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The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
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May 30, 2010

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bookshelves: 1992, gothic
Read in October, 1992

[These notes were made in 1992:]. I have written nothing (as far as I can remember) about this woman's writing, and yet I have read so much of it! Of all the novels she has written under the name "Anne Rice," however, this is the one (along with, perhaps, Cry to Heaven) that I have enjoyed most. True, it is overlong and undisciplined in its proliferation of multi-generational stories, just as the vampire tales are. True, also, that the metaphysics of touch telepathy (which her male hero Michael has) and witchcraft (the heroine Rowan comes from a long line of New Orleans witches) can get a little tedious. Nonetheless, the long string of untimely fates which meet each of the Mayfair witches in turn does create a certain tension about whether Rowan will be able to withstand the succubus/devil Lasher. Rice plays a little unfair by leaving us up in the air - Rowan pregnant by Lasher, Michael grieving and alone but healing in the Mayfair house in New Orleans, hopeful she'll still come back to him. As one would expect of Rice, she could not resist adding in one important gay male character - Julian, the only male witch in the line. He is also (I think not coincidentally) one of the more attractive and potent characters in that family. It is only at the end, having tumbled our way through a thousand pages of this very odd genealogy, that we find ourselves asking, "Yes but does it mean anything?" No structure and precious little resolution - but lots of interesting moments along the way.
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Rebecca You should have a spoiler alert on this. Thanks a lot.


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