Creative Chronicles of a Writing Drummer

Review: Memnoch the Devil

Memnoch the Devil
Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, this was an interesting read; again, like that other Vampire Chronicles, I read this more than 20 years ago. And, wow, back then I thought this was the best book I ever read.

Now, not so much. Perhaps I’ve grown as a reader? Perhaps I expect more as a reader. Perhaps my (limited) experience as a fiction writer, has made plotting and structure easier to understand. Who knows?

The premise is interesting, but it’s disjointed. It felt like Anne had a great idea that took up 150 pages, but to make it standard book length she filled it in with fluff and subplots which added nothing to the story.

You could easily cut it down to novella length and have a much more concise and easy to read book. I can’t count the number of times that her religious, confusing, ramblings read more to me like, “blah, blah, blah”.

The premise is based around Lestat being asked by The Devil to become his lieutenant to teach us poor mortals how to forgive God for bringing us so much pain – basically.

The Devil – Memnoch (not Satan, he hates that name) – takes Lestat on a “journey of discovery” that takes him to Hell, Heaven, and Jesus’ death in Jerusalem.

The best part of the novel is when Memnoch explains how the universe/world came to be, through evolution to today, where Heaven and Hell, the Angels, and God and the Devil fit in. But again, this great story felt clunky. It was as if Anne was plotting using bullet points. And then this happened and then that happened and then this happened. Etc.

Overall, not the experience I remembered from my past. Back then this book was in my Top 5; now, perhaps the Top 30… Perhaps.

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