Joey's Reviews > Lasher

Lasher by Anne Rice
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Nov 09, 2011

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Read in November, 2011

This book kind of surprised me. As I wrote in my review for The Witching Hour, I really loved THAT book as a young adult (13-15 I'd guess), and had for many years after considered it one of my favorite novels ever written. However, re-reading it at age 31 revealed a number of fatal flaws that I could not get over.

I was not expecting much from Lasher by consequence, as I read it as a young adult too, though I do not believe I ever finished it.

Imagine my surprise when I re-read it and found Lasher to be more compelling than the first novel in the series.

Now this does not mean the book doesn't have its flaws. I find it hilarious the way one of the protagonists (Mona Mayfair) talks about her computer; it's obvious that the author sat down for a five minute conversation (in the 90s) with someone who knew computers and simply copied his interview words into her book. She is painfully inexperienced with computers and it's obvious from the dialogue she creates for her tech-savvy savant, who says ludicrous things like "I'm going to boot up my directory," and "it has max hard drive and max memory."

Mona presents other problems for me as a protagonist as well. She is supposed to be this genius of a thirteen year old, but it's obvious that she's being used as a voice through which the author's own idealized personality and opinions are expressed; what ends up happening (to me, anyway) is that when Mona (a thirteen year old girl) starts waxing haughtily about the failure of modern architecture as compared to ancient, or about how she hates modern music or modern culture or modern clothing, all I can envision is a stunted version of Anne Rice, looking tired and old, spouting these things herself.

The idealization of author-as-protagonist-Mona is also apparently intended to make it easier for us to condone the rampant paedophilia that goes on throughout this book, mostly in relation to Mona herself. A character that was so faultless, who was literally "too good" (as the first book repeated numerous times over its hundreds of pages) cannot help himself but to fall dick-first into a thirteen year old girl because she kissed him on the lips. He expresses some MILD concern that he's just raped a child, presumably so that we know he's still all moral and junk, and then he promptly rapes her again and again, because clearly thirteen-year-old vagina is much like heroin in that one taste is all you need to be hooked. This character, by the way, is about 50 years old if I remember right. And we're supposed to just wink and say "Oh those Mayfairs," as he repeatedly rapes his niece in his marriage bed shortly after his own wife has been abducted.

And then there are other characters that have sexual encounters with Mona, including Randall, an ancient and elderly old Mayfair whom we are supposed to believe was a poor victim in an act of seduction initiated by this precocious thirteen-year-old girl. Poor Randall didn't stand a chance, because this CHILD vixen, this inescapable Anne-Rice-as-an-early-teen Lolita decided she wanted to sleep with an old man and of course men are not able to resist the sexiness of a pre-teen.

Then there's Yuri, who is described as in his early twenties perhaps, and as soon as he sees Mona he wants to tear off her clothes even though she's a baby; the same is true of her cousin Pierce, in his twenties as well, who cannot bring himself to stop staring at Mona's thirteen-year-old legs WITHIN HOURS of his own mother's brutal murder.

It's a normalization of paedophilia that kind of bothers me; it seems that the author believes that all men are secretly attracted to pre-pubescent girls, and that all pre-pubescent girls are just raging sluts, and sexualizing them causes no harm at all. It makes me shudder whenever it comes up, which is disturbingly often.

Also, the end of the book is absolutely absurd. Making historical connections to incredibly famous kings and queens, Rice jumped the shark with her main character Lasher. I don't want to give any spoilers, but when it came time that he revealed his origins (again in Rice's typical, boring thirty-pages-of-expositional-monologue style) I rolled my eyes so hard that I think I strained them.

Not very highly recommended really, but better than The Witching Hour.
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Comments (showing 1-6)




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message 6: by Tara (new)

Tara These reviews make me laugh out loud, Joey. :)


Joey Hee, glad you like them!


message 4: by Allison (new)

Allison Excellent review.


message 3: by Allison (new)

Allison Excellent review.


Sarah Nailed it in regard to jumping the shark, knowing nothing about computers (even in 1994), and her sexualisation of child protagonists. Everyone is just too casual about the kiddy sex for a western perspective and yet they they are all uncomfortable about the incest, wtf.


Alyson Walton fantastic review! Very similar thoughts to you on this as I read the witching hour around 15/17 yo.


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