20 March 2012

Review: The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice

I've always been a huge fan of author Anne Rice, and when I read that she was writing a new book with a werewolf featuring as the main character I was surprised and of course thrilled to the wisdoms; or should that be thrilled to the tips of my claws?

As the weeks went by, the anticipation grew, and by the time I lay my hands on my own copy of The Wolf Gift, I could barely contain my excitement.  Have you ever had that feeling?  Fans of the Harry Potter series of books had it, as did the Twihard fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.  Fans so excited to read the next book in the series that they are willing to queue in the streets to buy it;  ahhh, the magic of books.

Well, I didn't queue at midnight, but I did cruise into Dymocks, ooh and ahh over the display and carry my precious cargo together with my Christmas gift card to the counter.  Attempting small talk with the staff member behind the counter was a disaster, it went something like this: "I've been waiting for this book for months, it's the latest by Anne Rice, I'm so excited!" It was met with a cursory glance at the cover and a dismissive "uh-huh."  

Well, nothing was going to knock me off cloud nine, so I glided out of the store, and made my way home, determined to finish my current book quick smart so that I could devote my full attention to this gem. Delayed gratification was in order here and I didn't want to rush it.  Besides, just having a new Anne Rice novel on my shelf was giving me divine enjoyment.

Reuben is a handsome and wealthy young journalist who resents the nicknames he's been given for his boyish charm and good looks and just wants to be taken seriously. He meets Marchent while writing a story about the family house she's selling which he names Nideck Point. Reuben quickly falls in love with the house and it's gothic character and decides he must have it whatever the cost.

It's not a spoiler to say that Reuben becomes a manwolf (werewolf) during The Wolf Gift, this much is contained in the blurb, however the story is about how he comes to terms with his transition and his new found physical power.

Reuben meets a woman while he is a powerful manwolf and makes love to her, but he's not sure if she will be attracted to him if she sees him as he really is, just a young man; without the increased strength, power, deep voice and body hair that the transformation gives him.

Nideck Point contains many secrets, and Reuben discovers that there are others like him. Towards the end of the The Wolf Gift the author was beginning to lift the veil on the identity and history of the others and the ending of the novel left the way open to a sequel.

What I like most about novels written by Anne Rice is the sense of history she invokes, particularly in characters that are immortal, and the way in which they endure over the centuries and the history they witness. In my opinion, the novel finished at the most thrilling and exciting part for me, and I was desperate to learn more and continue reading.

I can only hope there is a short wait until the sequel.

My rating = ****

Carpe Librum!

P.S. After this review was posted (under my old blog title My Four Bucks), Anne Rice herself read it and posted a direct link to her Facebook page, wow!  Talk about a dream come true :-)

Screenshot taken from the Anne Rice Facebook Wall

01 March 2012

Oscar for the creators of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Creators of The Fantastic Flying Books of
Mr. Morris Lessmore
win an Oscar
A few weeks ago, I posted a short film here entitled 'The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore,' after completely falling in love with it.

It's a short animated film running for approximately 15 minutes without any spoken words and I found it touching and uplifting.

If you were watching the Oscars this week, you might have seen that the creators of this amazingly touching little film (pictured right) won an Oscar for their work.

Clearly I believe it was well deserved, and I encourage you all to watch it.  I'm off to watch it again because I really love the ending.  (It's not a tear, I think I have something in my eye).

That's my four bucks!