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Ann Rice review on Amazon

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Ferrit Leggings



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 2658
Ann Rice review on Amazon  Reply with quote  

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Reviewer: Anne Obrien Rice (New Orleans, LA United States) - See all my reviews

Seldom do I really answer those who criticize my work. In fact, the entire development of my career has been fueled by my ability to ignore denigrating and trivializing criticism as I realize my dreams and my goals. However there is something compelling about Amazon's willingness to publish just about anything, and the sheer outrageous stupidity of many things you've said here that actually touches my proletarian and Democratic soul. Also I use and enjoy Amazon and I do read the reviews of other people's books in many fields. In sum, I believe in what happens here. And so, I speak. First off, let me say that this is addressed only to some of you, who have posted outrageously negative comments here, and not to all. You are interrogating this text from the wrong perspective. Indeed, you aren't even reading it. You are projecting your own limitations on it. And you are giving a whole new meaning to the words "wide readership." And you have strained my Dickensean principles to the max. I'm justifiably proud of being read by intellectual giants and waitresses in trailer parks,in fact, I love it, but who in the world are you? Now to the book. Allow me to point out: nowhere in this text are you told that this is the last of the chronicles, nowhere are you promised curtain calls or a finale, nowhere are you told there will be a wrap-up of all the earlier material. The text tells you exactly what to expect. And it warns you specifically that if you did not enjoy Memnoch the Devil, you may not enjoy this book. This book is by and about a hero whom many of you have already rejected. And he tells you that you are likely to reject him again. And this book is most certainly written -- every word of it -- by me. If and when I can't write a book on my own, you'll know about it. And no, I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut, or otherwise mutilate sentences that I have edited and re-edited, and organized and polished myself. I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me, and I will never relinquish that status. For me, novel writing is a virtuoso performance. It is not a collaborative art. Back to the novel itself: the character who tells the tale is my Lestat. I was with him more closely than I have ever been in this novel; his voice was as powerful for me as I've ever heard it. I experienced break through after break through as I walked with him, moved with him, saw through his eyes. What I ask of Lestat, Lestat unfailingly gives. For me, three hunting scenes, two which take place in hotels -- the lone woman waiting for the hit man, the slaughter at the pimp's party -- and the late night foray into the slums --stand with any similar scenes in all of the chronicles. They can be read aloud without a single hitch. Every word is in perfect place. The short chapter in which Lestat describes his love for Rowan Mayfair was for me a totally realized poem. There are other such scenes in this book. You don't get all this? Fine. But I experienced an intimacy with the character in those scenes that shattered all prior restraints, and when one is writing one does have to continuously and courageously fight a destructive tendency to inhibition and restraint. Getting really close to the subject matter is the achievement of only great art. Now, if it doesn't appeal to you, fine. You don't enjoy it? Read somebody else. But your stupid arrogant assumptions about me and what I am doing are slander. And you have used this site as if it were a public urinal to publish falsehood and lies. I'll never challenge your democratic freedom to do so, and yes, I'm answering you, but for what it's worth, be assured of the utter contempt I feel for you, especially those of you who post anonymously (and perhaps repeatedly?) and how glad I am that this book is the last one in a series that has invited your hateful and ugly responses. Now, to return to the narrative in question: Lestat's wanting to be a saint is a vision larded through and through with his characteristic vanity. It connects perfectly with his earlier ambitions to be an actor in Paris, a rock star in the modern age. If you can't see that, you aren't reading my work. In his conversation with the Pope he makes observations on the times which are in continuity with his observations on the late twentieth century in The Vampire Lestat, and in continuity with Marius' observations in that book and later in Queen of the Damned. The state of the world has always been an important theme in the chronicles. Lestat's comments matter. Every word he speaks is part of the achievement of this book. That Lestat renounced this saintly ambition within a matter of pages is plain enough for you to see. That he reverts to his old self is obvious, and that he intends to complete the tale of Blackwood Farm is also quite clear. There are many other themes and patterns in this work that I might mention -- the interplay between St.Juan Diago and Lestat, the invisible creature who doesn't "exist" in the eyes of the world is a case in point. There is also the theme of the snare of Blackwood Farm, the place where a human existence becomes so beguiling that Lestat relinquishes his power as if to a spell. The entire relationship between Lestat and Uncle Julien is carefully worked out. But I leave it to readers to discover how this complex and intricate novel establishes itself within a unique, if not unrivalled series of book. There are things to be said. And there is pleasure to be had. And readers will say wonderful things about Blood Canticle and they already are. There are readers out there and plenty of them who cherish the individuality of each of the chronicles which you so flippantly condemn. They can and do talk circles around you. And I am warmed by their response. Their letters, the papers they write in school, our face to face exchanges on the road -- these things sustain me when I read the utter trash that you post. But I feel I have said enough. If this reaches one reader who is curious about my work and shocked by the ugly reviews here, I've served my goals. And Yo, you dude, the slang police! Lestat talks like I do. He always has and he always will. You really wouldn't much like being around either one of us. And you don't have to be. If any of you want to say anything about all this by all means Email me at Anneobrienrice@mac.com. And if you want your money back for the book, send it to 1239 First Street, New Orleans, La, 70130. I'm not a coward about my real name or where I live. And yes, the Chronicles are no more! Thank God!

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Post Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:22 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
chris
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Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
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Wow, I don't even know what to say about this, except that every author I know reads his reviews on Amazon, and the normal shit-slinging that people indulge on the internet can be hurtful to an author, as well as undermine his or her confidence. Personally, I have everyone at my publisher under orders not to alert me of negative reviews in the press, because if I'm in the midst of writing a new book, and I usually am, I can't afford the crisis in confidence, or even the over compensation to the whims of one reviewer.

So I get Ms. Rice's rising ire. I stopped reading her books about 100 pages into Memnoch, and for reasons of style. I don't have the patience for the architechual and decorating details in her prose. I admire the mythos that Anne Rice created with her vampire chronicles, and I would still rate The Vampire Lestat as one of the top three vampire novels of all time, which is why I paid her props in Bloodsucking Fiends by having my vampire study her books for clues on how to go about being a vampire, but I'm not sure that her open response to her critics was a good idea. I suppose it might make her critics realize that there is a human being on the other side of the page, but having tried to answer my own critics before in other forums, I would council any author to avoid it, as you always come off sounding petulant and a little spoiled.

Ah, well, Anne is a writing machine, and the fact that she still has some vulnerability and soul after that much production is a great tribute to her humanity. I still don't give a fuck about the curtains, but you have to give Anne her props.

Post Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:57 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Ferrit Leggings



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 2658
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Chris,

I do have to agree with you about negative reviews. When I was at art school thinking that I could be the next great artist there was always some ass that would come along and say some crap about my paintings or photographs. Then there were the people who would praise my work and that, I found, didnít help much either. What helped were the people who would let me alone and let me think through my ideas on my own.

The best advice I ever got was from a photography teacher. Who, when I told her that I was thinking of setting fire to some negatives just to see what they would look like when I tried to develop them, said, ĎCheck out this artist (I canít remember who did it before me) and when you do, do it (I said do do or at least she did) make sure you go outside because the fumes are very bad for you.í She did not tell me that it was a great idea or a shit idea. She gave me some background and then let me do it.

Of all of the things that I remember from those days, or that I can remember, that I could not stand it was the people that would try to make something out of what they were doing. Critics are assholes but some artists are full of shit. Granted art is supposed to be interpreted but when an artist says something like, ĎWhen I painted this I was thinking of the inner sanctum of the mind and how it related to my psyche. I want the person who looks at this to see inside my soul.í What most people donít understand about the artís is that as soon as an artist creates something weather it is a book, painting, photograph, sculpture or weather it is good or not, it shows people the soul or bits of the creator of the work.

One of the reasons I love Vonnegutís work is that after reading his books, listening to him speak and reading articles he has written, I think I can tell he is one sarcastic person. I love sarcasm because the best of it, when sarcasm works, is when it has elements of truth mixed with humour that allows us to swallow what the author is trying to say. Vonnegut has a good soul but there are a lot of people who know nothing about his work and if they do they base it on Slaughter House Five or they hear of this master writer and pick up God Bless You Dr Kevorkian, which I loved but some people didnít. Another example is Tom Robbins, he has had a great run but if I read his last book, Villa Incognito, I probably would never have read Fierce Invalids or Jitterbug Perfume. I am not sure about Robbins soul but it creates some of the best writing I have read.

The worst thing about answering critics is the fact that they might answer back with something like, ĎI think I know what you were trying to say with thatí or ĎI think that you were using this to show this and that to show that.í Symbolism is something that critics figure out and they do it oh so well.
Having people review books is cool but it has its drawbacks. One of them is that all an author has to do is check out the page for their book on Amazon and they can see what people think of what they are writing. It can be the most wonderful thing and it can be like standing at a showing of your art work and seeing people walk by so they can see the Picasso down the hall without looking at your work.

Teaching kids has taught me one thing about literature and that is some get it and some donít. When I get done reading a book I will often discuss it with the children and there are some kids that automatically get what the story is about and can make connections and then there are some that donít. Ann Rice needs to remember that and not read what everyone is saying about her work. I am not that familiar with what she had done but anyone that can create Lestat has my respect, for whatever that is worth. I wrote a bit about writing for yourself and not anyone else and I got feedback about knowing audience, well this is what I am talking about when I say not to care about audience. I am sure people balked at Vonnegutís Galapagos or Time Quake but he still keeps or kept on writing.

As a once upon a time struggling artist and now preschool teacher I can say that I loathed people who dissected my work but I knew there would always be people who would do it as long as I created art. I think that is what draws me to writing. Not the dissecting but there is a much easier way of ignoring it and that is by not reading what these people are saying. Some may say that it is closed minded but oh well. Audience is a great thing and having one is wonderful butÖit can affect what you do. Look at the band Kiss or Ansel Adams or Christopher Reeve. Their work fell into a genre and typecast. No one got over the fact the Reeve was superman and Adamsí landscapes were great, but, and Kiss, well I would say that it was a lack of knowledge of more than three cords, and again, butÖ

Critics can be good things. They can tell you when you screwed something up royally but they can also be misleading. A good editor will tell you when you screwed up. Everyone thought Brownís book The da Vinci Code was great, or at least most of the free world, I donít know about Iraq, they are free now arenít they, but I found it unreadable because there were no jokes in it and no satire at all. It was the first book in a long time that I found that I could not finish.

I do have to say that I enjoy your books because each one is different like Vonnegut. He may have used Kilgore a lot but he put him in different situations like you with some of your characters but each of your books are nothing like each other. You mix humour with horror like Vonnegut does with satire, sarcasm and truth. And of course that is my opinion. I am not a critic, just a stalker. (Kidding)

Ta,
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Post Wed Oct 27, 2004 6:03 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Goudron



Joined: 03 Aug 2004
Posts: 2570
Location: near Cleveland OH
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I'm just wondering why Anne Rice chose not to use more than one paragraph.
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Post Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:15 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Hillary



Joined: 13 Apr 2004
Posts: 1767
If I could muster one ounce of give-a-shit-itude . . .  Reply with quote  

I'd gripe about her being a spoiled brat.

Alas, I can't.

It's ANNE RICE - the woman who took out a full paid ad in a newspaper bitching about what a shit-stache the film version of Interview was. She was promptly slapped on the wrist by her publishing house, but come on . . . par for the freaking course.

Don't get me wrong . . . I give the woman credit for writing not one but TWO of my favorite books. Queen of the Damned and The Witching Hour totally did it for me, but she takes herself far too seriously, and has learned to believe her own hype. The things that are so becoming about you, Chris, are your humility and your humor. If you were as pompous as our vampire fucking friend down in NOLA, I wouldn't be able to stomach you.

Anne needs to chill. Yes, negative press sucks, and it's frustrating, but it's part of the job description when you're an artist who puts his/her soul on display. You're essentially handing it to the public and ASKING for their cruelty. It's a brave thing to do, and I admire every published author out there, but it's unrealistic (and narcisstic) to think that everyone's going to love your stuff.

*grumbles*

To be honest, I'm sick of hearing her drapery descriptions anyway. I haven't been able to pick up ANY of her stuff for a while. I think it was Taltos that did me in. And as my opinion matters more to me than anyone else's, Anne needs to go suck an egg.

Amen.

Post Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:30 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tal



Joined: 21 May 2004
Posts: 1692
Location: Not Massachusetts
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Am I the only person who hates Anne Rice's writing?
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Post Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:04 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Jillybeans



Joined: 02 Sep 2004
Posts: 2247
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
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I once had an architecture professor tell me and the whole class that it was a good thing I knew how to write because I sure couldn't draw. From where he got that I was sure I didn't know. So what did I do? I glared at the pompous ass, decided then and there that I was going to stay in the class until he taught me what I needed to know because after all I'd waited 25 years to go back to school and damnit I deserved it. From there I interviewed with MassArt who informed me I needed a written body of work as well as a visual. That was when I started journalling. I'm still not sure if I can do either. It has to be something that speaks to the heart as well as the fact I don't know how to give up, shut up or let another human being deprive me of my voice.

The architecture teacher? Oh he remembers me to the point his students are wondering if I even exist. He remembers me because no matter what he put to me I gave it back and almost got booted out of the class when I told him the reason he lost his hand was because he'd been dragging it on the ground for too long and it wore down. After a horrified hush from the rest of the students wondering when he was going to throw me over the balcony with of course only one hand, he ended up on the floor, rolling in laughter for about five minutes, then started teaching me what I needed to know. After that everytime he looked at me, I access my inner wise ass and he'd start the whole process all over again where we were wondering if he was having a fit. My point? There is one!! Life is a work in progress keep trying and you will get there.

Sorry, I needed to put my two cents in.

Post Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:47 am   View user's profile Send private message
Lauren



Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 1582
Location: Massachusetts
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She needs to get over herself. I understand, being a bestselling author can get to your head. Redefining the vampire genre can bloat your ego. Living in New Orleans all your life...well... C'mon, the woman wanted to change her name to "Barbara Forever" when she was in high school (I'm not making that up).

Random side story. My thesis advisor in college, who taught a great class on horror fiction, wrote a vampire book. In 1975, he and his agent sat in the offices of Alfred A Knopf with one other writer and their agent. Knopf was only going to publish one vampire book that year, because vampires weren't all that mainstream. That other person was, obviously, Anne Rice. He's never gone back to have the book published, which makes me sad - I really liked some of the other things of his we got to read. I'm sure someone would pick it up now (I think he had offers once Interview With the Vampire took off), but he's still so stung by it, that it remains unpublished (I have a feeling there was a lot more to the story than he told us. He's not the kind of guy to mope for thirty years).

I liked her books. The Witching Hour was great. The next two in the series, eh. Not awful, but not great. Loved the first three Vampire Chronicles. Thought Tale of the Body Thief dragged. I really liked Memnoch, but then again, I'm a sucker for creation myths/retellings of the Bible, so I liked it despite its flaws. You're all absolutely right about her going on and on about the curtains in the room. But up until Memnoch, there was at least some story there (even Servant of the Bones was at least okay) and you could skip over the description. It's not like the texture of the drapes would come into play a hundred pages later.

But then in one of the other books, maybe Violin, she completely broke the fourth wall and started talking about some piece of classical music playing on the radio while she was writing. I sat there thinking "Anne, where's your damn editor?" The answer is, she doesn't have one. And she doesn't think she needs one. Or, well, she has one, but really just hands the editor the manuscript to pass along to the printer. It's gone now, and I'm not having any luck finding it archived, but her response to the Amazon thing on her own website basically said "I hone and craft every single word and agonize over turns of phrase for hours on end, and no editor can make my work better, because it is perfect when they receive it."

I mean, god bless her for being a big-time published author and all, but she proved herself to be the ultimate goth when she said "If you don't like it, you obviously just don't understand it." I imagine her placing the back of her hand on her forehead and sighing while saying this.

Dear Anne, please get over yourself. Love, Lauren.
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Post Thu Oct 28, 2004 7:02 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address ICQ Number
palmer



Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 1324
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Ann Rice has done something thing that I have so far failed to do -- get published. On that basis alone, she impresses the hell out of me.

If she wants to have a hissy fit over a bad review, I can live with that. If it bothers her that someone who couldn't do what she's done in a million years tries to tear it down, I understand.

I hope it doesn't happen to me if I get published one day -- please, God! -- but who knows?

Let he who is without sin... Well, you know the rest.

Post Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:28 pm   View user's profile Send private message
the evil shannon b



Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 39
Location: Twin Cities, MN
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Although I did love Ms. Rice's first three or so novels, upon trying to read her subsequent efforts, I found I could not stand the excrutiatingly long-winded blather that filled them.

In fact, I could not even FORCE myself to read her entire rebuttal above for the very same reason. I immediately tuned out because I KNEW there would be no nugget of prose or a spark of an idea in there that would strike me. Same ol' stuff, sentence, after sentance, after sentance...


Unfortunate, because she is an excellent writer... but it's just not fun for me anymore...
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Post Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:14 am   View user's profile Send private message
Michaelabattiste



Joined: 15 Nov 2004
Posts: 14
Location: Long Beach, CA
Blathering On  Reply with quote  

The Vampire Lestat was one of the first adult books I ever read... This isn't saying a heck of a lot, as I was in my mid-20s at the time, and it took me about 6 months to finish it...

I was hooked!!! I started reading her books voraciously -- ok, so I read 3 of her books over the next year-and-a-half...

I don't recall the title of the last Rice book I read, but it was pretty darn good until the end... then it blathered on for about a year-and-a-day about something close to a spiritual awakening/vampyric rapture/demonic-christ-like oragasmic-vomiting nonesense... After that, I gave up on reading anything Rice wrote, or will write...

I still think she is a splendid writer, and I will always be grateful for The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty... But, like many people have said, her writting seems to be a bit over the top.

One more reason to love Mr Moore's works -- If his books, and this website are any indication of who/what he is, I don't think he will ever let his fans down with needless Rice-istic blathering
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