Belinda

ISBN: 0515093556
ISBN 13: 9780515093551
By: Anne Rampling Anne Rice

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About this book

2 cassettes / 3 hoursRead by Al Mohrmann "Belinda" is the ultimate fantasy. A golden-haired object of desire, fresh and uninhibited. But to Jeremy Walker, a handsome and famous 44-year-old illustrator of children's books, "Belinda" is a forbidden passion. She's sweet sixteen - and the most seductive woman he's ever known.

Reader's Thoughts

Becqui

Provocative, sensual, daring, taboo. I was unsure about the content, but I could not put it down. A painter/ children's author having a love affair with a 16 year-old girl, who is more of a woman, due to her unusual worldly childhood, than any woman he has ever been with. the way Anne describes the paintings, the house, the love scenes, is almost like you are there.

Lyn

Implausible. Unrealistic. Saccharine. A bit smutty. It's been called Lolita-esque, but Rice isn't even close to the writer Nabakov was. It's been called erotic, but I didn't find it so. It's been called seductive, but I was not seduced.There's no depth to this story. No reason either of these characters would fall in love. This is like Anne Rice put some typical sexual fantasy into words and published it because she could.

Abby

Is the plot utterly ridiculous? Yes. I'm not going to pretend that the character's back stories don't play out like some sort of Sirk melodrama because they do.What makes this book is the reaction it elicits in the reader. I felt extremely disturbed reading this book. While no one can condone the "love story" between 16 year old Melinda and 44 year old Jeremy, one doesn't necessarily condemn it either. Rice's writing prevents an immediate dismissal of their relationship on moral grounds. It is sick and unconventional, yet at least while reading, one almost believes it could work.The love scenes are stale, which is a relief since actual passion in these scenes would leave me feeling particularly sick. The description of Jeremy painting and photographing Belinda, however, is one of the most bizarrely erotic things I have ever read.

Savannah

NOTE: THIS IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART, AND CONTAINS A LOLITA-ESQUE TALE. If you prefer a more Real Life angsty story with a fairly nice end over Rice's Over the top supernatural bru-ha-ha, look no further. Unless, of course, you are squicked by a teenage girl sleeping with and being in a romance with a middle aged man. That, perhaps, is the major determent in recommending this book. It's rather frightening to know how good a book is but know that because of the plot, someone will judge you for your enjoyment of it. I remember reading it red faced, not because of the content but rather because I knew that if someone recognized what it was, they would raise their eyebrows. The red face may also have been because I was a 16-year-old girl who frequently lust after men in their thirties and forties, reading a story about a man lusting after and eventually falling in love with someone my age. Nothing like haveing a double guilty conscious, eh?In any case, there is Art, there is a debate over art vs obscenity, there is beautiful description, there is a compelling love story that at the same time makes you want to step back, and a hot topic plot. hmmmm. . . sounds like a good read to me! Perhaps I shall reread it now that I'm several years older and my lust objects are a hell of alot closer to my own age. . .

Irene

I am an Anne Rice fan The relationship that developed in the book I didn't have an issue with, I can understand from the male characters point of view. I think, I was personally uncomfortable with the running narrative from the males perspective , pedophile references throughout the book frequent in the beginning and the middle. I thought the ending was satisfactory.

Michelle Vaughn

I kept referring to this as "that turd of an Anne Rice novel I'm torturing myself with" if that tells you anything about my reading experience. Crap writing, dumb dumb dummy dumb dumb plot full of unbelievable, unrelateable characters, and then there's that thing where Anne Rice is writing about a love affair (well, Jeremy says he is in love, but what I think he means is that he really likes to bone his live-in baby-faced teenage runaway) between a grown ass man (who should know better) and a 16-year-old. Belinda, our Lolita, insists that because she has had an "adult" body since she was 14, that makes her an adult free to have adult love affairs. And, yes, perhaps a discussion about the autonomy of teens over their bodies should be discussed. (Why do I think teens should have access to birth control and emergency contraception, but I think this teen should be torn by force from the arms of her man lover?) But, Anne Rice's version of what is truly "right" versus the "moral majority" is sort of nauseating--particularly because Jeremy actually beats Belinda at some point, a fact he admits to (by painting it--gag), but every character in the book, including Belinda and her father, forgive. Um, hello, Anne Rice. A man who raises a hand against a woman a) has done it before and b) will do it again. Keep that dude away from teen dream. Seriously. To clarify: is having sex with and painting nude portraits of a womanly-bodied 16 year old pedophilia and pornography? No. Is it morally corrupt and exploitative? Yes. Teenagers are not adults. And though Anne Rice tries to present Belinda as a worldy character, it is very obvious that she is not an adult. She is, emotionally, still on the child-end of the human emotional spectrum. Belinda is needy, co-dependent, and vulnerable--which are exactly the traits that drive Jeremy so boner-crazy. And I'm supposed to route for this relationship? No.And I'm no prude, right? I'm not new to transgressive literature and transgressive love affairs in literature. Whatever my feelings about adult/teen sexual relationships, I might still have been able to get something out of this novel had it not been so poorly written. Seriously, this is a lazy book. And the whole tabloid Hollywood aspect was tedious and exasperrating. This could've been a better book had the focus been shifted to the art-world aspect and the public reaction to the works, without all of the movie starlet mom nonsense.

Jennifer

This is one of the lesser-lesser known works by the authoress Anne Rice, written under her least common pen name. On the surface, Belinda seems to resemble Nabakov's famous work Lolita, but the character dimension has Rice's typical sparkle, the intimate scenes are more vivid and realistic, and the more modern setting makes it more accessible for many. This book is a shade more controversial and patently sexual than most of the Vampire Chronicles, but less so than the Beauty Trilogy, so if you are coming from either series, don't expect the same style.

marissa

Anne Rice starts off this novel by declaring, "THIS NOVEL IS DEDICATED TO ME". Sadly, that's the best and most entertaining part in the entire book.

Nicky

Can't believe I haven't added this before! It's one of my childhood favourites (weirdly enough) and I absolutely loved it. I loved all the insane characters and globe-trotting and rich famousness. I was dying to read Crimson Mardi Gras (the book Jeremy ghost-writes for his mother) and watch Belinda's mother's night time soap and the inscrutable foreign film Belinda makes with the cowboy-hat lesbian. If you're thinking of reading it and expecting a 1980's Lolita, stop. This is pure soapy trash. When I first read it I was about 13 and didn't really think anything was up with a sophisticated 16-year-old like from Sweet Valley High getting it together with a much older man. Now I'm almost 30 and 16-year-olds look about 10 so that ramps up the ick-factor and I'm almost afraid to re-read it in case my memories of it are ruined, so I'm just going to remember it through the haze of ages.

Danelle

While I enjoyed the book overall, I had to give it one less star based on pacing. The book sort of lagged in the middle and I almost put it away to take a crack at it another day. However I don't like to not finish a book so I read on and i'm glad I did it. This book tackles a relationship between a 44 year old children's book writer/artist and a 16 year old girl who is the daughter of a movie star. At first I didn't know how to feel about it but then as I read it appeared that out of everyone Jeremy was the only person willing to do what was right for Belinda. It's a strange relationship between a man trying to figure out what he really wants to do with his life and a girl who has dark secrets and is wise beyond her years. If you are an Anne Rice fan I fully recommend this book. However if the age difference between the two main characters is too much for you to accept than I don't recommend you reading this. It's one of those books that you have to go into with an open mind.

Suz Thackston

I read this years ago and loved it, thought it was daring and naughty and fraught with all of Anne Rice's usual plot twists and great characters. On re-reading it in my 50s I just keep thinking 'Yuck.' I'm going to finish it out of respect for the author who gave me 'Interview' and then donate it to the used book store so its nastiness doesn't rub off on my other books. How did I ever think this crap was titillating?and having finished it for the last time, that's exactly where it's going. i'm embarrassed that i ever liked it, and mad at myself for wasting precious reading time on it now. i don't have enough life left to read the books i want, and i can't get that time back now. paugh. she tries to make the overt pedophilia 'okay' by presenting us with a belinda who is wise, an old soul, who knows what jeremy needs more than he does himself, totally self-sufficient, free of adolescent insecurities, the power behind the throne who is able to help her abuser shuck off his chains and realize his full potential. heck, rice even gives him parental approval.i'm going to have a hard time ever liking 'interview' again after this.

Chris G.

Too many words... seriously. I love Anne Rice, but sometimes I wonder if she gets paid by the word count. Quite a few places where the story drags while the author takes time out to spend 20 pages describing the history of a place or art, etc. flip, flip, flip... back to the story.The story itself is good, if not a bit contrived. Very dated at this point. The 16yo starlet is my age, making her 44 now. Lots of references to the time period that don't hold up now. Would love to see a rewritten, modernized version.Despite the inevitable comparisons to Lolita, it's not. Better story, and better ending, for sure.

Eroti Cliterature

If you didn't read this book when it came out, you might think it an erratic, saccharine view of child abuse. Because I was only a little older than the heroine, I saw it as a wonderful dream of freedom. Yes, it was unrealistic. Yes, Jeremy Walker was oddly obsessive. Who cares, so was Fast Times at Ridgemont High in many ways, and it was fantastic.I loved Anne's ability to describe both Belinda's relationship with Jeremy and her mother in ways that felt both broken and worthy. Nothing black or white, just the right touch of pain and need that made them feel real.I just re-read it a few weeks ago and it's stood up surprisingly well. The characters still had pop and pizzazz in my aging imagination. It is still one of those books I meditate on when I'm driving with the radio off. It might not be up to Nabokov's standards, but it certainly does meet mine.

Mirvan Ereon

I love this. A Lolita for the new generation but more tender and more accesible.

Michelle

This is one my favorite books by Mrs. Rice, and also the reason I write erotic

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