Now, travel with Armand across the centuries to the Kiev Rus of his boyhood - a ruined city under Mongol dominion - and to ancient Constantinople, where Tartar raiders sell him into slavery. And in a magnificent palazzo in the Venice of the Renaissance you see him emotionally and intellectually in thrall to the great vampire Marius, who masquerades as a mysterious, reclusive painter and who will bestow upon Armand the gift of vampiric blood.
As the novel races to its climax, moving through scenes of luxury and elegance, of ambush, fire, and devil worship to nineteenth-century Paris and today's New Orleans, we see its eternally vulnerable and romantic hero forced to choose between his twilight immortality and the salvation of his immortal soul.
The Vampire Armand is Volume 6 of The Vampire Chronicles.
©1998 by Anne O'Brien Rice; (P)1998 by Random House, Inc.
I would recommend only as a shadow of the book, as the unabridged audio is so wrong,
Far Too much to get into in such a short space here.
A wish that he, Simon Vance or any of the other A Rice audiobook readers would read the unabridged version of The Vampire Armand,
I never bother with abridged books. When I was still able to read, this was by far my favorite Anne Rice book - one of my favorite books, period. However, while all the other vampire books are read by very talented readers, the reader of unabridged The Vampyre Armand was awful. There was no evidence of eternal youth or need or abandonment. He could have read a good older vampyre with no wit quite well, but not the man-child seeking love and redemption, feeling unlovable but needing love so much. So I not only bought hardcover and softcover copies of this book (2 softcover, as I marked up the first so much, rereading it often) and the unabridged audiobook, but I did what I never did before - I bought the abridged audiobook. Alfred Molina was still not Armand as I heard him in my head, but he was good. Unfortuneately, so much of Anne's poetry of words and deep struggles, moral conflicts and conflicting needs, sensuality and sexuality were lost in the abridgement of the prose and story. For such an incredible book and study in opposing moralities and exploration of emotions, I wish this masterpiece was given a great reader who could capture the essence of Armand in the unabridged version of The Vampire Armand.
If you do not need every tiny detail or would prefer brief and fewer depictions of sex scenes and just the essentials then the abridged version is what you are looking for. Molina as Armand is fantastic and easy on the ears even if he does not sound like a 17 year old boy from Kiev. Unfortunately, the other characters are not very distinct as he has little vocal variation. Molina's pronunciation of many words is also grating, for instance he pronounces Lestat as "Leshtaht". Quite annoying.
If you absolutely need to experience every detail try the only unabridged audio option available. The narrator (Jonathan Marosz) is terrible as Armand and harsh on the ears although every other character is pretty good and decently distinct. Marosz's pronunciation of many words leaves much to be desired. Overall Marosz' narration is passible at best. The story is decent but be warned it spends much time on many sex scenes (most involving one or more young boys) that do nothing to really serve the story and could ultimately be skipped and nothing would be missed.
Ultimately a new recording with a new narrator would better serve this story. Hopefully some day we will get one.
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