- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 3 hours
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Abridged
- Publisher: Random House AudioBooks
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 16 Oct. 2000
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQB0P8
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The Witching Hour Audiobook – Abridged
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Top customer reviews
Yes, the book does meander. There is a leisurely, atmospheric introduction before we are introduced to the main characters. A good 200-300 pages in the middle contains a potted history of the Mayfair family. Such abrupt shifts of focus seem jarring at times, as if the author is finding her way. Yet it is precisely in these passages that some of her most brilliant writing occurs.
As a fan of the Vampire Chronicles, I have always thought that Rice is at her best when evoking Gothic historical scenes of high melodrama. However this book showcases some of her other talents. The lengthy passage which introduces Michael Curry is simply incredible. It manages to sum up the entire life of one man - an extraordinary feat of the imagination. The central story of epic history of the Mayfair Witches with its Faulkner-esque intrigues and incestuousness was also spellbinding. These instances of world-building were for me, the highlights of the book.
The sheer quality of Rice's writing shines throughout. The description of the New Orleans Garden Distict is striking in its detail. Her ability to handle so many characters, each one utterly credible, creates a rich world filled with believable people. The gathering of the Mayfair clan was a standout example of realistic writing.
If the book has a weakness, it's that some of the modern-day scenes early on seem a little hard to swallow, especially the dialogue. When a rich neurosurgeon meets a rich propery developer we would be forgiven for wondering if we have strayed into some TV soap opera. Also, sometimes the erotic passages went a little too far for me. But that's just my own personal taste.
However when the plot finally asserts itself in the final third of the book, it comes with a vengeance, and the book becomes a relentless steamroller of horror. We are treated to one shattering revelation after another. The plot twists come thick and fast - keeping this particular reader to the edge of his seat - until the devastating finale.
One of the most impressive things about THE WITCHING HOUR is Rice's refusal to offer any easy answers on the question of good and evil. The way in which the entity (for want of a better word) in the story justifies itself to the heroine is presented in a chilling, utterly believable light. Make no bones about it, this is a horror story of the highest order. Michael's love of Great Expectations was an irony that was not lost upon me.
In all, I would say this is a very entertaining and thoughtful read that passes swiftly. It is one of the best modern horror novels I have read in a long time. Rice has succeeded in creating a new mythology to rival her vampire lore, and I am sure it will continue to attract many new readers.
The book leisurely details the woman's modern day life, returning to New Orleans for the funeral of her mother, the base of the family of witches male and female, and comes to terms with her heritage, Lasher and a destiny plotted for her leading to a horrific coming: bring Lasher into this world. We see a lot of the tale through the eyes of the people around this family, as the agent for the Talamasca (seen in the Vampire Cycle), the watchers and recorders of witches and vampires, collect the tales on the family.
It is a leisurely paced book, that brings one into mind of New Orleans' slower pace, but it's spellbinding, haunting, deceptively mesmerising. When she moves the tale of the Mayfair witches into the past and traces each generation of witch from early Scotland on, she is breathtaking. Rice uses ancient Scots lore and gives it a new life in her evocative, provoking tale that will keep you hypnotised as few works do.
Don't think she was better before or since. It's simply a master piece. Followed up with Lasher, Taltos and Merrick.
The book within a book concept that is used within the novel to detail the lure of the Mayfair family with the spirit that gives them their witchcraft is wonderful showing with great care the advantages and disasters this brings to each generation of the family.
In my honest opinion this and the follow up books in the trilogy are better then the vampire books that I am also a fan of.
It is about a family of witches, The Mayfair Witches, and I never thought that I would never like it as much as the Vampire Chronicles but I was wrong!! It kept me engrossed from start to finish, the only bad thing I could say about this book is that even though I kept reading and reading I thought that I would never get to the end (its got over a thousand pages!) That being said I really did not want the end to come. I loved it so much that the day after I had finished it I went straight online and ordered the next 2 books in the series - Lasher and Taltos.
If you like Anne Rice then I can safely say that you will really enjoy this book, it is everything I expect from her!
Again it is a brilliant book if I could have given it more then 5 stars I would have!