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Merrick Mass Market Paperback – Oct 2 2001


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (Oct. 2 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345422406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345422408
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.7 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #159,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

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

The 22nd novel from the dazzlingly popular vampire chronicler (The Vampire Lestat, The Witching Hour, etc.) brings her familiar undead characters into New Orleans's underworld of witches, and then to the jungles of Central America. Charismatic, biracial Merrick Mayfair comes from a New Orleans caste bound up with traditions of voodoo; she's also descended from the powerful Mayfair witch clan. Once a supernatural detective, now a vampire himself, narrator David Talbot took care of Merrick when she was in her teens, but hasn't seen her in years. Rice-watchers will remember Talbot and the Mayfairs, and also the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac and the girl Claudia, who now torments Louis from the afterworld. When Louis asks Talbot to raise Claudia's ghost, Talbot pleads with Merrick to use her rare talentsAand to revisit the past they share. Can Merrick really conjure the dead? Should she? What of the unspoken erotic charge between Talbot and Merrick? What secrets lie in the magical artifacts Merrick will have to find, and then to wield? And what do they have to do with her dead parents? This volume merges several long-running plots; the first chapters sag with the weight of their exposition, and the prose seems overheated even for Rice. Vampire fans will no doubt plunge on, however; soon enough, Merrick must revisit the Guatemalan rainforest, where she traveled as a young girl, to locate a secret treasure trove of ominous ancient runes. Displaying her imaginative talents for atmosphere and suspense, Rice creates a riveting scene that shows Merrick's awesome magic at work. A potent cameo from the vampire Lestat, with whom the fabled series began, leaves hints of more dark tales to come. 750,000 first printing; BOMC and Science Fiction Book Club main selections; Literary Guild selection; QPB alternate; Doubleday Book Club featured alternate. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 8 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anne Rice tries to meld her two most popular series in "Merrick," where the Mayfair Witches and the seductive vampires collide. Unfortunately, with a limp title character and a meandering, weird plot, "Merrick" is most noteworthy for its unrealized potential and what it could have been, if Rice had cultivated it.
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.
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By Bebop on June 8 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the TV industry when a show is going down hill they refer to it as "Jumping the Shark" after the Happy Days episode where Fonzie jumped over a shark on waterskis.
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.
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By brennan on May 24 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gorgeous truly is the best word i can do to describe this book. Those looking for the intense and suspenseful fashion that Rice wrote Vampire Lestat, Queen, Body Thief, and Memnoch will be disappointed. It really is her way, it seems, to captivate the reader in a seuqential turn of events and a tying in of all aspects that she had already described. This book is more of an introduction, though a lengthy and often over-accurate account. But that is Rice. She described New Orleans, the jungles of Guatemala, Oak Haven, and Merrick and her sensuous features so perfectly that it makes you long for all of it. This book is the first book it seems that David Talbot really is the main focus point, and i found this to be one of the more interesting points of the book
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ok, this isn't the best of Rice's "Vampire Chronicles," but at least it isn't the worst. Rice was in good form in her descriptions--a bit over the top at times, but she maintained the same sensuality and lushness of description for which she's known. The African vodun elements were fascinating, and the character of Merrick was a breath of fresh air compared to Rice's recent vampires.
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.
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