody-two-shoes she!) come on, Anne: in your dreams.

The original quest of Louis for Claudia also gets lost in the jungle before re-emerging towards the end almost as an after-thought. And then.....after all that, it seems to lead to a dead end as far as Louis and Claudia go. But still, an engrossing read; her pluses far outweigh her minuses for those on the same, offbeat wavelength.
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