Adrienne's Reviews > The Wolf Gift

The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice
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's review
Feb 18, 2012

it was ok
Read in February, 2012

So, the Wolf Gift.

What can I say? It could only have been written by Anne Rice. I’m actually stumped as to how someone who hasn’t read any of Anne Rice’s books before would feel about this novel.

I get the feeling that the world of Anne Rice’s books and the actual world have grown farther and farther apart as the years go by. No one dresses the way they do in her books. No one speaks the way they do in her books. Certainly she had no concept of age – The hero, Reuben already has his Masters at 23, for example.

I feel like she writes her historical books and her contemporary books in much the same way. But her writing works for historical fiction, or for example, for the vampires who were mostly born in another time, who often act older than they look. It sounds natural when Lestat says, “My god!”, but not so much when a 16 year old boy from California says it.

However, her writing has a rhythm to it, the essence hasn’t changed at all. It’s her language, her themes, her character types, her dialogue, the catchphrases I recognize from so many other books (‘Dear God’, ‘Lord God’, ‘For the love of hell’, etc. ‘Powerfully excited’ was used at least ten times.) If you had told me that this was a lost manuscript from the 80s, I would have believed you, if not for the fact that everyone had an iPhone.

In that way, although I’d never read the book before, the reading experience was almost similar to that of reading a comfort read for me. And I found the characters likable enough, because none of them were the old characters I loved being rendered utterly unrecognizable, as happened with the last books in the Vampire Chronicles. So I enjoyed it, It wasn't a hard read at all for me. I read it in a day. I reminded me a lot of The Mummy, for example.

The only two aspects of this book that I felt set it apart from her earlier writing was: 1) It was much more Catholic. That aspect was much more overt. 2) It was less gay, or should I say, less bi-sexual. There was a gay character, but he was very clearly marked as such, unlike the general love and affection between men in her earlier book where every male character including the hero fell in love with another man or mentioned having been in love with another man despite never being identified as gay or bisexual.

Also, I can only end with 3 points.

1. The phrase ‘Man Wolf’ never stopped being funny.
2. There was WAY too much werewolf/human sex.
3. The most hilarious line in the book: “Well, you’re one splendid boy wolf I’ll tell you that.”
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07/14/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Tiffany (last edited Oct 06, 2013 08:45AM) (new)

Tiffany Reisz Hi Adrienne,

I laughed when I read your review. Five minutes earlier I had given the same criticism almost verbatim of the book while explaining it to my boyfriend. No one in 2013 talks the way Anne Rice's characters talk. No 23 year-old American male is going to say, "Superb!" when offered a sandwich. I told my boyfriend that this sort of odd stilted dialogue would work well in a historical novel because of the other worldly/old world feel of it, but in a modern book, it just comes off as awkward and unnatural. If she'd set this book in the 1800s it might have worked.

Not sure if I'll keep reading. I only started reading it out of perverse curiosity to compare my memories of Rice's style to the current reality of it. I'm a professional writer myself. When one of my beta readers says, "This sounds weird" I change it. Does Rice not have anyone telling her, "Um, no one talks this and they never have"?

Still, I'll love Rice always for her earlier work. Maybe if I can trick myself into believing The Wolf Gift is taking place in an alternative universe I can keep reading. I at least want to see how she writes werewolf/human sex. ;)

Tiffany Reisz

message 2: by Oz (new)

Oz It's actually not that uncommon to have a asters at 23. In the UK most finish university at 21 and those that go onto their masters do at 21/22 and it's only a year.

message 3: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Reisz Oz wrote: "It's actually not that uncommon to have a asters at 23. In the UK most finish university at 21 and those that go onto their masters do at 21/22 and it's only a year."

It's very uncommon in the United States where the book is set. All the characters are American. The age of the characters is absurd in the book. The hero's girlfriend is a 22 year old lawyer. And even if these are all prodigies, it doesn't explain why they talk like it's 1920 instead of 2013 in the book. Whatever Rice was going for in this book, she didn't pull it off.


message 4: by Lynn (new) - rated it 1 star

Lynn Ness Soooo agree!

message 5: by Sian (new) - rated it 1 star

Sian Not to mention anyone who knows anyone in the journalism industry would have coughed up a lung after being told this 23 yr old easily got their awesome job and doesn't really work too hard at it.

Rice is totally disconnected with her audience in this book I think.

Alyce Hey, I had a Masters at 22! But yes, I agree with everything else you've said :)

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