Memnoch the Devil (Vampire Chronicles Series #5)

Memnoch the Devil (Vampire Chronicles Series #5)

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—New York Daily News

"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."
—Rolling Stone

—USA Today

"Rice has penned an ambitious close to this long-running series. . . . Fans will no doubt devour this."
—The Washington Post Book World


"[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."
—The Seattle Times

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781856862851
Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books, Ltd.
Publication date: 08/01/1996
Series: The Vampire Chronicles Series , #5
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 2.75(h) x 6.30(d)

About the Author

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


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

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 the stairs.

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?

Customer Reviews

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Memnoch the Devil (Vampire Chronicles Series #5) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 290 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.
oelusiveone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I sobbed through a good portion of this book. Her sympathetic portrayal of Jesus in this book was obviously a precursor to her recent religious fiction.
amharte on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book as a teenager, but a recent re-read has made me bring down the rating from 4 stars to 2.Why?The writing is vain, self-centred, annoying, focused more on clothing descriptions than on actual plot. Either that or it seems to be a lecture on religion. I like the ideas, I enjoyed the story, but the writing style left me unsatisfied.Yes, I realize that Lestat is vain and self-centred, that the writing reflects his personality. This doesn't make it any less annoying.
sweetcatastrophe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Absolutely beautifully written. This is my favorite book in the vampire chronicles. It is so richly detailed and developed. I was completely swept away by it and it really made me think. Amazing.
ragwaine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down, but not enough was different from the bible.
jshillingford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, I just could not enjoy this book. I loved the original Vampire Chronicles trilogy, but this wasn't even close to the standard they set. It may be because I am Catholic; I can easily envision Satan "making a case" for his actions against God. There's a reason he's called the Prince of Lies by so many. Also, I found Lestat's character totally out of sync with his actions and personality from the previous novels. It seemed that Rice was trying to wax philosophical here, and I just didn't care. I want the fun, unrepentant Lestat back, please.
MoiraStirling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Exquisite. My favorite of the Chronicles. Perfect, beautiful imagery...superbly written.
EmScape on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Memnoch the Devil is a tale far more philosophical and religious than any of Rice¿s previous Vampire Chronicles. Her vampires have always wrestled with these questions of religion, philosophy and Their Place in the Grand Plan of ¿.whoever. In this book, Lestat meets the Devil himself. And, God Incarnate. With so many capitalized pronouns, Rice lays out a reimagining of the struggle between these two entities. Frankly, I¿d like to believe it as Gospel Truth. But, of course, Lestat is the Damndest Creature and even he doesn¿t believe what he experienced. So? What was the point of that, exactly? Those who are fans of the campy suspense of Queen of the Damned or Tale of the Body Thief: this is not the book for you. Those who are fans of the historical backstory and scholarly interests of The Mayfair Witches and The Vampire Lestat: this book is not for you. Those who actually like the broody, questioning Louis of Interview with the Vampire, and the introspective Taltos: you might enjoy this book. Those who obsessively read everything Ann Rice has ever written (including her pseudonymous works): this book is for you (and me).
hermit_9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To quote Buffy, “I think I speak for all of us here when I say, ‘Huh?’” This is a really bizarre diversion. It is worth reading, but leaves you unsatisfied. It raises many questions and answers few. Perhaps that is as it should be.
Rae_Sedin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿m sad to say that this is the first Anne Rice book that I REALLY disliked. From the first moment I picked up Interview With the Vampire I became a crazy Anne Rice fan and I loved every one of her books that I read since. It took me forever to get through Memnoch the Devil; I started reading it about a year ago and then put it down because I couldn¿t stand all of the religious drivel. I finally decided that I had read enough of the series that I needed to finish it no matter how painful it was. I personally don¿t want to read a story that revolves so entirely around the Christian religion, as I happen to be an atheist. Putting my dislike for religion aside, this book felt preachy. Memnoch talked for far too long about his speculation on evolution, the nature of human beings, theology, and every other monotonous detail of the Christian religion. My only consolation was that by the end of the book Lestat still hated god and the devil though I would have preferred that they had remained out of the story altogether. I only read this book so that I could understand the rest of the story, even though I thought it was extremely boring. I makes me truly sad to know that Anne Rice has since gone on to become Catholic and write about Christ in earnest. I would definitely NOT recommend this book even for Anne Rice fans, it isn¿t worth it!
vibrantminds on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The vampire Lestat is given a proposal to join the fallen angel or the "devil" Memnoch and be his second in command. He is taken on a journey to heaven and hell before he makes a decision. An interesting take on heaven and hell and the role of god and the devil and how mankind fits into the spectrum. In the end the reader is left wondering if any of what Lestat experienced was real or was it just a ploy for another cause.
Aerliss on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my absolute favourite work by Anne Rice. Many disagree with me on this point. I enjoyed the exploration of faith, Christianity, good and evil, the alternate creation myth... that and Lestat goes completely off on one. A rather large cast list, but it's mostly Memnoch and Lestat.
clparson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book, I could not put down. I am a slow reader (and I mean slow) and I finished this book in two days. In this book, Rice illustrates the age old battle between good and evil. Lestat must decide what side he wants to be on. Though I did not see as much symbolism (though it has been a long time since I have read it), the story still had more to offer than the average formula fiction. The metaphor Rice created in her first book, Interview with a Vampire, is still strong in this book. Though Lestat is a vampire, he can be anyone. He represents the everyday person fighting his own battles. Sure, his battles are a little more supernatural, but the conflict remains the same. Good or Evil.
PigOfHappiness on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the fifth installment of the vampire chronicles, Lestat meets the devil. Presenting a poetic view of heaven and hell, Rice attempts to give form to religious beliefs. While it fits along the general storyline of the vampire chronicles, this installment showcases Rice's religious attitudes more than any other of the previous books. Appropriate for high school and beyond.
talksupe.blogspot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The best of the Vampire Chronicles. Provocative and if you are of the Christian faith you might find it scandalous and at time blasphemous.
Arymilla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I believe it's the best one she ever done.
oraclejenn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this 5th book of The Vampire Chronicles, the vampire Lestat is brought into direct confrontation with God and the Devil and is offered his most dazzling opportunity for redemption yet. In past books, Rice has summoned fantastic worlds as real and immediate as our own. Now she takes us, with Lestat, into the mythic world of our own theology. (from Barnes&
Flamika on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At first I was on the fence about this novel. I didn't enjoy it so much when I first read it. It's heavy on theology and the Catholic faith as Lestat meets the Devil himself and agrees to hear and experience his story. Upon reflection, it really is a good novel that really makes you think.
bookwitch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The last in the series of Anne Rice¿s Vampire Chronicles, but the first I¿ve read. An extraordinarily ambitious novel in which the author attempts to describe and explain not only Creation but Heaven and Hell; Memnoch is told in the words of the Vampire Lestat, a brilliant device in itself. The novel begins with Lestat stalking a prospective victim and becoming aware that he himself is being stalked. This first section features some characters from the previous books in the series and unfolds fairly slowly; the author drops in many references to past events ¿ perhaps too many ¿ I wondered at one point if she was trying to hook new readers into buying previous books. The Victim and his daughter, Dora, a televangelist, are both wonderfully over-the-top and well imagined, and Lestat himself manages to be engaging in spite of the horror of his acts. But it¿s the wondrously imagined and worked out central section of the book ¿ Lestat¿s guided tour of Heaven and Hell by Memnoch (a contemporary Divine Comedy) ¿ that kept me turning the pages, and I had the feeling that this was the heart of the novel and could almost have stood alone, that the beginning and end of the story were there merely to serve it, and might even have been written quite separately at a later date. Memnoch himself is wonderfully seductive, far more so than God, but both are ambiguous; this is an incredibly clever novel that actually offers answers to those persistent questions and contradictions about the nature and existence of God himself ¿ no mean feat.
surreality on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Plot: Did it have one? The story seems to serve only as a background that keeps the chapters together. A rip-off of the Divine Comedy (without the good bits), topped with an ending that a) simply doesn't fit and b) makes very little sense. Characters: Lestat is rather subdued in this one and it's hard at times to connect him to the way he has been established in the series. Memnoch is flat and rather uninteresting - in his case a lot of potential is passed up. Style: This book is a religious rant of enormous proportions. Almost all of it is about catholicism and the philosophy connected to it, spread out in epic detail. The usal overabundance of description, but this time not offset by dialogue or plot. There are several hundred pages when the book is at a complete standstill and does not go anywhere. Plus: It's the last book with the old Lestat, before Anne Rice turned him entirely strange. Minus: Far too much religion and general weirdness. Summary: Read it for completeness' sake only. There's no need to read this for comprehension of the later volumes in the series - the relevant facts are being summed up in each and every one of them.
leodione on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bad, bad Anne Rice..The most long winded book she's ever written.
celestialfingerpaint on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Books about Lestat tend to be well written, but not my favorites. This book is an exception to that rule. I understand why Lestat is in it, but the story could have done just fine without him. It's not really about him. It's about the question, "What if everything you've been told about the devil held only a hint of truth, and the real truth was that he's on our side?" That's the case Memnoch presents for himself, but in the end, the question isn't really answered. Which is really just fine. People don't want answers about that kind of thing. They want their own beliefs, as illustrated by some of the minor characters in the story.