Top critical review
on 2 November 2014
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.