For the last few months I have been in a bit of a reading funk. It’s not that I have not read as much as usual but most of the books I have read have varied from average to tedious. Even if a subject or character intrigued me for a minute it seems like the author figured out a way to either fuck it up or flat out give up. The more excruciating part of it is that I have read many books by what appears to be hacks. No sense of timing. No real prose. No ability to use simple tools to guide the story and instead relying on flat out pandering or silly devices to swing the reader.
And that brings me to me the book I just finished, Anne Rice’s The Wolf Gift. Much has been much said about Mrs. Rice ranging from her topics to her style, however one thing any once can notice is that she is NOT a hack. Not by a long shot. She has a command of the written word that few authors have today and even fewer that have done it for as long as she has.
I will admit that I am biased to Mrs. Rice since I started reading her as a 17 year old in Greensboro, NC and fell in love with her style at this time. Not every book of hers is perfect or even suited to my taste’s but you can still tell from the first page to the last that she is a true writer.
Often fantasy writers such as herself or Clive Barker get lumped into the wrong category for the wrong reasons but at the end of the day they are writing true literature that harkens back to something as terrifying as Shelley or to something as luscious as Dumas. The subject is just the means to explain the true human condition and they never really stop or stoop to pander to the audience (please take note Stephanie Meyer).
So kudos to you Mrs. Rice for another well written book – I dare say your best since Blood & Gold in 2001. And please take note and appreciate well written books wherever you may find them as they are as rare as they sound.