Punishing Pandora And A Surprising Opinion On Anne Rice

Edit: It has come about that this post has been shared by Anne Rice herself, leading to a lot of angry comments (though also some very thought provoking ones). Please note that I am a small scale blogger, with less that 100 followers. Whilst I’m sorry to offend the masses of Anne Rice fans now flooding my page, please keep this in mind. My original intention was to buy a beaten up book second hand to turn into craft once reading it. This happened to be Pandora. I’m sorry for not mentioning this from the word go but I can’t believe that Anne Rice has been so affronted to share this to her Facebook Page knowing how biased her fan base would be when reading my post and the result that this would cause. At this time I choose not to remove this post or the comments, the only difference is that a well-known author has singled out a single post from a tiny blog for her followers to demonize. Thank you for your time.

Last night, I took a craft knife to Anne Rice’s Pandora and I took out every page. I was left with the gutted remains of the cover itself and threw that away. It’s the first time I have ever desecrated a book in such a way and I can’t deny that it wasn’t made all the more enjoyable by how much I really and truly loathed that book.

anne rice pandora

As you can see…

Pandora is the second Anne Rice novel I have attempted to read and, as with the last time, I really did expect more. Novels such as Interview With a Vampire I’d always heard were excellent. I was a goth in my earlier years and learnt inherently that Anne Rice is an excellent novelist and I’d simply accepted such things without actually reading the novels myself. I’ve never even seen the movie of Interview With A Vampire, vampires simply never interested me when I was younger but I carried around the assumed knowledge that I would enjoy Anne Rice if I ever saw a copy in a charity shop (my main way of coming across the books I read).

So, It Turns Out I Was Wrong About Anne Rice

I don’t want to offend any big fans of Anne Rice but I would be curious to ask… why? I read Pandora, which I’ve heard is certainly one of her weaker novels and that gives me some comfort. The story revolves around the high romanticized reminiscing of an ancient vampire called (funnily enough) Pandora, who was turned during the Roman empire. Of course, it takes a freakin’ long time for this to happen, she isn’t even turned until the latter half of the book. Most of the story seems to be about how freakin’ amazing Pandora is. She’s so cool and we should want to be her because she’s clever and witty and also gorgeous. She has no flaws, I looked, unless you count her later unwavering dedication to the ancient god who helps give her vampirism. And Pandora is followed around (both in her mortal and vampire life) by Marius, who is so transparently going to become her lover that it’s amazing Anne Rice believes herself to be dancing around the subject.

What staggered me the most about this vampire novel was the complete lack of… any vampiric behavior. Not only because Pandora isn’t a vampire for the longest time but she only seems to crave blood when she’s human. The dreams that pursue her thanks to this ancient god are the only time we experience a genuine blood lust that disconcerts her. I suppose this could be natural to her once turned but why would you do that? Blood drinking is quite possibly the MOST NOTABLE ASPECT OF A VAMPIRE! Later on she makes a throwaway comment about drinking from soldiers but that’s essentially it. The only time we really see her as the monster is in our modern day, before her meeting with David, never after. She never seems distressed by her need for blood and the focus isn’t even on her transformation. Why? Because it turns out that Pandora was tempted to this land so that she’d reunite with Marius, giving him a reason to continue his endless, eternal life. This is because they are meant to be, though they seem to do nothing but endlessly bicker once they are both vampires. He mourns her humanity, though Pandora clearly doesn’t care about it. They struggle, talking in ridiculously flowery and contrary language when something straight forward might well end their relationship problems. And really, they’re not presented as vampires, they’re presented as eternal humans who will be able to love from whatever distance for all time.

There’s a word I really want to start throwing around now, Anne Rice fans, and it begins with a T.

Don’t be mad at me, even if Pandora really is one of the worst Anne Rice novels then it’s still better written than Twilight. Just not by as much as you think. Whilst Stephanie Meyer traps us inside a character’s head, dictating to us how this character thinks and that her interactions are good and even normal, Anne Rice traps us in these falsely grand environments that she won’t stop describing in every detail. She forces us to see the world in the way she wants us to, unrelenting in the narrow vision we are seeing. And both Bella and Pandora are too blank and perfect, though Pandora much less so than Bella. Neither one of them is a complete character, she’s a woman who is to be loved/ obsessed with by the leading male and little else. It may have taken a goddess to bring Pandora to Marius’ side but the result is the same: eternal marriage thanks to being vampires. It’s also not interesting. Their relationship is trapped in meaningless bickering and their apparent “devotion” to one another that Anne Rice demands we believe in but we never see any example of. It’s meant to be a great romance but it falls flat for me just as much as Bella and Edward a la Twilight. If all her books are written in such a way then I’d even go so far as to say that Anne Rice was very fortunate that the internet wasn’t widespread when she was this popular.

I also get the feeling that Pandora depends on the other vampire novels that surround it to give it substance. There are endless references in the opening chapter about what’s been happening in the vampire world, which never really seem to matter to Pandora’s own story so they don’t seem relevant. Perhaps Anne Rice felt she didn’t want to go over common themes that she’d visited in previous vampire stories but it certainly makes this one the weaker for it. There’s no substance to the relationship between the characters or the world around them and when the book ended, I didn’t care what would happen to them after.

And that’s why I took a scalpel to my copy of Anne Rice’s Pandora and started making decopatch with it instead!

2,251 thoughts on “Punishing Pandora And A Surprising Opinion On Anne Rice

  1. Pingback: Anne Rice wants to dox you! | 38 Caliber Reviews

  2. Another person who wound up here because outside media: The kerflufle was mentioned on an Amazon forum thread. Haven’t read the book, but your review looked well thought out and certainly not an attack. I am curious about one thing — as someone who’s done a couple of decoupage floors, I’d love to see a picture of your final “pandora” project. (Also as an author I’d be THRILLED if someone papered a floor with my book. Even if it was a bathroom floor.)

  3. The book you didn’t like doesn’t even exist, so you can’t really blame the author for being pissed. That was my point.

    As for Armand: maybe it’s really awful like most seem to think, but I read it when I was 12/13, so I’m not qualified to speak for it. I have fond memories of it, but that’s all. Still the worst choice to approach Anne Rice. Fyi the next worst choice would be Blood and Gold or Merrick, if you want to give them a shot and strengthen your hate (I never dared reading Merrick, I read enough reviews to be sure it’s utter crap). Also, I’m afraid she never wrote a page worth reading in the last 15 years, but I have a feeling she won’t be your cup of tea even at her best.

    • Silvia, there’s really no need to ask me to strengthen my hate. I’m sorry if you think I feel so strongly but I don’t.
      I do judge Anne for being so defensive, but I think I must have had an unfair view of authors before this whole thing started. I aways assumed that people who create had to be secure about their work before it was published but I’m older now and I realise that plenty of art gets out there before their creators can handle criticism. It’s not as though I was any risk to her profits, just like I’m not a risk to your personal enjoyment of the book. Seriously Silvia, fuck me and my opinion. If you don’t like my review then you have every right, go out and read whatever you enjoy :) If you are interested, I did a thought piece after this where I actually reconsider linking vampire books to Twilight

  4. I am a fan, and I particularly love Pandora as a character and as a book. I know that everyone has his own sensibility and likings, and is entitled to his own opinions, I know that much, but I can’t help feeling deeply offended by the content of this post. Though it’s polite in manners, it’s rude in content. Most of the things you think of the book are just wrong, and the comparison with twilight makes it very clear. The comparison in itself is humiliating, but if you want to, the right couple to pick would be Lestat/Louis. Pandora was never meant to be a stand alone book: Marius is a well known and pivotal character of the Vampire Chronicles, Pandora is minor character – the only thing we knew about her past was that she had been a lover of his. The book is like a spinoff, it’s meant for people who already know the characters, the kind of vampire Anne’s are, and a little history. That’s why it focuses on Pandora’s mortal life, that’s why it’s so obvious Marius is gonna be her lover, that’s why there is not need for vampire cliché situations. The romance is not even the point of the story (Marius is half as important as her father to this story), but if you read the book expecting a twilight-like-plot, that’s what you’ll see. Your comments on the book are massively unfair, and I believe that’s why Anne Rice took it so badly. It is one thing not to like the book, it is another to carelessly be judgemental about it. I would never pick a spin off of an asimov saga with absolute zero previous knowledge and complain that robot laws are not fully explained, or presume I’d understand the characters interactions and events. I’d never read a LOTR appendix knowing anything at all and judge it for not being “the return of the king”. Can you see my point? If you really want to find out if Anne Rice is to your taste, choose Interview with the Vampire or whichever early Lestat-book. I started with The Vampire Armand, it was risky but it worked for me and I was hooked. I’d recommend The Vampire Lestat, but please don’t go misunderstanding books other people cherish and happily sharing with the internet the fact that you mutilated a book on the basis of your misunderstandings. At least don’t be surprised if the author is not cool with it. I wouldn’t have minded if you had destroyed the book because you didn’t like the actual book, like lots of people do.

  5. So .. I just read this review, almost 2 years after it was written, because Nate Hoffelder mentioned it over at Ink, Bits and Pixels, formerly The Digital Reader. (Ann Rice is apparently looking into writing a piece on author bullying this year http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/02/09/anne-rice-pen-book-author-bullying/ and Nate linked to this post in that context. Double standards much?)
    I have never read a novel by Ann Rice, although you hear about her if you’re into vampire books and after reading this review I’m not sure if I want to.
    But what I really wanted to say is: I’m following this blog as of now! I liked the review so much!

    • Reading her quote made my head spin and it’s so frustrating to know how accurate her use of the word “gangster” is. If the bullies are a mafia then there is a don, and in my case the don leading the bullies was most certainly her. So glad you enjoyed the blog though!

  6. I’d like to know what you turned the pages into. I tried googling it a couple of times, but nothing other than the review and article’s about the review show up!! What exactly di you decopatch?!

    • Thanks for the comment Fiona! People keep sharing this post with me and I find the author’s perspective kinda… sad. In the sense that she gets so worked up over the critique in an obsessive and overly personal way. She writes as though she’s revealing some great crime to the world but it’s just a reviewer who lied about who they were. Whilst I feel that cover should be “blown”, I do also worry about the author herself, to get so distressed over it all. It just worries me.

      • Many bloggers and authors use a pen name for anonymity. This is understandable to me for safety reasons. The author that stalked her criticizer is a perfect example of why many decide to not use their real name. Anne Rice needs to stop harassing people and cheering other authors who do it.
        I struggle to write the dark and evil point of view, but obviously it is something that she is greatly familiar and doesn’t seem to care if it shows its ugly head in her real life.

        • I’ve looked more into this since we spoke and I regret saying that a cover should be “blown”. I had only read the piece from Hale at the time and, looking at other evidence, it does seem like it was just a pen name. I’m concerned that authors like Anne Rice want to have their cake and eat it by demanding that people don’t dislike their work. Or at least, don’t tell people that they dislike it. The blogger/author community is a boon to those who don’t have money for big campaigns and want their words read, authors like Hale and Rice might poison that well of good feeling….

          • I wish I had heard what she (AR) had pulled with you last year, to stand up against a bully like that is tough. I hope you had support from your readers. Many authors felt what KH did was very poor judgement.
            I wrote a very bad review for an author on GR because it was obvious that she did not do any research for the subject matter. For someone who is familiar with the subject it frosted me a bit. This author did not confront me instead she had her “goonies” bury it with good reviews. Which in my opinion is better than stalking :D
            Before I go I wanted to share this from dear author. http://dearauthor.com/features/essays/on-the-importance-of-pseudonymous-activity/
            I hope you have a wonderful week and it was great conversing with you.

  7. I honestly thought this talentless hack died years ago… I see She’s alive and venomous. i posted a comment on her facebook page asking her nicely to stop using “organ” as a noun for penis. She’s to stuck in her lame grade school writing style to bother to use a better word *shrug* Oh well I shall think of things more pleasant

  8. Hey hey, so I found you after googling why Anne Rice disallows fanfic, and found out that she’s a rather unpleasent person in real life.

    I’m glad you didn’t delete this article though, and if it had been me that had written the review, I’d be thanking her very publicly for the traffic she sent to the site ;)

    • Hey Doozerpindan, Thanks for the comment! I was also somewhat disappointed to find out how inflexible and domineering Anne Rice seems to be. As you say, at least I can say I went a bit viral for a while!

  9. Unfortunately while having a discussion with Anne Rice this last evening over her recent post and more support to the StGRB page, the ‘kind’ owner of the website came and told Anne that I was a notorious bully that had been outed on their website and that nothing I was posting had any merit. Anne Rice proceeded to ban me from her FB page. I have lost all respect for her over this bullying debacle. I had never once been rude, or disrespectful to anyone – only stated my opinion about the bullying tactics that StGRB uses to combat their so called author and reviewer bullies. Anyone who knows me can see by my all of less than 50 reviews on Amazon, less than 200 rated books on GoodReads – that there are only 5 on there that are rated 2 stars or below. Yet, she listened to someone who didn’t even know me claim I was a bully. It’s all that she needed to decide I deserved to be banned. I will not support her work. She says she is against bullying, but she is a bully. And has no problems with her fans bullying others as long as they are the “right” people.

    • Hi Elyse, I’m very sorry that happened to you and I would advise that you try not to take it personally. Anne Rice will have lots of people telling her who to respond to and who not to, like all celebrities it’s going to be a part of her marketing. People who work in marketing are notoriously over-cautious so it doesn’t matter if the accusations have little to no credit. That said, I think that it’s a real shame such a channel of discussion is now closed to you, and her.

      I would have to agree that Anne claims to fight “trolls” but she honestly seems to behave in a similar manner to one. I hope you have some excellent debates and discussions with people who are more open to such conversations :)

  10. Let me get this straight. You ripped apart one of Anne Rice’s books in a fit of dissatisfaction, and don’t feel you’re in need of some therapy?

    • Just as a clarification, I’ve been taking old books and experimenting with book-themed craft stuff.

      I’ve seen many male friends attack a punching bag with vigor, perhaps my paper craft is linked to some similar deep-seated frustrations? I don’t know, it’s a very interesting point though and I will take it on board :) Personally though, I did this craft project to save the book from the bin, I worked in a Charity book shop and I know that beat-up book with pages falling out wouldn’t have lasted 5 seconds. I’m a hoarder by nature.

      That said, I’m concerned you didn’t post this as a helpful suggestion but as an insult? Needing therapy is nothing to be ashamed of.

      • um, no, not per se. But I’ve seen people who have demonstrated their mentally ill tendencies by going about “therapy” in an equally disturbed way. (I am not referring to you here.)

        And I know a woman who is close to 60 years old, and she is so addicted to the “healing process” that she never, ever allows herself to become emotionally and mentally healthy. It’s rather bizarre. She actually relishes being “broken,” so that she can stay engaged in an endless path “toward” well-being, without ever genuinely seeking it.

        But I digress.

  11. Pingback: Interrogating The Critics From The Wrong Perspective: On Anne Rice & “Bully” Reviews. | Bibliodaze

  12. Pingback: Fraud Omnibus Edition (Book 3): Bully Authors and Their Hordes of Menacing Minions | A Witch Rants

  13. I know that ‘backlash’ thing must have been hard for you at first…but look at it this way – now everyone knows what a bitch Ann Rice is. I personally like her books, but after what she did, I like your decopatches better :)

    • Hey there, thanks for the comment! Sorry it took me so long to notice! I don’t think Anne Rice is a bitch, it’s like all these 30+ people who are so unused to the internet and the perils that lie within. She just… doesn’t understand the hypocrisy of her standing against the “trolls” on Amazon after sending her fans to my blog.

      I’ve done a few more decopatches but I’ve resisted posting them, I’d definitely recommend it though!

      • This is par for the course for Rice. As for example, the “trolls” she stood up against were, for the most part, not trolls at all. The vast majority of the negative amazon reviews were respectful and well thought out. It has become apparent that Rice is surprisingly insecure and is of the opinion that people who do not like her writing are just to stupid to understand her “complex, intricate and deeply meaningful prose”

        When someone gives her book a bad review, even when done respectfully, it is bullying and mean and the reviewers are her intellectual inferiors. When she passive aggressivly sics her fans on a reviewer it is not bullying, it is her standing up for herself, her hypocricy knows no bounds.

        What disgusted me most about this is that she either did not read your blog post or she intentionally mislead her fans, as her facebook post makes it appear that you cut her book up specifically and only because you did not like it. No mention at all about the fact that you bought the book because it was in bad shape and you could recycle it by using it in an art project. I am assuming that since the book was in bad shape to begin with you would have still recycled it even if you had liked it.

  14. I haven’t read Pandora yet so I can’t really argue with you at this point about the book. But as the title suggests, the book revolves around the story of Pandora, one of the oldest vampires in her main vampire series, The Vampire Chronicles. With that in mind, I guess it is understandable that half of the book is all about Pandora’s human life. If you had also read the series I mentioned, you would know that Marius and Pandora were already established as lovers even before this book was published. This book, I have a reason to believe, was written by Ms. Rice thinking that the majority of the readers that would read it were already indoctrinated by the story and so left that Pandora-Marius romance obvious even at the beginning.

    Marius is already old, ancient, when he made Pandora a vampire and following Anne Rice’s vampire canon, vampires lose their humanity after a very long time. That would explain the seeming lack of emotion of Marius. I just don’t know about Pandora.

    About how your pointing out the book’s lack of mention of blood drinking, I also notice that even though the books are vampire novels, only a few times were blood drinking given emphasis on her books. Such scenes are only found when it is taking note of. Like, since you have already read Interview, Louis’ first encounter with Lestat, Louis’ first time drinking human blood, Louis’ conversion and Louis’ telling of Claudia’s and Lestat’s “hunting style.” Also, in the Theater of the Vampire, Armand drinking a maiden’s blood was mentioned only because it was part of the Theater’s act and had left an impact on the narrator of the story which was Louis.

    I am an Anne Rice fan and I love her books. Vampire novel or not. I believe that we all have or preferences. Not everybody can be a doctor or a football player. One person might love to eat Korean food while another can’t stand the smell of its smell. So I respect your opinion.

    P.S. had you not explained that you bought a book for use in handicraft, I would have been horrified by how you treated the book. Well that is all :)

    • Hi there, thank you so much for the thoughtful comment! I’m somewhat concerned about my desire to see Pandora experience blood lust as a vampire (which might say nothing about Anne Rice and an awful lot about me) but I still haven’t read some other suggested titles. I *will* one day read Interview but my next choice was The Vampire Armand, which I…. regret. I chose not to review that one….

      • Hey Kayleigh, You’ve GOT to read Interview! In my opinion, it’s her best novel, vampire or otherwise, and it’s the only one that I recommend to friends as an “Anne Rice fan.”

        I too fell victim of believing in Anne Rice long before I’d ever read one of her books. I had respected her just based on the grandiose idea of her and the cult classic like response she had been receiving. I just KNEW I would love her once I read her work, and much to my excitement I absolutely loved Interview. But unfortunately I feel it was meant to be a stand alone novel and nothing more. And I’ll try to explain why without any major spoilers.

        Judging by the issues you had with Pandora, I do believe you will get everything you’re looking for from an Anne Rice vampire novel in Interview. It chronicles Louis’ afterlife and how the transformation effected him and how he struggled to hold on to humanity even while the “dark gift” of vampirism seemed to be dragging him elsewhere. All this is happening whilst Lestat is wreaking havoc everywhere he steps! Lestat is truly entertaining, and Anne Rice understood this, thus leading her to cast Lestat as the leading protagonist going forward in the series. This I believe was her greatest downfall in continuing the chronicles.
        Sure, her loads of fans, as well as Anne herself, worship Lestat. He’s like “The Man”, supposedly. Personally, I can’t stand the guy. She had build up Louis as this tragic hero and Lestat as this harsh and despicable villain, but in the second book (The Vampire Lestat) and every one that followed, she goes on to redeem Lestat. Like, a whole lot. My problem was, after reading how horrible he was in Interview, it only seems forced when he’s made to be the victim for literally 500 pages of his own book. At least for me it does. Lestat is almost forced down your throat in the subsequent novels, and we hardly ever see Louis again.

        I can’t believe you actually read The Vampire Armand. Noooo, Kayleigh, you set yourself up for that disappointment! LOL. After reading Interview, I despised Armand far too much to read his independent novel. But all in all, Interview is the one to read if you never read another Anne Rice novel. The movie was pretty good too.

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