Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Summer Savings Up to 25% Off Cloud Drive Photos Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Oasis Learn more Shop now Learn more

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars22
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Sexy immortals with angst to spare are the cornerstones of Anne Rice's fiction. "The Mummy or Ramses the Damned" takes a different direction, mixing romance with horror and supernatural thrills. It has its flaws, but the raw energy of the book keeps it roaring up to the finale.

Lawrence Stratford uncovers the mummy of Ramses the Second, or "Ramses the Damned." But before he can unravel the mysteries around the mummy, he's murdered by his amoral nephew Henry, and the mummy is shipped to England. Lawrence's daughter Julie takes possession both of the family fortune and the mummy -- only to have the mummy revive when exposed to sunlight, and try to kill the murderous Henry. He's Ramses, an Egyptian king who drank an elixir of eternal life taken from a Hittite priestess.

Long ago, he faked his own death and wandered the world, eventually returning to Egypt and becoming the mentor/lover of the legendary Cleopatra -- only to lose her first to Antony, then to death. At first, Ramses is thrilled by the early-twentieth-century England, and he and Julie start to fall in love. But on a trip to Egypt, he comes across the mummy of Cleopatra, and revives her with a vial of the elixir. Except that this Cleopatra is mad, murderous, torn by her old loves and hates -- and unkillable.

This is not your parents' "Mummy" story. Except for one mildly funny scene where Rameses first revives, there are no stumbling mummies covered in bandages. Instead we have a tortured immortal who wakes up into a new world, while still being rooted in the Egypt of three thousand years ago.

Rice's lush prose is well-suited to the splendor of early twentieth-century England, when Egyptology was the fad -- she has lots of fun with the lace, pearl buttons, and opera houses. Her most awkward points are when Rameses is marveling at/criticizing 1914 England. At the same time, she gives new twists to the tale of the mummy, such as having him romance Cleopatra.

Ramses gives a slightly new twist to the tormented, lonely immortal, by having his almost childlike response to things like faucets and shoes. Julie falls for him a bit too quickly (yes, he's gorgeous, but what else?), but a good love interest. The other characters -- the youth-craving Elliott, his clueless but sweet son Alex, and the money-hungry, evil Henry -- are all intriguing and fully explored. But Cleopatra is what makes the book -- she's seductive but mad, tormented but still loving. Dislike her, but Rice will make you pity her too.

"The Mummy or Ramses the Damned" gives new twists to the story of a mummy come to life. Rather than an undercooked horror novel, Rice gives a thrilling, chilling look at immortality, and how what you want is not what you get.
0Comment|7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 November 2004
This is a great book. Anne Rice in "The Mummy" I felt hit a real high and wrote what is undoubtedly my favourite book of hers. She spins a story here that brings together all of her familiar techniques at story telling; two stories in different time periods, development of separate characters and locations and then the collision of it all in the books climactic crescendo.
There is the usual central character familiar to Rice's novels, Ramses here, and how he is fashioned from Egyptian Pharaoh to immortal advisor of future rulers. Ramses early love for the Queen Cleopatra and then his dawning relationship with Julie Stratford the educated English lady help bring further depth to the story.
If you have an interest in Egyptology, mixed with a bit of mysticism, like me you will find Anne Rice's portrayal of Ramses world fascinating. Rice develops an elaborate and convincing web within which she places her main character clearly at the centre. Ramses views and ideologies help explain why he takes the actions he does and lead nicely into some interesting perspectives on the relatively more modern Edwardian period. His transition to immortal and the realisation that this is more of a curse than a gift is especially poignant.
I found this book to be faster paced than some of her others but none the worse for it and have always hoped that she would one day decide to write a sequel or similar novels (Servant of the Bones is probably her most similar in style to this). There is just the right mix of thriller, horror (relatively mild) and love to keep you spellbound throughout and a few twists that add extra intrigue. I would have no hesitation in recommending this apparently lesser known work of Anne Rice to all her fans and to others as a superb introduction to her style.
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 August 2002
Don't be deterred by the corny title. Of all Rice's books I found this to be the most fascinating. True master of the pen, Rice actually makes you believe in the most unbelievable of characters. Who else would be brave enough to place Cleopatra in a 20th century Egypt and cunning enough weave it into such a glorious plot that you don't even bat an eyelid at her appearance!! A great cliffhanger of an ending ...... to be continued! WHEN!!!! PLEASE!!
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 December 2003
This book is the best Anne Rice book. After reading this story, none of her others have come close, and in truth I have given up on them.
This is an amazing tale, the characters are great, and I have read this book at least twice in the last few years. Each time, I can barely put it down when I have started it. The only drawback is that it concludes with a promise of a sequel, and the path is left wide open for this. I read on an Anne Rice website that no sequel will be written until after the book has been turned into a film and released, which is a huge disappointment if true.
The story is beautifully written and crafted, and the only uncomfortable moment in the entire story is when one of the female characters invites Ramses to 'Batter down her virgin door'. It is a cringeworthy moment for those who don't buy in to the level of fluffy romance needed to accept that line as something an adult woman would say, but the rest of the book is wonderful. If you have a long train or plane journey coming up anytime soon, this is an excellent book to take with you, the time will pass so quickly.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 January 2002
The book develops well and kept my attention all the way to the clifhanger ending . . . I've been waiting for Rice to write the continuation of the story for a long time but it doesn't seem to be coming. Don't buy this unless you're willing to put up with the frustration of NO ENDING.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 May 2001
Yet another amazing piece of writing from the master of "immortality". Although a little slow for the first 200 pages or so, the book rose to a heart pounding (if predictable) climax.
Not as sensual as the later "Vampire" books but the atmosphere is stunning. As with her other works you find yourself wondering if the story isn't a little more fact than fiction and that maybe, just maybe, Ramses is still out there somewhere .... AN ABSOLUTE MUST FOR RICE FANS.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 February 2015
This is another favorite that I've purchased for my kindle in my (never-ending, according to my husband) quest to have them available wherever I happen to be.

I first read this book many years ago when I was trying to balance a fairly new marriage, a four year old daughter, a (second) hip and pelvis replacement, and college classes. I probably don't need to say that money was tight. Really tight. My husband, who views reading somewhat like I view golf, bought the book for me because he knew how much I loved Anne Rice. Egypt, kings, queens, immortality, love...I was immediately hooked.

Ramses is, in many ways, unlike any of the other males in Anne Rice's books. He isn't calculating and destructive like Lasher, darkly brooding like Louis, or high maintenance and mecurical like Lestat. Of course having a couple of thousand years on them might be a part of the reason why. He is also, unlike his ghostly and vampiric brothers, a being of the sun. Ramses is contemplative and intelligent with a highly developed sense of justice. Upon being awakened after a self imposed sleep that goes back to the time of Cleopatra, he is bombarded with the future. Automobiles, trains, newspapers, scientific discoveries, telephones, moving pictures and airplanes are just a few of the things he wakes up to. Is he overwhelmed? Disbelieving? Terrified? No. He is amazed, entranced, and above all, powerfully excited. He wants to do and see it all. Immediately!

His guide for this journey is a young woman who has recently lost her father. She's an heiress who is left with a very small circle of people who all want something from her. Most are good people but there is one among the bunch who is rotten to the core. It's a testimony to Anne Rice's writing that I don't dislike Julie. After all, she's smart, kind, generous, beautiful, wealthy, you get the idea. She is also, at her base, loyal, loving, and good hearted. It was impossible for me to dislike her. She is powerfully attracted to Ramses. Who can blame her? Even as a young girl I can definitely remember knowing that Charlton Heston was no match for Yul Brynner.

They journey to Egypt where things begin to go disastrously wrong. Ramses makes an ill thought out decision that will put all of the lives in their circle in immediate and deadly danger. Evidently being immortal doesn't provide an inoculation against boneheaded actions and everyone in the vicinity is going to feel the aftereffects.

These types of stories have fascinated me since I was very young. My first reason for wanting immortality wouldn't be for living forever, it would be so I'd have enough time to listen to all of the stories told by Ramses that would bring history to life. He may have been Ramses the Damned, but I would have braved a curse and gone wherever he led.

It's been many years since I've re-read this book and I wondered how it would stand the test of time. Our daughter is now an adult, I graduated, and my husband is more than ever the love of many life. And the book? I love it even more now than I did then. I've shared a bit of my life for a reason. Those of us who love to read, if we are lucky anyway, find a handful of authors we are willing to follow no matter what. We are there through both missteps and triumphs. We are happy to read a multitude of authors but we inhale those we love. How can I remember what was going on in my life all those years ago? Because Anne Rice is one of those authors for me. A port in a storm I could escape to after baths, dinner and homework were done and I could read for awhile while everyone else slept.

Of course, once again I find that the only thing I truly dislike about Anne Rice's books is that they always come to an end.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 June 2010
anyone who enjoys Anne Rice or Fantasy

This is the second time I have read this book, as the last time was years ago. The story is different then any mummy tale I have seen to date. It deals more so with immortality then raising the dead, and the emotional turmoil that accompanies being immortal.

The Story moves quickly and the characters are very likeable. The reason I only gave the book four stars is because three quarters of the way through the book, I found the characters where not behaving quite like themselves and a...more This is the second time I have read this book, as the last time was years ago. The story is different then any mummy tale I have seen to date. It deals more so with immortality then raising the dead, and the emotional turmoil that accompanies being immortal.

The Story moves quickly and the characters are very likeable. The reason I only gave the book four stars is because three quarters of the way through the book, I found the characters where not behaving quite like themselves and also because I find I'm left hanging at the end of the book. I feel robbed of the knowledge of what happens to certain characters like Alex? Elliot?

I feel the book has been left open for a sequel but so far there has been non forthcoming. With Anne Rice I guess you just can't ever tell what she will do next. Crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 August 2003
Of all the books I have read by this spookily fantastic author (all of them to date!)I truly belive I left my heart and soul within the pages. The book was so well written capturing the very essence of the world that exists only when Anne writes. I found the link between my own emotions and that of the characters very strong, you really begin to feel as if you are watching them with your own eyes. The most romantic, english/egyptian story ever and I am not giving anything away! Once you start with this book there is no putting it down (I was reading it even in the bath!)Magical.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 August 2003
A simply mesmerising book. Forget the Egyptology for a moment and it is the traditional bodice ripper, it sweeps you along on its romantic ride and you will love every second. The scenes on board the ocean liner make you wish that you were there to witness this romance of the century.
Ramses bewilderment at all the technological advances made by man makes you see the world through a childs eyes once again and you really appreciate all we have now.
Free of some of Rice's more flowery prose it is an entirely beliveable book and reminds us of how in vogue Egyptology and its archaeologists really were at the turn of the 20th century.
Not so much of a horror book but a jolly good romp that grips you from page one.
Even if the horror genre normally leaves you cold or romances leave you wanting to kick the dog this book will really deliver the goods.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.