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Memnoch the Devil (Vampire Chronicles Series #5)

Memnoch the Devil (Vampire Chronicles Series #5)

4.1 264
by Anne Rice

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In Anne Rice's extraordinary novel, the Vampire Lestat—outsides, canny monster, hero-wanderer—is at last offered the chance to be redeemed.

He is brought into direct confrontation with both God and the Devil, and into the land of Death.

We are in New York. The city is blanketed in snow. Through the whiteness Lestat is searching for Dora, the


In Anne Rice's extraordinary novel, the Vampire Lestat—outsides, canny monster, hero-wanderer—is at last offered the chance to be redeemed.

He is brought into direct confrontation with both God and the Devil, and into the land of Death.

We are in New York. The city is blanketed in snow. Through the whiteness Lestat is searching for Dora, the beautiful and charismatic daughter of a drug lord, the woman who arouses Lestat's tenderness as no mortal ever has.

While torn between his vampire passions and his overwhelming love for Dora, Lestat is confronted by the most dangerous of adversaries he has yet known.

He is snatched from the world itself by the mysterious Memnoch, who claims to be the Devil. He is invited to be a witness at the Creation. He is taken like the ancient prophets into the heavenly realm and is ushered into Purgatory.

He must decide if he can believe in the Devil or in God. And finally, he must decide which, if either, he will serve.

In the first four Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice summoned up for us worlds that are fantastic and distant, making them as resonant, real, and immediate as our own. In this, her most daring and darkest novel, she takes us, with Lestat, into the mythical world that is most important to us—into the realms of our own theology.

Editorial Reviews

USA Today
New York Daily News
Seattle Times
"[MEMNOCH] is one of Rice's most intriguing and sympathetic characters to date. . . . Rice ups the ante, taking Lestat where few writers have ventured: into heaven and hell itself. She carries it off in top form."
Rolling Stone
"Like Interview with the Vampire, Memnoch has a half-maddened, fever-pitch intensity. . . . Narrated by Rice's most cherished character, the vampire Lestat, Memnoch tells a tale as old as Scripture's legends and as modern as today's religious strife."
Washington Post Book World
"Rice has penned an ambitious close to this long-running series. . . . Fans will no doubt devour this."

Product Details

Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
Vampire Chronicles Series , #5

Read an Excerpt

I SAW HIM when he came through the front doors. Tall, solidly built dark brown hair and eyes, skin still fairly dark because it had been dark when I'd made him a vampire. Walking a little too fast, but basically passing for a human being. My beloved David.

I was on the stairway. The grand stairway, one might say. It was one of those very opulent old hotels, divinely overdone, full of crimson and gold, and rather pleasant. My victim had picked it. I hadn't. My victim was dining with his daughter. And I'd picked up from my victim's mind that this was where he always met his daughter in New York, for the simple reason that St. Patrick's Cathedral was across the street.

David saw me at once—a slouching, blond, long-haired youth, bronze face and hands, the usual deep violet sunglasses over my eyes, hair presentably combed for once, body tricked out in a dark-blue, double-breasted Brooks Brothers suit.

I saw him smile before he could stop himself. He knew my vanity, and he probably knew that in the early nineties of the twentieth century, Italian fashion had flooded the market with so much shapeless, hangy, bulky, formless attire that one of the most erotic and flattering garments a man could choose was the well-tailored navy-blue Brooks Brothers suit.

Besides, a mop of flowing hair and expert tailoring are always a potent combination. Who knows that better than I?

I didn't mean to harp on the clothes! To hell with the clothes. It's just I was so proud of myself for being spiffed up and full of gorgeous contradictions—a picture of long locks, the impeccable tailoring, and a regal manner of slumping against the railing and sort of blocking thestairs.

He came up to me at once. He smelled like the deep winter outside, where people were slipping in the frozen streets, and snow had turned to filth in the gutters. His face had the subtle preternatural gleam which only I could detect, and love, and properly appreciate, and eventually kiss.

We walked together onto the carpeted mezzanine.

Momentarily, I hated it that he was two inches taller than me. But I was so glad to see him, so glad to be near him. And it was warm in here, and shadowy and vast, one of the places where people do not stare at others.

"You've come," I said. "I didn't think you would."

"Of course," he scolded, the gracious British accent breaking softly from the young dark face, giving me the usual shock. This was an old man in a young man's body, recently made a vampire, and by me, one of the most powerful of our remaining kind.

"What did you expect?" he said, tete-a-tete. "Armand told me you were calling me. Maharet told me."

"Ah, that answers my first question." I wanted to kiss him, and suddenly I did put out my arms, rather tentatively and politely so that he could get away if he wanted, and when he let me hug him, when he returned the warmth, I felt a happiness I hadn't experienced in months.

Perhaps I hadn't experienced it since I had left him, with Louis. We had been in some nameless jungle place, the three of us, when we agreed to part, and that had been a year ago.

"Your first question?" he asked, peering at me very closely, sizing me up perhaps, doing everything a vampire can do to measure the mood and mind of his maker, because a vampire cannot read his maker's mind, any more than the maker can read the mind of the fledgling.

And there we stood divided, laden with preternatural gifts, both fit and rather full of emotion, and unable to communicate except in the simplest and best way, perhaps—with words.

"My first question," I began to explain, to answer, "was simply going to be: Where have you been, and have you found the others, and did they try to hurt you? All that rot, you know—how I broke the rules when I made you, et cetera."

"All that rot," he mocked me, the French accent I still possessed, now couple with something definitely American.

"What rot."

"Come on," I said. "Let's go into the bar there and talk. Obviously no one has done anything to you. I didn't' think they could or they would, or that they'd dare. I wouldn't have let you slip off into the world if I'd thought you were in danger."

He smiled, his brown eyes full of gold light for just an instant.

"Didn't you tell me this twenty-five times, more or less, before we parted company?"

We found a small table, cleaving to the wall. The place was half crowded the perfect proportion exactly. What did we look like? A couple of young men on the make for mortal men or women? I don't care.

"No one has harmed me," he said, "and no one has shown the slightest interest in it."

Someone was playing a piano, very tenderly for a hotel bar, I thought. And it was something by Erik Satie. What luck.

"The tie," he said, leaning forward, white teeth flashing, fangs completely hidden, of course. "This, this big mass of silk around your neck! This is not Brooks Brothers!" He gave a soft teasing laugh. "Look at you, and the wing-tip shoes! My, my. What's going on in your mind? And what is this all about?"

The bartender threw a hefty shadow over the small table, and murmured predictable phrases that were lost to me in my excitement and in the noise.

"Something hot," David said. It didn't surprise me. "You know, rum punch or some such, whatever you can heat up."

I nodded and made a little gesture to the indifferent fellow that I would take the same thing.

Vampires always ordered hot drinks. They aren't going to drink them; but they can feel the warmth and smell them if they're hot, and that is so good.

David looked at me again. Or rather this familiar body with David inside looked at me. Because for me, David would always be the elderly human I'd known and treasured, as well as this magnificent burnished shell of stolen flesh that was slowly being shaped by his expressions and manner and mood.

Dear Reader, he switched human bodies before I made him a vampire, worry no more. It has nothing to do with this story.

"Something's following you again?" he asked. "This is what Armand told me. So did Jesse."

"Where did you see them?"

"Armand?" he asked. "A complete accident. In Paris. He was just walking on the street. He was the first one I saw."

"He didn't make any move to hurt you?"

"Why would he? Why were you calling to me? Who's stalking you? What is all this?

Meet the Author

ANNE RICE lives in New Orleans with her husband, the poet and painter Stan Rice, and their son, Christopher.

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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Memnoch the Devil (Vampire Chronicles Series #5) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 264 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read many of the reviews about this book and it's pretty clear you're either going to love it or hate it. As someone who was born and raised Catholic but has had many questions concerning the issue of faith, Anne Rice's depiction of the battle between Good and Evil, God and the Devil, fell right into my own need for answers. What does this have to do with Vampires and Lestat in particular? From what I've read in the reviews, it seems many readers have forgotten about the reason why so many of the Undead roam and rail. Doesn't anyone remember why Lestat went searching for others, what Armand told him of God? That he has no answers, that none of them do! And even now, after Memnoch, Lestat is still not sure. Was it a dream? Why did Armand fly up to the sun to burn then. I can't see how anyone can read this book and not think it has something to do with the Chronicles. If anything, the Bodysnatcher implied and suggested this book as the next level. If you accept the premise of Lestat battling for his soul on the physical plane, why would a battle for the same on a spiritual level be les believable. Anne Rice's literary genius in the Vampire series is in none of these books better manifested than in Memnoch the Devil. Be glad you are not eternal, damned to wander and wonder without answers forever! Buy it! Read it!
Billyboy8875 More than 1 year ago
Memnoch the Devil is the most original of all the vampire chronicles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book will challenge your preconcieved notions of heaven and hell. Anne Rice has penned a beautiful book
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read Interview with the Vampire and thought it was okay. Memnoch the Devil, however, I really liked. The story of how Hell came to exist is brilliant! If you liked this, try The Apocrypha, which takes this premise to a whole new level.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I find this book absolutly riviting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
to religious for me and i feel not that important to the story line
Tama2toe More than 1 year ago
This was the one book I read of Anne Rice's so far I was not Wow'd by. It was ok. She spoke to my imagination as she has done so much before but this just do not grip me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So disappointed in this one. Very slow read compared to the others.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was slightly disapointed when I read this one. It wasn't up to the books that came before or after in the series.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So far, my favirite of the entire series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite out of the vampire chronicles. It is true either you love it or hate it. Really did get you to think about things.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the the dark side of this book to me this is one of the best novels by ann right I got to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was supremely disappointed by the denoument and the so called "twist" at tthe end. This novel, like Rice's better works, featured her gorgeous descriptions and imagery throughout most of the work. It also shi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't go wrong with Anne Rice
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A lot of religious imagery in this one. Definitely not for the light of heart or the easily offended. That said, I adore this book. I adore it because it's so utterly surreal and otherwordly, I adore it because for once, the confident, beautiful Brat Prince - aka Lestat - is unsure. I adore it because as a Christian, I can truly appreciate what she has done with this. God, the Devil and Lestat in the same book - how can you lose? Read Memnoch the Devil. Give it a chance. You won't regret it, I promise you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a bit too descriptive for my taste, a love Ann Rice's writing, but it was all a description of Memnochs distate for Gods project until page 330, so i had to stop reading several times to get the groove back into wanting to read it again. I did love the end, it made me laugh so much, poor Lestat, but I'm not giving spoilers. Even though i didn't love it because it was over whelming at times, I still recommend it because it's a relevant part to other books, The Vampire Armand is on my shelf ready for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago