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Memnoch the Devil (Anglais) Poche – 28 mai 1997


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Extrait

I SAW HIM when he came through the front doors. Tall, solidly built dark brown hair and eyes, skin still fairly dark because it had been dark when I'd made him a vampire. Walking a little too fast, but basically passing for a human being. My beloved David.

I was on the stairway. The grand stairway, one might say. It was one of those very opulent old hotels, divinely overdone, full of crimson and gold, and rather pleasant. My victim had picked it. I hadn't. My victim was dining with his daughter. And I'd picked up from my victim's mind that this was where he always met his daughter in New York, for the simple reason that St. Patrick's Cathedral was across the street.

David saw me at once--a slouching, blond, long-haired youth, bronze face and hands, the usual deep violet sunglasses over my eyes, hair presentably combed for once, body tricked out in a dark-blue, double-breasted Brooks Brothers suit.

I saw him smile before he could stop himself. He knew my vanity, and he probably knew that in the early nineties of the twentieth century, Italian fashion had flooded the market with so much shapeless, hangy, bulky, formless attire that one of the most erotic and flattering garments a man could choose was the well-tailored navy-blue Brooks Brothers suit.

Besides, a mop of flowing hair and expert tailoring are always a potent combination. Who knows that better than I?

I didn't mean to harp on the clothes! To hell with the clothes. It's just I was so proud of myself for being spiffed up and full of gorgeous contradictions--a picture of long locks, the impeccable tailoring, and a regal manner of slumping against the railing and sort of blocking the stairs.

He came up to me at once. He smelled like the deep winter outside, where people were slipping in the frozen streets, and snow had turned to filth in the gutters. His face had the subtle preternatural gleam which only I could detect, and love, and properly appreciate, and eventually kiss.

We walked together onto the carpeted mezzanine.

Momentarily, I hated it that he was two inches taller than me. But I was so glad to see him, so glad to be near him. And it was warm in here, and shadowy and vast, one of the places where people do not stare at others.

"You've come," I said. "I didn't think you would."

"Of course," he scolded, the gracious British accent breaking softly from the young dark face, giving me the usual shock. This was an old man in a young man's body, recently made a vampire, and by me, one of the most powerful of our remaining kind.

"What did you expect?" he said, tete-a-tete. "Armand told me you were calling me. Maharet told me."

"Ah, that answers my first question." I wanted to kiss him, and suddenly I did put out my arms, rather tentatively and politely so that he could get away if he wanted, and when he let me hug him, when he returned the warmth, I felt a happiness I hadn't experienced in months.

Perhaps I hadn't experienced it since I had left him, with Louis. We had been in some nameless jungle place, the three of us, when we agreed to part, and that had been a year ago.

"Your first question?" he asked, peering at me very closely, sizing me up perhaps, doing everything a vampire can do to measure the mood and mind of his maker, because a vampire cannot read his maker's mind, any more than the maker can read the mind of the fledgling.

And there we stood divided, laden with preternatural gifts, both fit and rather full of emotion, and unable to communicate except in the simplest and best way, perhaps--with words.

"My first question," I began to explain, to answer, "was simply going to be: Where have you been, and have you found the others, and did they try to hurt you? All that rot, you know--how I broke the rules when I made you, et cetera."

"All that rot," he mocked me, the French accent I still possessed, now couple with something definitely American.

"What rot."

"Come on," I said. "Let's go into the bar there and talk. Obviously no one has done anything to you. I didn't' think they could or they would, or that they'd dare. I wouldn't have let you slip off into the world if I'd thought you were in danger."

He smiled, his brown eyes full of gold light for just an instant.

"Didn't you tell me this twenty-five times, more or less, before we parted company?"

We found a small table, cleaving to the wall. The place was half crowded the perfect proportion exactly. What did we look like? A couple of young men on the make for mortal men or women? I don't care.

"No one has harmed me," he said, "and no one has shown the slightest interest in it."

Someone was playing a piano, very tenderly for a hotel bar, I thought. And it was something by Erik Satie. What luck.

"The tie," he said, leaning forward, white teeth flashing, fangs completely hidden, of course. "This, this big mass of silk around your neck! This is not Brooks Brothers!" He gave a soft teasing laugh. "Look at you, and the wing-tip shoes! My, my. What's going on in your mind? And what is this all about?"

The bartender threw a hefty shadow over the small table, and murmured predictable phrases that were lost to me in my excitement and in the noise.

"Something hot," David said. It didn't surprise me. "You know, rum punch or some such, whatever you can heat up."

I nodded and made a little gesture to the indifferent fellow that I would take the same thing.

Vampires always ordered hot drinks. They aren't going to drink them; but they can feel the warmth and smell them if they're hot, and that is so good.

David looked at me again. Or rather this familiar body with David inside looked at me. Because for me, David would always be the elderly human I'd known and treasured, as well as this magnificent burnished shell of stolen flesh that was slowly being shaped by his expressions and manner and mood.

Dear Reader, he switched human bodies before I made him a vampire, worry no more. It has nothing to do with this story.

"Something's following you again?" he asked. "This is what Armand told me. So did Jesse."

"Where did you see them?"

"Armand?" he asked. "A complete accident. In Paris. He was just walking on the street. He was the first one I saw."

"He didn't make any move to hurt you?"

"Why would he? Why were you calling to me? Who's stalking you? What is all this?

Revue de presse

"A modern Paradise Lost" (Washington Post) --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.


Détails sur le produit

  • Poche: 448 pages
  • Editeur : Ballantine Books; Édition : Reprint (28 mai 1997)
  • Collection : The Vampire Chronicles
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0345409671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345409676
  • Dimensions du produit: 10,6 x 2,5 x 17,4 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 16.276 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Anne Rice est l'auteur d'Entretien avec un vampire, adapté au cinéma par Neil Jordan en 2000 avec Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas... Lestat le vampire, la suite, parue en 1985 aux Etats-Unis, a été publié pour la première fois en France par Albin Michel en 1988.

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Par litalostefano le 9 décembre 2012
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
J'ai toujours voulu lire les Chroniques Vampiriques depuis le Film Entretien avec un vampire. Et les livres sont fabuleux de profondeur! Un chef d'oeuvre! Et sans doute le meilleur de tous! Une perfection mystique et narrative... A relire
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3 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par philippe de Retz le 3 avril 2002
Format: Poche
Avec Memnoch Anne Rice nous livre une création Dantesque.Tel Virgile Memnoch accompagne Lestat dans un voyage initiatique durant lequel lui seront faites d'étonnantes révélations plus proches de Darwin que des saintes écritures !.On croyait que Lestat avait atteint les plus lointains territoires mais avec Memnoch il atteint Le Divin. Anne Rice nous dévoile un surprenant débat ou le Bon dieu n'est pas si bon et où le Diable s'avere etre le plus fervent allié de l'humanite Ce n'est peut être pas l'ouvrage le plus connu de la chronique des Vampires mais c'est certainenement L'épisode le plus grandiose et le plus effrayant des aventures de Lestat.
A lire : La divine Comédie de Dante (un peu longuet mais pour un voyage initiatique c'est normal)
Le paradis Perdu de John Milton ( une oeuvre extraordinaire que je ne me lasse pas de relire)
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1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par masterkun le 3 août 2002
Format: Poche
selon moi le meilleur roman de la chronique vampirique d'anne rice puisqu'elle va jusqu'a remoduler toute la vision que l'on a pu avoir vis a vis de Dieu et du Diable
exquis & redoutable..et surtout du grand Anne Rice!
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0 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par ptit_boy le 21 février 2005
Format: Poche
La série des Vampires aurait du s'arrêter avec la Reine des damnés, là on atteint le fond (déjà que le Voleur de corps était insignifiant comparé aux 3 premiers tomes). Il ne se passe rien, les descriptions sont de plus en plus longues, malsaines et mal écrites, bref Ann Rice tire sur la corde mais rien ne vient.
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Amazon.com: 623 commentaires
139 internautes sur 145 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
It makes you question everything you ever knew 7 août 2012
Par Slade - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
I have purchased this book over 10 times throughout my lifetime.
The reason for this was I wanted to give it to others so they can understand why it captured me so.
This book made me question a lot of things when I first read it about 15 years ago. It challenged what I thought I knew about religion, life, and everything anyone has ever told me was true. It led me down a path of spiritual enlightenment, questioning and self reflection that ultimately led me to a place where I finally feel at peace with such things. I feel this is much like Anne Rice herself has done throughout her life.

If you are looking for a typical vampire novel, this isn't what you want. This is something much different and unexpectedly placed withing the vampire chronicles. The character of Lestat is the perfect creature to meet with the devil and go through this adventure however, and his unique lavish selfishness, and the depictions of hell and Memnoch's story about "the truth behind the devil" really conflict with Lestat at this point in the story. After the events of the Queen of the damned, where the main characters face creatures of unbelievable power and cruelty Memnoch the Devil offers readers another confrontation with the all powerful, and one that not only deeply affects the character, but the reader as well.

Not for the weak of will.
52 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Makes you go, ' hmmm?' 21 avril 2013
Par D. Redd - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
What does it take to enter the mythical Christian afterlife place called heaven? You have to forgive yourself and forgive the deity referred to as ‘God’ by the western peoples. This, to me, was the best of Anne Rice’s books in the Vampire Chronicles. Interview with a Vampire and Queen of the Damn (book not the silly movie) were also good, but Memnoch was the best. Mrs. Rice explores the mind of the deity called the Devil/Satan. It explores a plausible treatise on the Christian religion She explores purgatory and what it takes to cross into heaven. The brilliance of the two conditions, ‘forgive self and forgive god’, is demonstrated as it is truly the only two concepts it takes to worship the Christian god. Most Christians have to apologize for their god’s inactions and the way life goes. Then they have to forgive themselves of the guilt of all the things they have done. This is one of the best fictional accountings of Western, and especially the Catholic, dogma and beliefs and their failure to address the human condition. It will make you think. Bravo Anne Rice for that!
78 internautes sur 84 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Bold and Daring Departure 24 avril 2001
Par Phrodoe - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
Question: Why on earth should Rice (or any author) be expected to limit herself to writing one type of novel, in one style, on one note? For that seems to be what the negative reviews here seem to be insisting she do. A sampling of these would turn up such words and phrases as "it's boring," "this isn't a vampire novel," "this isn't Lestat," "it's out of character," "offensive," and many other such (let's be polite here) well-intentioned chidings...all of which sound rather put out, and many of which miss the point entirely.
First, let's take the notions that this isn't a vampire novel, that it isn't Lestat, and that his behavior is out of character, and dispense with them right off. One: It seems to me that this is a vampire novel, as it does have its share of vampires haunting the pages. Two: If you study the overall arc of Lestat's character, from Interview through to Memnoch, the overall effect is a softening of Lestat's hard, conscienceless demeanor -- The Tale of the Body Thief really brings this to the fore, in fact; read it again and see if I'm wrong. Memnoch's characterization of Lestat in my mind is perfectly in keeping with what's gone before. As to the idea that the characters do not act in keeping with their usual presentations in Rice's previous vampire novels, well, ask yourself this: If you met, in the span of a few hours, both God and Satan, and had your mind blown by both Heaven and Hell, AND had your entire belief system turned upside-rightside-inside-out, how rationally would YOU act? My guess is not very, and that was part of the point Rice was trying to make: we're far too comfortable in our various faiths, and that kind of complacency is very dangerous. We need to question more, Rice is saying. We need to ask hard questions -- even if we don't like the answers.
Which brings us nicely to addressing what a lot of people say about this novel: That it's offensive, that it portrays God as a bumbling incompetent and Lucifer as the wronged party...and worse, that he's attractive to boot. Well, let me just say this about that: This is a work of FICTION, folks. A novel. A big fat lie, told to amuse and amaze you in your unoccupied moments, nothing more. If you're offended by the notion of a fictional vampire sinking his teeth into the fictional neck of a fictional Christ on the cross (note that Lestat makes no appearances in the Bible!), then maybe your faith isn't as strong as you think it is. At the very least you need to get out more often. And so Memnoch is handsome, attractive and persuasive. So what? Isn't that what makes evil such a siren call -- that so much of the time it is attractive, tempting, seductive? Would Eve ever have been tempted if the serpent hadn't used honeyed words and gentle persuasion? Finally, God is not presented as a bumbler here so much as he is cold and indifferent to his own creation -- and haven't many of us suffered from that suspicion in our darkest moments? "Where were you when I made the world?" God asks Job when Job questions him -- in other words, I have a plan and you don't know the half of it, pal. The thought that God knows what he's doing, but doesn't trust us enough to let us know too, has driven plenty of people to question, even doubt, their own faith. (And I'll fill you in on a little secret, too. It's all right to question and doubt. I'm sure God has his doubts about us sometimes. It's when you let those doubts drive you from God that you become endangered.)
Okay, what's next? Is Memnoch boring? Well, maybe -- if you have the attention span of a gnat. (Thought I was going to be polite here; oh well...) If you go into this novel expecting typical Lestat-type adventures, you will be disappointed. If, however, you pry that cover open without any expectations other than reading a well-told, intelligently-thought-out tale, you may just be in for a treat. Yes, it is a tale that's been told before, notably by Milton in Paradise Lost ("It is better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven"), but Rice comes up with a few wrinkles even Milton never thought of. This is not your average chapter of the Vampire chronicles (thank goodness)...which brings me back around to my original question. If Rice had written a more typical Lestat adventure, I'd be willing to bet that the reviews on this page would be even more scathing: "We've read this before! How about something new? It's the same thing over and over again!" etc. It's easy -- far too easy -- to tell the same story over and over again, as witness the novels of Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, and (God save us and preserve us) Barbara Cartland. Rice could make a comfortable living doing that -- but instead she comes at us (or at the very least tries to) with a different perspective nearly every time, with a different story to tell. This is how writers become better at the craft: they try new things, explore new ideas, stake out new territory in their lives and minds. This, by the way, is also how people expand their horizons, by leaving behind the old and familiar for the new and uncharted. I'm proud to say my horizons were expanded by Anne Rice's bold, daring departure from her usual fare, and hope for more of the same in the future.
P.S.: You want to read a really boring novel? Try something by Sheldon & co. I guarantee a fast cure for insomnia. Remain In Light -- Phrodoe.
44 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
You're a handsome devil...What's your name? 17 août 2012
Par Joshua Converse - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
So, after Lestat, the Brat Prince of Vampires, the James Bond of the Nosferatu, our defiant Lestat, has awakened the progenitor of the Vampire race and seen her apocalyptic vision, after he's learned what it is to inhabit the body of a mortal man, after he is again beautiful, enigmatic and anonymous (as in, not a world famous rock star), when he is again among the few remaining Vampires of the world...Lestat encounters The Devil. Please don't call him Beelzebub or Lucifer. Memnoch will do. And here Anne Rice embarks on something that would look like hubris if we didn't know that she went ahead and wrote novels about Christ essentially from Christ's point of view. Lestat, almost like Daniel Webster, is put in a position to judge the justice of Memnoch's case against the Almighty. He visits Christ during the Temptation, he meets G-d the Father and he sees Hell (or does he?). This novel is a question mark and it is through this evasion of certainty that Anne Rice negates the hubris for which she might otherwise be accused. We aren't certain, really, to what extent we can be credulous of the Devil (he is supposed to be the Father of Lies, whatever Claudia had to say on the subject). A lot of readers were uncomfortable with the ambiguity, but I found so many images in this novel haunting, beautiful and worth considering. On my first visit to St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, having read this novel, I could not stop picturing the tableaux Anne Rice painted there. I don't know if it's destined to be one of the great works of literary worth or theological depth, but it is a beautiful and artistic novel meant to make you question everything. After all, that's exactly what the Devil wants, isn't it?
232 internautes sur 263 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
i think everyone missed the point 3 novembre 1999
Par c. piana (cusecu@aol.com) - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
while reading the various reviews of this book I realized that everyone, whether they hated or loved it, may have missed the point. this book is pure genius but not for the reasons many stated. anne rice is not trying to let us in on her personal religious beliefs or use the vampire chronicles as her personal soapbox as one review would suggest. The point isn't that god is bad or memnoch is bad or god is good. She does not contradict anything set forth in interview. she is not attempting to shock us with her visions of heaven and hell. not to say that the visions of these places were not magnificent and perfectly written, which they were and any intelligent and unbiased reader would have to admit that the visions of these places were at least intriguing. the purpose of this book was to show that it is impossible to ever know the real truth about these things (god, creation, the devil, etc.). lestat himself was there firsthand and presented directly with all the answers, all the visions, and then had them yanked out from under him and left to wonder if this was real or that was real or if the whole story was just a flat-out lie and some game the devil was playing to amuse himself or toy with what may be his only worthy adversary (did anybody realize that memnoch did not like the title "devil" yet he signed the note "memnoch the devil"). the purpose of this book was to show how eager we all are to believe in something, as was lestat, even if it's coming from the devils mouth. I'm sure I'm not the only one who found himself riveted by memnoch's story and believing in his words (even though I generally do not believe in religion and god). then at the end we are left wondering what is real and what is lies. the best line of the book is when maharet says "its not all lies, not all of it, that's the age old dilemma". In other words, even ones as old as these ancient vampires will never know the truth, rice is just reminding us. either way, the reader was presented with a tale of creation, god, and the devil, one that was presented as truth, and then was left at the end (by something as cheap and inarticulate as that note) saying to himself, "wait a second, this is a novel, this is anne rice, this isn't the truth, memnoch doesn't exist, this is fiction." that is the true genius of the book. at the end you feel betrayed by memnoch, you feel lied to and tricked, you feel stupid for almost believing his story. in other words, you feel exactly how lestat feels. you are the main character and your memnoch is anne rice and she tricked us all. I understand how some may be put off by that but I have never read a book where I knew exactly how the main character felt, exactly how he felt. that is the genius of the book, the emotion that it stirs, not all the religion. if you want religion read the bible, if you want an amazing story read memnoch the devil.
im eager to hear what you think of this.
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