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The Snow Garden

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,199 Ratings  ·  230 Reviews
In the darkening chill of winter, three Atherton University freshmen are being mysteriously drawn together by fate, and a compulsion they cannot comprehend. Though they come from vastly differing backgrounds, the college holds the promise of a better life for each of them -- and an opportunity to break away from the anguish and desolation of their former lives.
But the pa
Paperback, 534 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Pocket Star (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
*Net Galley book for review*

First off, I liked the story line about an HIV infected person running around on a college campus. Second thing, I find some of the things that happened in this book a little too far fetched. I just don't understand why Rice tries so hard in his books. This one was just overly written to the point I was just glad when it came to an end.
Matt Garcia
Apr 01, 2014 Matt Garcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Snow Garden is a fast paced mystery/thriller with plenty of intrigue and suspense. The various twists and turns throughout the novel made for a wild ride to the finish. Excellent character development and harsh dose of reality infused into the characters as well. This novel will astound you in parts with its multi faceted layers of secrets and deceptions. Christopher Rice manages to perfectly capture the monotony and experiences that come with being a college student. He delves into the inne ...more
Jul 05, 2009 Max rated it it was ok
I want Christopher Rice to be better than he is. And really, from what I've read of his trashy bestsellers, he knows how to crank out a page turner. And this is dirty, trashy fun. It's ridiculous and melodramatic, but in an unintentional sort of a way. And so I gladly demolished it in the space of a couple of days, but in full knowledge that it wasn't really very good at all. These characters are all a little too damaged-and-broken-underneath their Prada-and-sunglasses to be legitimate people, w ...more
Mar 23, 2015 Schmacko rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
K.Z. Snow
Sep 25, 2011 K.Z. Snow rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is my second Christopher Rice novel. They were both okay. Not great but not bad either. Both books had a few different plots going all at once and it got confusing with so many characters going every which direction. Now that I'm finished with The Snow Garden I still can't say I'm 100% sure wtf just happened. I'm left with a few questions that may or may not have been answered during the overwhelming last few chapters. I was barely able to keep up with all that was happening and being revea ...more
Jun 01, 2010 Woowott rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Terrie Purkey
Jul 05, 2015 Terrie Purkey rated it it was ok
Son of author Anne Rice, I had high hopes for this book. But, it was a struggle to get through. This book is kind of dirty, trashy nonsense. Another reviewer said, "It's ridiculous and melodramatic, but in an unintentional sort of a way. These [mostly gay] characters are all a little too damaged-and-broken-underneath their Prada-and-sunglasses to be legitimate people, which would be totally okay if this was a satire. But it's not." That's a pretty clear depiction - set on a college campus, these ...more
Oct 20, 2007 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans, gay fiction fans
Shelves: favorites
Of his three works of dark fiction thus far, The Snow Garden is Christopher Rice's best. Full of twists and turns, this mystery is gripping and addictive, and it's just so delightfully twisted.
Apr 11, 2011 Andres rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I'm hurriedly reading Rice's books to determine whether or not to attend a function at which he'll be speaking. It's a great excuse to try to read all of someone's books at one quick go (to which I'm grateful he only has five so far).

This book is an improvement over Rice's first book (the writing isn't as clunky as some parts of 'Density', the characters less in number but more finely drawn across the board). The book is mix of genres, though, with the first half being a detailed psychological m
Oct 05, 2010 Cupcakencorset rated it really liked it
So, remember in my blog post about the J.D. Robb mystery I’ve been reading over several trips to the bookstore, rather than buying it, in which I said that her books are almost completely plot- and character-driven (not in those words), but not literary in style? Well, read this book and you’ll immediately see what I mean. Like the Robb mysteries, this book has a strong plot and distinctive characters, but the tone, the writing, the use of language rise above “common” mystery novels to be modern ...more
I have to confess that this is technically a re-read for me, although I read it so long ago that I no longer remembered anything that happened. Only that it was about a group of college students from Atherton. This was the first book I ever read by Christopher Rice back in the day, and though the events of the novel were fuzzy, I remembered adoring it. Then I read The Vines, and OMG what a train wreck of a novel. So when I saw CR's earlier novels on NetGalley, I had to grab them to see if I stil ...more
Mira Ali
Mar 26, 2016 Mira Ali rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joy Castagna
Jul 22, 2011 Joy Castagna rated it liked it
Before reading this story, I had never heard of Christopher Rice. I can't say I loved this book but I've decided to give one of his other novels a try.

Concerning this novel, I found myself wondering what the ultimate intention was with this story. Though the story touched on many topics, it lacked real depth in any one of them. As such, this story was about little more than entertainment. The storyline seemed untethered to any real end goal, drifting along in a mildly entertaining dirty, day-ti
Jul 24, 2010 S rated it it was ok
Oh, I had high hopes for this book, since I enjoyed his first so much. And it started out promisingly enough with strong characters and interesting dynamics between them. For almost 200 pages I was absorbed, curious, excited, engaged, trying to figure out how it was all going to pan out, rooting for certain characters--it was good.

Then the cult showed up and people started revealing their weirdness, and it really just got too improbably weird for me. If Rice had kept away from all the murder stu
Jan 19, 2009 Beverly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Overwritten and unintentionally campy murder mystery set on a northeastern university campus. Has qualities of a YA novel - overwrought emotion, 18 year old protags., fun of sex and drugs coupled with disapproving attitude. Slow all the way through with an over-the top-ending that reveals all kinds of implausible, if not impossible, surprises. The story focuses on gay prostitute and college student Randall Stone and his best friend Kathryn Parker. Randall's involvement with an older married prof ...more
Jay Kovach
Aug 12, 2010 Jay Kovach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, young adult and older.
This was my second time reading it (see "A Density of Souls" review). This is not as monumental as his first, but a great read still. I would say that I was a little disappointed that it lacked the depth of his first, but books cannot be systematically wonderful. The discoveries that you make along the way though are awesome, but if I was to suggest one of his works to get someone into his writing it would definitely be "A Density of Souls." I think what let me down was the ending, it didn't hav ...more
I liked this book. The part about the guy on campus intentionally going around spreading HIV is like a nightmare fantasy / cautionary ghost story myth.

The part I didn't like so much was the over-the-top ending when the college roommate disappears and then (spoiler alert) his body ends up encased in a wax sculpture in some ultra-rich psycho's living room. I was unable to suspend my belief that far. The living room is lush and luxurious and the only thing that my interior decorator friend remember
Feb 25, 2015 Angelnet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-kindle, net-galley
As a teenager i devoured every Anne Rice book that I could find. The gothic intensity and intense characterization just appealed to me and i read everything she wrote. It was quite interesting to read that Christopher is Anne's son and following darkly in her footsteps.

A professor's wife has drowned in an ice crusted river causing chaos amongst the freshmen at Atherton University. Randall has had an affair with the professor and the local press are now threatening to dredge up all the details.
Jenn S.
Jan 21, 2015 Jenn S. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I almost didn't finish this one, but I have a policy to not post reviews of books I don't finish. I'm starting to rethink that policy because some books that don't get finished don't deserve to be in print. Granted, this book will find a niche of readers who think it's fantastic and can't wait to get a hold of the next one. I'm not one of those readers. I prefer solid plot threads that makes sense and don't get left somewhere in the dark corner only to be suddenly wrapped up just because. I don' ...more
Carl Alves
Dec 07, 2014 Carl Alves rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had the misfortune of reading this dreadful novel. It was one of the few novels that is so bad that I couldn’t finish reading it. Set in Atherton University, the two main characters are freshmen Kathryn and Randall. Like three quarters of the characters in this poor excuse for a mystery novel, Randall is gay. The fact that just about every character in the novel is either gay or has gay tendencies, makes it kind of lose any significance. To make matters worse, even though there is sort of a my ...more
Dec 06, 2014 Cathleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC from the Publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

"Snow Garden" is a dark and twisted tale of revenge, mental illness and disturbing behaviors. The story is told in several POV's and flashes between present and past.

Randall Stone comes across as a wealthy but shallow college student only interested in sexual conquests and drinking. What he is, is a sad and troubled young man with shadows from his past. Randall has reinvented himself to bring about the downfall
Nov 30, 2014 Soo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ARC provided by NetGalley

this book was amazing! so much so, that i'm having a difficult time expressing myself because i don't know where to begin! so many reviews give short synopisis of the book that too many spoilers arise, so rather than rehash the story in a summary, i will just express what i felt from this book...

this book was filled with many characters who had been through incredibly difficult times in their past yet continued to damage themselves in their present while trying to find t
T. Smith
Nov 30, 2014 T. Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Atherton University, freshman year. Kathryn, Randall, and Jesse come from different worlds, but find themselves drawn together in unexpected ways. For each of them, college promises a bright future and a way to disconnect from a dark, haunted past. But as winter sets in, their secret histories threaten to disrupt the layers of deceit that protect their fragile new lives.

Kathryn along with her roommate April, her openly gay best friend Randall, and his roommate Jesse who gives new meaning to the
Amy Bellino
Dec 03, 2014 Amy Bellino rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Snow Garden by Christopher has been one of my favorite novels. I had read a couple of his other works before I came across this novel a few years ago. The first time I read it, I was amazed at Mr. Rice’s mastery of story telling.

When I heard that Mr. Rice was re-releasing this novel in digital format with the original ending that he had been urged to rewrite was enough to spur me into purchasing a Kindle.

Yes, I bought a Kindle just to read The Snow Garden with its original ending. I was no
Jan 31, 2015 Gaby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Snow Garden is a mystery/thriller story that revolves around the lives of Randall and Kathryn, two friends who met in Atherton College. The two friends couldn't be more different, but if in one thing they are similar is that they are "broken"... as most of the people around them are. It's a mystery/thriller that at the same time works with the idea of sexuality and its power.

The book presents us many different and interesting characters. I, for one, found Jesse, Eric, Randall and Kathryn ex
Jan 31, 2016 Bailey added it

I feel as if my heart has been torn out and put back together, only it's still missing a vital piece.

Story time. I picked this novel up years ago and attempted to read it. I ended up giving up after about 60 pages in. At the time I wasn't sure if it just wasn't my cup of tea or if I just wasn't in the mood, so back to my shelf it went. Now, years later, I picked it back up on a whim. Best. Decision. Ever!

This is my first novel by Christopher Rice and what a roller coaster it was. It was dar

Isabel Maria Matias Baeta Marques
I enjoyed my time reading this book very much. Very twisted, suspenseful, but mostly rich with real people and their fake lifes, wich turn out to be the lives they have and have no real control on (I know, confusing).
Curious how people before social media were so much more guarded and private, and more reactive too. Eighteen year olds are snappy that way, always needing to emphasize how big and independent they already are. When someone wanted to know something about the other he would have to
Mar 13, 2008 Cassiel rated it it was ok
Shelves: popfiction, 2008
The concept of the book: Many subplots flailing around, some of them not very interesting, vying for attention (although I believe that they were all resolved, more or less).

The writing: Rice relies on too much explanation. Apparently, his writing isn't deft enough to reveal the thoughts and motives of the characters without packaging everything for the reader.

The payoff: Urban-gothic horror and violence and a little sex.

Pretty silly.
Apr 16, 2016 L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Horror is not the best category, though it does work. Suspenseful, as in heart-pounding, would be better. Undergrads--Rice nailed the way they get into trouble by doing foolish things. In this case, very foolish, very dangerous things, all in one way or another involving sex (sometimes by avoiding it). Not everyone makes it, but I won't tell you who does and who doesn't, much less how. Characters you can't figure out--good guys? bad guys? just confused? In the end, some turn out to be other than ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Hardcover page number needs to be added 2 10 Mar 22, 2016 06:39PM  
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By the age of 30, Christopher Rice had published four New York Times bestselling thrillers, received a Lambda Literary Award and been declared one of People Magazine's Sexiest Men Alive. His two novels of dark supernatural suspense, THE HEAVENS RISE and THE VINES, were both finalists for the Bram Stoker Award. He recently entered the erotic romance genre with three works in all new series called T ...more
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