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Cry to Heaven

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Overview

In this mesmerizing novel, the acclaimed author of THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES and the LIVES OF THE MAYFAIR WITCHES makes real for us the exquisite and otherworldly society of the eighteenth-century castrati, the delicate and alluring male sopranos whose graceful bodies and glorious voices brought them the adulation of the royal courts and grand opera houses of Europe, men who lived as idols, concealing their pain as they were adored as angels, yet shunned as half-men.
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Cry to Heaven

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Overview

In this mesmerizing novel, the acclaimed author of THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES and the LIVES OF THE MAYFAIR WITCHES makes real for us the exquisite and otherworldly society of the eighteenth-century castrati, the delicate and alluring male sopranos whose graceful bodies and glorious voices brought them the adulation of the royal courts and grand opera houses of Europe, men who lived as idols, concealing their pain as they were adored as angels, yet shunned as half-men.
As we are drawn into their dark and luminous story, as the crowds of Venetians, Neopolitans, and Romans, noblemen and peasants, musicians, prelates, princes, saints, and intriguers swirl around them, Anne Rice brings us into the sweep of eighteenth-century Italian life, into the decadence beneath the shimmering surface of Venice, the wild frivolity of Naples, and the magnetic terror of its shadow, Vesuvius. It is a novel that only Anne Rice could have written, taking us into a heartbreaking and enchanting moment in history, a time of great ambition and great suffering—a tale that challenges our deepest images of the masculine and the feminine.
"To read Anne Rice is to become giddy as if spinning through the mind of time."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"Dazzling in its darkness...Spellbinding."
—The New York Times

From the author of Interview with the Vampire. "Dazzling in its darkness. . . .Spellbinding!"--New York Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345396938
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1995
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 302,168
  • Product dimensions: 6.88 (w) x 10.92 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Rice
ANNE RICE is the author of thirty-two books. She lives in Palm Desert, California.
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    1. Also Known As:
      A. N. Roquelaure, Anne Rampling
    2. Hometown:
      Palm Desert, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 4, 1941
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Orleans, Louisiana
    1. Education:
      B.A., San Francisco State University, 1964; M.A., 1971
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 78 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(52)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 78 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2008

    A Cry Beyond Heaven

    An avid reader of Anne Rice beginning with her Vampire Chronicles, once I exhausted that series I gravitated towards her numerous other novels. Out of all the non-series related work, Cry To Heaven is a testament to why I, and so many others, love Anne Rice. With Rice's characteristic talent for recreating eras of old and infusing rich prose with historic detail, the story not only shines with lush detail but is a tribute to what Rice does best: turning human process 'the training of the castrati' into a vivid, sensuous piece of art. Rice never fails to be an author whose stories catch me in their grip, and this novel is no different. I got so caught up at one point that I literally sat for two or three hours straight to finish the story through. A tale of dark secrets and tabboo love, and most importantly the tale of Tonio's revenge, the only fault that I could find is that the ending comes much too soon and much too suddenly.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    Phenominal Book

    This book is beautifully written. The story is so dark. Rice transports the reader to another time and culture very skillfully. One of my keeper books.Not for the faint of heart

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2001

    No other novel can compare.

    I was completely captivated by Cry to Heaven. I didn't want the story to end. Now that it's finished, it is hard to find a book that even interests me. Be prepared to spend hours caught up in this story. It's hard to put down, and even harder to forget.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2007

    One of the best Rice novels!

    This book was long, but fast paced. I love that Anne touches on subjects that few would dare to. in this book the subject is the castrati, boys who were castrated so that they maintained their soprano voices. Also, being an Anthropology major, I love how she puts so much history into her novels. She paints a beautiful, and sometimes grisly, portrait of Rennaisance Italy. This novel kept my attention the whole way through!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2003

    SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL....

    This book truly showcases Anne Rice's marvelous and graceful writing. The story cannot be easily described...as of the moment there are no words that could grant this story justice, all I can say is that Cry To Heaven is mesmerizing. You can easily get caught is the whirlwind of Tonio's story.... Cry To Heaven is simply beautiful... to say the least.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2001

    Anne Rice at her absolute best!!!

    Having read every single book she's written, there is no question...this is Anne at her absolute best. The story is beautifully written, and the love amongst all of these characters just jumps off the pages. It's my very favorite (it would make for gorgeous musical theater).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2013

    One of my favorite Anne Rice novels

    I love the setting of historical Venice and the Church. I had known nothing of the choir boys or castrati(sp...read and re-read this time and again, but many years ago.) prior to reading this book. Antonio is taken from his life as heir to one of the big families and wakes up an eunuch. Unable to produce an heir and subject to the prejudices against such "boys", he is forever removed from that old life. The book chronicles his journey of anger, loss, acceptance, and finally love as he stuggles to define himself within the limits that have been set upon him. There is the intrigue and betrayal that led to his circumstances, the operas, and the dramas. The quest for revenge in the face of an injustice that can never be made right, the I still have this paperback, yellowed pages and dried out binding, that has stayed with me through all my physical book purges.

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  • Posted March 1, 2013

    Current Favorite

    "Cry to Heaven" is a beautifully written novel about betrayal, mutilation, and pain. It is about the whirlwind of darkness that threatens to swallow the light of someone who has suffered, and the inner battle that comes about when despite everything the world gives you reasons to go on. It is about strength, and ultimately about acceptance.

    Anne Rice is one of my favorite authors because of her rich descriptions and her ability to describe beauty. In this novel she manages just that, with perhaps one of the most difficult things to describe with words: music. "Cry to Heaven" follows the lives of Tonio and Guido individually at first, and later together as their paths cross. The narration is filled with Anne's attention to detail, and well researched sense of the time period.

    As with many other Anne Rice books, this is not a read for the feeble hearted. She pushes comfort levels with intimacy, sexuality, relationships, and medical descriptions as she introduces the reader to the world of the eunuch in 18th century Italy. But it is this pushing which I find to be enthralling, because she manages it in a way in which to stop reading is agony. I was completely taken by this world, and fell in love with Tonio. I found his story captivating, his struggles with his body, with his family, and with those who came into his love life where marked at first by his high birth, later by a decaying sense of self, and finally by the marriage of the two. A definite redeeming quality giving way as young Tonio learns the power and strength of his voice.

    I find it impossible to do this work justice without spoiling the story, which I would so hate to do. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy sensuous descriptions, period dramas, revenge, passionate love, and most importantly self-awareness and growth in adversity. I know these are the reasons that made me fall in love with this book, and they are the reasons why I now highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Lionroar

    Hissed and raced out griefstricken.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    Mysticstar

    "Hush child, i was biten by a snake.. starclan took me home. I will always be with you halotuft. Always" she touched noses with you and faded away.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Halotuft

    He gets up and shakes himself off and bolts away in a cluster of slightly elevate light. "Gah, pushing me. I wasn't even directly in front of her! He could have laid down next to me. I would have been fine with a kit's tail tickling my nose then being shooed off when I was paying respects to my leader. There goes my night vigil for her..." he comments, anger beating back grief in his shaking voice. "Always the same. ALWAYS!!"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2012

    Enter the world of the Castrato

    This is a story only Anne Rice could tell. This is her at her best, her early works, not so full of historical content you lose sight of the story (remember Queen of the Damned). Beautiful, fast paced. Rising from a tragedy. Politics, intrigue, family and love, it is all here. Mature subject matters, sex, violence, not for young readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Cry to Heaven is a little piece of heaven!

    Anne Rice treats the subject of castrati with sensitivity and literary finesse. Although I have never been interested in her usual vampire stories, I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I can understand how a writer can involve him/herself with a different culture and period in historical fiction. But it is astounding how she interprets the emotions and thoughts of a man who was castrated against his wishes, and how his inner battles unfold as he grows into becoming a star opera singer in Renaissance Italy. Brilliant writing from beginning to end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    Fabulous

    This is such a fabulously written and beautifully tragic story. I have read it and listened to it many times. I highly recommend listening to Tim Curry read it, if you can still get it...so moving.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2012

    Wow

    Very interesting, hard to put down!

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  • Posted December 30, 2011

    Fantastic

    This is one of my favorite books--delightfully thought out, beautifully written, and well executed. Bravo.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointing

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2011

    Excellent, but not for everyone....

    This isn't Anne Rice's usual fare--there are no vampires, witches, or immortals in this book, just a wonderful historical drama. While I loved the story, this book is not for the homophobic. The main character is bisexual, and while this does play a major part in the plot (it's not thrown in just for shock value) this book isn't for everyone.

    If you want to know what the castrati sounded like, look up of a song called "The Poet and the Pendulum," a choir boy sings Part I and Part III.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    Quite an experience.

    Wow it's rare that I will read a book and then tell my husband about it, but I didn't even bore him! Ms. Rice did a lot of research and opened our eyes once again to the realities of historical fiction. I was fascinated from page one and had to put the world on hold when I got close to the end... Fabulous - dark, but fabulous.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2011

    Really enjoyed the book; one of my favorites.

    Anne Rice definately has the gift of immersing herself in the time period she's writing about. If only I could transport myself to that time of 17th century Venice to witness fist hand these catrati singers who suffered the 'little cut' for a chance at adoration and super star rock staus where opera regined supreme. The scenes are richly drawn with painstaking detail. However, Anne Rice also has the gift of creating emotional melodrama that borders on being ridiculous. Everyone suffers in this book with the exception of the auxillary characters. If not for the subject matter, this book would fit perfectly in the young adult readers section of your local library or book store. Still, I highly recommend this book. And it being one of my favorites, I'm reading it for the second time and will proabalby read it a third time in another 5 years.

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