Memnoch the Devil (The Vampire Chronicles #5)

ISBN: 0345409671
ISBN 13: 9780345409676
By: Anne Rice

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About this book

"STARTLING . . . FIENDISH . . . MEMNOCH'S TALE IS COMPELLING."--New York Daily News"Like Interview with the Vampire, Memnoch has a half-maddened, fever-pitch intensity. . . . Narrated by Rice's most cherished character, the vampire Lestat, Memnoch tells a tale as old as Scripture's legends and as modern as today's religious strife."--Rolling Stone"SENSUAL . . . BOLD, FAST-PACED."--USA Today"Rice has penned an ambitious close to this long-running series. . . . Fans will no doubt devour this."--The Washington Post Book World"MEMNOCH THE DEVIL OFFERS PASSAGES OF POETIC BRILLIANCE."--Playboy"[MEMNOCH] is one of Rice's most intriguing and sympathetic characters to date. . . . Rice ups the ante, taking Lestat where few writers have ventured: into heaven and hell itself. She carries it off in top form."--The Seattle Times

Reader's Thoughts

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.

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.

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:)

Alice Lee

I want to say that I loved this book...it 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.

Adam

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.

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.

Vichy

Ο Λεστά παρακολουθεί το θύμα του για πολύ καιρό. Είναι ένας μεγαλομαφιόζος που έχει αδυναμία σε 2 πράγματα, στα θρησκευτικά κειμήλια και την κόρη του Ντόρα, που είναι τηλε-ευαγγελίστρια. Ταυτόχρονα, έχει την αίσθηση ότι τον παρακολουθεί μια διαφορετική οντότητα που του προκαλεί τον τρόμο. Όταν τελικά κάνει το βήμα του και στραγγίζει το θύμα του, το Ρότζερ, αυτός τον επισκέπτεται ως φάντασμα με μια έκκληση αγωνίας να προστατεύσει ο Λεστά την Ντόρα από τους επίγειους ισχυρούς εχθρούς τους και να την πείσει να αποδεχθεί την κληρονομιά που της αφήνει...Η καταπληκτική ιστορία ξεκινά όταν η οντότητα αποκαλύπτεται στο Λεστά ως ο Διάβολος, ο άγγελος του Θεού, ο Μεμνόχ και του ζητά να αποφασίσει για το αν θα γίνει πρίγκηπας και βοηθός στο έργο του. Ποιο είναι, όμως, το έργο του Μεμνόχ; Κι αυτό αρχίζει να ξεδιαλύνει όταν του παρουσιάζει την ιστορία της Γενέσεως του Κόσμου, πριν ακόμη το Χρόνο, από τη δική του σκοπιά...Η ιστορία είναι ανατριχιαστική και προϋποθέτει ως βάση ότι ο Θεός είναι Ένας, Άχρονος, Πλάστης των πάντων. Ο θεός δημιούργησε τους Αγγέλους, άυλα όντα, που λατρεύουν τον Πατέρα Τους. Όταν το Σχέδιο του Θεού έφτιαξε την ύλη έστειλε τα παιδιά Του ως Παρατηρητές να παρακολουθήσουν μέσα από 13 Αποκαλύψεις τις κοσμογονικές αλλαγές και αυτά θαύμασαν το Μεγαλείο. Ο Μεμνόχ παρατήρησε τον κύκλο και το συναίσθημα του επίγειου Ανθρώπου και την πονεμένη κραυγή του όταν η άυλη ψυχή του συνωστιζόταν στους τόπους της Σεόλ, χωρίς να ξέρει για την Ύπαρξη του Θεού και την αγαλλίαση του Φωτός του Παραδείσου Του. Έτσι, αμφισβήτησε το Σχέδιό Του και το σκοπό Του. Όταν ο Μεμνόχ έγινε ύλη και ήρθε σε επαφή με τις Θυγατέρες του Ανθρώπου, η αντιπαράθεσή τους έγινε ακόμα πιο έντονη και εκδιώχθηκε ως Πεπτωκώς. Ο Θεός ντύθηκε το ένδυμα του ανθρώπου και περπάτησε στη Γη, έχοντας αποφασίσει να αποκαλύψει την ύπαρξή Του αλλά με δίοδο και πρόσβαση σε Αυτόν την οδύνη και τον πόνο. Στην έρημο που κατέφυγε προς εξαγνισμό ο Μεμνόχ αμφισβήτησε και πάλι τον τρόπο της αποκάλυψης...Ο Λεστά παρατηρητής και συνδιαλεγόμενος και με τους δύο βρίσκεται στην ίδια θέση με τον έκπληκτο αναγνώστη...Η τελική σύγκρουση Πατέρα και Αγγέλου επέρχεται όταν ο Θεός καθιστά το Μεμνόχ υπεύθυνο της Σωτηρίας των Ψυχών στη Σεόλ και αυτός το αποδέχεται. Θα είναι ο Βασιλιάς της Κόλασης, μιας Κόλασης από την οποία θα περνούν οι Ψυχές για να αποδεχθούν τα λάθη τους, να μετανοήσουν, να συγχωρέσουν ακόμα και το Θεό προκειμένου να εισέλθουν στις Πύλες του Παραδείσου... Ο Λεστά θα γίνει βοηθός του;(view spoiler)[Όχι... στην πάλη εξόδου του από την Κόλαση χάνει το μάτι του και φεύγει έχοντας στον κόρφο του το μαντίλι της Βερονίκης με αποτυπωμένο το πρόσωπο του προς Σταύρωση Ενανθρωπήσαντα Ιησού. Ο Λεστά εξιστορεί στους 3 που τον περιμένουν την περιπέτειά του: Ο Ντέιβιντ, ο Αρμάν και η Ντόρα. Η Ντόρα αρπάζει το μαντίλι και αποχαιρετά τα εγκόσμια, οι άνθρωποι προσκυνούν μπροστά στο ιερό κειμήλιο που σφραγίζει την Ύπαρξη του Θεανθρώπου και ο Αρμάν διαλέγοντας την οδύνη και το πόνο αφήνει τον ήλιο να τον κάψει για να συναντήσει τον Κύριο.Ο Λεστά απομονωμένος στο μοναστήρι που του άφησε η Ντόρα δέχεται την επίσκεψη της Μαχαρέτ. Του δίνει ένα σημείωμα από το Μεμνόχ. Είναι ένα ευχαριστήριο μήνυμα μαζί το χαμένο του μάτι. Ο Λεστά υπήρξε ένα πιόνι στο σχέδιο του Μεμνόχ. Ο Θεός υπάρχει και το Ιερόν Μανδήλιον που ήρθε στον κόσμο παρέχει πρόσβαση και πίστη, άνευ πόνου, στις πύλες του Παραδείσου, παρακάμπτοντας τη Σεόλ.... (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

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.

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.

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?

Mary Marmalady

** spoiler alert ** At the very beginning Lestat says that it doesn't matter than he's a vampire and the events of this book could have happened to anyone. Having read it, I think it mattered. As The Tale of the Body Thief might have been more interesting if it had been about Louis and we lost him, this story might have been more interesting if it had been about Armand and he became the devil's helper. It also reminded me of the Body Thief because BT had a nun Lestat made insane when he meets her as a human and later comes to her as a vampire. She runs off to pray and bleed from her palms. In this story Lestat has another human lady friend, who dances (and preaches) on a christian cable tv show. In the end Lestat gives her Veronica's Veil with the Jesus face and she snatches it (Lestat didn't really give it to her) and runs off to her church so she can rub it on old people and ugly babies or whatever. Armand and other vampires show up to burn in the sun in front of all the humans lined up to see the veil. If I didn't remember Armand later on, I would have thought this a lame way to take him out. Religion aside I liked the book well enough until that point, when I was just tired of Lestat trying to have human friends even though he told Louis not to fall in love with humans and not to tell them he's a vampire. Lestat continues to go about falling in love with everyone, including both God and the devil.

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.

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"]>

Allison

At the time that I read this book I was an agnostic, pagan, ex-catholic, confused about religion person. Anne Rice's technique and passion is so persuasive that I was a true believer after reading this book. And this was before she converted back to Catholicism! She is just so powerful, her narrative technique is, I want to say, loving towards her reader. I think her love for the characters she's created makes that happen. Anyway, this one is a must for followers of the chronicles and fans of Lestat. My copy of this book is signed by the author and it was a pleasure to meet someone who's imagination was so unhampered that she could walk into the judeo-christian mythos with a vampire. I would say that this book forshadows her eventual work with the Jesus story.

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