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RIP, Anne Rice

To the above tweet I’ll add that, because early on I wanted to know more about the amazing woman who I hoped to marry, I went ahead and read several of Rice’s books, specifically from her vampire and “Witching Hour” series. In those books it was obvious that very few people could set a scene or mood like Rice could — her vision of New Orleans in each series was immediate and heady, and I could feel the humidity and the heat, sitting in a small air-conditioned apartment in California. She pioneered a subgenre that I supposed could only be described as pop gothic, which aside from the books was gloriously realized in the 1994 film directed by Neil Jordan (which Rice was at first skeptical of, and then publicly delighted by).

She had style, in other words, of a sort not many had. She’ll be missed.

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This song by Sting, inspired by Interview With the Vampire

— JS

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

16 replies on “RIP, Anne Rice”

I came home to a dark house but the front door was unlocked. What? I stepped quietly inside. In the living room people were on the floor, gathered around a candle, and passing an Anne Rice book around, each reading a page.

When Interview first came out in 1976, it bombed horribly and got scathing reviews. But it graadually garnered a cult following through word of mouth, and its status grew until the publisher reprinted the novel and it became a bestseller.

Interview emerged out of terrible loss in Rice’s life, and was one of the first successful literary re-envisionings of vampire lore since Matheson’s 1954 I Am Legend. Rice single-handedly initiated a renaissance in vamapire-related fiction, and in many ways legitimized it as subject matter in the public eye.

For another great (though far less subtle) song based on Interview, check out Concrete Blonde’s Bloodletting.

I have read many of Ms Rice’s novels, from the Sleeping Beauty erotic series to the Vampire novels. On the Vampire novels, I find that around 2/3rds or 3/4ers of the way through, the plot falls down, and I lose interest, having to work hard to finish reading the rest of the book. Maybe more me that Rice, I don’t know.

But as far as setting the mood from New Orleans, she could do that so very well. We too wandered through the Garden District and saw her place there, along with many other famous looking urban manses.

What an interesting city NOLA is !! Ms Rice did it up proud every time, a great builder of atmosphere.

She was kind and gracious to the thousand or more fans who came to her signings at Oxford Books in Atlanta when I worked there in the early 1990s. She signed damned near anything they offered, and they offered some interesting things (though not, to my knowledge, any intimate body parts).

When Interview with a Vampire came out in 1977, a friend wrote a nicely laconic review, noting her attraction to the more florid parts of speech, and giving her advice, accordingly: “Nouns and verbs, Anne. Nouns and verbs.”

I laughed, yet always felt that Ms. Rice made an excellent case for luxurious deployment of adjectives and adverbs. She will be missed. Avidly, and perhaps even languorously.

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