Jump to content


Photo

Anne Rice vs. Reviewers at Amazon.com


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Sylvia Day

 

    Site Owner

  • Author
  • 406 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Las Vegas & New York
  • Interests:reading and writing
 

Posted 24 September 2004 - 07:37 AM

Last night, I received my RT News Flash in my inbox and it talked about Anne Rice's rebuttal to the scathing reviews being posted about her latest novel Blood Canticle.



Good grief, I went to check them out and they really are bad. Even more surprising was Ms. Rice's response and her inclusion of her e-mail and residence addresses. :shock: Even more surprising than that is the news (maybe old hat to some) that Ms. Rice does not have an editor. Apparently, she writes and the ms goes direct to the presses. Several of the reviewers made the suggestion that having an editor would greatly improve her work.



What do you think about this whole business? And do you agree with her decision to post a rebuttal or should she just have ignored the melee? :boxing:



(Now I have not read the book myself, but my hubby did. He'd searched the local B&N for it a couple of times and they insisted there was one copy somewhere in the store, but he couldn't find it anywhere. On his third trip, he discovered the hardcover book in the rapid clearance bin marked down to less than $6.00.)
My Signature
an experience beyond words...
www.sylviaday.com
www.sjday.net

#2 Larissa Ione

 

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • 27 posts
 

Posted 24 September 2004 - 08:06 AM

Ooh! I didn't know you posted this until you left the note at my blog! :D

Anyway, as I mentioned, I think her rant was a mistake (and in fact, I can no longer find it on Amazon--she may have realized it was a mistake as well.)

I think she got mad (justifiably) and flipped out a little before thinking things through. I understand getting upset--the majority of the reviews are harsh and negative. However, they all make great points. Anne Rice dropped the ball with that novel. Instead of freaking out, I'd like to see her take the criticism and get back on track with her next one. The reviews may not have been nice, but they pretty much all say the same thing--and when THAT many people have the same complaint, there has to be something to it. :?
My Signature
www.LarissaIone.com | www.sydneycroft.com
FLESH TO FANTASY, Secrets Vol. 18 - Available now!
RIDING THE STORM (w/Stephanie Tyler) Bantam Dell - Sept. 07
SNOWBOUND, Samhain - Sept. 07

#3 Sylvia Day

 

    Site Owner

  • Author
  • 406 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Las Vegas & New York
  • Interests:reading and writing
 

Posted 24 September 2004 - 08:14 AM

Anyway, as I mentioned, I think her rant was a mistake (and in fact, I can no longer find it on Amazon--she may have realized it was a mistake as well.)




For those who missed the rebuttal by Ms. Rice, here it is:



"Seldom do I really answer those who criticize my work. In fact, the entire development of my career has been fueled by my ability to ignore denigrating and trivializing criticism as I realize my dreams and my goals.  


However there is something compelling about Amazon's willingness to publish just about anything, and the sheer outrageous stupidity of many things you've said here that actually touches my proletarian and Democratic soul.  


Also I use and enjoy Amazon and I do read the reviews of other people's books in many fields. In sum, I believe in what happens here. And so, I speak.  


First off, let me say that this is addressed only to some of you, who have posted outrageously negative comments here, and not to all. You are interrogating this text from the wrong perspective. Indeed, you aren't even reading it.  


You are projecting your own limitations on it. And you are giving a whole new meaning to the words "wide readership." And you have strained my Dickensean principles to the max. I'm justifiably proud of being read by intellectual giants and waitresses in trailer parks,in fact, I love it, but who in the world are you?  


Now to the book. Allow me to point out: nowhere in this text are you told that this is the last of the chronicles, nowhere are you promised curtain calls or a finale, nowhere are you told there will be a wrap- up of all the earlier material.  


The text tells you exactly what to expect. And it warns you specifically that if you did not enjoy Memnoch the Devil, you may not enjoy this book. This book is by and about a hero whom many of you have already rejected. And he tells you that you are likely to reject him again. And this book is most certainly written -- every word of it -- by me.



If and when I can't write a book on my own, you'll know about it. And no, I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut, or otherwise mutilate sentences that I have edited and re-edited, and organized and polished myself.  


I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me, and I will never relinquish that status. For me, novel writing is a virtuoso performance. It is not a collaborative art.  


Back to the novel itself: the character who tells the tale is my Lestat. I was with him more closely than I have ever been in this novel; his voice was as powerful for me as I've ever heard it. I experienced break through after break through as I walked with him, moved with him, saw through his eyes.



What I ask of Lestat, Lestat unfailingly gives. For me, three hunting scenes, two which take place in hotels -- the lone woman waiting for the hit man, the slaughter at the pimp's party -- and the late night foray into the slums --stand with any similar scenes in all of the chronicles. They can be read aloud without a single hitch. Every word is in perfect place.  


The short chapter in which Lestat describes his love for Rowan Mayfair was for me a totally realized poem. There are other such scenes in this book. You don't get all this? Fine.  


But I experienced an intimacy with the character in those scenes that shattered all prior restraints, and when one is writing one does have to continuously and courageously fight a destructive tendency to inhibition and restraint. Getting really close to the subject matter is the achievement of only great art.  


Now, if it doesn't appeal to you, fine. You don't enjoy it? Read somebody else.  


But your stupid arrogant assumptions about me and what I am doing are slander. And you have used this site as if it were a public urinal to publish falsehood and lies.



I'll never challenge your democratic freedom to do so, and yes, I'm answering you, but for what it's worth, be assured of the utter contempt I feel for you, especially those of you who post anonymously (and perhaps repeatedly?) and how glad I am that this book is the last one in a series that has invited your hateful and ugly responses.  


Now, to return to the narrative in question: Lestat's wanting to be a saint is a vision larded through and through with his characteristic vanity. It connects perfectly with his earlier ambitions to be an actor in Paris, a rock star in the modern age.



If you can't see that, you aren't reading my work. In his conversation with the Pope he makes observations on the times which are in continuity with his observations on the late twentieth century in The Vampire Lestat, and in continuity with Marius' observations in that book and later in Queen of the Damned. The state of the world has always been an important theme in the chronicles. Lestat's comments matter. Every word he speaks is part of the achievement of this book.



That Lestat renounced this saintly ambition within a matter of pages is plain enough for you to see. That he reverts to his old self is obvious, and that he intends to complete the tale of Blackwood Farm is also quite clear. There are many other themes and patterns in this work that I might mention -- the interplay between St.Juan Diago and Lestat, the invisible creature who doesn't "exist" in the eyes of the world is a case in point.



There is also the theme of the snare of Blackwood Farm, the place where a human existence becomes so beguiling that Lestat relinquishes his power as if to a spell. The entire relationship between Lestat and Uncle Julien is carefully worked out.  


But I leave it to readers to discover how this complex and intricate novel establishes itself within a unique, if not unrivalled series of book. There are things to be said. And there is pleasure to be had. And readers will say wonderful things about Blood Canticle and they already are.  


There are readers out there and plenty of them who cherish the individuality of each of the chronicles which you so flippantly condemn. They can and do talk circles around you. And I am warmed by their response.



Their letters, the papers they write in school, our face to face exchanges on the road -- these things sustain me when I read the utter trash that you post. But I feel I have said enough.  


If this reaches one reader who is curious about my work and shocked by the ugly reviews here, I've served my goals.  


And Yo, you dude, the slang police! Lestat talks like I do. He always has and he always will. You really wouldn't much like being around either one of us. And you don't have to be.  


If any of you want to say anything about all this by all means Email me at Anneobrienrice@mac.com.  


And if you want your money back for the book, send it to 1239 First Street, New Orleans, La, 70130. I'm not a coward about my real name or where I live. And yes, the Chronicles are no more! Thank God!"  


ANNE


My Signature
an experience beyond words...
www.sylviaday.com
www.sjday.net

#4 jordansummers

 

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • 75 posts
 

Posted 24 September 2004 - 10:38 AM

I don't have a problem with her response. I think it took a lot of courage to go online and openly fight back. If all the reviews are saying the same thing, then commonsense dictates that maybe it's time to take a closer look at what they're saying.

I knew she didn't allow her editor to edit her books. Personally, I think that's insane. (No, I'm not saying Anne Rice is insane.) I actually like her work. What I'm saying is no one is good enough to avoid being edited. Not even a master. And she IS a master at her craft. It's impossible, when you're that close to the work, to catch everything. She made it perfectly clear in her rebuttal that she has no intention of changing the way she writes. Readers have been warned. They can either buy her work as is or not.

Jordan

#5 Sasha White

 

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • 148 posts
  • Location:Canada
 

Posted 24 September 2004 - 12:12 PM

ok, I only read the first reviews..I wasn't going to read 210 of them. :roll:

Come on people, 210 reviews! That isn't a review that's a mob!



Anyway, I did read her response. And I think her response was well written, and hit all the good points.



The biggest thing that hit me was the whole anonymous thing. We've agreed on that before. It's cowardly, and it sucks!



Other than that, I agree, you don't like it, don't read it. Everyone has a right to voice theri opinion, but if 150 poeple have already said that it was dissapointing, why do you have to add you name to the bottom of the list? Let it rest.



And, I did see a few in there that gave it 4 stars, so not everybody dislikes it.



Sasha,

who doesn't read any of Ann Rice's books, but has an opinion on everything. :D
My Signature

GYPSY HEART, Liquid Silver Books, March 28
WICKED WORDS; SEX . . .IN THE OFFICE. Black Lace, March30


excerpts available at http://www.sashawhite.net

#6 Sylvia Day

 

    Site Owner

  • Author
  • 406 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Las Vegas & New York
  • Interests:reading and writing
 

Posted 30 September 2004 - 11:02 PM

Tonight, while surfing, I went to Kathleen E. Woodiwiss's site and saw that she has a message board?. I browsed through the posts and was truly shocked to see the comments about her latest work The Reluctant Suitor.



Some of the reviews were not good, although not as bad as the ones for Anne Rice's Blood Canticle and nowhere near as numerous. The difference here, to me, is that they are posting these on her site, on her message board. Ideally, an author message board is there to create an open atmosphere for readers to voice their opinions. But lord, talk about beating a dead horse. If I were in her shoes, it would take a tremendous amount of bravery for me to face my board everyday. I think she may have sworn off of it, because I could find no posts by her in any of the forums (though I admit to not looking everywhere.)



Here's a tame example:



I'm afraid to admit it but I agree with most of you. The book was dreadful. My husband knows how much of a Woodiwiss fan I am so bought it for me when it came out and I wasn't even able to finish it. It was just that bad.




I've never approached an author and complained about a book. I've written praise to authors whose work I loved, but never a derogatory missive. Is it helpful to hear such criticism? Considering how sensitive we artistic types are, I would think it would hurt. Not like a bad review, which you have to expect and take with a grain of salt, a group of disappointed fans venting their frustration has got to be devastating. :protest: I imagine when she wrote the book she was happy with it and had high hopes of making others happy too. I feel for her. :cry:



Now that's not to say that you shouldn't want to hear if you're not working at your best, because you should. Oh... *frustrated* I don't know what I'm trying to say. #-o You wouldn't want to hear your book was great if it wasn't, but wouldn't a barage of comments like the one above (and worse) on your own website make you just want to stop writing?



Any opinion :?:
My Signature
an experience beyond words...
www.sylviaday.com
www.sjday.net

#7 Sasha White

 

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • 148 posts
  • Location:Canada
 

Posted 01 October 2004 - 02:27 AM

To be blunt...it would ###### me off.



It's one thing to not like a book, and everyone is entitled to thier own opinion. I wouldn't even mind if they voiced it on my website. . . but if a 'discussion' turns to a bash session...I would be hurt and very angry.



In my opinion, it's petty, and disrespectful. Even if you are disapointed in a story, there are way to say it without seeming so spiteful. And private email is always an option.



Sasha[/i]
My Signature

GYPSY HEART, Liquid Silver Books, March 28
WICKED WORDS; SEX . . .IN THE OFFICE. Black Lace, March30


excerpts available at http://www.sashawhite.net

#8 Larissa Ione

 

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • 27 posts
 

Posted 01 October 2004 - 07:29 AM

I agree with Sasha. It's VERY disrespectful to go to an author's own message board and bash her book. Ask questions about WHY she went certain directions, maybe, but just to bash...terrible!
My Signature
www.LarissaIone.com | www.sydneycroft.com
FLESH TO FANTASY, Secrets Vol. 18 - Available now!
RIDING THE STORM (w/Stephanie Tyler) Bantam Dell - Sept. 07
SNOWBOUND, Samhain - Sept. 07

#9 Sylvia Day

 

    Site Owner

  • Author
  • 406 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Las Vegas & New York
  • Interests:reading and writing
 

Posted 01 October 2004 - 08:05 AM

And private email is always an option.




Now see, that I can understand. Perhaps a simple, "I would not recommend this book." if you had to post somewhere on the internet and then a more detailed listing of perceived faults by private e-mail directly to the author if you felt that was necessary. But public non-constructive criticism is just plain ugly.
My Signature
an experience beyond words...
www.sylviaday.com
www.sjday.net

#10 jordansummers

 

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • 75 posts
 

Posted 01 October 2004 - 11:58 AM

I think it's interesting the second you put something out in the universe people have the right to tear it apart. I know it's a fact, but at times I truly wonder about the motivations behind the comments. I think there are the comments that truly express how people feel and then I think there are a majority that just want to see the mighty fall. (like celebrities) You never know what the true motivation is behind someone's vicious comments. It could be jealousy, frustration with their own career, or simply the fact they have nothing better to do with their time. Some people thrive in that kind of negative environment. It makes them feel important...heard. Obviously, the freedom of speech cannot be overruled. I think it takes a lot of courage on Kathleen Woodiwiss's part to keep the nasty comments there, when she could easily have them removed. I'm sure it hurts dreadfully. I truly cannot imagine, even though I know my day is coming. My thoughts on anything like this is until you've tried it yourself, in this case writing your 'umpteenth' book, you have no right to comment. If you don't like the book, don't buy the next one.

Jordan

#11 Sasha White

 

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • 148 posts
  • Location:Canada
 

Posted 01 October 2004 - 12:29 PM

I think it takes a lot of courage on Kathleen Woodiwiss's part to keep the nasty comments there, when she could easily have them removed. I'm sure it hurts dreadfully.




I agree.
My Signature

GYPSY HEART, Liquid Silver Books, March 28
WICKED WORDS; SEX . . .IN THE OFFICE. Black Lace, March30


excerpts available at http://www.sashawhite.net




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users