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2002-02-23 2:15 a.m.

queen of the damned and anne rice

Apparently in Japan it's customary for a couple that are dating to exchange diaries. I think that's kinda weird, but Junko doesn't understand why I think it's weird. Not that she suggested it, or anything.

I saw Queen of the Damned tonight. That Aaliyah was a fine looking woman. I sure wish she wasn't dead. Anyway... the film oversimplified the contents of the book almost beyond recognition (though I don't know what other choice you would have in adapting such a complex work) and it felt overall like a theme park amusement ride, but other than that, I liked it. Stuart Townsend looked exactly as I'd always imagined Lestat, if only his hair and eyes had been lighter. Aaliyah was great- she will be my vision of Akasha from now on. The Marius and Maharet characters were brutally mutilated, and the climax scene was forced into blase mediocrity by the bare-bones plot that led up to it. While I think I like the idea of a Lestat-Jesse hook up in the film, I don't feel the film made it feel like a natural outcome- it felt like a mechanical attempt at filling out the formula for a "successful Hollywood film." Also, some of the details of vampire lore that were a bit off from the Anne Rice canon annoyed me as well. It was a good film, and I enjoyed it, but it lacked the elegance and emotional impact of Interview With the Vampire (wasn't Kirsten Dunst great in that film?). But that could be said for the respective books, as well, I suppose...

As you've guessed by now, I was a great fan of Anne Rice once. I still am, I suppose, but I've found her recent work less fulfilling. It seems to be quantity over quality these days... Interview With the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat are exquisite books. I read The Vampire Lestat for the first time when I was nine years old, and it's been one of my favorite books ever since. Queen of the Damned and Tale of the Body Thief were also extremely good, though not as mesmerizing as their predecessors.

I detest Memnoch the Devil (though apparently it is her favorite (look under "Quick Thought From Anne")). I find it hard to tolerate this stupid theology she's imposed on her little world- I much prefer the uneasy agnosticism of Interview and Lestat. I could almost believe it was all real, reading those books... But I could not even begin to believe in the reality of Memnoch. It destroyed the illusion for me, besides being little more than the detailing of an unoriginal twist on traditional Christian mythology. The books since then, while offering interesting insights into beloved characters, seem to me to lack the emotional depth that first locked me into the series. The occasional forays into semi-Catholic Christian mysticism turn my stomach just a bit, as well.

I also absolutely loved The Witching Hour, but Lasher and Taltos then proceeded to eviscerate it, and I can no longer take any pleasure in it.

I originally read Anne Rice for the wonderfully touching characters. Now I read her mostly for engaging depictions of life in different historical settings. I still enjoy that aspect of her work very much.

I've also read The Mummy (liked it), Servant of the Bones (liked the beginning), and Violin (mixed feelings). I should get around to reading Feast of All Saints and Cry to Heaven sometime.

But all of this is just my opinion.

we see things differently,