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

E.p.

This is a theology book disguised as a vampire book. Anne Rice has always used vampires as surrogate "others" to describe very human feelings, desires, and questions; likewise she has always used vampires as a way to explore religion and the meaning of life. This installment of the vampire chronicles is over the line though. Clearly the themes of vital life-force and what a soul is are closely tied with the vampire legend as she has developed it. However, this book doesn't give a clear explanation of how vampires fit into the grand scheme of things or why this is a vampire chronicle. She also raises more questions than answers as to how this tale has meaning for the immortal stars of her chronicles. Rice's talent is for organizing story line and complex lineages, as she has done with vampires, spirits, and ancient peoples very cleverly. She capitalizes on that talent in Memnoch to describe the organization of heaven/hell and all associated supernatural beings.spoiler from here: Religions other than Christianity have a view point of a circular heaven and hell. That if you go far enough into hell, you arrive back in heaven. This is the tale that she works into Christianity. Rice has been searching for a "why" things happen through all of her vampire books. She struggles with this idea of the savage garden, that life is beautiful for it's chaos and that even things that are fundamentally horrible are beautiful at their core for their place in the big picture. This is essentially the theme of the book: should these horrible things that happen to people occur as part of the beauty of life, or should we be shielded from bad things as God's chosen sentient beings. This is the argument between Memnoch and God in this book. It's up to the reader to pull the answer together for him/herself.

Jesse Colton

The fifth book in the Vampire Chronicles was slow to start, but once it picked up, it was impossible to put down. To be honest, Lestat doesn't even play the major role in this book, the title character of Memnoch does.(view spoiler)[Lestat spends the first few chapters stalking a victim named Roger, and then spends a very long time listening to Roger's life story, which somehow feels extraneous and doesn't provide much payoff for the reader, as Roger is a ghost, and the side-plots about a series of books by a man named Wynken De Wilde and the story of Roger's turbulent childhood and life of crime never develop into anything other than an introduction of his daughter.Throughout the opening of the story, Lestat is being stalked by a creature that eventually reveals himself to be the devil, and is in fact the same devil that David Talbot saw in a vision, revealed back in Tale of the Body Thief. He asks Lestat to come and be his assistant and his partner, and it's then that the story really begins.This book is an explanation of the underlying mythology of the Vampire Chronicles, down to the very center: it explains the creation of the universe. Memnoch explains in fascinating detail the history of God and the angels, the creation and evolution of the universe, his personal story of being cast out of Heaven, his reaction to his beloved God becoming Christ, his revulsion at the tormented spirits of the Earth who cannot enter Heaven, and the ultimate truth that though he opposes God, he ultimately wishes to praise, serve and love God in a way different than God himself would choose, and allow all the spirits of the dead to experience the joy of Heaven and the warmth and light of God.Memnoch's adventure makes up the bulk of the story, and once it begins, the other details of the book are forgotten, and Lestat simply becomes an outsider listening to Memnoch's fascinating tale. In the end, we're left wondering how much of it was real or not, it's implied that Memnoch may have genuinely been the devil or he may simply have been some other entity, and like in all spiritual matters, things are left open-ended and up to interpretation. The ending of the book sees Lestat finding himself at peace in his home, ready to fade away and end the Vampire Chronicles, though we all know that it was not at all the ending, but perhaps the ending of the first era.Ultimately, I left Memnoch the Devil satisfied, but a little annoyed at how little Lestat's story really had to do with the Memnoch's, as much of Lestat's narrative became inconsequential. As with all the other chronicles so far, Lestat had his meetup with Louis, with the normal observations about how beautiful he is and how much Lestat loves him, and David's character is expanded to show that he now has some history with Armand, however Memnoch is the star here, and while Lestat's story is interesting, there's not really a lot of payoff for reading it. (hide spoiler)]Still, Rice's extremely interesting take on Biblical history (from back in her atheist days, when he was looking at the Catholic spirituality as an outsider) is not to be missed, and I would recommend this book even to people who have never read any of the Vampire Chronicles, simply for Memnoch's extremely interesting tale, weaving together the classic Christian narrative with new ideas, and actually showing the classic devil as a sympathetic character while questioning the motivations and stubborn childlike attitude of God.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

Misty

This is one of Anne Rice's best works in my opinion. It is part of the vampire series, but you should be able to understand & enjoy the book without reading the others.The vampire, Lestat, is taken to heaven, hell, and back in time to creation and during the Christ era by Memnoch, the devil. The story told is one very different than the Bible, but it's good. I love Anne Rice's books because she tells the story in a way that it could be true. Anyways, it's a good book, but if you get upset by people twisting the stories of the Bible, it's probably not for you. Go read one of her new books like Christ the Lord. Anything she wrote after she was "born-again."

Gregory Spiker

In Memnoch the Devil, Anne Rice has allowed herself to indulge in an orgy of purple prose. We hear so much about the lush greenery of the early Earth that we begin to forget what the story is about. And because of this, not much actually happens in the story. If this book were made into a film, in fact, it would probably be no more than 20 minutes long.Aside from that, this isn't much of a "vampire chronicle." The purpose of this book seems not to be to tell a tale of the vampires, but only to further Rice's latent agenda to besmirch Christianity. Albeit, there's nothing wrong with that in itself; but I was expecting to hear about vampires, and instead I hear about nothing but God and The Devil.If you plan to read this book (and perhaps you should if you plan to read the rest of the chronicles - which are worth a read, btw), I would highly recommend skimming through the 250-some pages at the middle of the book, paying close attention only to the beginning and end of the tale.

Wendie Collins

I like this book for the ideas in it and of course the writing style of the author. The interpretation of heaven, hell, religion etc. It's very fascinating and offers a great perspective on the "what if's" in the universe. I was horrified at the end until I read the next book in the series. It is truly remarkable what Anne Rice can do. The ending almost requires you to pick up the next in the series and begin it immediately. This book could be read by someone who is not familiar with the vampires (if there is such a poor soul out there) and it would still make sense- but really, reading them all is the best way to go. I love the description of Memnoch and god, heaven and hell and the story of creation that Anne Rice provides here. She explains why god does not intervene in the path of his creation and how the war in heaven came to be. What a fantastic story, what a fantastic addition to the series! The story of Dor and her father is another great twist! This book also so just how loved Lestat is among his kind and what they would do to keep their brat prince from harm. Gotta love the vampire family!

Daetaya

...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.

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.

Tamcamry

• 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?

Wendy

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.

Fangs for the Fantasy

Memnoch the Devil takes Lestat on an extremely long tour of the past, creation, angels, evolution, the passion of Christ and more – because he has a job proposition for the Brat PrinceMemnoch the Devil, also known as “the Bible according to Anne Rice” or “Anne Rice’s theological musings”. Perhaps even “Memnoch lectures you endlessly while Lestat practices his melodrama”.What it isn’t, is much of a story or a plot. For a story or a plot to happen, well, things have to happen. Things do not happen. Oh there’s something tucked at the beginning. There’s something tucked at the end (a teeny tiny something). But that’s itThe rest of lecture. Info-dump. ONE LONG INFODUMP! One horrendously long, unbelievably unnecessary info-dump. An info-dump that I cannot even imagine having even the slightest relevance to the series. It really is just one long exposition on what the Bible could mean or a spin on it or on the nature of god. It’s a vast amount of world building that is utterly irrelevant to anything the vampires do in their daily livesIf Lestat weren’t being dragged around to occasionally declare himself impressed/awed/horrified it wouldn’t be relevant at all. The vampires are utterly superfluous to this story. All of the characters are utterly superfluous to this story. It may as well have been one long the logical lecture – inly told in the most long winded, dullest way possible.I’d like to write more on this since it is the vast majority of the book, but there really is nothing more to say. It’s just a big splurge of theological theory pretending to be a novel. It’s completely irrelevant, not very interesting and probably better suited to analysis in a seminary than actually read as a novel in the ongoing vampire series.But looking at the bits that actually involve the vampires rather than some of the dreariest and long winded exposition I have ever had the displeasure to ready, and it’s not much better or more sensible. Perhaps because these little add ons have just been forced to try and drag this info dump into her worldLestat fell in love with his victim – I can buy that’s imply because within 10 seconds of meeting just about anyone, Lestat falls in love with them. It’s what he does, it allows even more pointless melodrama. So we get a really long and pointless backstory on this man and some books he read (which seem to be more part of the endless theological debate that basically comes down to “sex and pleasure and love are not bad things. Suffering is not valuable.” Seriously, that’s this entire damn theological diatribe that took an entire book to relate summed up in one sentence) which is never gain relevant. This goes on for countless pointless pages where we learn the pointless minutiae of someone who DOES NOT MATTERAaargh, this is something I’ve seen in Anne Rice’s novels time and again - especially n Queen of the Damned and The Witching Hour - every character briefly mentioned will get this endless examination of their lives. We do not need this much detail about every irrelevant side characterAnd there’s Dora, I’m going to leave aside the bizarre menstruation feeding, and just ask what is wrong with this woman?! Lestat comes to her having killed her dad and she starts calling him darling? Where did darling come from? What? Why?! And she goes from not caring about relics because they’re just physical objects and faith comes from within, to being completely enraptured and obsessive about... a relic. Her characterisation didn’t even begin to make senseWe do have the “everyone is bisexual” continuation – since even Lestat’s victims were. But it’s, again, not conveyed well. For a start the whole religious monologue that consumes this book puts the love for men and women as a dramatic holy amazing experience – and it’s always men and women. The divine heterosexual is really strong there.And his new bisexual victim, Roger, slept with women and… boys? Why are we expressly saying “boys” there? And the only partner we learn any detail about is, of course, a woman – which is very reminiscent of the same problems in The Tale of the Body ThiefRead More

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.

Ashley Wilson

This book was the worst book of this series. It took me over a year to finish reading. I didn't want to stop reading it because I knew that the information in it was crucial to reading the next books in the series so it took me over a year to finish it and start back on the track with the rest of the series.I do not like the religious aspect of this book at all. Lestat is not a religious character. He is supposed to be a bad-ass vampire stronger than the rest but this book paints a picture of him that I am not too fond of at all!!!That being said, you still need to read it before you read the other books in the series.

Carrie Slager

I really didn’t see why so many people were upset about this novel until I actually read it a few times. Now, however, I can see why it has been deemed offensive—or even blasphemous—and why Anne Rice, now a born-again Christian has repudiated her Vampire Chronicles. Especially since this one. Memnoch the Devil doesn’t tell the conventional church-approved story of Satan’s fall from heaven. No, it is Satan, or Memnoch, who tells his side of the story.From a theological perspective, this is a very interesting book. In it, Anne Rice has combined both old and new Christian ideas from many denominations with a bit of Jewish theology. Memnoch’s justification for his rebellion reminds me very much of the character of Satan from John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Without getting into all of the nasty little details, let’s just call this novel experimental theology and leave it at that, shall we? I’m not going to bring my personal beliefs into this review.From a less biased, more literature-focused perspective, Memnoch the Devil is not exactly the greatest novel ever written. Lestat is a cardboard cutout by now, the plot is slow and predictable and Memnoch is the only redeeming thing, character-wise. Memnoch is complicated, yet sympathetic in a bizarre way if you put your religious beliefs aside while reading this. But other than Memnoch, this novel doesn’t have much going for it.As usual, my warning: Memnoch the Devil contains mature content including bad language, explicit sex scenes and violence. Personally, I would not recommend it for anyone under the age of 14, but it really depends on the reader’s maturity level.I give this book 2/5 stars.

Cecilia

This is not a vampire story, rather it reads more like a lesson in Christianity. Almost the entire book consists of Memnoch taking Lestat on a journey outside of time as a witness to creation, the crucifixion, the crusades, etc. If you would rather not have a religious lesson, then move on. I for one did not enjoy this book as much as I have enjoyed the other books in this series; however, it is still beautifully written with loads of wonderful imagery, so for that it gets an "it was ok" rating.

Scarlet Black

I'd read this before a long time ago. It's the only signed Anne Rice book I have, so I keep it wrapped. But,I felt like reading it again.It was a little slower at the beginning than the other Vampire Chronicles, but still, as always, Anne Rice's use of vivid imagery sets such lushly detailed scenes and she creates great multi-faceted characters. It was enjoyable:)

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