Memnoch the Devil (The Vampire Chronicles, #5)

ISBN: 0679441018
ISBN 13: 9780679441014
By: Anne Rice

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About this book

Memnoch the Devil (1995) is the fifth novel in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles series, following The Tale of the Body Thief. Some of the themes of this novel and in large part the title are re-borrowed from the old Irish gothic novel Melmoth the Wanderer. In this story, Lestat is approached by the Devil and offered a job at his side.

Reader's Thoughts

David B

In this volume, the weightiest and best of the Vampire Chronicles to this point, Lestat finally encounters the supreme beings of the Universe--God, the Devil, and the Angels. Memnoch escorts Lestat throughout the divine provinces and time itself as he explains his complicated relationship with God and humanity. Rice's take on the situation understandably upsets many religious readers, but if you can open yourself to her point of view, you will be treated to a fascinating journey that largely reconciles the presence of evil and injustice in a world created by a supposedly omnipotent and benevolent being. Vampire fans may also be disappointed by the way in which Lestat recedes into the background for major portions of the novel, but I felt that Memnoch was worthy of taking the spotlight.

Alice Lee

I want to say that I loved this has so many of my favorite Anne Rice elements! The subject is also one close and dear to my heart - romantic reinterpretation of the devil. And in truth, I loved the ideas Anne presented, I loved the story Memnoch told, and I would have loved the novel itself if it wasn't so horribly written. Her penmanship slipped dramatically from the third (Queen of the Damned) of the installment to the fourth (Tale of the Body Thief, which, while not masterfully crafted, was a very fun read), and this fifth and supposedly final installment definitely continues the downward trend. By this point I've lost most of my infatuation with Lestat, as it is my personal opinion that Anne has turned him into a whiny, pathetic remnant of his once glorious self. So, to say that if the writing were actually good then I would've loved this novel even without Lestat's charm, is actually saying quite a lot of how brilliant Anne's interpretation of the devil is to me.


...and the Catholic Church thought that The Da Vinci Code was blasphemy!! Well Mr. Pope and Bishops, wake up and smell the coffee!! Read it and weep.


• This is the kind of book that if it isn’t done exactly correct then it doesn’t make any sense at the end. I guess Lestat is used by the devil and all that, but how does that fit in with anything that was shone to Lestat? Even if it is all lies, the question is why? If Memnoch or God or anyone needed to get the veil of Veronica out to the public there were many easier and less time consuming way to do it. Why waste all this time and answer no questions? Again, it just doesn’t make much sense. Rice does manage to raise a few philosophical questions about the nature of God and the devil. When you think about it, why would Satan want to be completely evil? He was a being created to be beautiful. Why would God create him if he knew he would rebel? Who knows?

Sakura Koneko

This was the last Anne Rice book that I ever personally plan to read, because after reading this I went into a three month fit of depression.The events in this book were just so powerful and terrible in some cases that my mind couldn't take it. While I'm not going to say that I wouldn't recommend the book to people, I would at least put up the warning that a person may want to be weary about it if they aren't of any particular religion. Also, by the end of the book, Lestat had changed in many ways, and some terrible things had happened to him, making me feel horribly sorry for him, which was probably the oddest part of all.


I deeply admired "Interview' w/its rich writing style of place and period, and its dispassionate portrayal of characters like Claudia, who after being a 6 year old vampire for decades has become a steely-eyed predator(ahem instead of a 100 year old vampire vegan w/an insatiable desire to...sit through high school english again and again). The Vampire Lestat was equally good w/a wonderful shift in perspective that gave a great new spin to the character an events that transpired. The books that followed were slight but entertaining affairs, but this latest is awful. A thinly disguised telling of Anne Rice's personal mythology of the Abrahamic religions. Nothing new: The Devil is a misunderstood humanist, while God is a brutal patriarch who walked the walk but never forgot he was the Big Cheese.There's no need for Lestat, no need for Vampires. Just a long, very long, explanation by Lucifer about the nature of reality.

Carlos Lavín

It would be a bit pointless to be reading Rice's books without having a notion of her journey through being catholic->agnostic->catholic->bitching about catholic church. Since last book of the series, The Tale of the Body Thief, Rice seems to be trying to write down and refine her thoughts on the way she perceives the catholics' religion, God, the Devil, and the moral obligations underlined by them. In the previous book this is somehow a secondary topic (barely touching the idea of the imperfect God and the learning Devil), the tale being more focused on Lestat's chance at redemption, at being human again and at finding out and really understanding what exactly it means to be human.However, on Memnoch, Rice goes full-crazy-bitch on our asses. She gets insanely ambitious with the bases she's trying to cover and basically redefines the whole catholic story of creation/evolution, giving it a twist more alike to what she thought of it at the time. On this story she's focusing even more on her idea of an imperfect, violent, careless God ("why does he let all the shitty things happen" is a recurring question) and a learning and caring Devil, him being the one out of the two that actually tries to "end suffering". Hell, Lestat is basically a secondary character from chapter 6-7 onto 21-22. But, to stop us from missing him, we do get some nice lines such as the Devil saying: Hell is where I straighten things out that He has made wrong. Hell is where I reintroduce a frame of mind that might have existed had suffering never destroyed it! Hell is where I teach men and women that they can be better than He isWith this out of the way, Rice does fail quite a bit on this one. Since the last book you get the feeling that she was starting to shift towards a more dialogue-driven plot (with huge 30 page chapters of a conversation between Lestat and someone else, something not common in say, The Queen of the Damned, that had a lot of narrator-action), and this book comes to reinforce that. When you pair this huge "dialogue" chapters with the unnecessarily long story of creation, and Lestat interrupting the Devil every couple lines to whine about something (he keeps on getting more and more beaten down by it all, more desperate, purposeless.. he basically becomes a deeper version of Louis), it ends up as a damn slow book.Again, her take on God and the Devil is an interesting one, and her portrayal of God reminded me to what Saramago wrote in his The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, but still, she could have maybe cut off the 30 page chapter describing heaven. Because, seriously, who cares what heaven would look like...There's light, everyone's happy, end chapter. Take us to hell, lady!But ah, the end of the book. If there's something Rice knows how to do is end a book. This one felt like she thought it would be the last book in the series, before she started reheating all the other vamps and telling their stories (and come on, they're not Lestat so again, who cares), and the final lines would've been great series-ending-lines:(view spoiler)[ I want you to see me now. I want you to look at me, as I present myself, and as I swear to this tale, as I swear on every word of it, from my heart.I am the Vampire Lestat. This is what I saw. This is what I heard.This is what I know! This is all I know.Believe in me, in my words, in what I have said and what has been written down.I am here, still, the hero of my own dreams, and let me please keep my place in yours.I am the Vampire Lestat.Let me pass now from fiction into legend. (hide spoiler)]Awesome.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

Arun Divakar

When a writer pens down a plot based on the evergreen bestselling book, people are bound to sit up and take notice. This I suppose was Anne Rice's idea behind Memnoch the Devil. I haven't read even one of the Vampire Chronicles and the only other Anne Rice book I read to date was a load of crap named 'Violin'. Memnoch surprised me with its vast scope but starting off with an intriguing plot thread, it soon degenerated to a very flat and predictable ending.Consider this, the devil taking along a vampire on a tour of heaven,hell and earth through the bloody alleyways of history to explain to the vampire why he should take sides with him against god. Interesting isn't it ?? So it was, till about midway through the book and then it was like a trapdoor opened somewhere and the entire stage and actors vanished and were replaced by puppets. There are dialogs galore about the nature good and evil, god and devil, salvation and damnation and all things spiritual from a Christian concept. Needless to say I was gripped with this style of story telling as I am not familiar with the concept of Christianity as a whole ( I am yet to read the bible). Even to someone as uninitiated as me, the plot seemed to meander after sometime and the conclusion was an obvious one. The concept of the devil has always posed a lot of questions for me, the fact that such an antithesis exists to the concept of god has baffled and interested me. I hoped to find some answers, but now I have more questions...


I couldn't get past the second chapter. I liked the stories in books 1 and 2. Rice introduced so many colorful characters, who dealt with vampirism in different ways, that I was sure that she had a pile of good stories in wait. Unfortunately, when I picked up this book (thinking it was #3, not #5) I saw that she had taken the series in a different direction. Rather than show us how different humans adapted to the vampire life, she built up an increasing grand and complicated plot-line that has to be explained at the beginning of each book. Even worse, she extended the supernatural phenomena in her stories. This always bugs me --- when I read fantasy, I want a distinct fantasy with its own logic, so that we can then explore the implications of the fantasy. I can't stand it when the author constantly adds additional fantastic elements (e.g. the body thief)... as if vampires weren't interesting enough.

Megan Anderson

Awful.I almost didn’t finish the book, which is saying something because I ALWAYS soldier through books even if I don’t like them. I have enjoyed every previous book in the Vampire Chronicles. I probably wouldn’t have finished this one if I hadn’t brought it along with me during my 3 hour blood glucose test. The beginning of the book is fine, but the majority of the book is a monologue by Memnoch on Creationism. It isn’t that Rice’s take on the creation of the heavens and the earth and the battle between God and the Devil isn’t interesting. If you gave me a summery of it, I’d love it. But it just goes on and on while absolutely nothing happens. Very little plot, very little characterization. Maybe I wouldn’t have noticed it as much if I hadn’t been reading it for three hours straight. I’m hoping the next one won’t be as awful.

Georgia Beyers

Due to the title this was one i've passed up a few times in favour of other books, but due to running out of Anne Rice material I was forced to read it, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised as usual by the authors ability to drag me from reality into her wonderful world of Vampire Lestat, a character that has become a firm favourite of mine. Not just a perfectly weaved tale but one that also makes you think deeply about the very nature of God and the devil, who were shown in a light unfamiliar to me. It made me question the stability and character of God until I came to my christian senses and remembered what a tricky little sucker the devil is. Hard to describe much more without spoilers but it's a great book that I would recommend highly to all lovers of Lestat and the marvellous Ann Rice.


I "L O V E D" this book. Very intriguing with its ideas and topics, highly unusual and controversial to say the least. In short, an awesome story of the vampire chronicles that just continues to mesmerize its readers. Same series, totally different direction. A. Rice is a talented author. Hard to put this down.


I personally thought this was great book. I know the religious aspects seem to be rather off-putting to some and others think that Lestat was quite whiny and became extremely inconsistent when compared to his wicked nature in the previous works in this series. I, however, think it was quite imaginative of Rice to rewrite Christianity from the Devil's perspective. She morphed Christianity into a storyline and that was certainly very forward of her. She did a very good job with it.As for Lestat, there may be some truth to what others seem to be saying. He did seem very scared and confounded by a lot of what the Devil was saying, which is abnormal of him. But I think that lets us see a different side to Lestat. I mean, if Lestat was afraid, it must have certainly been a terrifying situation.


this book was annoying, easy to read so I finished it, but all about god and christianity and in a literal and totally unmysterious and unspiritual way... who cares about that stuff, and why is this female author incapable of creating any female characters with any depth, and why is god literally a humanaoid male who literally created mankind in his image, give me a break!


** spoiler alert ** I was initially horrified with the premise of this book – as part of the Vampire Chronicles I expected that it would be another tale of vampirism, or of Lestat, but instead it focuses mainly on the story of Creation and the great misunderstanding between God and the Devil which leads to the Devil ruling over Hell as related by Memnoch (the aforementioned Devil) to Lestat in a journey of earth, Heaven and Hell. I wouldn’t normally choose a book that focuses so much on religion (unless as an argument against it, which in retrospect this seems to be) and was a little put off by this as I seem to find it far harder to suspend my disbelief for religion than for vampires, but soon found myself sucked in despite myself.Incredibly well-written (as usual) and compelling, I found the telling of this tale to be extremely imaginative and surprisingly plausible (surprising to me anyway, as a staunchly stubborn atheist). Memnoch was a hugely sympathetic character and whilst I could understand a little of God’s reasoning around the time of the crucifixion, I couldn’t help but agree wholeheartedly with Memnoch’s point of view and thought that God seemed less a benevolent, all-knowing and wonderful creator than a petty asshole for most of the time, struggling to justify himself for all of the suffering that abounds on earth and pretending like that was part of the plan all along. I realize that this might be due to bias as it’s Memnoch’s telling rather than God’s, but I don’t think I’d have thought any differently had it been the other way around.Come the end, I turned out to be heartbroken about Armand (I don’t think I’d realised how much I liked him up until that point!), and with Mael about to suffer the same fate I was just as angry as Lestat at Memnoch and God for how he’d been used.As Lestat signs off, he can rest assured that he still keeps that place in my dreams that he hopes for from his reader, as a fabulous and classic character that I’m sure will stick in my memory for many, many years to come.

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