Merrick Mass Market Paperback – Oct 2 2001
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
David Talbot encounters his protege/semi-lover Merrick Mayfair, an octaroon witch who now works for the Talamasca. He has an odd request for her: Louis de Point du Lac, a tormented vampire, wants to call up the spirit of the child vampire Claudia, so he can be reassured of her fate. And he needs Merrick's help to do so, since she has the ability to call up and control the dead with her voodoo magic.
David reflects on his first encounters with Merrick, her trips into the jungle in search of mystery artifacts, and the malevolent spirit of her dead sister Honey in the Sunshine. Now those artifacts may help her raise up Claudia's spirit, and might give Honey's spirit a way back into the world as well. But when Claudia is brought forth to speak with Louis, what she has to say may destroy him...
"Merrick" was advertised as the spot where the Mayfair and Vampire Chronicles converged, but that's kind of misleading. Except for some mentions of Julian Mayfair, there's only a vague connection with the "white Mayfairs." It's mostly vampires and more vampires, with only the Talamasca (a sort of supernatural FBI) as a connecting point.
As always, Rice's writing is lush and brimming over with steamy New Orleans atmosphere. But she could use some editing. There are constant references to Merrick getting snockered on rum, her breasts, her clothes, David lusting after her, Louis burbling about how he loves her, and so on.Read more ›
The Vampire Chronicals jumped the shark in "Memnoch" but drowned in "Merrick"
This book is a voodoo spell gone horibly horibly wrong.
Not only does David, one of the dullest most annoying vamps, have the stage, but he introduces the most two demetional character in the Chronicals (up to ths point anyway).
What little personality Merrick has is irratating and selfish.
This little witch has no good side. She has none of Lestat's humor, none of Louis ingraine humanity, none of Armand's dark charisima.
This would have been bad enough, after all we suffered though Dora, Bengi, and Sybil. But two of our most beloved possesors of the Dark Gift, are warped.
Louis loses everything we love about him, and Lestat loses his fangs.
This book IMHO sounds the death toll for the VC. I couldn't get past the second chapter of "Blood and Gold" and I haven't had the heart to try the last two and see our Brat Prince so far from where he started.
Do yourself a favor, read up to "The Vampire Armand" and call it good.
Talbot is unlike any vampire. He lived a long life as a human, and experience many different things, and he was compelling enough as a human with all of his knowledge and passion. As a vampire, and all of the things that happened in Body Thief, it really makes him insatiably interesting. As a vampire he still doesn't look like an old man (which would have had its peaks in my eyes) because of the body switch and so he is a young man when he becomes a vampire. Not only that he comes into the vampiric world extremely powerful, because he was made by Lestat. So he is a powerful vampire, attractive and young, along with a whole lifetime's worth of experiences as a human, which include his sexual urges. His lust for Merrick and Rice's description of it is impulsively beautiful, and I loved every word.
Louis, the dark angel, was also attractively described by Talbot, who seems to be very much in love with him. The entire book, as i said, all seems to be building up to SOMETHING, and then it is all so savors of anti-climax.Read more ›
On the other hand, there really wasn't a lot of plot to the book. Much of the narrative was made up of flashbacks told by David Talbot, the book's ostensible "author," in between comments about how much he loved Merrick. As for action in the present, there really wasn't much of it. Claudia's character deserved more than just a token ghost raising. That event could have provided the core for a much longer, better book. It felt like Rice had gotten tired of writing and ended the story just when it was getting going. And one more gripe--why does every interesting character in a Rice novel have to become irresistably fascinated by the undead and end up vamped? She really needs to come up with a new plot line.
Most recent customer reviews
loved the book. Great book in the Vampire chronicles. Great if you love Vampires.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Whenever I'm in a bookstore and see Anne Rice's "Vampire Chronicles", a series I read in the 1990s, I wonder if I would like them again if I were to reread them. Read morePublished on Jan. 16 2013 by Chris
This book was actually worse than Memnoch or Body Thief(which I hated both). Although not the worst book of hers that I have had the misfortune of reading and yes at one time she... Read morePublished on June 9 2004
I love all of my Vampire Chronicle books, but I do have to say that this one did not touch me as much as I had hoped. The story on its own merits is good. Read morePublished on April 9 2004
It's hard to say which is my favorite Rice novel. Certainly INTERVIEW comes to mind, a well as LASHER and THE WITCHING HOUR. Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2004
Perhaps die-hard Anne Rice fans are more likely to enjoy this. For the casual reader, albeit one who has read and enjoyed early Anne Rice, this book was something to be endured,... Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2004 by Lorna
I've read all of Anne Rice's novels and loved them all, but where did this one come from? I felt Merrick lacked originality and it seemed Rice just whipped up some character to... Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2004 by Marfaux
If you're into witches and vampires and all the magic that they provide in any given story, than you're in for a real treat with Merrick. I found this book exciting and thrilling. Read morePublished on Dec 9 2003 by Katrina R. Sharrocks