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Stormhawk
10-22-2007, 02:41 AM
I don't think this has been posted, if it has, sorry.

Anne Rice on Amazon to her reviewers. (http://www.amazon.com/review/R1FLRHCYSK13PB/ref=cm_cd_pg_pg3/104-2119328-7774353?%5Fencoding=UTF8&cdPage=3)

Seldom do I really answer those who criticize my work. In fact, the entire development of my career has been fueled by my ability to ignore denigrating and trivializing criticism as I realize my dreams and my goals.

However there is something compelling about Amazon's willingness to publish just about anything, and the sheer outrageous stupidity of many things you've said here that actually touches my proletarian and Democratic soul.

Also I use and enjoy Amazon and I do read the reviews of other people's books in many fields. In sum, I believe in what happens here. And so, I speak. First off, let me say that this is addressed only to some of you, who have posted outrageously negative comments here, and not to all.

You are interrogating this text from the wrong perspective. Indeed, you aren't even reading it. You are projecting your own limitations on it. And you are giving a whole new meaning to the words "wide readership." And you have strained my Dickensean principles to the max.

I'm justifiably proud of being read by intellectual giants and waitresses in trailer parks,in fact, I love it, but who in the world are you? Now to the book. Allow me to point out: nowhere in this text are you told that this is the last of the chronicles, nowhere are you promised curtain calls or a finale, nowhere are you told there will be a wrap-up of all the earlier material.

The text tells you exactly what to expect. And it warns you specifically that if you did not enjoy Memnoch the Devil, you may not enjoy this book. This book is by and about a hero whom many of you have already rejected. And he tells you that you are likely to reject him again. And this book is most certainly written -- every word of it -- by me.

If and when I can't write a book on my own, you'll know about it. And no, I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut, or otherwise mutilate sentences that I have edited and re-edited, and organized and polished myself. I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me, and I will never relinquish that status.

For me, novel writing is a virtuoso performance. It is not a collaborative art. Back to the novel itself: the character who tells the tale is my Lestat. I was with him more closely than I have ever been in this novel; his voice was as powerful for me as I've ever heard it. I experienced break through after break through as I walked with him, moved with him, saw through his eyes.

What I ask of Lestat, Lestat unfailingly gives. For me, three hunting scenes, two which take place in hotels -- the lone woman waiting for the hit man, the slaughter at the pimp's party -- and the late night foray into the slums --stand with any similar scenes in all of the chronicles.

They can be read aloud without a single hitch. Every word is in perfect place. The short chapter in which Lestat describes his love for Rowan Mayfair was for me a totally realized poem. There are other such scenes in this book.

You don't get all this? Fine. But I experienced an intimacy with the character in those scenes that shattered all prior restraints, and when one is writing one does have to continuously and courageously fight a destructive tendency to inhibition and restraint.

Getting really close to the subject matter is the achievement of only great art. Now, if it doesn't appeal to you, fine. You don't enjoy it? Read somebody else. But your stupid arrogant assumptions about me and what I am doing are slander.

And you have used this site as if it were a public urinal to publish falsehood and lies. I'll never challenge your democratic freedom to do so, and yes, I'm answering you, but for what it's worth, be assured of the utter contempt I feel for you, especially those of you who post anonymously (and perhaps repeatedly?) and how glad I am that this book is the last one in a series that has invited your hateful and ugly responses.

Now, to return to the narrative in question: Lestat's wanting to be a saint is a vision larded through and through with his characteristic vanity. It connects perfectly with his earlier ambitions to be an actor in Paris, a rock star in the modern age.

If you can't see that, you aren't reading my work. In his conversation with the Pope he makes observations on the times which are in continuity with his observations on the late twentieth century in The Vampire Lestat, and in continuity with Marius' observations in that book and later in Queen of the Damned.

The state of the world has always been an important theme in the chronicles. Lestat's comments matter. Every word he speaks is part of the achievement of this book. That Lestat renounced this saintly ambition within a matter of pages is plain enough for you to see.

That he reverts to his old self is obvious, and that he intends to complete the tale of Blackwood Farm is also quite clear. There are many other themes and patterns in this work that I might mention -- the interplay between St.Juan Diago and Lestat, the invisible creature who doesn't "exist" in the eyes of the world is a case in point.

There is also the theme of the snare of Blackwood Farm, the place where a human existence becomes so beguiling that Lestat relinquishes his power as if to a spell. The entire relationship between Lestat and Uncle Julien is carefully worked out.

But I leave it to readers to discover how this complex and intricate novel establishes itself within a unique, if not unrivalled series of book. There are things to be said. And there is pleasure to be had. And readers will say wonderful things about Blood Canticle and they already are.

There are readers out there and plenty of them who cherish the individuality of each of the chronicles which you so flippantly condemn. They can and do talk circles around you. And I am warmed by their response.

Their letters, the papers they write in school, our face to face exchanges on the road -- these things sustain me when I read the utter trash that you post. But I feel I have said enough.

If this reaches one reader who is curious about my work and shocked by the ugly reviews here, I've served my goals. And Yo, you dude, the slang police! Lestat talks like I do. He always has and he always will. You really wouldn't much like being around either one of us. And you don't have to be.

If any of you want to say anything about all this by all means Email me at Anneobrienrice@mac.com. And if you want your money back for the book, send it to 1239 First Street, New Orleans, La, 70130. I'm not a coward about my real name or where I live. And yes, the Chronicles are no more! Thank God!

(I've actually cut this up to make it readable, on the original page, it's one huge ugly block of text).

veinglory
10-22-2007, 02:43 AM
Writers who feel they have acheived perfection have normally acheived something else entirely.

Stormhawk
10-22-2007, 02:45 AM
Ok *blush* I just noticed this is a few years old. *shakes angry fist at sister who didn't mention this while linking it*

It's still worth a read though.

RG570
10-22-2007, 03:51 AM
That was painful to read.

She has pretty much given her hecklers exactly what they want. I'm sure they'll have a blast with that.

scarletpeaches
10-22-2007, 03:52 AM
Didn't all of this blow up soon after she was widowed?

I put it down to grief making her crazy but still...that's some serious loss of dignity right there.

Marian Perera
10-22-2007, 03:58 AM
And no, I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut, or otherwise mutilate sentences that I have edited and re-edited, and organized and polished myself.

She doesn't allow for the possibility that an editor could improve the text in any way. I wonder if she has any beta readers or critiquers? Probably not.


What I ask of Lestat, Lestat unfailingly gives.

Um. She does realize that Lestat is a fictional character, right?

swvaughn
10-22-2007, 04:08 AM
I've said this before in response to this rant. I'll say it again here, where it may (or may not) be preserved for posterity.

If I ever become this presumptuous and insensitive to other people, who all have jobs too and work damned hard to make every novel on bookstore shelves everything they are (and that includes editors, cover artists, publicists, office assistants, and most especially readers):


For me, novel writing is a virtuoso performance. It is not a collaborative art.

...will someone please shoot me?

Thank you.

CheshireCat
10-22-2007, 05:39 AM
For me, novel writing is a virtuoso performance. It is not a collaborative art.

Well, technically she's right about that.

Writing a novel is a solo act (if not a virtuoso performance).

But publishing one, especially successfully, requires a great many people all doing the jobs mentioned.

There was a huge backlash against her, as I remember. I thought her rant was ill-considered and a bit ridiculous -- but I've made my views on reviews (on Amazon or elsewhere) clear, I think.

One person's opinion, and they're allowed to have it. Even "publish" said opinion on the internet.

And I don't have to read it.

swvaughn
10-22-2007, 05:45 AM
Well, technically she's right about that.

Writing a novel is a solo act (if not a virtuoso performance).

But publishing one, especially successfully, requires a great many people all doing the jobs mentioned.

There was a huge backlash against her, as I remember. I thought her rant was ill-considered and a bit ridiculous -- but I've made my views on reviews (on Amazon or elsewhere) clear, I think.

One person's opinion, and they're allowed to have it. Even "publish" said opinion on the internet.

And I don't have to read it.

True 'nuff. I rescind my mini-rant. :D

And I'll agree with ill-considered and ridiculous.

Jamesaritchie
10-22-2007, 04:25 PM
Good for Anne Rice. Probably a silly thing to respond to silly people, but sometimes it feels good.

Reviews on Amazon are mostly nonsense, anyway, posted by self-important fools who have as much relevance as a fart in a whirlwind. The only thing dumber than those reviews are people who take them seriously.

Anne Rice might have been better off to remain silent, but sometimes you have to say something. I'm rather glad she did.

Will Lavender
10-22-2007, 06:32 PM
This paragraph tells you all you need to know about Rice:

If and when I can't write a book on my own, you'll know about it. And no, I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut, or otherwise mutilate sentences that I have edited and re-edited, and organized and polished myself. I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me, and I will never relinquish that status.

Insert rolly-eyes emoticon here.

I don't necessarily disagree with responding to reviewers. (Steve Almond has a great story about getting in touch with a reviewer who panned one of his books; he accused the reviewer's publication -- can't remember which one it was -- of having a quota for how many poor reviews they had to publish a month, and the reviewer eventually agreed that his/her boss had told him/her to review Almond's book poorly to hit the quota.) But Amazon.com reviewers? Come on.

edgyllama
10-22-2007, 07:24 PM
I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me, and I will never relinquish that status.

Down with all those editors trying to do their jobs and make my book better. I am Anne Rice. Bow before me!

DonnaDuck
10-22-2007, 07:36 PM
Wow. She certainly thinks rather highly of herself. That babbling rant just adds to the reasons why I no longer read work by Anne Rice. So people are only supposed to think highly of her books? Perhaps if I could get through a chapter without being thrown back into my narcaleptic tendencies, I might be able to understand what she's writing. And of course sue-happy Sally brings up the notion of slander. So if I called her a doo-doo head it would be slanderous? Ugh. I could go on, but I won't. A fart out of my ass carries more substance than that blitering pile of tripe.

Will Lavender
10-22-2007, 09:07 PM
I think it's important to separate the writer and her books.

I still think Interview and Lestat were two classics of the genre. When I read Interview, I was blown away. I'd never read anything like it. And then she improved upon that with the next two in the series.

Still, I don't know why it's necessary to act as if bookwriting is a world-changing occupation. I'm not even sure writing certain kinds of novels is art. It's entertainment. Nothing more than that. To try and put this monumental importance on what we're doing here -- to in essence take ourselves too seriously -- is absurd. Why be cranky or delusional or conceited -- and this rant carries all three of those traits -- when you're in the business of making books?

chartreuse
10-22-2007, 09:14 PM
How does this woman manage to find room to sit down in her own house? Her ego has to be taking up every available room.

"Every word is in perfect place?" Jeez. That would make her pretty much unique amongst authors - how many books have you read where at least a few sentences couldn't be improved?

But I guess I just don't "get it," as I couldn't even make it through Interview With a Vampire. Her writing style is so unappealing to me that her books are some of the only vampire fiction I haven't read.

Pamster
10-22-2007, 09:30 PM
I am an Anne Rice fan, she's inspired me to write. I have nothing but respect for her. I am sure she was not trying to be big headed, just show her devotion to the written words she produces. I met her at a book signing for Lasher years ago and she told me to never give up, I forgot that awhile ago when I was having a crisis of self-doubt two weeks ago.

I am glad she responded, it made her feel better, try to put yourself there were she's at before you crush her response too deeply. The 'a mile in my shoes and you might understand me' mentality makes me feel for her because I like to think of myself as a writer too. I would feel terrible if fans reviewed my writing as harshly as they must have reviewed Anne's. You'd want to reply in order to attempt to clear the air. It makes me want to look at reviews on her stories.

Thanks for posting this even though it is two years old, I hadn't seen it. :)

scarletpeaches
10-22-2007, 09:31 PM
If my fans (if I had any) harshly criticised my books, I'd write better books, not lose my dignity in public like that.

Will Lavender
10-22-2007, 09:37 PM
You'd want to reply in order to attempt to clear the air. It makes me want to look at reviews on her stories.

No, I wouldn't.

scarletpeaches
10-22-2007, 09:38 PM
That wasn't an answer to clear the air. That was an answer to prove her detractors right.

BarbJ
10-22-2007, 09:45 PM
"I'm justifiably proud of being read by intellectual giants and waitresses in trailer parks..." Because waitresses are morons, including the one I knew with an IQ of 148.

"If you can't see that, you aren't reading my work." There is no possiblity of things not being clear.

"Every word is in perfect place. " No comment.

I've read some of Rice's earlier works, and enjoyed them - particularly Interview. I can understand her being upset; I can even understand responding. But there's a conceit inherent in her remarks that has made me lose interest in returning to her work to see if I still enjoy them. She's a professional writer; she could have phrased things better.

A lesson to be learned. A bit sad, really. :e2bummed:

Pamster
10-22-2007, 09:55 PM
I don't look at her response as harshly as the rest of you, I do definitely see what you've stated and think it's heartbreaking she's been hurt by revewers. But I still think she had every right to say what she said. :)

CaroGirl
10-22-2007, 10:02 PM
Remaining silent is, without question, the most dignified response to bad reviews.

DonnaDuck
10-22-2007, 10:07 PM
I did like IWTV but I just couldn't get beyond Lestat. I couldn't even get through it. I consider myself an overwriter but she just goes above and beyond that. Wordy is too light of a word for her. I was turned off by her writing long before she became a pompous ass. Certainly her work couldn't have received rave reviews from the beginning. Surely, like all writers do, she had to have had her work bashed and criticised to within an inch of it's life. So what now? She thinks so highly of herself that there can't be anyone that can possibly really not like her work now because she' uber-famous? Please. She needs a swift slap back down to reality and realize that she's an entertainer. The world hasn't started turning west due to her writing. I understand you need to separate the writer from the writing and IWTV, to me, is a good book but there comes a point when the writer just gets so full of themselves that it's hard to ignore when you're reading. She should be thankful that she was allowed to get to a point where she "didn't need" an editor and that she has anyone reading her books at all instead of floating off in that hot-air balloon of a head of hers. Your fans are what make you ad the reality of the situation is that not everyone is going to like you. The anonymous knobs that post means thing, give me a break. Get over it. Why get so worked up over someone that can't even so much as provide a screen name? Just laugh and walk on instead of publically embarassing yourself and berating the people that just "don't get" your work. Ugh.

Pamster
10-22-2007, 10:18 PM
Remaining silent is, without question, the most dignified response to bad reviews.

I agree with this. :)

edgyllama
10-23-2007, 05:56 AM
Writers sometimes lose touch with what made them write in the first place. Miss Rice is one of them.

PeeDee
10-23-2007, 08:20 PM
Writers sometimes lose touch with what made them write in the first place. Miss Rice is one of them.

A desperate need to be Bram Stoker?

Ah well. I'll go back to reading Bram Stoker then.

johnnysannie
10-23-2007, 09:02 PM
"I'm justifiably proud of being read by intellectual giants and waitresses in trailer parks...":

At least she realizes that waitresses and trailer park residents can READ....the stereotypes in our society are that they more often than not cannot. Earl Hickey and his friends ("My Name is Earl" sitcom) help to perpetuate this notion.

To Anne Rice - you go, girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

wordmonkey
10-23-2007, 10:52 PM
A desperate need to be Bram Stoker?
Ah well. I'll go back to reading Bram Stoker then.

I'm with ya there, pal.

All the open letter was missing was:

In conclusion. BOW BEFORE ME MORTALS! BWAH HA HA HA HAR!


At least she realizes that waitresses and trailer park residents can READ....the stereotypes in our society are that they more often than not cannot. Earl Hickey and his friends ("My Name is Earl" sitcom) help to perpetuate this notion.

I think, had I more time or inclination, I could make a pretty good argument that the contrary is true. Setting aside the situation COMEDY aspect. But because I just scarfed down a late lunch, that was carb-tastic and that always makes me sleepy, I'll just refer you to Crabman, who is anything but the stereotypical trailer-park resident.

But stereotypes don't happen in a vacuum. :D

Now, I hear a nap calling me. And I have so much to do.

PeeDee
10-24-2007, 01:35 AM
It's good this subject was revived, because only in this present day can I now say "Anne Rice was the author equivalent of that Chris Crocker kid, except he (she?) was harping about someone else, and Anne Rice was harping about herself."

wordmonkey
10-24-2007, 02:00 AM
From wiki, re: crocker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Crocker_(Internet_celebrity)) -

"Psychologist Kevin Leman noted in an interview that pointed to Crocker, that voyeuristic fascination with celebrity "says that we live in a morally corrupt society" and that younger people seeking fame, like Crocker, are hedonistic attention-seeking mongers."
Can you be an attention seeker and an attention monger at the same time?

Can you even really be an attention monger, period?

I mean, what's the deal there? I have a surplus of attention so I'm willing to trade some for M&Ms?

And why does this yahoo have a wiki page and the best I can do is make the list of British comic writers there? I've made things, produced things, made a contribution to society and commerce!

And he's done.....?

I don't even need an editor! And readers who don't get me, be they brain surgeons in trailer-parks, functionally-literate presidents or Earl Hicky's... they're just stupid! And I may sue, or slander, or steal someone else's you-tube monolgue then blame whoever catches me for stealing, then launch a press-backed campaign to bury them in my local-news region.

See my angry visage and tremble!!!

I'm gonna go lay down for a while now.

Monkey
10-24-2007, 02:21 AM
I can understand that Ms. Rice felt hurt when she read the negative reviews of her work...but I honestly don't understand her reaction. She's a pro. Surely she's had negative reviews before? She understands that these people aren't out to get her personally, that they simply didn't like her book, and that they aren't even professional reviewers, right?

Right?


*sigh*

PeeDee
10-24-2007, 02:23 AM
It was very strange, definitely. I think that's why it turned up and was talked about so much when it appeared. For a major author who had a professional career of long-standing, it was a strange reaction.

Anyway, it wasn't nearly so exciting as any insult Harlan Ellison has ever ripped into someone deserving of an insult. :D


I can understand that Ms. Rice felt hurt when she read the negative reviews of her work...but I honestly don't understand her reaction. She's a pro. Surely she's had negative reviews before? She understands that these people aren't out to get her personally, that they simply didn't like her book, and that they aren't even professional reviewers, right?

Right?


*sigh*

Judg
10-25-2007, 08:58 AM
I've said this before in response to this rant. I'll say it again here, where it may (or may not) be preserved for posterity.

If I ever become this presumptuous and insensitive to other people, who all have jobs too and work damned hard to make every novel on bookstore shelves everything they are (and that includes editors, cover artists, publicists, office assistants, and most especially readers):



...will someone please shoot me?

Thank you.

Why sure, SW, I'd be, um, happy to shoot you... :Wha:

ShebaJones
10-25-2007, 06:42 PM
I couldn't get through Interview or Lestat. I got partway through Queen of the Damned. Ms. Rice's style bugs me for some reason, and contrary to her belief, I do think she needs an editor.

She did write some pretty good porn back in the day.

Er, not that I'd know. Yeah.

DonnaDuck
10-25-2007, 07:03 PM
From what I understand, she wrote that stuff well beyond the day. What's her pseudonym? I can't remember but she was publishing smut when I was in high school, I know that and it wasn't that long ago.

nerds
10-25-2007, 07:12 PM
here you go - from

http://wiredforbooks.org/annerice/

"Rice also mentions her erotica novels, which she writes under pseudonyms A. N. Roquelaure or Anne Rampling. She uses these pen names to protect her family, but she is proud of her work that are 'a fine piece of pornography ...not sexist pornography.' "

ajkjd01
10-25-2007, 07:54 PM
I just thought she was unprofessional.

The simplest response if she just HAD to make one, should have been along the lines of

"I thank you for your opinion. Obviously I disagree. Please think about the effect of what you say. There is a difference between disagreeing and getting personal about it. You are free to disagree, but remember that every writer or artist you eviscerate in public is a person who toiled long and hard to bring you that which you are trashing. They have feelings, too. They will respect you if you disagree. There is no need to be hurtful or insulting." The end. No further statement.

I'm not even sure that I agree that these were personal attacks, but she certainly felt that way. There's a way to respond and be classy, without being a prima donna, and I think her response crossed that line.

ShebaJones
10-25-2007, 09:12 PM
From what I understand, she wrote that stuff well beyond the day. What's her pseudonym? I can't remember but she was publishing smut when I was in high school, I know that and it wasn't that long ago.

For me, "the day" is the mid-90's and earlier. Before I had kids and had to become all responsible. I discovered the Sleeping Beauty trilogy around 96-97.

They were the first erotica books I'd seen that weren't in an adult-oriented store (I worked in a mainstream bookstore around that time), and pretty well written. Graphic, but not sexist. I was surprised that A.N. Roquelaure and Anne Rice were one and the same.

The bookstore was an experience in itself. We had some regulars that would clear off our Bible shelf and use the Bibles to cover the New Age books and tarot cards. I think they would have had a stroke if they'd looked a little closer in the Fiction hardbacks.

Monkey
10-25-2007, 09:27 PM
The bookstore was an experience in itself. We had some regulars that would clear off our Bible shelf and use the Bibles to cover the New Age books and tarot cards. I think they would have had a stroke if they'd looked a little closer in the Fiction hardbacks.

Yes, religious intolerance is alive and well.

How sad.

I agree with ajk. If Anne Rice just *had* to say something, she could have at least kept it professional and polite. Short would have been nice.

I honestly don't understand what prompted her to answer in that way. I mean, she came off as a thin-skinned newbie, first trying to puff herself up while downplaying the intelligence/artistic sensibilities of her detractors, then trying to explain her book.

I mean, if the reader didn't "get" it when they read the book, the author saying, "No, no...it's really cool, see..." isn't really going to change things.

I wonder how much rejection Anne Rice had to go through before getting published. Maybe she's just never really had to cope with it? Anyone know?

josephwise
10-25-2007, 09:56 PM
I'm of the opinion that no author should discuss his/her published works. Ever. Once they've been published, they belong to the reader, and the writer should refrain from trespassing. A good book should speak for itself. Her books obviously can't.

ShebaJones
10-25-2007, 10:44 PM
I honestly don't understand what prompted her to answer in that way. I mean, she came off as a thin-skinned newbie, first trying to puff herself up while downplaying the intelligence/artistic sensibilities of her detractors, then trying to explain her book.

I wonder how much rejection Anne Rice had to go through before getting published. Maybe she's just never really had to cope with it? Anyone know?

According to this (http://www.dailycelebrations.com/100400.htm), she does quite a bit of writing in response to grief in her own life. I think she might feel that when someone's criticizing her story(s), they're dissing her life experiences.

In light of that, I feel sort of bad for giggling over her Amazon outburst... but it's still one of the most awesome pieces of wankery I've seen.

Unimportant
10-25-2007, 10:50 PM
I vaguely remember reading somewhere that Interview With A Vampire was the first novel she wrote, and it was picked up quickly and sold well. If that's correct, I suppose it's not surprising that she felt Successful Book = I Write Well.

I did read several of her books, but IMO both the prose and the plots got increasingly worse, not better -- possibly a combination of growing hubris and lack of editing. In any case, I think it's the height of insanity for any author to tell a reader who's shelled out ten bucks or whatever for her book that the reader has no right to have an opinion on that book.

Just my $0.02

donroc
10-25-2007, 11:29 PM
As a reader, I am among those who have found her prose unreadable. Fortunately for her I was not a book critic at the time INTERVIEW was published.

www.donaldmichaelplatt.com