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on 28 June 2017
was for my son haven't read it but at the rate he is reading the series I would say it is very grabbing!
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on 8 January 2003
It's a refreshing change to see Lestat back in action, albeit in the background. Blackwood Farm revolves around the character of Quinn, an impulsive young lord full of life and exploration yet secrelty haunted. Sound familiar? Quinn is basically Lestat's younger brother which is why the majority of you out there will probably love this book.
Personally I feel that this book is certainly more enchanting than Rice's most recent titles yet I do feel that there is something missing.
Unfortunately there's only so much story you can tell around a vampire, it drinks blood, it learns, it makes mistakes and it pines for a life it's lost. Rice has explorered all of the above and I feel that she's exhausted her bank of inspiration. I'm sincerely looking forward to a refreshing tale from her, perhaps she should bring back the beloved Lestat as a central character...
Blackwood Farm yearns to be a Vampire Chronicle and it succeeds where Vittorio and even Merrick failed. It's passionate, it's haunting and it's alluring and no doubt those of you who will be reading it will enjoy it. I certainly did.
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on 10 May 2003
i've been waiting to read Blackwood Farm for months, and have finally done so and in the process not been dissapointed.
i read the book in a matter of days, about Quinn's life and his connection to Goblin his 'twin ghost'. Though i was disappointed in learning that Lestat was in the background, it still had the creativity of the other anne rice books and definately worth the read. The ending was surprising but made the book worthwhile and i can't wait for the supposed last book of the chronicles 'blood canticle'.
I definately recommend it to any anne rice fan.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 December 2005
The penultimate chapter of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles inspires more boredom than thrills'n'chills. While it starts off strong, the draggy pace and boring recounting of the lead's life bogs it down, despite Rice's typically beautiful writing.
Tarquin Blackwood, a young vampire, arrives at the Vampire Lestat's apartment to deliver a letter asking for his help. Before he can drop it off, however, Lestat himself appears and take Quinn under his wing. But after the two of them feed, Lestat sees a strange spirit-like creature attach itself to Quinn, sucking some of the blood from him. This is Goblin, an invisible doppelganger who has been with Quinn his whole life.
Quinn recounts his life to Lestat: His childhood with Goblin, the invisible friend who never went away, quirky Aunt Queen and his mother, a vicious country singer called Patsy. He tells of his run-ins with the sexy ghost of his ancestor's mistress, his love for the promiscuous Mona Mayfair, and the strange events that led him to become a "Blood Hunter." Except that now that he is a vampire, Goblin is becoming more powerful -- and malevolent -- as well.
"Blackwood Farm" starts off strong with supernatural mystery and mayhem in a Southern Gothic setting, with plenty of dirty family secrets, murder and ghosts. But as soon as Lestat starts listening to Quinn talk about his life, things start to drag. It wouldn't be surprising if Lestat wandered off to watch TV during the course of Quinn's monologue. It's that dull.
Occasionally Quinn offers a tidbit that is genuinely enticing, like the intricacies of his Southern gothic family, or the clues he uncovers about the beautiful, evil Rebecca. But it often feels like Rice is trying too hard to make it all feel surreal and supernatural. Hermaphrodite vampires and sex with spirits? Her lovely prose can't gloss over the self-conscious weirdness.
And Rice's writing is undeniably lovely, full of an aesthete's love of velvets and marble and cameos and so forth. The dialogue is where she stumbles -- there's too much of it. At the start of the book, there is an entire chapter of Lestat bickering with a Talamasca. And when he decides to seduce a thirtysomething servant, Quinn has what may be the worst (and most racist) pickup line in history: "Be my chocolate candy. I'm real unsure of my masculinity." Time to swoon, girls.
It doesn't help that Quinn isn't a terribly interesting character either. He's basically a hormonal, immature teenage boy who can see ghosts. Aunt Queen, with her love of cameos, is a far more engaging character, while Patsy is fairly two-dimensional, if easily hateable. Lestat is enigmatic and alluring, for the relatively small part of the book he's actually in.
"Blackwood Farm" is too stretched out for its own good, but it's far from the worst Anne Rice has written. At the end, it feels unfulfilling and empty, like a looming mansion filled with nothing but ghosts.
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on 6 May 2007
Blackwood Farm, although written with Rice's typical enchanting vernacular is not quite up to par with her earlier works. Although I was glued to the book and finished it in a hurry, I did so because of the subtle forshadowing and hinting that is typical of a Rice novel. However, in Blackwood Farm, the climaxes are just not there. In her earlier works, it was generally only a few chapters before the story was shaken up with an epic event. In Blackwood Farm it is not so, and you continue to push on, thinking that the epic climax is just around the corner, although it generally is not.

Even so, the book is interesting all the way through even without the big resolutions you might be expecting, but once is over you may feel like you never really got the epic events you would expect from an Anne Rice novel.

The other problem for me was Rice forcing certain titles on some of her characters and then giving them attitudes to contradict what she tells you to feel about them. Aunt Queen is supposedly this amazing woman who people from all around New Orleans know of and love dearly. But her actions and dialogue in the book paint more of a snotty upper class woman who would surely not be reguarded in such a way by most people, especially the reader. This same thing is true of multiple characters and situations in the book.

Also, many of the characters actions are really hard to believe, and can seem contrary to the personalities they are given in the book. Quinn, for example, made some decisions that just seemed far too rash, selfish, and compulsive for his character. And his attention and affection for things seemed to be different with each chapter, which seemed forced and very uncharacteristic of human nature. I think Rice used the technique to continually shift between different sub-plots, but it made Quinn's character a lot less real to me.

Also, the love story in the book is really just a distraction. It portrays a frustrating and immature relationship and Rice never admits it to be such. It seemed to be the opposite of what an Anne Rice novel usually delivers. It reminded me of an over the top romance novel or a silly chick-flick romance movie (although it certainly had darker parts). It just didn't seem to fit in a Rice novel.

However, the book is beautifully written. Blackwood Manor (the place) itself has a deep and rich history that is intersting to absorb. Sugar Devil Swamp is the most enchanting plot in the book, and you will be anxious to read on and uncover it's mysteries. Lestat is enchating as always, although he plays only a minor role.

In spite of it's faults, Blackwood Farm is enjoyable, and worth reading if you are an Anne Rice fan. The book will hold your attention. it's full of excellent imagery, and there really are some good gems in the book that any fan of the Vampire Chronicles should experience. The part of the book that focuses on Sugar Devil Swamp is truly enchanting. Unfortunately there are quite a few other plots in the book that aren't nearly as entertaining. Still, it's Anne Rice, and to me, that means I will enjoy it.
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on 28 April 2003
I loved this book from the start, with the return of our hero Lestat (who has regained his famous sense of humour) for a tale of evil and dark family secrets. Anne has joined her Vampire Chronicles with the successful Mayfair witches trilogy to give a new breed of vampire and more depth into her compelling world. Read this book and you will not be diisapointed. Except maybe that you have to wait for the next book!
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on 14 December 2002
I am a fan of Anne Rice's vampire books and really looked forward to reading this one. The reviews looked so promising. Unfortunately it didn't hold my interest. The hero(if one can use this description) turned out to be a callow youth, totally introspective who appeared to try to solve problems by throwing large amounts of money at them, there was a constant repetition of how rich he and his family were. The plot is non existant, most of the characters weakly drawn and unconvincing. The inclusion of various "cameo" roles of characters from other books only served to reinforce my disappointment.
I will think long and hard before buying another Anne Rice book.
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on 15 September 2007
This book was much more of a struggle to get through than all of the others put together. I struggled at the start the most - the long and complicated conversation between Lestat and Stirling was utterly forced and totally unrealistic. When it got to Quinn telling his life story there were ups and downs in the writing - "be my chocolate candy, I'm real unsure of my masculinity" being a real low. The two things I hated most about this book were firstly the seemingly limitless amount of money almost every character possessed - why does it matter? and the utter trash that consisted Mona and Quinn's romance. I went through the entire subplot thinking 'teen romance' and at no point was that belief even weakly tested. Other than that - the Goblin plot was sublime in all respects, I loved the intricate and well-developed family and friends, and Sugar Devil Island's mysteries were beautiful and exciting to read and wonder about.
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on 8 July 2004
This book had me gripped from the first page. It was a greatcambination of the Vampire chronicles and the Mayfair Witches, both of which I love. The character of Quinn conjures images of a young sensative and fairly scared young man. the love between Mona and Quinn makes you wnat them to be together.
It is a great book and brings the two sets of books together well.
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on 26 May 2004
I enjoyed Blackwood farm, it doesn't live up to Anne Rice's earlier vampire chronicles, but I think its a hard target to meet and with this book she manages not only to create a intriging and new character but also has written lestat back into it, and shared with this the introduction of Mona Mayfair - who personally I think was the best character in it - who becomes a vampire it really is a great book packed with love, vampires, suspense, expectations and assumptions, ghosts and alot of death. It is a great improvement from her books Blood and Gold, Vittorio annd otehr of her newer (ish) books.
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