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The Wolf Gift | [Anne Rice]

The Wolf Gift

A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer... An older woman welcoming him into her magnificent family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency... A chance encounter between two unlikely people... An idyllic night - shattered by horrific unimaginable violence, the young man inexplicably attacked - bitten - by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness....
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Publisher's Summary

A daring new departure from the inspired creator of The Vampire Chronicles (“unrelentingly erotic... unforgettable” -The Washington Post), Lives of the Mayfair Witches (“Anne Rice will live on through the ages of literature” -San Francisco Chronicle), and the angels of The Songs of the Seraphim (“remarkable” -Associated Press). A whole new world - modern, sleek, high-tech - and at its center, a story as old and compelling as history: the making of a werewolf, reimagined and reinvented as only Anne Rice, teller of mesmerizing tales, conjurer extraordinaire of other realms, could create.

The time is the present.

The place, the rugged coast of Northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest.

A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer... An older woman welcoming him into her magnificent family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency... A chance encounter between two unlikely people... An idyllic night - shattered by horrific unimaginable violence, the young man inexplicably attacked - bitten - by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness... A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation, as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing what he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift.

As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf” by authorities, the media, and scientists (evidence of DNA threatens to reveal his dual existence)... As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there may be others like him who are watching - guardian creatures who have existed throughout time who possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge. And throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man.

©2012 Anne Rice (P)2012 Listening Library

What the Critics Say

“Rice weaves her trademark meditations on the role of supernatural creatures in society into an often thrilling, page-turning yarn.” (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (806 )
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4.2 (725 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Melinda UT 02-16-12
    Melinda UT 02-16-12 Member Since 2009

    So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nietzsche in Wolf's Clothing/Philosophy or Horror"

    "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright". Anne Rice's "man-wolf" doesn't follow the conventional tenets of lycanthropy--there is no moon, no gypsy, no silver bullets. What Rice has done with her new novel is reinvent not only the lore of the heretofore terrifying beast, but the beast itself, with the same flair she used in the greatest make-over of all time...the evil undead vampire into Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.

    And, those menly men have nothing over gifted Reuben Golding; he's young, handsome, filthy rich, erudite, with a doctor-mother, lawyer-girlfriend, priest-brother, drives a Porsche,--AND, he is bequeathed a sprawling mansion by the ocean, after he makes love to the mysterious older woman (32?!) he just met that owns the place is attacked and killed by her jealous hooligan brothers--the post-coital glow still about her beautiful face. Reuben of course is spared...OR IS HE???

    This time around the creature-angst that had Pitt's Louis eating rats to avoid committing murder, has been replaced with a deep existential pondering about good and evil, the sacred and the profane, Zarathustra's favorite salad dressing...you'd think waking up covered in black fur sprouting claws and fangs would cause more deliberation than if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it...

    Years ago, Interview With The Vampire was one of my favorite reads. Rice is a distinguished writer, and Wolf Gift has her trademark rich and evocative settings, the lush prose, and an entertaining story (which seems to be begging for a sequel). Though I have to say, even once you have suspended belief and embraced the man-wolf as a vigilante guard dog, there are some issues: there is no real tension, no suspenseful build-up--even the love scenes seem unenthusiastic (what is with the flannel night gowns--some reference to Little Red's grandma!?). Reuben isn't the only one with an identity dilemma--Man or Wolf? Philosophy or Horror? As it is, this book could be placed in either genre. Too often the wolf story got trampled by Rice's philosophical/theological tutorials that reminded me of college days with Kant, Hume, Descartes, deChardin, when I wanted suspense, chills and frights.

    Wolf Gift may not be a hair-raiser, a little editting may have helped this new book be on par with Rice's earlier work, but true Rice fans will devour it and be hoping for The Man-Wolf Chronicles.

    42 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnny Dough Boston, MA 02-24-12
    Johnny Dough Boston, MA 02-24-12 Member Since 2010

    Johnny

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    "Terrible: Sex, Food, and Not Much Else"

    I usually don't leave reviews, but in this case I had to, just to warn people.

    First off, it seems that the author was desperate and hungry when writing this book. Almost 60% of the entire story is made up of descriptions of sex and then food. There is regular sex, animal sex, soft sex, hard sex, loving sex, lusty sex... The list goes on. Then, there are long-winded descriptions of ordering food, eating food, and preparing food, down to salad preparation (usually followed by more sex, see above).

    I mean, I don't have a problem with sex and food, I'm a single male, but I'd like a little progression of things. The author sets up a nice werewolf story, and then instead of progressing it AT ALL, it's just sex and food and not much of anything else. Meanwhile, there are all these questions posed, but none answered. I can't believe an editor told her this was a "book" and worthy of publishing.

    I listen to books while driving to work, and with this one, I would be sitting there ready to drive the car into a telephone pole while rolling my eyes. The overly descriptive and repetitive sex and food are enough to drive you nuts, especially when the story is moving at a snail's pace. Perhaps she got paid by how many words she used or the overall weight of the book? I want things to happen in the book, but I find myself sitting there through sex scene, food scene, "love you" dialog, sex scene, food scene, fireplace scene (don't even get me started on how much time is spent playing with fireplace).

    The dialog also shows that the author perhaps needs to interact with people more, and leave her mansion? She is completely out of the loop. No one talks like that in real life, and she writes the dialog as if the reader is 15 years old and will buy that. The way the character talks to parents is ridiculous, it is sooooo contrived, and also the loving talk with his gf. I mean, it would be nice if guys talked like this, but it isn't the case. Even movies these days know not to make up dialog because the audience calls BS. Not to mention, everyone in the book is "extremely handsome" and "beautiful'. Plus, what is with the very young and handsome main character having sex with several older (but very beautiful!) women? I mean, I'm not a brain surgeon (but I would like to perform some on myself while listening to this book) but I'm not buying this whole "older woman, younger handsome man" idea from an older female author. OK, maybe I would buy it once, but seemingly this ridiculously handsome guy just goes around jumping on amazingly good looking older ladies who throw themselves at him. Seriously, get over yourself and write a believable story, older author lady. All the "good" people are pretty and all the "bad" people aren't, its as if this was written by a five year old.

    Finally, we have the fact that all the characters are extremely rich and well off and drive around in Porsches and live in mansions and throw money around. Great, we get it, the author is rich and completely out of touch. But after hearing the word "Porsche" about 400 times it gets old. I don't know, but when I talk about my car I don't call it "the BMW", I just called it "the car", as in "I'm getting in the car." or "they got in the car", not "I loaded up the Porsche" and "as he drove the Porsche". The author must have just purchased a new car or something because it is ridiculous how she can't get over it. I mean, I drive a very nice new car too but I just do not refer to it by the model/make like some stuck up crazy person. I think she also is turned on by the iPhone, or she got crazy money from Apple for product placement, because once again, she throws that word out there like its a raft to the drowning reader. Somehow I don't call my phone "the iPhone", I just call it "cellphone". Once again, this only becomes a barb in your eye when you hear it 400x over and over again.

    Anyway, this is a classic example of terrible writing from a talented author. Either she put in zero effort, or she just has gotten too old to write, or she wrote this on her iPhone while driving to a date with a beautiful younger man in her Porsche after purchasing an older mansion in the woods somewhere. Either way, there is nothing of value here, especially when it is easy to see that the author has talent in setting up a plot and making descriptions, but then is completely unable to stay on track or actually keep their out-of-touch views from ruining it all.

    44 of 47 people found this review helpful
  •  
    leighda lexington, IN, United States 02-18-12
    leighda lexington, IN, United States 02-18-12 Member Since 2011

    Audible is the best thing since sliced bread..

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very disappointed"

    I have always been a fan or Anne Rice but this book was a huge let down.
    A plot would have helped. It's much like a journal. Just giving the reader different things that happen to the writer. I managed to finish it somehow waiting on the plot or purpose to be reviled.
    Maybe she was pushed by her publisher to get something written?

    I have enjoyed many of her other books. She has made a good name of herself but that does not condone writing something and taking my hard earned money just because of who she is. She has gotten stale and lazy, riding out the fame of her name.... I am very disappointed.. don't waist a credit ..

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 02-21-12
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 02-21-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Meh"

    Overall, I have to say the book was mediocre. It's like Anne Rice wrote the background for the story (the set of characters, how the creatures come about, how the main character got infected...), but then forgot to write the story itself. So the plot meanders about. Is it about this kidnapping? Is it about the character's love life? Is it about the wolves-who-were-there-before? Is it about religion? The answer is always, "not really." Your interest is never fully engaged. Even the philosophical discussions are boring because they are not attempting to solve any tension. There is no tension. (Even the dumping of a girlfriend is glossed over as if absolutely nothing happened -- why was she even in the story as a girlfriend and not just friend to begin with? Who knows? Who cares?)

    This is no Vampire Lestat.

    If you want a better reinvented werewolf, read "The Last Werewolf."

    25 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Cedar Park, TX, United States 02-21-12
    Frank Cedar Park, TX, United States 02-21-12 Member Since 2004
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    "I love Anne Rice... but...."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This book is about 500% longer than it should be. She rambles and takes 15 pages to say the simplest thing. It's almost painful.


    Has The Wolf Gift turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No the genre is excellent, this is an awesome writer, the editor needs to be fired. I know that Anne Rice is a power-house in the industry, but she needs an editor who will stand up to her and tell her that this is crap.


    What about Ron McLarty’s performance did you like?

    Ron McLarty reads with passion and conviction. Very well done.


    Do you think The Wolf Gift needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Not unless Anne Rice actually creates an outline, a definite plot and then writes the story to follow the structure.


    Any additional comments?

    I love Anne Rice. Seriously. I loved the Vampire Chronicles. I loved the Mayfair Witches. But this is not a good example of Anne Rice. I would compare this to a master painter who paints right off the side of the canvas and across the wall. Her talent is undeniable, but it needs to be focused and reigned in. I sincerely hope that she gets help for her next book, someone to help organize and structure her creative thoughts.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelly Rayne, LA, United States 06-24-12
    Shelly Rayne, LA, United States 06-24-12 Member Since 2010

    shellywll

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not bad."
    Would you try another book from Anne Rice and/or Ron McLarty?

    Of course! I'm a huge Anne Rice fan! And Ron McLarty did a great job narrating this book.


    Would you recommend The Wolf Gift to your friends? Why or why not?

    Not really. It's not quite in line with other Rice novels. It's just okay. Actually, (and I can't believe I'm saying this. Sorry, Mrs. Rice.) sometimes a bit boring.


    Was The Wolf Gift worth the listening time?

    It was a touching story. I don't regret having listened to it. But I don't think I'll have a second listen.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janette Los Angeles, CA, United States 04-07-12
    Janette Los Angeles, CA, United States 04-07-12
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    "Not my favorite Anne Rice Novel"

    The only thing this book lacked was a climatic point. A good solid beginning, middle and end. The book while not terrible just kinda flowed to the end. There were definite great action moments but nothing that really felt like a climax. I was overall disappointed at the end.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tiffany Elizabeth City, NC, United States 03-20-12
    tiffany Elizabeth City, NC, United States 03-20-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not her best....."

    I was really looking forward to Anne Rice going back to the style and genre that made her a household name, but this one seems to have fallen flat. I was hoping she would make her debut into the world of werewolves as exciting and sexy as her witches and vampires. Maybe it gets better as the series continues but I wasn't sucked in like I was with her other books.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    debra Brown County, TX, USA 05-21-12
    debra Brown County, TX, USA 05-21-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Badly disappointed."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Less predictable... more depth.


    Has The Wolf Gift turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, it has just turned me off to A. Rice.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ron McLarty?

    I did not mind the narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    While reading "The Witching Hour" was like looking into a deep pool, seeing beautiful, mysterious glints of crystal and light, this book was like stepping into a dirty puddle, where you get predictably muddy.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Pennington 05-12-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a major letdown!"
    Would you try another book from Anne Rice and/or Ron McLarty?

    No


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration


    Any additional comments?

    I am a huge fan of "The Witching Hour" and Ms. Rice takes the standard werewolf story in an original interesting direction but God, someone please get her an editor! I tried and tried to make it to the end of this tale, but finally had to cut my losses.

    Rice so overwrites and pads her story with melodrama and feminine fantasy sex appeals, you will be hitting the stop button way before the end comes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 56 results PREVIOUS126NEXT
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  • Lara
    Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal
    3/15/12
    Overall
    "Amazing, amazing, welcome back Anne Rice!"

    This book has everything I love in my favourite author. Romance, story, mistery, moral dylema. Anne's writting is always amazing, and it takes us into the story like no other author I've read. A very enjoyable read indeed. A must for the fans of the author, a very good addition for the fans of the genre, and a good read for anyone who likes fiction.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    GLASGOW, United Kingdom
    2/17/12
    Overall
    "More than a mere werewolf"

    A young journalist is sent to write up a review for a grand stately home by the woods. During the stay, the journalist is attacked and bitten by some huge animal, but then the bites disappear, and the journalist notices changes in himself......

    Great story, going really in depth into the history of lycanthropic legends.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Steve
    Cavan, Ireland
    7/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Queen is dead!"

    This is so bad, at times I was doubting that Anne Rice even wrote it. The dialogue is just awful; there is only one voice from every 2 dimensional character, (the distinguished gentlemen I'm talking about here), and that's Rices voice. Sure, in her previous novels one or two characters might represent her own view, but there were opposing views and conflict to balance the story. Not here, everyone just agrees with, or immediately understands what their companions are eluding to, no matter how extraordinary.
    It's a werewolf book, so we have to suspend our disbelief from the start, but the author of a werewolf book still has the responsibility to prove, within their own mythology if needs be, that this can happen within the boundaries of the front and back cover, she fails horribly, at times laughably.
    Gone is the originality of the vampire chronicles, the rich prose, and even the ability to make us care about the hero's plight (which is awfully similar to a certain vampire) because it is impossible to relate to any of these characters.
    The narrator did his best, but this turkey was impossible to save.
    There were a few bits where the narrative was good and showed the Rice of old; Reuben's articles on the man wolf, for example; which is why I gave it two stars, but she stutters through a pretty poor story for the rest, and fizzles out to a load of waffle around a table near the end.
    Do yourself a favour and avoid this one; go listen to Interview with the vampire, or Blackwood farm, or even the witching hour, when she was at her gothic best.
    How the mighty have fallen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • deborah
    skinningrove, United Kingdom
    3/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not exactly up to Anne's usual gripping standard."
    What did you like best about The Wolf Gift? What did you like least?

    A new book from her, I have waited so long.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    disappointing. But willing to try second book.


    What does Ron McLarty bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    He is easy to listen to. easy to understand and helps the story along.


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nigel
    stuttgart, Germany
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "the wolf gift"

    I have enjoyed many of Anne Rice's novels,buu was not sure she could put a new spin on the werewolf saga. I was pleasantly surprised. Enjoyed it very much and can't wait for the next book. If you like Anne's style of writing, think you will agree with me, next book please.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • colin
    London, United Kingdom
    1/21/13
    Overall
    "exciting stuf"

    anne rice is gifted at twisting old legends and myths into something more elaborate and original. delight in something old being borrowed and turned into something new.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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