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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not everyone's thing, but I liked it
I get why people don't like this, it's messy, it's dark, it makes leaps in space and time, it doesn't entirely have a plot....but despite that I liked it...a lot. It is full of grief, pain and wrenching heartbreak. It follows Triana after her husband dies and details her encounters with Stephan, her own personal ghost who's initial desire is to make her go mad. Their...
Published on 14 Sep 2008 by TigerEyes

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars confusing, messy, self indulgent
This is partly autobiographical. Which is kind of scary because now we know Rice is obsessed with death and with wanting to play the violin. The story starts where Triana (Rice i suppose) has just lost her husband to AIDS and his dead body is still lying in the house (she stays with the body for 2 days actually). The beginning of the book was actually the best part,...
Published on 6 Nov 1999


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars confusing, messy, self indulgent, 6 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Violin (Paperback)
This is partly autobiographical. Which is kind of scary because now we know Rice is obsessed with death and with wanting to play the violin. The story starts where Triana (Rice i suppose) has just lost her husband to AIDS and his dead body is still lying in the house (she stays with the body for 2 days actually). The beginning of the book was actually the best part, (I had read all the other bad reviews for it on US Amazon) and i was thinking "it's not so bad, what was all the fuss about?" Then it just got confusing and messy because this ghost keeps playing outside her window (with a violin) really beautiful music which makes her think of all the people who have died (her mom, dad, little girl and husband). Then the ghost (incubus? what is that?) comes to her and I just didn't get the relationship between Triana and Stefan (the ghost/incubus), it wasn't properly explained what he wanted from her, or what he was. Stefan told some of his "story" from the 19th century but still it fails to make the reader feel sympathy for him. It just gets Sooooo confusing, i mean he "shows" her all these images of his life and we don't know how or why or what is going on. Then suddenly she's in Vienna (she has just stolen his violin (a ghost violin?)) How did she get to Vienna??? and she finds that she can play it like a musical genius (before she wanted to play the violin but had no talent), so she becomes famous and plays everywhere in the world with an entourage of her family following her and using all her money. Then Stefan keeps begging her to give the violin back (why won't she??!!). Then ...etc. etc. What I enjoyed: I love Rice's writing, I love her thick, rich prose and beautiful wording. It was said that this book was too 'wordy', I agree but I don't mind because I'm used it by now, you just have to concentrate, but really some of the descriptions and etc. are just too convoluted. I felt sadness reading about the daughter's death but i couldn't relate and also the bits she told of her childhood and alcoholic mother were quite sad and also shocking, it caught my interest. She goes on and on about death, (to be expected but still...) and guilt (enough already), everyone keeps crying, it's a bit too melodramatic) I don't like the way she created Beethoven, Paganini, i don't like it that she "created" them at all. I just don't accept the whole "point" of the book, i understood where she was coming from but i didn't feel like wallowing in pain, everything was just too overdone and acute. 'when you laugh the world laughs with you, when you cry....'
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Painfully slow, 9 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Violin (Paperback)
Being an Anne Rice fan i was really looking forward to reading Violin but it was so slow it took me forever to get into and the characters were less than engaging. The book is basically about death and grief and pain and some more pain and imparticular one womans struggles to cope with the deaths of family members. The last half is much better but you are still left thinking; why did i bother reading this?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing and depressing, 17 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Violin (Paperback)
A big fan of all of Anne Rice's other books, I was extremely disappointed with this one. Occasionally I have had to put her books down after a few pages through them being a drag to continue, then returned to them a few weeks later and persevered and been quite pleased with the results. Unfortunately, this time the book was put down over 10 times, at times I skipped a few pages to avoid the glorification of death. Yet every time I was still just as disappointed and consider the book a complete waste of time and effort. Sorry Anne. To anyone new to the books try 'Taltos' or 'Queen of the dammed' these books are well worth the time and effort.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not everyone's thing, but I liked it, 14 Sep 2008
By 
TigerEyes (Glasgow, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Violin (Paperback)
I get why people don't like this, it's messy, it's dark, it makes leaps in space and time, it doesn't entirely have a plot....but despite that I liked it...a lot. It is full of grief, pain and wrenching heartbreak. It follows Triana after her husband dies and details her encounters with Stephan, her own personal ghost who's initial desire is to make her go mad. Their relationship forms the basis of the novel. It is beautifully written and you are never quite sure if Triana is insane or not. We are shown the sorry tale of Stephan's dark past and what led him to become the ghost he is, with violin in tow. So, yeah, I agree with a previous poster, if you want another Interview with a Vampire this book is not for you. If you want a walk in dark, painful grief beautifully and poetically written - and not everyone will! - then read it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very convincing!, 3 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Violin (Paperback)
It had some intriguing ideas: the ghost was fairly arresting as an idea when first on the scene, but became a bit of a bore after a while. The death of the central character's little daughter was extremely vivid and moving. The thing I found most irritating was her treatment of the violin! I can only assume that she can't play, from her weird references to what the bow does and her persistent harping on about the names of the strings! That was so unconvincing that it completely put me off the book. If you are going to have a centerpiece like a Stradivarius you do owe it to your readers to have some smattering of inside knowledge!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One star is being over generous, 10 Feb 2004
This review is from: Violin (Paperback)
What was Anne Rice thinking? Not much, evidently. Anyone thirsting for more in the vein of the Vampire Chronicles or even one-offs like The Feast of All Saints is going to be mightily disappointed. This formulaic little romance/ghost story concerns Triana, a woman haunted by you guessed it, three deaths in the family. She starts seeing a phantom violinist, and he eventually (after about 36363 pages) drags her into his story. Problem is that neither Triana nor the violinist (I think he's called Stefan, though I might have dozed off and dreamed that) is an interesting character and their 'conflict' is petty and unconvincing. I struggled through this potboiling monument to tedium, not bending the spine, thinking 'At least I can sell it on Amazon marketplace' only to find that there are copies on there going for 1p!!! Oh well, at least someone's got its value right.
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3.0 out of 5 stars This book is just a chunk of disappointing pages, 2 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Violin (Paperback)
“If only we would wake from (these) states of oblivion with some certain sense that there was no mystery to life at all, that cruelty was purely impersonal, but we don't.”

No No No, mediocre at the best of times. The first half of the book follows Triana as she wallows in self-pity following the death of her second husband. Once the ghost, Stefan, comes in they engage in a self-pity off, the millionaire middle-aged white lady who has everyone taking care of her (while she does nothing but feel sorry for herself) vs. the spoiled princeling. The violin seems to be the trophy in this contest, bringing the winner fame and money.
While each of them truly had some hardships in there lives, I didn't find either character to be sympathetic at all. Anne Rice writes well for the most part, and does create a good tone and atmosphere, but someone needed to reign her way in. At least in her vampire books, someone occasionally pulls Lestat out of his wallowing (poor sad immortal vampire), but in this book the main characters simply challenge each other to wallow harder.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read., 2 Nov 2012
This review is from: Violin (Paperback)
I thought this book was wonderfully written. From the onset I was wrapped up in the characters and could not put the book down. This story has so many layers and yet they are portrayed without confusion. It deals with the one thing that westernised society seems to like to avoid talking about too much, death. But it not only portrays the sadness of death, but the joy of living. The story of Triana took me on a strange and wonderful journey. I loved the deep and chaotic style of Triana's character as she slowly began to understand Stefan's plight. But I was not only shown Triana's past, but also the mysterious Stefan's, which I thought was very well done, since it was written from Triana's point of view. Anne Rice guided me through modern and ancient surroundings with such detailed description that I could see these places vividly. What a wondrous imagination Anne Rice has to be able to marry music and writing in such a way. The cleverness of the violin scenes that portrayed the style of music from words, and also gave a window into the past from the characters memories. The deep darkness of its prose gave way to light and understanding, which was weaved throughout the pages. It was almost unpredictable from start to end, which kept me questioning what was going to happen next. I really enjoyed this book and would read it again.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The ghostly adventures of AR, 26 Aug 2011
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Violin (Paperback)
It's only natural for an artist to incorporate parts of their life into their art. And if that life involves pain, the art often becomes a means of working through it.

Unfortunately, that art often becomes a soggy mess of melodrama and plotless meandering. Anne Rice's "Violin" was probably good for her mental/emotional health, and it brims over with genuine emotion... but as an actual novel, it's a big messy hallucinatory disaster. Methinks Anne should have just stashed this away in her desk.

The main character is Triana, a woman whose husband Karl recently died of AIDS. She also seems to have gone insane, since she hasn't told anyone about his death because she wants to cuddle with his dead body. While this is going on, she notices a strange man hanging around her house -- a man with a strange talent for playing Karl's Stradivarious.

The man turns out to be Stefan, a ghost with a connection to the Stradivarius. He and Triana embark on a trip through the centuries, exploring both their lives -- including the death of her alcoholic mother and young daughter. Wow, is this starting to sound like a certain gothic fiction author we're familiar with?

"Violin" is a mess. A big, sloppy, half-decayed, hallucinatory mess that makes you feel like you ate some bad mushrooms. There's not much of an actual plot -- possibly because this was published during one of the higher points of Rice's career, and she could actually get an entire book of morbid Mary Sue ramblings about cuddling with rotting bodies.

And honestly, most of this book is nothing more than that. Rice simply writes about Triana blathering about death and wallowing in the tragedies of her past, and occasionally waxing eloquent about violin music and Beethoven. You end up wishing the woman would just shut up, particularly since she expresses herself solely in run-on sentences of dripping purple prose.

And sometimes she goes into WAY too much detail about things we didn't need to know about, such as her dead mother's used menstrual pad COVERED IN ANTS. Is she trying to induce vomiting, or is that a fun side-bonus?

And Triana doesn't really help either. It's pretty obvious that she's Rice's self-insert, and she's not a very likable one. Not only is she painfully pretentious and self-absorbed, but she's also completely nuts and semi-suicidal. And she comes across as very selfish as well, since she keep Stefan captive in the world of the living because hey, she wants to play the violin.

"Violin" tries to be a ghost story, a paeon to music and an authorial catharsis, but it ends up deteriorating into a big smelly mess.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it...even if no-one else did!, 9 May 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Violin (Paperback)
This is a beautiful book. Yes, it is self-indulgent to some extent - but writers are always self-indulgent, there's always an element of autobiography in a novel. I personally did not find it in the least confusing. It is intentionally messy and hectic, but the essence of it is always coherant, the central themes ever present. And it is a novel about the central character, Triana, and since her thoughts are not always straight forward, neither is the novel. This does not make it a bad novel, just one you really need to immerse yourself in, give in to, to enjoy it properly. If you don't do this - I needed a quiet room, time alone to appreciate it properly - then you might miss something that holds the key to understanding it. It also needs a sympathetic reader. But its far easier (and more enjoyable) than 'Memnoch the Devil'. I loved the Vampire Chroncicles (well, loved the first two, liked the rest), but something about 'Violin' captured me. The descriptive passages are overwhelmingly beautiful, and Stefan is the perfect Byronic hero. He does not understand his own pain - that's part of the point of it. And the fact that Rice did not make him an incubus (that's a ghost that comes and has sex with mortal women), yet keeps up a level of sensuality, makes it even more wonderful. She captures Vienna perfectly (I've recently visited). OK, perhaps it's not 'Interview' and you won't find a character comparable to Lestat (could you ever?) but its still a wonderful, enchanting book, full of pain and torment, but with a hopeful ending. I loved it.
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Violin
Violin by Anne Rice (Paperback - 1 Oct 1998)
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