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The Wolves of Midwinter
door Anne Rice
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My copy provided by Edelweiss.
Not at all what I was expecting -- less paranormal tale than philosophical contemplation on the role of religion among immortals interspersed with comfy, weathly werewolves at home enjoying winterfest. It's oddly seductive and comforting to read a werewolf book in which violence is at a minimum and very little conflict occurs.
Extremely amoral in some ways, because these wolves really don't think of themselves as human and enjoy eating men. But most of the book is full of love and compassion and a protective instinct towards humanity as well. I couldn't tell if Anne Rice was trying to reimagine the inhuman or play out a fantasy christmas party, and it all seemed dreamily lacking in urgency or importance.
I quite enjoyed it, but it is ultimately just as irrelevant to me as any "see how the other half lives" book would be, and I don't want to read any other books, in case something dire happens to these lovely, benevolent wolf overlords.
The "Wolf Gift Chronicles"cast the reader into the rainy landscape of Northern California and the cozy, though tumultuous life of Reuben Golding. Reuben's life is quickly changed, however, when he inherits both the Chrism, (the ability to transform into a man wolf) and the masterful Nideck Point, a sprawling mansion by the coast, surrounded by redwood forests. With the Chrism and the mansion come an entire world previously unbeknownst to Reuben; a world of beasts and spirits and myriad of ageless beings all shrouded in the mysteries of the supernatural. He soon has to confront issues of life and death, love and evil, and most important, family, more intimately than any human could possibly imagine.
Rice's penchant for tragedian structure has not diminished in the 40 years since her first novel. "The Wolf Gift Chronicles" are historically and geographically mesmerizing; Rice deftly recreates myth with the authority of a scholar. Her werewolves are brutal and gruesome yet lavishly elegant and deeply philosophical. Her writing is wholly eloquent, darkly luscious, and resonating with a sombre beauty, a satisfying religiosity that lingers like a melody long after reading, delving far into the depths of the existential; uniquely juxtaposing the worlds of man and beast into a cohesive and compelling experience that borders on the sacred, as if she herself has transformed and lived between two worlds.
Ultimately Rice's newest novels do as good horror should; they exploit the darkest side of the human psyche with violence, death, fear, and force us to not only confront it but to learn from it. By facing our demons, by learning to cope with the beast lurking within, we are given the gift of hope, hope that our experience, whatever it may be, is not meaningless, and that we are ultimately in control of our fates.
Highly recommended 2nd novel in a series. 4.5 stars
The tale of The Wolf Gift continues . . .
In Anne Rice’s surprising and compelling best-selling novel, the first of her strange and mythic imagining of the world of wolfen powers (“I devoured these pages . . . As solid and engaging as anything she has written since her early Vampire Chronicles fiction”—Alan Cheuse, The Boston Globe; “A delectable cocktail of old-fashioned lost-race adventure, shape-shifting, and suspense”—Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post), readers were spellbound as Rice conjured up a daring new world set against the wild and beckoning California coast.
Now in her new novel, as lush and romantic in detail and atmosphere as it is sleek and steely in storytelling, Anne Rice takes us once again to the rugged coastline of Northern California, to the grand mansion at Nideck Point, and further explores the unearthly education of her transformed Man Wolf.
The novel opens on a cold, gray landscape. It is the beginning of December. Oak fires are burning in the stately flickering hearths of Nideck Point. It is Yuletide.
For Reuben Golding, now infused with the Wolf Gift and under the loving tutelage of the Morphenkinder, this promises to be a Christmas like no other . . .
The Yuletide season, sacred to much of the human race, has been equally sacred to the Man Wolves, and Reuben soon becomes aware that they, too, steeped in their own profound rituals, will celebrate the ancient Midwinter festival deep within the verdant richness of Nideck forest.
From out of the shadows of Nideck comes a ghost—tormented, imploring, unable to speak yet able to embrace and desire with desperate affection . . . As Reuben finds himself caught up with—and drawn to—the passions and yearnings of this spectral presence, and as the swirl of preparations reaches a fever pitch for the Nideck town Christmas festival of music and pageantry, astonishing secrets are revealed; secrets that tell of a strange netherworld, of spirits other than the Morphenkinder, centuries old, who inhabit the dense stretches of redwood and oak that surround the magnificent house at Nideck Point, “ageless ones” who possess their own fantastical ancient histories and who taunt with their dark magical powers . . .
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Wikipedia in het Engels (4)
It is the beginning of December. Oak fires are burning in the stately flickering hearths of Nideck Point. It is Yuletide. For Reuben Golding, now infused with the wolf gift and under the loving tutelage of the Morphenkinder, this Christmas promises to be like no other . . . as he soon becomes aware that the Morphenkinder, steeped in their own rituals, are also celebrating the Midwinter Yuletide festival deep within Nideck forest. From out of the shadows of the exquisite mansion comes a ghost - tormented, imploring, unable to speak yet able to embrace and desire with desperate affection . . . As Reuben finds himself caught up with the passions and yearnings of this spectral presence and the preparations for the Nideck town Christmas reach a fever pitch, astonishing secrets are revealed, secrets that tell of a strange netherworld, of spirits - centuries old - who possess their own fantastical ancient histories and taunt with their dark, magical powers.
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Dewey Decimale Classificatie (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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De las sombras de la mansión surge un fantasma atormentado, implorante, incapaz de hablar pero no de abrazar y desear con cariño desesperado... Mientras Reuben se ve atrapado por las pasiones y anhelos de esta presencia espectral, se desvelan secretos asombrosos que hablan de un inframundo extraño, de espíritus centenarios que poseen sus propias historias antiguas y fantásticas y que hostigan con sus poderes oscuros...