Tag Archives: anne rice

Book review: Anne Rice’s “Beauty’s Kingdom”

To be clear, 50 Shades is a very, very different animal from any of Anne Rice’s Beauty books.

I’ve talked about how I used to be a big Anne Rice fan before, and that fan worship certainly extended beyond her vampires and witchcraft books. It was a little difficult for me to work through The Feast of All Saints, but I did have a great time reading ViolinBelinda, and her BDSM books – Exit to Eden, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty’s Punishment, and Beauty’s Release.

These non-supernatural books all have the sensuality that made Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles famous, and more often than not are much more explicit than any of Lestat and his cohorts. After all, Belinda is a riff on Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, while Exit to Eden, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty’s Punishment, and Beauty’s Release all became a hit with the BDSM community at the time – something you can’t say about 50 Shades.

But that was literal decades ago, and Anne Rice has had a roller-coaster of a career since then. If Prince Lestatis anything to go by, it looks like she may be getting her vampires back in line. But can the same be said for her erotica? The last book in her Sleeping Beauty series came out in 1985, Belinda came out in 1986, and bookstore shelves have so much more erotica now than they did back then. Does Rice still have what it takes to compete in a much more crowded field?

Continue reading Book review: Anne Rice’s “Beauty’s Kingdom”

The National Book Store Warehouse Sale – The Sequel!

Okay, so it wasn’t this crazy

So the last time I was at the National Book Store Warehouse Sale, it was a little crazy.  To quote my blog post at the time:

“I spent about 10 minutes just looking in disbelief at the whole mass of people that was there at the Warehouse Sale so early in the morning. Who are these people and what did they do the night before? Did they camp out in front of Crossings or something?”

This time, I was once again invited to a preview, and since i’m not that stupid (also it was my rest day from work), I accepted the invitation and went there posthaste. And boy was it a  good decision!

While there’s admittedly a lot of excitement fighting it out with a crowd for a book you really want – and actually winning that fight, too! – there’s also a lot to be said about walking into a sale with no one to fight with and having the luxury to just take your time.

Maybe because of that relaxed atmosphere, I was able to buy more books than i did two years ago. To wit:

This year's haul!
This year’s haul!

Continue reading The National Book Store Warehouse Sale – The Sequel!

Book review: Anne Rice’s “Prince Lestat”

Anyone who’s known me long enough knows that I was a pretty big The Vampire Chronicles reader back in the day. During my sometimes hours-long commute from Pasay to Manila and vice versa, I would have Interview with the Vampire open on my lap, reading it eagerly and feeling a thrill at how intimate these creatures would be with each other. The fact that the main players were both male appealed a lot to me, and the fact that they were so “Woe is me!” appealed to the overdramatic teenager in me.

The next two books that followed built on Interview with the Vampire in ways that I didn’t expect. It’s clear to anyone that The Vampire Lestat is an entirely different creation, and The Queen of the Damned is definitely a high point, with a sprawling history for the Undead all laid out and royal intrigue and machinations that would satisfy any plot-hungry reader.

I was such a fan that I stuck around even as it slowly became apparent that the books were no longer hitting the same high marks that The Queen of the Damned did. I slogged through Pandora, trudged through Blood and Gold, and even convinced myself that Blood Canticle was better than it actually was.

But despite all that, I couldn’t help but feel more than a little excited hearing that announcement that Anne Rice was going back to The Vampire Chronicles, telling another story with Lestat as the main focus and no longer the sideshow that he was in books previous. I’d grabbed a copy as soon as I saw one in my neighbourhood National Book Store, and I began reading it more than a little anxious as to what I would think about it.

Continue reading Book review: Anne Rice’s “Prince Lestat”

Buy my books!

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So I organized my books last Saturday.

It was a lot more work than I thought it would be, as it seems I have accumulated far more books than I thought I had over the course of many, many years. And it was well into the fourth hour of my clean-up — I kid you not, it took literal hours to do this thing — that I realized I only had a limited amount of space in the apartment I share with the rest of my family.

There really was really only one thing left for me to do: Sell my books.

Continue reading Buy my books!

Book review: Anne Rice’s “The Wolf Gift”

Over the past few years, Anne Rice and I have been having a little tiff. I mean, she’s mostly unaware of it, but it’s been going on for years. I didn’t touch any of her Jesus books, and her Songs of the Seraphim series didn’t exactly soar in my opinion.

That was why when I heard that she was doing a werewolf novel, I wasn’t exactly gagging for it. Werewolves have been done to death over the past couple of years — just look at your neighborhood bookstore’s young adult (YA) shelves. And after reading her most recent work? I wasn’t exactly confident she was going to bring anything new to the table.

Nevertheless, I still got myself a copy of “The Wolf Gift”, because I’ve been reading her since I was in high school and you just can’t throw all of that away, as much as you want to. I just hoped against hope that I would not be bitterly disappointed yet again.

Continue reading Book review: Anne Rice’s “The Wolf Gift”

Your week in books#25

  • CATFIGHT! There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the internet in the past few days as Twihards took offense at on-again/off-again Catholic Anne Rice declared that Lestat and Louis from “The Vampire Chronicles” would feel sorry for Stephenie Meyer’s sparkly bloodsuckers. (Source 1, Source 2)
  • More “Twilight” stuff! io9 has four clips from “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn aprt 1”! (Source)
  • In case you’ve spent the past week buried under a particularly large rock, you probably know that bestselling author Nicholas Sparks spent a couple of days here in the country signing books and whatnot, all thanks to the efforts of National Book Store. In fact, the Manila Bulletin will be coming out with a three-page feature on him this Sunday!
  • I’ve managed to be indifferent to ebooks and ebook readers for the most part, but Amazon’s Lending Library kinda softens my stand on them a wee bit. (Source)

  • I’m not really into the zombie genre in general — the most I’ve been into it is my devotion to “The Walking Dead” series — so I don’t really know what to make of “Warm Bodies”, wherein a zombie falls in love with a mortal girl. It’s adapted from a book, so maybe I should check that out first? I’ll probably check this out anyway since Nicholas Hoult is in it. And one final point: Are we going to run down all the supernatural creatures of the world and pair them with humans at this point? (Source)
  • Salman Rushdie write a limerick about Kim Kardashian’s 72 day marriage. It’s got a lof of Ks in it. (Source)
  • The Prix Goncourt, France’s top literary prize, goes to a biology teacher. (Source)
  • The Guardian has a great slideshow on some of the illustrations that J.R.R. Tolkien did for “The Hobbit”. (Source)
  • Also from The Guardian, a really nice essay about the pleasures of writing your stories in longhand. (Source)
  • The New York Times has put out a list of 2011’s best illustrated children’s books. They aren’t putting up any artwork until the 13th, though. (Source)
  • Finally, check out seven clips from “Immortals”! Semi-accurate Greek mythology! Shirtless Henry Cavill! Shirtless Kellan Lutz! (Source)

My MIBF loot report#2

Things didn’t let up even during the last two days of the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF). Over the weekend, it seemed like I was still scurrying to and fro either attending talks or interviewing authors. If not that, I was scurrying off the the other end of the metropolis for an entirely different work obligation.

As such, I didn’t really get to check out as much of the other booths at the MIBF. I mostly just hovered at the National Book Store booth as they had some of the most noteworthy events — interviews with Alexander Yates, Samantha Sotto, and Rachel Ward! — and as a result got most of the books I bought there.

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Readercon Filipino Friday: Week 2

 It’s week two of the Filipino Friday meme hosted by the organizers of the First Filipino Reader Conference! The question for this week is:

Your Reader’s Story

How did you become a reader? What factors influenced you to take it up as a hobby? For instance, was it your mom who read to you every night? Or was it a high school friend who started lending you books? Or maybe it was a really inspiring teacher whom you wanted to emulate. Whatever it was, we hope you tell us all the story of how you became a leisure reader and what it is about reading that you enjoy so much.”

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Readercon Filipino Friday: Week 1

Yes, yes, I know I’m late. But as the cliche goes, better that than never! This meme is from the organizers behind the First Filipino Reader Conference that is going to be held during the Manila International Book Fair, which is so close (September 14 to 18) you can practically taste it.

The first week of the meme goes like this:

INTRODUCE YOURSELF

This being the first topic, let’s all get to know each other better. Tell us what kind of reader you are. What are your favorite genres and books? Do you have a comfort read? And what’s the best book you’ve read so far this year? You can also include links of where other readers can find you online, such as your book social networking sites, etc.”

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Mansplaining*, the V.S. Naipaul edition

Look at this smug motherfucker

The guy above with the adorable expression is Nobel Prize-winning novelist V.S. Naipul. A couple of weeks ago he made a claim that I’m sure you readers of the female persuasion will find absolutely charming.

I quote:

I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think [it is] unequal to me.

Naipul says that women’s writing is easily identifiable because they are full of “sentimentality” and a “narrow view of the world”. This narrow view, he says, is because women are never “a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too.”

I mean, I’m no Nobel Prize winner, so I may just be blowing smoke out of my ass, but most of the authors that I’ve really felt a personal connection with have been women authors — even if I am in possession of a decidedly male appendage.

Continue reading Mansplaining*, the V.S. Naipaul edition