In a feat of virtuoso storytelling, Anne Rice unleashes Akasha, the queen of the damned, who has risen from a 6,000-year sleep to let loose the powers of the night. Akasha has a marvelously devious plan to "save" mankind and destroy the vampire Lestat in this extraordinarily sensual novel of the complex, erotic, electrifying world of the undead.
Listen to more of the Vampire Chronicles.
©1988 Anne Rice (P)2011 Random House Audio
“Mesmerizing... a wonderful web of dark-side mythology.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“With The Queen of the Damned, Anne Rice has created universes within universes, traveling back in time as far as ancient, pre-pyramidic Egypt and journeying from the frozen mountain peaks of Nepal to the crowded, sweating streets of southern Florida.” (Los Angeles Times)
“Imaginative... intelligently written... This is popular fiction of the highest order.” (USA Today)
The queen of the damned ranks quite high in the audiobooks I've listened to so far, though I can't put a number on it.
Though I do love the main character, Lestat, my favorite characters in the first three of the Chronicles are those with the most depth and curiosity. I love Armand and Daniel, I love Marius, Claudia and Louis as well.
Yes I've listened to his narration of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy and it is excellent. My only contention is that he has not narrated the rest of the series. They should be reproduced, unabridged, with Simon Vance as the narrator.
There were many, but mostly it was the stories of the vampire origins as well as the philosophical conversations about mortality. It was also all the loving, nearly erotic relationships between the male vampires. Marius and Lestat, Daniel and Armand.
The first three books of the Vampire Chronicles should be at the top of any list of great vampire stories. Though I do like Charlaine Harris' vampire series, no one can top Anne Rice in this genre. Her writing is full of beautiful verse and deep philosophy. They remind me of Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov in some ways, though less boring.
I was a big big Anne Rice fan when the books originally come out. Loved them then. Didn't love them nearly as much now. Why not? Because I'd forgotten how preachy the author is. Forgotten the long philosophical diatribes.
The narration is a bit flat. A better narrator might have made a difference. All in all, it was a curiously flat listen. I am not entirely sure why. Maybe a combination of factors. If I could have given this a 3-1/2 stars, I would have.
Sequentially, this comes after "Interview" and "Vampire Lestat." This is my favorite of that trilogy and has the most complex characters and plot. If you have been awaiting unabridged audio versions of these books, these are worth listening to, but not as good as I hoped. Maybe I've been spoiled by Kim Harrison.
It is still, I think, worth the time to give this and the other two a listen. This was one of the important "foundation" books for the urban vampire genre, even if they seem a bit stilted by current standards. Bear with the preaching. Although it is sometimes grating, Anne Rice does make some good points, whether or not you agree with her.
The narrator does an excellent job of capturing the dark, exotic ennui of Anne Rice's vampires without being cheesy. The plot struggles to get going from time to time as Rice lingers on her vampire's side stories in an almost fan-fic fashion, but it always picks up again. A few quotable nuggets of philosophy are to be found as well. Lovely to listen to!
I had tried to read this series years ago as so many people had. Otho h but good things to say about Anne Rice, but I could never get into the books. The writing style was just to flowery for me and I kept finding myself irritated as it took so long to get to the point..... Of anything.
Consequentially, I avoided the Audible series until I noticed it was read by Simon Vance. I thought he did an outstanding job in the "Master and Commander" books and I listened to them back to back from 1 to 21.
When "Interview" came up on special I gave it a shot and followed it up with "Lestat". To me the only thing that kept me going in the series was the reader SimonVance and about 1/2 way through "the Queen" I'm about ready to just give up and ask for a refund.
Initially the plot was interesting enough to want me to find out how it ended, but I'm at the point I don't care. It's almost like reliving those old educational movies from HS that were done in the 50's.
I've listened to almost 150 books from Audible since I joined about 3 years ago and even doing the entire Jack Ryan series from start to finish (250+ hours) I was entertained but this feels like work.
I loved the prologue and epilogue, yet struggled mightily not to abandon this book and endure to the end. Books shouldn't be endured. There are moments where I felt like yelling 'Get to the point!', and far too many 'weepings' and nostalgic yearnings from a plethora of flat characters that cripple the pacing. Finally, The way Akasha's threat is 'solved' seems comically rushed and anticlimatic. What a pity. I enjoyed the narrator though.
I found some parts fairly slow, but if you want to enjoy some of the other books you need to read this one. Tale of the body thief and memnoch are both amazing, so you don't want to miss out. Maharet's tale is probably my favorite part. If you're like me, you're reading this for lestat. This book is topically about him, but we hear from several different vampires who seem for most of the book to be doing their own thing. I'm still scratching my head over why Anne Rice included Pandora in this book.
Simon Vance reading the vampire chronicles has been some of my favorite listening since I've started using audible and I find its an excellent way to pass a shift. I strongly recommend any Simon Vance/Anne Rice combination on Audible.
this story starts off with all the arrogance and beauty you expect from Lestat. there were several points in the book where I felt like it lags just a bit but overall this story spans 6000 years and is beautifully written. it amazes me that this book is almost three decades old. it feels like it could have been written yesterday if you want a book that will keep you guessing then this is the book for you
"Possibly the Best Piece of Vampire Fiction"
I'm sure I'm not the only reader feeling stifled and spiritually depressed by the slew of modern "teenage" vampire fiction, which manages to reduce the intricate mythology of vampire fiction into cheap romances. If you feel the same, then you will probably want to thank the heavens for Anne Rice and her Vampire Chronicles. This, Volume 3 of the series, is perhaps the standout in a largely exceptional ouvre. Full of poignant and colourful characters, and weaving such complex and believable histories to explain the creation of the vampire race and the ties they have to their Queen, Akasha, this novel is truly a masterpiece. And Lestat may be the most bewitching vampiric character ever to grace paper. If you want to rediscover vampire fiction in all its glory, then this is a good place to start.
"Best so far"
Excellent book ! hope all the other books in the series come to audible
"A favourite of mine"
I can't tell you how many times I have listened to vampire lestat but I never get board with it.
Excellent.. A little differently wrote from the last two books but excellent all the same, I need a third..
A beautifully written piece in which the film does no justice. The performance of Simon Vance is pleasing, however, delivery of the various character's voices is something that I have always had difficulty meeting, unfortunately I feel the dialogue was delivered in an almost Shakespearean manner. This i do not feel lent well to the characters nor the story being told.
Ultimately, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, albeit the manner in which it was performed could see improvement.
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