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Merrick [Mass Market Paperback]

Anne Rice
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 2 2001 Vampire Chronicles
In this mesmerizing new novel, Anne Rice demonstrates once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of myth and magic, as she weaves together two of her most compelling worlds? those of the Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair witches.

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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

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

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Witchy woman June 8 2004
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
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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4.0 out of 5 stars #MerrickMayfair Jan. 16 2013
By Chris TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
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. I didn't consciously use "Merrick" to answer the question, but I got an answer, nevertheless: I probably liked it more! It was good to be reacquainted with the Talamasca and this was the book where the vampires and Mayfair witches first intertwined (and should've parted afterwards). No more wondering about this in the bookstores!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Merrick Is Magnifique! Oct. 28 2001
Format:Audio Cassette
Magnifique is truly the only word I can use to describe
this book, because, as its narrator, Sir Derek Jacobi
does an expertly elegant job of introducing listeners
to and taking them through the world of witches and vampires created by Anne Rice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Witches Meets Vampires Oct. 4 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Merrick mixes the two great series Anne Rice has been working in for the last few decades. David Talbot, now a prominant vampire figure of the Vampire Chronicles, is brought back to Merrick, a Mayfair witch, because Louis wants Merrick to contact Claudia's ghost. Louis has been haunted by Claudia and he wants to make sure that she is happy, wherever she is.
This, of course, sets forth for some great historical horror like only Rice could write. The reason to read this book is that it tells us a lot about Talbot's past. Talbot has always been a mysterious character of which we didn't knew much. But this book sheds light on a lot of questions I had about this character. Plus, the book also introduces Merrick who will undoubtedly become a major figure in the series from now on. Merrick is a great character, one that Rice will have a lot of fun with in future novels. Finally, the book also holds some great romantic scenes between Merrick and Talbot, which only thickens the plot even more.
And finally, any fan of the Vampire Chronicles should read Merrick to know what happened to our beloved Claudia, the beautiful vampire child who was murdered in Interview With The Vampire. The end of the book is shocking, sad and very touching.
Merrick is some of Rice's best writing. It is her best book since Servants of The Bones, a great ride which any fan of Rice's work will not soon forget.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Next Stage: Vampire Chronicles Feb. 1 2001
Format:Hardcover
I have to start by saying I was a little bit leery about this book. After reading other reviews, I was afraid that this would not be up to the usual standard of the rest of the Chronicles.
My fears were unfounded. This latest edition of The Vampire Chronicles not only lived up to my hopes, it opens the door to a new and exciting future: the beginning of a fusion of The Vampire Chronicles with the Mayfair Witches and the Talamasca. What a wonderful direction to take her world of Supernatural characters and entities!
In typical Anne Rice fashion, I had to READ the first third of this book. I found it difficult to assimilate everything being told because the story seemed to be fragmented. Did this stop me? Of course not! This is the style I have come to love from Anne Rice. I almost have to force myself to get part way through, and then BANG! It all starts to come together and make perfect sense. (Remember The Queen of the Damned?)
Some of my favorite characters are back. David Talbot, who is the perfect storyteller, starts in the present, takes us back to a time before he became the David Talbot he is today, and introduces us to a fascinating character: Merrick Mayfair.
Descended from the (in)famous Mayfair Witches, Merrick is a witch, a temptress, and a riveting part of David's past. This part of the story is told passionately by David, as he recounts the tale of his life as Superior General of the Talamasca, in terms of his contact with Merrick.
David has come to see Merrick in the present day to ask her to help his friend (and one of my favorites) Louis de Pont du Lac. Louis is still grieving for, and possessed by Claudia, the child vampire he and Lestat created. David asks Merrick to call Claudia's spirit for Louis, who wants to know if she is suffering.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One of Ann Rice's Worst books
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 more
Published on June 9 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars What Happened?
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. Read more
Published on June 8 2004 by Bebop
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous
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... Read more
Published on May 24 2004 by brennan
3.0 out of 5 stars It could have been worse
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... Read more
Published on May 24 2004 by abt1950
3.0 out of 5 stars Review by Tara
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 more
Published on April 9 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Heck of a read
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 more
Published on Feb. 19 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars This was awful
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 more
Published on Feb. 15 2004 by Lorna
2.0 out of 5 stars A Let Down
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 more
Published on Jan. 19 2004 by Marfaux
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
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 more
Published on Dec 9 2003 by Katrina R. Sharrocks
1.0 out of 5 stars The final blow.
Back in highschool, I warshipped Anne Rice. Like thousands of fanfic writers, teen girls, & Japanese women, I wanted Lestat & Louis to be togeather. That was dashed. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2003 by Lika Laruku
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