Just when you thought it was safe for a bloodsucker to go out in the dark in New Orleans, along comes Merrick Mayfair, a sultry, hard-drinking octoroon beauty whose voodoo can turn the toughest vampire into a marionette dancing to her merry, scary tune. In Merrick, Anne Rice brings back three of her most wildly popular characters--the vampires Lestat and Louis and the dead vampire child Claudia--and introduces them to the world of her Mayfair Witches book series.
It is Louis who brings about the collision of the fang and voodoo universes. Louis made Claudia a vampire in Rice's classic Interview with the Vampire, in which she was destroyed, and now he's obsessed with raising her ghost to make amends and seek guidance from the beyond. (Claudia physically resembles Rice's young daughter who died of a blood-related illness. Rice nearly died of a diabetic coma in 1998, and writing Merrick turned her excruciating recovery into an exhilarating burst of creativity).
Vampire David Talbot lobbies Merrick to call Claudia's spirit and slake Louis's guilt, but Talbot winds up in the grip of an obsession with the witch. You see, Talbot, unlike most vampires, lived 70 years as a human, so his sexual response to humans is still as strong as his blood thirst. Merrick can cast spells to make men crave her, and Talbot is tormented. After she reads his palm, he muses, "I wanted to take her in my arms, not to feed from her, no, not harm her, only kiss her, only sink my fangs a very little, only taste her blood and her secrets, but this was dreadful and I wouldn't let it go on."
The secrets of Merrick are dark and sensuous, but the book is a romp animated by Rice's feeling of coming back to life through the magic of a literary outpouring. The narrative flashes back to the past, to an Indiana Jones-ish adventure in a Guatemalan cave, and to scenes from many other Rice novels. It may be helpful to read Merrick with the Rice-approved guidebooks The Vampire Companion and The Witches' Companion at hand.
After many books, Rice's grand Vampire Chronicles tale was in peril of getting long in the tooth. Merrick Mayfair's magic represents an infusion of fresh blood. --Tim Appelo
From Publishers Weekly
Talbot, a vampire familiar to Rice readers, though now inhabiting a different body, relates this eerie tale about an "octoroon of exceptional beauty" named Merrick, a Mayfair witch with whom he has been obsessed for an eternity. The narrative weaves through timeAfrom present-day New Orleans, to Talbot's first meeting with Merrick, to an adventure they shared years ago in the jungles of Guatemala. Flashbacks aside, this story focuses on Talbot's attempt to convince Merrick to use her voodoo magic to conjure up the vampire daughter of his friend and fellow vampire Louis. Fans will recognize characters from past books, including Louis and Lestat. Rice offers a haunting look at the separate but equally intriguing worlds of witches and vampires united here through Merrick's witchcraft on Talbot's behalf. Jacobi's reading of the tale is spellbinding. His refined British toneAwith the slightest trace of a classic Transylvanian accentAfits Talbot's character perfectly, and he flavors the narrative with verve and mystery accordingly. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Forecasts, Aug. 14). (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
[Cross Country] opens with one of the most chilling murder scenes I've read in a long time ... High-octane stuff Daily Express It was absolutely fantastic ... Cross Country has an amazing sense of speed, there's a really brilliant tension in the plot ... You're just completely engrossed in it from start to finish ... The story is unrelentingly exciting. The Simon Mayo show, BBC Radio 5 Live
Detective Alex Cross and Bree's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington D.C.'s most hated public figures: a corrupt congressman and an underhanded lobbyist. As more crooked politicians are picked off with similar long-range shots, public opinion is divided ? is the marksman a vigilante or a hero?Media coverage of the case explodes, and the FBI assigns agent Max Siegel to the investigation. As Alex and Siegel battle over jurisdiction, the murders continue. It becomes clear that they are the work of a professional who has detailed knowledge of his victims? movements ? information that only a Washington insider could possess.As Alex contends with the sniper, Siegel, and the wedding, he receives a call from his deadliest adversary, Kyle Craig. The Mastermind is in D.C. and will not relent until he has eliminated Cross, and his family, for good.With a supercharged blend of action, deception, and suspense, Cross Fire is James Patterson's most visceral and exciting Alex Cross novel ever.
The Louisiana town of Bon Temps—along with the rest of the world—is about to be rocked with some big supernatural news: like the vampires before them, the Were people—humans with the ability to change into animals—are about to reveal themselves to humanity. Psychic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse is apprehensive about the revelation, given the way some people in the small town revile anyone with extraordinary powers, including Sookie herself. While the initial announcement seems to go over smoothly with most people, tragedy strikes when Sookie’s brother Jason’s estranged wife, a werepanther, is found murdered and nailed up on a cross. Jason is the prime suspect, but Sookie has even bigger problems to deal with when she learns that a vicious fairy prince is determined to kill her. Darker and more ominous than earlier entries in the series, Harris’ latest raises the stakes (pun intended) for lovable heroine Sookie and comes up a winner. With HBO’s True Blood, a series based on Sookie’s adventures, renewed for a second season, expect demand for this latest gripping installment. --Kristine Huntley
While this is one of the best-written stories King has ever published, it will offend many through sheer bad taste. Jessie and Gerald Burlingame have been married for 20 years. Kinky sex is Gerald's game; lately he has taken to handcuffing his wife to the bedposts. During one such session, via a series of bizarre circumstances, Jessie accidentally kills her husband, and for the next 28 hours she is trapped. King effectively uses this tragicomic conceit to take us deep into the mind of "Goodwife Burlingame."sic For the first third of the book he is at the top of his form, creating in Jessie one of his most intense character studies. Then, Jessie's ruminations lead her to remember a long-repressed episode of incest that is startling not because it becomes a central element of the plot, but because the details of the sexual relationship between father and daughter are salaciously--and lengthily--described. The gory stuff--how Jessie escapes her handcuffs, for example--is prime King, but this is subsumed in the book's general tastelessness. A lame wrap-up to what might have been a thrilling short story only further compromises the enjoyment readers might have found in this surprisingly exploitative work. 1.5 million first printing; $750,000 ad/promo; BOMC main selection. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Product Description: Dupont University--the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition... Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the uppercrust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.
As Charlotte encounters Dupont's privileged elite--her roommate, Beverly, a Groton-educated Brahmin in lusty pursuit of lacrosse players; Jojo Johanssen, the only white starting player on Dupont's godlike basketball team, whose position is threatened by a hotshot black freshman from the projects; the Young Turk of Saint Ray fraternity, Hoyt Thorpe, whose heady sense of entitlement and social domination is clinched by his accidental brawl with a bodyguard for the governor of California; and Adam Geller, one of the Millennial Mutants who run the university's "independent" newspaper and who consider themselves the last bastion of intellectual endeavor on the sex-crazed, jock-obsessed campus--she gains a new, revelatory sense of her own power, that of her difference and of her very innocence, but little does she realize that she will act as a catalyst in all of their lives. With his signature eye for detail, Tom Wolfe draws on extensive observation of campuses across the country to immortalize college life in the '00s. I Am Charlotte Simmons is the much-anticipated triumph of America's master chronicler.
Tom Wolfe Talks About *I Am Charlotte Simmons In I Am Charlotte Simmons*, Tom Wolfe masterfully chronicles college sports, fraternities, keggers, coeds, and sex--all through the eyes of the titular Simmons, a bright and beautiful freshman at the fictional Dupont University. Listen to an Amazon.com exclusive audio clip of Wolfe talking about his new novel.
Listen to Tom Wolfe Talk About I Am Charlotte Simmons
Tom Wolfe Timeline
1931: Thomas Kennerly Wolfe, Jr. born in Richmond, VA, on March 2. Wolfe later attends Washington and Lee University (BA, English, 1951), and Yale University (Ph.D., American Studies, 1957).
1956: Wolfe begins working as a reporter in Springfield, MA, Washington, D.C., then finally New York City, writing feature articles for major newspapers, as well as New York and Esquire magazines. Not satisfied with the conventions of newspaper reporting at the time, Wolfe experiments with using the techniques of fiction writing in his news articles. Wolfe's newspaper career spans a decade.
1963: After being sent by Esquire to research a story about the custom car world in Southern California, Wolfe returns to New York with ideas, but no article. Upon telling his editor he cannot write it, the editor suggests he send his notes and someone else will. Wolfe stays up all night, types 49 pages, and turns it in the next morning. Later that day, the editor calls to tell Wolfe they are cutting the salutation off the top of the memorandum, printing the rest as-is. Thus, New Journalism was arguably born, whereby writing and storytelling techniques previously utilized only in fiction were radically applied to nonfiction. Straight reporting pieces now were free to include: the author's perceptions and experience, shifting perspectives, the use of jargon and slang, the reconstruction of events and conversations.
1965: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux publish Wolfe's first collection of nonfiction stories displaying his newfound reporting techniques: The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. The book cements Wolfe's place as a prominent stylist of the New Journalism movement.
1968: The Pump House Gang and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (No. 91 on National Review's 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century) publish on the same day, and together provide an up-close portrait and exploration of the hippie culture of the 1960s (by following the novelist Ken Kesey and his entourage of LSD enthusiasts), and the cultural change occurring at a seminal point in U.S. social history.
1970: Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers is published. This collection underscores racial divide in America, including an am using story about the socialites of New York City seeking out black liberation groups as guests, focusing on the conductor Leonard Bernstein's party with the Black Panthers in attendance at his Park Avenue duplex. (No. 35 on National Review's 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century .)
1976: Wolfe labels the 1970s "The Me Decade" in his collection of essays, Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine. Wolfe illustrates the bookthroughout.
1979: The Right Stuff is published. Depicting the status, structure, exploits, and ethics of daredevil pilots at the forefront of rocket and aircraft technology, as well as the beginnings of the space program and the pioneering NASA astronauts who were the first Americans to land on the moon, the book receives the National Book Award in 1980. An Academy Award-winning film is made from the book in 1983.
1987: With publication of his first novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities--serialized in Rolling Stone magazine--Wolfe pens one of the bestselling and definitive novels of the 1980s, continuing his social criticism and ability to capture the lives and preoccupations of Americans, one generation at a time. Wolfe receives a record $5 million for movie rights to the novel and, despite the success of the book, the film fails at the box office.
1998: A Man in Full, Wolfe's second novel, is published to mixed criticism, yet garners favor as a 1998 National Book Award Finalist. Here, Wolfe aims his sights on the Atlanta, GA, elite, trophy wives, and real estate developers, continuing to comment on racial issues and the chasm in socioeconomic status in America.
2000: Hooking Up, a collection of essays, reviews, profiles, and the novella, Ambush at Fort Bragg, is published.
2004: On November 9, Wolfe's third novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons, set at the fictional Dupont University, is published.
In 1978, science fiction writer Spider Robinson wrote a scathing review of The Stand in which he exhorted his readers to grab strangers in bookstores and beg them not to buy it.
The Stand is like that. You either love it or hate it, but you can't ignore it. Stephen King's most popular book, according to polls of his fans, is an end-of-the-world scenario: a rapidly mutating flu virus is accidentally released from a U.S. military facility and wipes out 99 and 44/100 percent of the world's population, thus setting the stage for an apocalyptic confrontation between Good and Evil.
"I love to burn things up," King says. "It's the werewolf in me, I guess.... The Stand was particularly fulfilling, because there I got a chance to scrub the whole human race, and man, it was fun! ... Much of the compulsive, driven feeling I had while I worked on The Stand came from the vicarious thrill of imagining an entire entrenched social order destroyed in one stroke."
There is much to admire in The Stand: the vivid thumbnail sketches with which King populates a whole landscape with dozens of believable characters; the deep sense of nostalgia for things left behind; the way it subverts our sense of reality by showing us a world we find familiar, then flipping it over to reveal the darkness underneath. Anyone who wants to know, or claims to know, the heart of the American experience needs to read this book. --Fiona Webster
From Publishers Weekly
In its 1978 incarnation, The Stand was a healthy, hefty 823-pager. Now, King and Doubleday are republishing The Stand in the gigantic version in which, according to King, it was originally written. Not true . The same excellent tale of the walking dude, the chemical warfare weapon called superflu and the confrontation between its survivors has been updated to 1990, so references to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Reagan years, Roger Rabbit and AIDS are unnecessarily forced into the mouths of King's late-'70s characters. That said, the extra 400 or so pages of subplots, character development, conversation, interior dialogue, spiritual soul-searching, blood, bone and gristle make King's best novel better still. A new beginning adds verisimilitude to an already frighteningly believable story, while a new ending opens up possibilities for a sequel. Sheer size makes an Everest of the whole deal. BOMC selection, QPB main selection. Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In the now-classic novel Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice refreshed the archetypal vampire myth for a late-20th-century audience. The story is ostensibly a simple one: having suffered a tremendous personal loss, an 18th-century Louisiana plantation owner named Louis Pointe du Lac descends into an alcoholic stupor. At his emotional nadir, he is confronted by Lestat, a charismatic and powerful vampire who chooses Louis to be his fledgling. The two prey on innocents, give their "dark gift" to a young girl, and seek out others of their kind (notably the ancient vampire Armand) in Paris. But a summary of this story bypasses the central attractions of the novel. First and foremost, the method Rice chose to tell her tale--with Louis' first-person confession to a skeptical boy--transformed the vampire from a hideous predator into a highly sympathetic, seductive, and all-too-human figure. Second, by entering the experience of an immortal character, one raised with a deep Catholic faith, Rice was able to explore profound philosophical concerns--the nature of evil, the reality of death, and the limits of human perception--in ways not possible from the perspective of a more finite narrator.
While Rice has continued to investigate history, faith, and philosophy in subsequent Vampire novels (including The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned, The Tale of the Body Thief, Memnoch the Devil, and The Vampire Armand), Interview remains a treasured masterpiece. It is that rare work that blends a childlike fascination for the supernatural with a profound vision of the human condition. --Patrick O'Kelley
From Library Journal
Rice turned the vampire genre on its ear with this first novel (LJ 5/1/76), which evolved into one of the most popular series in recent history. Though the quality of the books has declined, this nonetheless is a marvelous, innovative, and literate tale of the longing for love and the search for redemption. This 20th-anniversary edition offers a trade-size paperback for a good price. Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
When her parents are killed by an earthquake, 5-year-old Ayla wanders through the forest completely alone. Cold, hungry, and badly injured by a cave lion, the little girl is as good as gone until she is discovered by a group who call themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear. This clan, left homeless by the same disaster, have little interest in the helpless girl who comes from the tribe they refer to as the "Others." Only their medicine woman sees in Ayla a fellow human, worthy of care. She painstakingly nurses her back to health--a decision that will forever alter the physical and emotional structure of the clan. Although this story takes place roughly 35,000 years ago, its cast of characters could easily slide into any modern tale. The members of the Neanderthal clan, ruled by traditions and taboos, find themselves challenged by this outsider, who represents the physically modern Cro-Magnons. And as Ayla begins to grow and mature, her natural tendencies emerge, putting her in the middle of a brutal and dangerous power struggle.
Although Jean Auel obviously takes certain liberties with the actions and motivations of all our ancestors, her extensive research into the Ice Age does shine through--especially in the detailed knowledge of plants and natural remedies used by the medicine woman and passed down to Ayla. Mostly, though, this first in the series of four is a wonderful story of survival. Ayla's personal evolution is a compelling and relevant tale. --Sara Nickerson
"Imaginative, exciting." --*The New York Times Book Review
"Jean Auel has performed a minor miracle." --San Francisco Chronicle *
Leaving the valley of horses with Jondalar, the handsome man she has nursed back to health and come to love, Ayla embarks on a journey that will lead her to the Mamutoi; the Mammoth Hunters. But as she settles into this new life among a people at first strange and disturbingly different, Ayla finds herself irresistibly drawn to Ranec, their master-carver. Ultimately, she is compelled to make a fateful choice between the two men. Jean Auel's imaginative reconstruction of pre-historic life, rich in detail of language, culture, myth and ritual, has become a set text in schools and colleges around the world.
The long-awaited fourth installment of the Earth's Children series is as warm and inviting as its campfire milieu. sure fire bestseller. Auel again describes her characters' travails, a passionate interest of millions of readers, in impeccably researched detail. The continuous recitation of flora and fauna, coupled with flashbacks to events in the previous books, becomes somewhat tiresome, however. (Would that our "memory" were as instinctual as that of the Clan.) The saga continues the cross-continental journey of Ayla, her mate Jondalar and their menagerie to his homeland. En route, they encounter a variety of problems, yet manage to find panaceas for each. Their enlightened compilation of skills, inventions, therapies and recipes transforms the voyagers into spirit-like personas providing The Others with constant awe. A brief encounter with the Neanderthal Clan rekindles the unique charm of the first (and strongest) book. Such locutions as "out of the cooking skin into the coals" or "Mother's path of milk" for the Milky Way are coyly anachronistic. Nonetheless, this volume is as welcome as letters from a long-lost friend. A novel 1.25 million first printing; major ad/promo; first serial to Ladies' Home Journal; BOMC main selection; author tour. Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
YA-- Auel follows the successful formula of the other books in this series--man's emergence from primitivism to civilization. Ayla and Jondalar continue their journey, accompanied by Whinny, Racer, and Wolf, closely observing the terrain and prudently, even inventively, developing "modern" techniques to deal with danger and evil. Perhaps most interesting is Ayla's triumph over the matriarchal despot Attaroa; the reverberating echoes of the women's movement's attendant strengths and weaknesses lend a nice touch of irony. The love scenes are not quite as steamy as in the other books. The conclusion is too abrupt, coming just as the characters reach their destination, but The Plains of Passage is still satisfying. - Joan L. Reynolds, West Potomac High School, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Jean Auel's fifth novel about Ayla, the Cro-Magnon cavewoman raised by Neanderthals, is the biggest comeback bestseller in Amazon.com history. In The Shelters of Stone, Ayla meets the Zelandonii tribe of Jondalar, the Cro-Magnon hunk she rescued from Baby, her pet lion. Ayla is pregnant. How will Jondalar's mom react? Or his bitchy jilted fiancée? Ayla wows her future in-laws by striking fire from flint and taming a wild wolf. But most regard her Neanderthal adoptive Clan as subhuman "flatheads." Clan larynxes can't quite manage language, and Ayla must convince the Zelandonii that Clan sign language isn't just arm-flapping. Zelandonii and Clan are skirmishing, and those who interbreed are deemed "abominations." What would Jondalar's tribe think if they knew Ayla had to abandon her half-breed son in Clan country? The plot is slow to unfold, because Auel's first goal is to pack the tale with period Pleistocene detail, provocative speculation, and bits of romance, sex, tribal politics, soap opera, and homicidal wooly rhino-hunting adventure. It's an enveloping fact-based fantasy, a genre-crossing time trip to the Ice Age. --Tim Appelo
From Publishers Weekly
The tiny minority of authors with the power to sell millions of novels each time out are a diverse bunch, but they share a talent for ushering readers into previously closed worlds, whether they're the top-secret inner sanctums of the American military or the ancient lands of magic. The best of them craft terrific stories that tap into universal topics, primal fears and deep-seated longings. In 1980, Auel became a member of this elite club. Her first novel, Clan of the Cave Bear, the exceptional and absorbing account of a bright Cro-Magnon girl struggling to understand the ways of the Neanderthals who adopted her, became a huge bestseller and launched the Earth's Children series, which has sold 34 million copies to date. In the next three of an intended six volumes, Ayla the Cro-Magnon girl grew up and put a pretty face on our earliest ancestors, as Auel explored the mother of all human themes: adapt or die. After the fourth bestseller, The Plains of Passage, however, 12 years elapsed, and Auel thereby added the protracted anticipation of her fans to her bestselling mix. Here at last, beautiful Ayla and her tall, gorgeous Cro-Magnon lover, Jondalar, arrive in Jondalar's Zelandonii homeland, to live with his clan in vast caves of what today is France. Travelling with a pet wolf and two horses, able to speak the strange language of the "flatheads," Ayla is once again an exotic outsider. Pregnant with Jondalar's child and as zealous in her desire to help as she is resourceful and creative as a medicine woman, Ayla soon wins the respect of the people she wishes to join. Bursting with hard information about ancient days and awash in steamy sex (though lacking the high suspense that marked Ayla's debut), Auel's latest will not only please her legions of fans but will hit the top of the list, pronto. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Forced to leave the Clan and her young son, Ayla sets out alone to travel the frigid steppes until she finds the valley of horses. Unable to find people like herself, the Cro-Magnons, she settles there and seeks friendship elsewhere. First she adopts a young filly, then a wounded lion cub. But far to the west, two young Cro-Magnon brothers have begun a journey. One of them is Jondalar, whose destiny is bound inextricably with Ayla's. Jean Auel's imaginative reconstruction of pre-historic life, rich in detail of language, culture, myth and ritual, has become a set text in schools and colleges around the world.
At the center of this dark and compelling tale is Rowan Mayfair, queen of the coven, who must flee from the darkly brutal, yet irresistable demon known as Lasher. With a dreamlike power, this wickedly seductive entity draws us through twilight paths, telling a chilling and hypnotic story of spiritual aspiration and passion.
From Publishers Weekly
Returning to the Mayfair clan she introduced in The Witching Hour , Rice offers another vast, transcontinental saga of witchcraft and demonism in the tradition of Gothic melodrama. The eponymous Lasher is a demon spirit who preys on female Mayfairs in his attempt to procreate. Rowan Mayfair, queen of the coven who has borne Lasher's child, has now disappeared. At times this main narrative is lost as the story moves from the Louisiana Mayfairs to the Scottish Donnelaiths and the clandestine London Telamasca society, with copious personal histories and myriad characters. Long sections ramble without a compelling point of view, and are dampened by stock elements: cliched wind storms, sexy witches, the endless supply of money the Telemasca has at its disposal. At times, Lasher is too much in evidence (rattling the china, gnashing his teeth) to be frightening. But embedded in this antique demonism is a contemporary tale of incest and family abuse that achieves resonance. It is maintained through the character of Lasher, both child and man at the same time, who manipulates his victims with his own pain. At their best, Rice's characters rise above the more wooden plot machinations with an ironic and modern complexity: Mona, the young feminist witch with sharklike business instincts; Julien, the dead patriarch, who movingly recalls his male lovers; Yuri, the clever Serbian orphan. Despite lapses into uninspired language, ultimately the novel is compelling through its exhaustive monumentality. 700,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Did you ever wonder where all those mischievous vampires roaming the globe in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles came from? In this, the third book in the series, we find out. That raucous rock-star vampire Lestat interrupts the 6,000-year slumber of the mama of all bloodsuckers, Akasha, Queen of the Damned.
Akasha was once the queen of the Nile (she has a bit in common with the Egyptian goddess Isis), and it's unwise to rile her now that she's had 60 centuries of practice being undead. She is so peeved about male violence that she might just have to kill most of them. And she has her eye on handsome Lestat with other ideas as well.
If you felt that the previous books in the series weren't gory and erotic enough, this one should quench your thirst (though it may cause you to omit organ meats from your diet). It also boasts God's plenty of absorbing lore that enriches the tale that went before, including the back-story of the boy in Interview with the Vampire and the ancient fellowship of the Talamasca, which snoops on paranormal phenomena. Mostly, the book spins the complex yarn of Akasha's eerie, brooding brood and her nemeses, the terrifying sisters Maharet and Mekare. In one sense, Queen of the Damned is the ultimate multigenerational saga. --Tim Appelo
From Publishers Weekly
The cult audience for Rice's two previous vampire novels, Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat , will undoubtedly broaden with this third book, which features the same characters and a more complex plot. As before, Rice tells her story in fine melodramatic style, overwriting with zest and exuberance: the text pulses with menace, mystery and violence, and with sensuality verging on erotica. Here Lestat and all other vampires pay the price for his obsessive need for fame, his reckless honesty in describing the "blood drinkers" among us, and his frenzied rock concert in San Francisco. Lestat's kiss has awakened Queen Akasha from her 6000 year sleep. She immediately begins a wholesale slaughter of most of the world's vampires, sparing only a small remnant (including Lestat) who she expects will join her in a crazed crusade against male mortals. Meanwhile, vampires and psychic humans around the globe are having the same terrifying dream in which twin red-haired women weep over the body of another woman, whose eyes and brains are on a plate nearby. As Rice gradually reveals the significance of the dream, she also focuses on Jesse, who works for the Telamasca, a secret society that collects data on those with paranormal powers. Though she ingeniously pulls together the various plot strands, Rice then almost loses the reader in philosophic overkill. She regains her verve in the final chapter, however, promising yet another mesmerizing installment of the Vampire Chronicles. 150,000 first printing: Literary Guild main selection. Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A Michael Crichton Timeline Amazon.com reveals a few facts about the "father of the techno-thriller."
1942: John Michael Crichton is born in Chicago, Illinois on Oct. 23.
1960: Crichton graduates from Roslyn High School on Long Island, New York, with high marks and a reputation as a star basketball player. He decides to attend Harvard University to study English. During his studies, he rankles under his writing professors' criticism. As an act of rebellion, Crichton submits an essay by George Orwell as his own. The professor doesn’t catch the plagiarism and gives Orwell a B-. This experience convinces Crichton to change his field of study to anthropology.
1964: Crichton graduates summa cum laude from Harvard University in anthropology. After studying further as a visiting lecturer at Cambridge University and receiving the Henry Russell Shaw Travelling Fellowship, which allowed him to travel in Europe and North Africa, Crichton begins coursework at the Harvard School of Medicine. To help fund his medical endeavors, he writes spy thrillers under several pen names. One of these works, A Case of Need, wins the 1968 Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Allan Poe Award.
1969: Crichton graduates from Harvard Medical school and is accepted as a post-doctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Science in La Jolla, Calif. However, his career in medicine is waylaid by the publication of the first novel under his own name, The Andromeda Strain. The novel, about an apocalyptic plague, climbs high on bestseller lists and is later made into a popular film. Crichton said of his decision to pursue writing full time: "To quit medicine to become a writer struck most people like quitting the Supreme Court to become a bail bondsman."
1972: Crichton's second novel under his own name The Terminal Man, is published. Also, two of Crichton's previous works under his pen names, Dealing and A Case of Need are made into movies. After watching the filming, Crichton decides to try his hand at directing. He will eventually direct seven films including the 1973 science-fiction hit Westworld, which was the first film ever to use computer-generated effects.
1980: Crichton draws on his anthropology background and fascination with new technology to create Congo, a best-selling novel about a search for industrial diamonds and a new race of gorillas. The novel, patterned after the adventure writings of H. Ryder Haggard, updates the genre with the inclusion of high-tech gadgets that, although may seem quaint 20 years later, serve to set Crichton's work apart and he begins to cement his reputation as "the father of the techno-thriller."
1990: After the 1980s, which saw the publication of the underwater adventure Sphere (1987) and an invitation to become a visiting writer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1988), Crichton begins the new decade with a bang via the publication of his most popular novel, Jurassic Park. The book is a powerful example of Crichton's use of science and technology as the bedrock for his work. Heady discussion of genetic engineering, chaos theory, and paleontology run throughout the tightly-wound thriller that strands a crew of scientists on an island populated by cloned dinosaurs run amok. The novel inspires the 1993 Steven Spielberg film, and together book and film will re-ignite the world’s fascination with dinosaurs.
1995: Crichton resurrects an idea from his medical school days to create the Emmy-Award Winning television series ER. In this year, ER won eight Emmys and Crichton received an award from the Producers Guild of America in the category of outstanding multi-episodic series. Set in an insanely busy an often dangerous Chicago emergency room, the fast-paced drama is defined by Crichton's now trademark use of technical expertise and insider jargon. The year also saw the publication of The Lost World returning readers to the dinosaur-infested island.
2000: In recognition for Crichton's contribution in popularizing paleontology, a dinosaur discovered in southern China is named after him. "Crichton's ankylosaur" is a small, armored plant-eating dinosaur that dates to the early Jurassic Period, about 180 million years ago. "For a person like me, this is much better than an Academy Award," Crichton said of the honor.
2004: Crichton’s newest thriller State of Fear is published.
Amazon.com's Significant Seven Michael Crichton kindly agreed to take the life quiz we like to give to all our authors: the Amazon.com Significant Seven.
Q: What book has had the most significant impact on your life? A:Prisoners of Childhood by Alice Miller
Q: You are stranded on a desert island with only one book, one CD, and one DVD--what are they? A:Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (Witter Bynner version) Symphony #2 in D Major by Johannes Brahms (Georg Solti) Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa
Q: What is the worst lie you've ever told? A: Surely you're joking.
Q: Describe the perfect writing environment. A: Small room. Shades down. No daylight. No disturbances. Macintosh with a big screen. Plenty of coffee. Quiet.
Q: If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say? A: I don't want an epitaph. If forced, I would say "Why Are You Here? Go Live Your Life."
Q: Who is the one person living or dead that you would like to have dinner with? A: Benjamin Franklin
Q: If you could have one superpower what would it be? A: Invisibility
In a swirling universe filled with death and life, corruption and innocence, this mesmerizing novel takes us on a wondrous journey back through the centuries to a civilization half-human, of wholly mysterious origin, at odds with mortality and immortality, justice and guilt. It is an enchanted, hypnotic world that could only come from the imagination of Anne Rice...
From Publishers Weekly
Cutting-edge gene mapping intertwines with ancient mysteries in this continuation of Rice's series of novels about witches and the supernatural. A "taltos" is the superhuman result of the crossbreeding of two human witches who possess an extra chromosome; almost a monster, the creature is capable of beastly behavior fuelled by an extraordinary sex drive. In Lasher , the eponymous offspring of Michael Curry and Rowan Mayfair of the New Orleans Mayfair witch clan proved to be just such a mutant; before he was slain, he repeatedly raped his own mother, siring a little "goblin" daughter, Emaleth. This new novel features a second taltos, also fathered by Curry, but mothered by a 13-year-old sexpot niece of Rowan's named Mona, who is herself the most powerful witch of the Mayfair clan. Other plot elements involve renegade members of the secret order of Talamasca, who want to kidnap and crossbreed two taltoses; a 200-year-old taltos from New York named Ashlar, who is posing as a toy-industry magnate specializing in dolls; and a dwarf called Samuel from the witches' holy glen in Donnelaith, Scotland. Pulsing with a persisent sense of foreboding, the novel is soggy with meandering, atmospheric prose that verges on softcore porn. And, as usual, what happens in the book is clearly less important to the author than the number of chills she can send down readers' spines. She has not lost her touch. 600,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Grisham continues to impress with his daring, venturing out of legal thrillers entirely for A Painted House and Skipping Christmas (the re-release of which this past fall was itself a bold move) and, within the genre, working major variations. Here's his most unusual legal thriller yet--a story whose hero and villain are the same, a young man with the tragic flaw of greed; a story whose suspense arises not from physical threat but moral turmoil, and one that launches a devastating assault on a group of the author's colleagues within the law. Mass tort lawyers are Grisham's target, the men (they're all men here, at least) who win billion-dollar class-action settlements from corporations selling bad products, then rake fantastic fees off the top, with far smaller payouts going to the people harmed by the products. Clay Carter is a burning-out lawyer at the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) in Washington, D.C., when he catches the case of a teen who, for no apparent reason, has gunned down an acquaintance. Clay is approached by a mysterious stranger, the enigmatic Max Pace, who says he represents a megacorporation whose bad drug caused the teen--and others--to kill. The corporation will pay Clay $10 million to settle with all the murder victims at $5 million per, if all is accomplished on the hush-hush; that way, the corporation avoids trial and possibly much higher jury awards. After briefly examining his conscience, Clay bites. He quits the OPD, sets up his own firm and settles the cases. In reward, Pace gives him a present--a mass tort case based on stolen evidence but worth tens of millions in fees. Clay lunges again, eventually winning over a hundred million in fees. He is crowned by the press the new King of Torts, with enough money to hobnob with the other, venal-hearted tort royalty, to buy a Porsche, a Georgetown townhouse and a private jet, but not enough to forget his heartache over the woman he loves, who dumped him as a loser right before his career took off. Clay's financial/legal hubris knows few bounds, and soon he's overextended, his future hanging on the results of one product liability trial. The tension is considerable throughout, and readers will like the gentle ending, but Grisham's aim here clearly is to educate as he entertains. He can be didactic (" Nobody earns ten million dollars in six months, Clay,' " a friend warns. "You might win it, steal it, or have it drop out of the sky, but nobody earns money like that. It's ridiculous and obscene' "), but readers will applaud Grisham's fierce moral stance (while perhaps wondering what sort of advance he got for this book) as they cling to his words every step along the way of this powerful and gripping morality tale. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“Rousing . . . Another pedal-to-the-metal crowd-pleaser.”—People
“Offers everything one expects from Grisham . . . delivers with a vengeance.”—The Seattle Times
“Satisfying . . . a lot of fun . . . When you finish it, you’re ready to dash on to the next Grisham.”—Entertainment Weekly “A thrill ride of twists and turns.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris, is even better than the successful movie. Like his earlier Red Dragon, the book takes us inside the world of professional criminal investigation. All the elements of a well-executed thriller are working here--driving suspense, compelling characters, inside information, publicity-hungry bureaucrats thwarting the search, and the clock ticking relentlessly down toward the death of another young woman. What enriches this well-told tale is the opportunity to live inside the minds of both the crime fighters and the criminals as each struggles in a prison of pain and seeks, sometimes violently, relief.
Clarice Starling, a precociously self-disciplined FBI trainee, is dispatched by her boss, Section Chief Jack Crawford, the FBI's most successful tracker of serial killers, to see whether she can learn anything useful from Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Lecter's a gifted psychopath whose nickname is "The Cannibal" because he likes to eat parts of his victims. Isolated by his crimes from all physical contact with the human race, he plays an enigmatic game of "Clue" with Starling, providing her with snippets of data that, if she is smart enough, will lead her to the criminal. Undaunted, she goes where the data takes her. As the tension mounts and the bureaucracy thwarts Starling at every turn, Crawford tells her, "Keep the information and freeze the feelings." Insulted, betrayed, and humiliated, Starling struggles to focus. If she can understand Lecter's final, ambiguous scrawl, she can find the killer. But can she figure it out in time? --Barbara Schlieper
From Publishers Weekly
In this thrillingly effective follow-up to Harris's masterful 1981 suspense novel Red Dragon, the heroine is new, but the villain isn't: Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the evil genius who played a small but crucial role in the earlier novel, returns, to mesmerizing effect. When a serial killer known as Buffalo Bill (he kidnaps, slays and skins young women) begins a crosscountry rampage, FBI trainee Clarice Starling tries to interview Lecter, a psychiatrist whose brilliant insights into the criminally insane are matched only by his bloodlusthe's currently imprisoned for nine murders, and would like nothing more than the chance to kill again. Lecter, a vicious gamesman, will offer clues to the murderer's pattern only in exchange for information about Clarice, analyzing her with horrible accuracy from the barest details. When Bill strikes again, the agent begins to realize that Lecter may know much more, and races against time and two twisted minds. Harris understands the crafting of literary terror as very few writers do; readers who put themselves in his good, coldblooded hands will lose sleep, and demand a sequel. 200,000 first printing; $200,000 ad/promo; BOMC main selection. Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In this engrossing and hypnotic tale of witchcraft and the occult spanning four centuries, we meet a great dynasty of witches--a family given to poetry and incest, to murder and philosophy, a family that over the ages is haunted by a powerful, dangerous and seductive being.
From Publishers Weekly
"We watch and we are always here" is the motto of the Talamasca, a saintly group with extrasensory powers which has for centuries chronicled the lives of the Mayfairs--a dynasty of witches that brought down a shower of flames in 17th-century Scotland, fled to the plantations of Haiti and on to the New World, where they settled in the haunted city of New Orleans. Rice ( The Queen of the Damned ) plumbs a rich vein of witchcraft lore, conjuring in her overheated, florid prose the decayed antebellum mansion where incest rules, dolls are made of human bone and hair, and violent storms sweep the skies each time a witch dies and the power passes on. Newly annointed is Rowan Mayfair, a brilliant California neurosurgeon kept in ignorance of her heritage by her adoptive parents. She returns to the fold after bringing back Michael Curry from the dead; he, too, has unwanted extrasensory gifts and, like Rowan and the 12 Mayfairs before her, has beheld Lasher: devil, seducer, spirit. Now Lasher wants to come through to this world forever and Rowan is the Mayfair who can open the door. This massive tome repeatedly slows, then speeds when Rice casts off the Talamasca's pretentious, scholarly tones and goes for the jugular with morbid delights, sexually charged passages and wicked, wild tragedy. 300,000 first printing; BOMC main selection. Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2010: When a master of horror and heebie-jeebies like Stephen King calls his book Full Dark, No Stars, you know you’re in for a treat--that is, if your idea of a good time is spent curled up in a ball wondering why-oh-why you started reading after dark. King fans (and those who have always wanted to give him a shot) will devour this collection of campfire tales where marriages sway under the weight of pitch-black secrets, greed and guilt poison and fester, and the only thing you can count on is that "there are always worse things waiting." Full Dark, No Stars features four one-sitting yarns showcasing King at his gritty, gruesome, giddy best, so be sure to check under the bed before getting started. --Daphne Durham
Amazon Exclusive: Justin Cronin, Suzanne Collins, Margaret Atwood, and T.C. Boyle Review Stephen King's *Full Dark, No Stars*
"King is Poe's modern heir, and no writer has a richer sense of the dark rooms in the human psyche and fiction's singular power to capture them."
Read more of Justin Cronin's review of "1922""Fast-paced and beautifully plotted, 'Big Driver' pulls you into Tess's fragmented mind and holds you hostage until the story concludes."
Read more of Suzanne Collins's review of "Big Driver""It wouldn't be Stephen King if somebody's messily bleeding neck did not sprout a huge white knob. As it were."
Read more of Margaret Atwood's review of "A Good Marriage""[King's] very ordinary-looking devil has no use for human souls, which, in these enervated times, 'have become poor and transparent things.'"
Read more of T.C. Boyle's review of "Fair Extension"
Lying on a cot in his cell with Alexandre Dumas's Le Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine open on his chest, Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter makes his debut in this legendary horror novel, which is even better than its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs. As in Silence, the pulse-pounding suspense plot involves a hypersensitive FBI sleuth who consults psycho psychiatrist Lecter for clues to catching a killer on the loose.
The sleuth, Will Graham, actually quit the FBI after nearly getting killed by Lecter while nabbing him, but fear isn't what bugs him about crime busting. It's just too creepy to get inside a killer's twisted mind. But he comes back to stop a madman who's been butchering entire families. The FBI needs Graham's insight, and Graham needs Lecter's genius. But Lecter is a clever fiend, and he manipulates both Graham and the killer at large from his cell.
That killer, Francis Dolarhyde, works in a film lab, where he picks his victims by studying their home movies. He's obsessed with William Blake's bizarre painting The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun, believing there's a red dragon within him, the personification of his demonic drives. Flashbacks to Dolarhyde's terrifying childhood and superb stream-of-consciousness prose get us right there inside his head. When Dolarhyde does weird things, we understand why. We sympathize when the voice of the cruel dead grandma who raised and crazed him urges him to mayhem--she's way scarier than that old bat in Psycho. When he falls in love with a blind girl at the lab, we hope he doesn't give in to Grandma's violent advice.
This book is awesomely detailed, ingeniously plotted, judiciously gory, and fantastically imagined. If you haven't read it, you've never had the creeps. --Tim Appelo
Acclaim for the novels of Thomas Harris:
For Black Sunday:
"Frighteningly believable."—Chicago Tribune
"Suspenseful, nightmarish."—Los Angeles Times
"Breathtaking. All forces converge with an apocalyptic bang!"—New York Times
"Fast-paced, all too realistic... with a shattering climax."—Kirkus Reviews
"A spellbinder... The race to save the Super Bowl is hair-raising, one that will keep you rooted to your chair."—Hartford Courant
For Red Dragon:
"Red Dragon is an engine designed for one purpose—to make the pulse pound, the heart palpitate, the fear glands secrete."—New York Times Book Review
"A gruesome, graphic, gripping thriller... Extraordinarily harrowing."—Plain Dealer, Cleveland
"Want to faint with fright? Want to have your hair stand on end? Want to read an unforgettable thriller with equal parts of horror and suspense? Harris was obviously only warming up with his best seller Black Sunday."—Daily News, New York
"Irresistible... A shattering thriller... Readers should buckle themselves in for a long night's read because from the first pages... Harris grabs hold."—Publishers Weekly
"The scariest book of the season."—Washington Post Book World
Amazon Best Books of the Month, May 2010 As the finale to Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is not content to merely match the adrenaline-charged pace that made international bestsellers out of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire. Instead, it roars with an explosive storyline that blows the doors off the series and announces that the very best has been saved for last. A familiar evil lies in wait for Lisbeth Salander, but this time, she must do more than confront the miscreants of her past; she must destroy them. Much to her chagrin, survival requires her to place a great deal of faith in journalist Mikael Blomkvist and trust his judgment when the stakes are highest. To reveal more of the plot would be criminal, as Larsson's mastery of the unexpected is why millions have fallen hard for his work. But rest assured that the odds are again stacked, the challenges personal, and the action fraught with neck-snapping revelations in this snarling conclusion to a thrilling triad. This closing chapter to The Girl's pursuit of justice is guaranteed to leave readers both satisfied and saddened once the final page has been turned. --Dave Callanan
Get to know the bestselling series that Amazon (and its customers) have loved from the very beginning with this deluxe, slip-cased set of all three hardcover books in the Millennium Trilogy, along with On Stieg Larsson, a never-before-published collection of reflections about and correspondence with the author. Read our reviews of the books:
Amazon Best of the Month, September 2008: Once you start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there's no turning back. This debut thriller--the first in a trilogy from the late Stieg Larsson--is a serious page-turner rivaling the best of Charlie Huston and Michael Connelly. Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.
Amazon Best of the Month, July 2009: The girl with the dragon tattoo is back. Stieg Larsson's seething heroine, Lisbeth Salander, once again finds herself paired with journalist Mikael Blomkvist on the trail of a sinister criminal enterprise. Only this time, Lisbeth must return to the darkness of her own past (more specifically, an event coldly known as "All the Evil") if she is to stay one step ahead--and alive. The Girl Who Played with Fire is a break-out-in-a-cold-sweat thriller that crackles with stunning twists and dismisses any talk of a sophomore slump. Fans of Larsson's prior work will find even more to love here, and readers who do not find their hearts racing within the first five pages may want to confirm they still have a pulse. Expect healthy doses of murder, betrayal, and deceit, as well as enough espresso drinks to fuel downtown Seattle for months.
Amazon Best Books of the Month, May 2010 As the finale to Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is not content to merely match the adrenaline-charged pace that made international bestsellers out of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire. Instead, it roars with an explosive storyline that blows the doors off the series and announces that the very best has been saved for last. A familiar evil lies in wait for Lisbeth Salander, but this time, she must do more than confront the miscreants of her past; she must destroy them. Much to her chagrin, survival requires her to place a great deal of faith in journalist Mikael Blomkvist and trust his judgment when the stakes are highest. To reveal more of the plot would be criminal, as Larsson's mastery of the unexpected is why millions have fallen hard for his work. But rest assured that the odds are again stacked, the challenges personal, and the action fraught with neck-snapping revelations in this snarling conclusion to a thrilling triad. This closing chapter to The Girl's pursuit of justice is guaranteed to leave readers both satisfied and saddened once the final page has been turned.
About the Author
Stieg Larsson,who lived in Sweden, was the editor in chief of the magazine Expo and a leading expert on antidemocratic, right-wing extremist and Nazi organizations. He died in 2004, shortly after delivering the manuscripts for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.
Amazon Best of the Month, September 2008: Once you start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there's no turning back. This debut thriller--the first in a trilogy from the late Stieg Larsson--is a serious page-turner rivaling the best of Charlie Huston and Michael Connelly. Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo. --Dave Callanan