This new recording of Anne Rice's classic book is welcome and thrilling. It's most important to know that these audiobooks (including "Vampire Lestat" and "Queen of the Damned") are not reissues of the unabridged CDs that were made years ago with Frank Muller doing the reading. I know that many listeners enjoy Mr. Muller's work, but I found his reading of The Vampire Chronicles to be far too mannered and "affected." I listened to the earlier CDs primarily because I'm a big fan of the Chronicles; but I always had a hard time getting past Mr. Muller's voice. I don't wish to be cruel about Mr. Muller - as I said, I know he has many fans, and has had a long and successful career as a voice actor - it's just that personally, I cannot appreciate the vocal mannerisms he uses and the type of performance he gives.
Now, thankfully, and at last, we have another award-winning Master Storyteller (Simon Vance) re-telling these tales! Within the first few minutes of listening, I knew that this would be the version that I could love and listen to over and over again. Mr. Vance easily evokes the "correct" atmosphere in his narrative, and moves between dialects as if he were a "Complete Cast" on his own. Sections that seemed awkward poetically in Mr. Muller's performance, now are rich, imaginative and evocative.
I am thrilled to recommend this to fans and first-timers alike. If you've heard the previous recording - even if you like it - you will love this new one. Fingers tightly crossed in the hope that Mr. Vance will also record "Tales of the Body Thief" and finally give us an unabridged recording of "Memnoch the Devil" (which has only ever been recorded in an abridged format).
Finally, I've heard Anne Rice say that she thinks that "The Witching Hour" (and probably "Lasher" and "Taltos") will be recorded in an unabridged format soon. Now THAT'S something to look forward to!! (Please, please, please....let it happen!)
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