Upon finishing this book, I was left with a feeling of bewilderment. I dare say that like which Dorothy experienced after the tornado and finding herself in a strange world she had never even dared to dream of before.While I am no prude, I admit that I found it strange to be reading Belinda, to be reading a story of a middle aged man that falls in love with a sophisticated, mature, and beguiling 16 year old. And to be clear, she falls in love with him as well. While most people claim that age is just a number, when a person under the age of 18 is involved it suddenly becomes taboo, even a perversion. Which is strange when one considers that many of the parents of children in the 50s were often young women of 13-17 when they got married to men of 21 and older. That it became taboo in a single generation is mind boggling. And though I myself believe that most 16 year old kids are not mature enough to step into a stable and healthy marriage, upon reading Belinda I find that I can believe her quite capable.Here is Anne Rice writing in her majestic way that draws you in and allows to to really “feel” the areas she has her characters in. From the moody and dark brilliance of New Orleans, to the foggy and open and clean San Francisco, to the smog filled lush beauty of Tinseltown, you really can imagine yourself there. Warmed by the sun, hair blowing in the breeze, listening to the wind tossing the trees in the storm outside, every nuance is covered and transmitted in words to form a clear image in your head that transports you right into it.Add to this that she gives each character such unique poise. Every person is separate, each their own way of talking and body language. You’re never questioning who she’s talking about because each character is painted vividly in your imagination. You fall in love with the loyal gentleman actor Alex, with G.G.’s boyish charm and quick wits and his innocence, Blaire’s flamboyant and loud exuberance, and Susan’s easy southern charm and ready smile. Even the smallest characters pull at your mind like each has their own story to tell if you’d just come on in for a cup of tea.All in all, a boundary pushing book. While not my favorite of Anne Rice’s work, and a bit hard to really get into for the first half (simply because I was weighing morality of a 45 year old and a 16 year old and wasn’t identifying with them at first, but that did come later), it’s well worth pushing through to the whirlwind ending if you're able to come to terms with the age gap.Lou
A childrens writer 44 years of age becomes besotted with an 16 year old girl. The story takes you through their relationship which is highly sexual one.She had her period at 9 was wearing c-cup bra at 13, her mother explains in the story she was on the pill at 12. Who is this girl? Who are her parents? these are the answers he tries to find which turns the story into a sort of mystery, also the ramifications of the public discovering that a childrens writer is involved with a 16 year old is overshadowing their love affair will he do the honest thing and marry her?Story was ok inside look of celebrity life no great thrills but easy read.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.Mirvan Ereon
I love this. A Lolita for the new generation but more tender and more accesible.Suicide Blonde
Belinda has been one of my favorite books since I first read in back in 2001. Re-reading during the years that Anne Rice was writing Jesus books was difficult. This book celebrates unashamed sensuality, totes a kind of openness towards sexual identity, nudity, and the female body and was proof that Rice didn't completely believe in the Catholic morals she was trying to purport through her painfully tedious re-telling of Christ's life. Reading it now, after she's come back to her senses, for lack of a better phrase, was like seeing the book breathe itself back to life. It's a philosophy that came into my life at the most important time, and a philosophy that I still hold try - say yes to what feels good, and be unashamed of your body, your creativity.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.Natali.D (BookCupid)
Is this a new Lolita?No.This is the story of Jeremy who falls in love with Belinda. The only problem is that she is underage and refuses to tell him anything about her past. The only resemblance to Nabokov's novel is the age difference with Jeremy being 44, and Belinda 16. But aside from that their relationship had nothing in common with Lolita. Jeremy would never touch Belinda without consent, nor keep her on a tight leash. Also, Belinda felt a lot more mature. She travelled the world and drank champagne, visiting museums left and right. For those who are wondering, there is only one descriptive sex scene and it's pretty short. So I wouldn't call this an erotica either. But more of a love story/mystery.Kim Vanderpool
I m fourteen and I happen to like it book along with her other books as well like interview with the vAmpire and Also the vampire lestatMichelle
This is one my favorite books by Mrs. Rice, and also the reason I write eroticNicky
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.Twinkle
Let me begin by saying my standards for Anne Rice under any of her names is incredibly high. She brought me Lestat and my Louis, absorbed me in her world of witches . . .and this was. . .? It certainly takes the twists and turns one expects from Rice, but the quality of writing, the total immersion, the characters that linger in your heart just were not there. Despite the obvious pedophilia overtones throughout the entire story I was willing to give it a fair shake (well I don't even think I can call it overtones when that is what the entirety of the book is based on). The character developement was there, but not on the level I needed, I didn't find myself caring much about Belinda or Jeremy even at the end. It wasn't overly erotic or offensive, it wasn't groundbreaking, it wasn't awful, truly, it just "wasn't". I was left simply feeling like I bought a knock off Chanel bag.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.Mo Ibrahim
** spoiler alert ** I wrote in The Allure of Nymphets that a trap that older men should diligently avoid is adopting the role of "Captain Save a Hoe" or more specifically "Captain Save a Nymphet". Captain Save a Nymphet is one who gets into a relationship with a nymphet to save her (e.g. from an abusive boyfriend, a life of poverty, an inadequate education and/or to expose her to culture, etc.). However, Captain Save a Nymphet rarely, if ever, saves the damsel in distress, but often becomes ensnarled in her web of unending drama.In Belinda, 16-year-old blond and tanned Belinda attended 44-year-old famous author and artist Jeremy Walker's book signing and after he noticed her he imagined, "Reaching under her short little Catholic school plaid skirt and touching the silk of her naked thighs...kissing her, seeing if her face was a soft as it looked-baby flesh."Jeremy asked Belinda if she wanted to go to a publisher's party at the Saint Francis hotel. In a hotel room at the party, Walker asked Belinda for permission to paint her at his house. He promised her that he didn't have any ulterior motives and that he was, "...perfectly sincere."Belinda replied, "Why shouldn't I believe that. I know all about you , Mr. Walker. I've read your books all my life." But it was Belinda who had ulterior motives. After she locked the door and turned the latch, she whispered into Jeremy's ear, "Come on. Don't you want to do it before they come and ruin everything?" And that was the beginning of their age-discrepant affair.However, Jeremy wasn't Belinda's first affair with an older man or woman. (She shot a lipstick lesbian scene when she was 14, and had "... a two-week Christmas holiday affair with an Arab prince when she was thirteen.") Belinda was banned from her mother's house after it was revealed that 15-year-old Belinda was having an affair with Marty Moreschi, her step-father. Belinda escaped from the airport to avoid being exiled to a boarding school in Europe and holed up in a half-way house in a seedy San Francisco neighborhood until she was rescued by Jeremy.Belinda was well-bred and cultured. For example, in one scene she asked for a "fish knife" as she held her "fork in her left hand, Continental style," she had lived in museums all over Europe, and she could read and write in French, Italian and English. However, she was currently living in a half-way house. That should have been a clear warning to Jeremy that something was amiss and that he should have ended their affair immediately. However, his attraction to the nymphet was too strong for him to pull away and he precariously put his career and life into jeopardy.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.Laura
Even with my generous suspension of disbelief, this was unrealistic and ridiculous. I think Anne Rice wrote it just to enjoy imagining the sex.