If neatness counts for you, don't count on Anne Rice's musical-ghost novel Violin. It is an eruption of the author's personal demons, as messy as the monster bursting from that poor fellow's chest in the movie Alien. Like Rice, the heroine Triana lives in New Orleans, mourns a dead young daughter and a drunken mother, and is subject to uncanny visions. A violin-virtuoso ghost named Stefan time-trips and globetrots with Triana, taunting her for her inability to play his Stradivarius--which echoes composer Salieri's jealousy in Amadeus and possibly Rice's jealousy of her successful poet husband Stan Rice in the years before her own florid, lurid writing made her famous. The storytelling here is too abstract, but the almost certainly autobiographical emotions could not be more visceral. At one point, the narrator exclaims, "Shame, blame, maim, pain, vain!" But Rice's dip in the acid bath of memory was not in vain--she packs the pain of a lifetime into 289 pages.
From the Inside Flap:
Anne Rice's Violin tells the story of two charismatic figures bound to each other by a passionate commitment to music as a means of rapture, seduction, and liberation.
At the novel's center: a uniquely fascinating woman, Triana, and the demonic fiddler Stefan, a tormented ghost who begins to prey upon her, using his magic violin to draw her into a state of madness. But Triana sets out to resist Stefan, and the struggle thrusts them both into a terrifying supernatural realm.
Violin flows abundant with the history, the drama, and the romantic intensity that have become synonymous with Anne Rice at her incomparable best.
Anne Rice is the author of eighteen books. She lives in New Orleans.
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