Cry to Heaven

Cry to Heaven

4.4 76
by Anne Rice

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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,


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

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Anne Rice and Cry to Heaven
“Daring and imaginative . . . [Anne] Rice seems like nothing less than a magician: It is a pure and uncanny talent that can give a voice to monsters and angels both.”The New York Times Book Review
“To read Anne Rice is to become giddy as if spinnning through the mind of time.”San Francisco Chronicle
“If you surrender and go with her . . . you have surrendered to enchantment, as in a voluptuous dream.”The Boston Globe
“Rice is eerily good at making the impossible seem self-evident.”Time

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.88(w) x 10.92(h) x 1.35(d)

Meet the Author

Anne Rice is the author of thirty-two books. She lives in Palm Desert, California.

Brief Biography

Rancho Mirage, California
Date of Birth:
October 4, 1941
Place of Birth:
Rancho Mirage, California
B.A., San Francisco State University, 1964; M.A., 1971

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Cry to Heaven 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Joey301 More than 1 year ago
Such a good story. Was one of my favorite Rice characters. A little different than her usual characters and a great yarn as well.
Mildred More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written. It combines history of Baroque Venice with Castrati or Virtuoso singers from that era. Although this book is not considered among the pornographic novels from this authoress, it contains a few hetero-homosexual sex scenes, which seem appropriate with the characters used for this novel. The plot was really good, hard to put down once I started.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book truly showcases Anne Rice's marvelous and graceful writing. The story cannot be easily 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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I actually read this novel about three years ago and just recently while at B & N, I decided to purchase the book; I still found it captivating, this is a dazzling book. Cheers to Anne Rice for her great work!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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).
Anonymous 5 days ago
Amazing read.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I have struggled in the past w/ A. Rice's vampire books. I just could never get into them, so was not sure what to expect w/ Cry to Heaven. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. I learned a lot on a subject I knew nothing of. I loved Tonio for all his sadness who had such goodness and love in him. I was so afraid it would end badly for him right up until the last few paragraphs, so was greatly relieved with the ending Ann Rice provided. Christina's dreams may yet come true.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the setting of historical Venice and the Church. I had known nothing of the choir boys or castrati( 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guillotine More than 1 year ago
"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.
LZreades More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 moving.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting, hard to put down!
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