The Witching Hour

The Witching Hour is a Book I actually quite enjoyed this book up until the very end when I felt like the main female character just had some sort of weird personality seizure and did something that

The Witching Hour is a Book I actually quite enjoyed this book up until the very end, when I felt like the main female character just had some sort of weird personality seizure and did something that the character as you've come to know her just wouldn't have done. It just made it seem poorly written to me, like Ms. Rice decided in the last 10 pages or so that it was going to have a sequel after all when she had been intending from the beginning for it to be a one-book story.. On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking And the witching hour beginsDemonstrating once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches a family given to poetry and incest, to murder and philosophy, a family that over the ages is itselfOn the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking And the witching hour beginsDemonstrating once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches a family given to poetry and incest, to murder and philosophy, a family that over the ages is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being.A hypnotic novel of witchcraft and the occult across four centuries, by the spellbinding, bestselling author of The Vampire Chronicles.. Bestseller Ebook The Witching Hour My witchathon concludes with The Witching Hour, the eleventh novel by Anne Rice. Published in 1990, I was hoping it might be the author's thirteenth book, but this goth epic of blood, sugar, sex and black magic is a monster as is. The word count is 327,360 words, 10,000 shy of Stephen King's baby high chair Under the Dome. Rice is a gifted scenarist who sets the table for adult horror dripping with sensuality and dread, the type moviegoers had to imagine in the 1940s with thrillers like Cat People or I Walked With a Zombie. While her atmosphere is combustible, her storytelling skills are flaccid and I reached a point where I just wanted this to end.The novel gets off impressively. Chapters one through six alternate between three main characters and three citizens of New Orleans: a doctor, a priest and a woman who marries into a family owned funeral parlor. These locals are traumatized by their experiences with Deirdre Mayfair, a woman in her late 40s and heir to a family fortune. Deirdre has existed in a catatonic state for thirty years since her child was taken away from her to be raised by a cousin in California. Cared for by her sister Carlotta, Deirdre wastes away in a grand but decaying house on First Street, spook central for stories the nuns tell naughty children about witches in the Garden District.The doctor, the priest and the woman have at one time wanted to help cure Deirdre or reunite her with her daughter, but find the heir to the Mayfair fortune to be lost in her own world, as well as controlled not only by feared attorney Miss Carl, but a strange man that has been seen near her for years. Each of our do-gooders has had an encounter with that man and unburden themselves to inquiring mind Aaron Lightner, an Englishman who's part historian and part psychic detective for a transcontinental organization called the Talamasca, which in addition to investigating vampires and ghosts, has kept tabs on the Mayfair family for generations.Lightner had proved an excellent listener, responding gently without ever interrupting, But the doctor did not feel better. In fact, he felt foolish when it was over. As he watched Lightner gather up the little tape recorder and put it in his briefcase, he had half a mind to ask for the tape.It was Lightner who broke the silence as he laid down several bills over the check."There is something I must explain to you," he said. "I think it will ease your mind.:What could possibly do that?"You remember," Lightner said, "that I told you I collect ghost stories.""Yes.""Well, I know of that old house in New Orleans. I've seen it. And I've recorded other stories of people who have seen the man you described."The doctor was speechless. The words had been said with utter conviction. In fact, they had been spoken with such authority and assurance that the doctor believed them without doubt. He studied Lightener in detail for the first time. The man was older than he seemed on first inspection. Perhaps sixty-five, even seventy. The doctor found himself captivated again by Lightner's expression, so affable and trusting, so inviting of trust in return."Others," the doctor whispered. "Are you sure?""I've heard other accounts, some very like your own. And I tell you this so you understand that you didn't imagine it. And so it doesn't continue to prey on your mind. You couldn't have helped Deirdre Mayfair, by the way. Carlotta Mayfair would never have allowed it. You ought to put the entire incident out of your mind. Don't ever worry about it again."Meanwhile, in San Francisco, forty-eight year old Michael Curry has plied himself with beer and shut himself indoors while the news media stake him out. Pulled from the bay and revived after drowning, the New Orleans native and restorer of old houses has discovered an unwanted talent for psychometry, picking up psychic visions off any object he touches. Donning leather gloves to blunt the effect, Michael received a vision while clinically dead of others instructing him that he had some purpose to fulfill, but can't remember what it is he's supposed to do. He compels his doctor to track down his rescuer, hoping he might have spoken about his vision to them.Michael's savoir is Rowan Mayfair, thirty year old board-certified Staff Attending in Neurosurgery. Rejecting a promising career in research, Rowan has found her calling in trauma surgery. Raised by wealthy adoptive parents in Tiburon and recently orphaned, she recharges her batteries after a fifteen-hour shift by taking her yacht, the Sweet Christine into Richardson Bay and then the open sea. The cabin of the yacht has been the location of Rowan's other favorite pasttime, taking select cops, firemen or first responders she picks up in neighborhood bars for recreational sex. Rowan has followed Michael's story in the tabloids and wants to contact him for far more than professional courtesy. There are three people Rowan knows of that she's has killed by thought, most recently, her philandering adoptive father who threatened to leave Rowan's terminally ill adoptive mother unless Rowan slept with him. Michael's experience with psychic phenomena make him one of her people, while his rough and tumble build, blue eyes and worker's hands cloaked in leather have their allure to her as well. Rowan takes Michael to her home and in addition to vividly describing the mystique of New Orleans and San Francisco, Rice demonstrates her facility for writing hot sex.When he saw her breasts through the thin covering of nylon, he kissed them through the cloth, deliberately teasing himself, his tongue touching the dark circle of the nipple before he forced the cloth away. What did it feel like, the black leather touching her skin, caressing her nipples? He lifted her breasts, kissing the hot curve of them underneath--he loved this particular juicy crevice--then he sucked the nipples hard, one after the other, rubbing and gathering the flesh feverishly with the palm of his hand.She was twisting under him, her body moving helplessly it seemed, her lips grazing his unevenly shaven chin, then all soft and sweet over his mouth, her hands slipping into his shirt and feeling his chest as if she loved the flatness of it.She pinched his nipples as he suckled hers. He was so hard he was going to spill. He stopped, rose on his hands, and tried to catch his breath, then sank down next to her. He knew she was pulling off her jeans. He brought her close, feeling the smooth flesh of her back, then moving down to the curve of her soft clutchable and kneadable little bottom.No waiting now, he couldn't. In a rage of impatience he took off his glasses and shoved them on the bedside table. Now she would be a lush soft blur to him, but all the physical details he'd seen were ever present in his mind. He was on top of her. Her hand moved against his crotch, unzipped his pants, and brought out his sex, roughly, slapping it as if to test its hardness--a little gesture that almost brought him over the edge. He felt the prickly curling thatch of pubic hair, the heated inner lips, and finally the tight pulsing sheath itself as he entered.I did mention that The Witching Hour is 327,360 words, so, if you like the supernatural and erotica, Anne Rice has more. A lot more.After three rounds of world class sex, Michael takes leave of Rowan to make a flight to New Orleans (he'd booked his passage before they officially met). Michael feels pulled to his hometown and after picking up no clues from Rowan or her boat, believes the riddle behind his vision lies in the Big Easy. Michael has many memories of the city, particularly a house on First Street in the Garden District his mother would take him past on walks and where a strange man watched him from the porch. Drunk, Michael heads straight for that house and sees the man again. He passes out.When Michael recovers, he finds himself at the Pontchartrain Hotel with Aaron Lightner. The Englishman attempted to make contact with Michael in San Francisco, intrigued by his psychometric talents, and is operating under the impression that Rowan Mayfair hired Michael to do some work for her in New Orleans. Through much exposition, Lightner reveals that Rowan is heir to a vast family fortune here in the Crescent City and that house that Michael has been obsessed with--and everything in it--belongs to her. He convinces Michael to come with him to a motherhouse the Talamasca has in Metairie, where he is given a file to read on the Mayfair Witches.Back in San Francisco, Rowan is awakened by a presence. She finds a man standing on the dock who dims away. In the morning, Rowan receives a call from Carlotta Mayfair. Miss Carl is unaware that Rowan's adoptive mother is deceased and has to notify her niece that her birth mother Deirdre passed away that morning. She warns Rowan to avoid New Orleans at all costs. The doctor ignores her. Michael makes progress on the file of the Mayfair Witches, which goes back twelve generations and spans Scotland, France and New Orleans in an orgy of persecution, personal fortune, and madness, with "that man," who goes by the name Lasher, waiting in the wings.Though Deirdre has slumbered in a twilight induced by drugs all of her adult life, there have been countless sightings by those around her of "a mysterious brown-haired man." Nurses in St. Ann's Asylum claimed to have seen him--"some man going into her room! Now I know I saw that." At a Texas hospital where she was incarcerated briefly, a doctor claimed to have seen "a mysterious visitor" who always "seemed somehow to just disappear when I wanted to question him or ask him who he was."At least one nurse in a northern Louisiana sanitarium insisted to her superiors that she had seen a ghost. Black orderlies in various hospitals saw "that man all the time." One woman told us, "He not human. I know him when I see him. I see spirits. I call them up. I know him and he know me and he don't come near me at all."Most workmen cannot work on the First Street house any more today than they could in the days when Deirdre was a girl. There are the same old stories. There is even some talk of "a man around here" who doesn't want things done.The strengths of The Witching Hour and part of what has driven Anne Rice up the bestseller's charts over the years is her command of prose while trafficking in the supernatural and the sensual. Her attention to detail--whether it's describing a witch burning in the 17th century or a crumbling Irish Catholic church in the present--is so good. Rather than ride a marketable genre to its obvious and boring conclusions, Rice paints vivid pictures of places and people. She knows cities. She knows Catholicism. I liked how a family owned funeral parlor in New Orleans knows where all the bodies are buried and keep quiet about more than they'll ever reveal, and this is one minor character.I loved how Rice's characters who've come in close contact with the Mayfair witches are suffering from the same trauma as a motorist buzzed by a UFO; they've experienced something they can't explain and want answers. In another excellent stroke, Rice stumbles onto the conceit of renovating a haunted house, confident enough to cite novels about great houses like Great Expectations or Rebecca by name and in addition to crafting home design porn that matches her skin porn, raises compelling questions about whether new tenants and new fixtures are enough to drive out bad energy hovering around an old house.The problem with The Witching Hour is that it's two stories: a back story about witches that's exciting and a front story about modern lovers that's lame. Rice doesn't like Rowan Mayfair much--the author's sympathies lie with her tragic men while her women seem to be asking for whatever misfortune is visited on them--and the neurosurgeon has a cunning that felt robotic to me. Rowan and Michael do spend a lot of time crying, but the machinery of their romance made me want to get back to the flesh and blood of the witches. And 327,360 words is too damn long. Rosemary's Baby had a far more compelling story and characters trapped in a web of black magic and deceit and at 79,360 words, can be read in a quarter of the time.

  1. Anne Rice born Howard Allen Frances O Brien is a best selling American author of gothic, supernatural, historical, erotica, and later religious themed books Best known for The Vampire Chronicles, her prevailing thematical focus is on love, death, immortality, existentialism, and the human condition She was married to poet Stan Rice for 41 years until his death in 2002 Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history.She uses the pseudonym Anne Rampling for adult themed fiction i.e erotica and A.N Roquelaure for fiction featuring sexually explicit sado masochism.

518 Reply to “The Witching Hour”

  1. I actually quite enjoyed this book up until the very end, when I felt like the main female character just had some sort of weird personality seizure and did something that the character as you ve come to know her just wouldn t have done It just made it seem poorly written to me, like Ms Rice decided in the last 10 pages or so that it was going to have a sequel after all when she had been intending from the beginning for it to be a one book story.


  2. My witchathon concludes with The Witching Hour, the eleventh novel by Anne Rice Published in 1990, I was hoping it might be the author s thirteenth book, but this goth epic of blood, sugar, sex and black magic is a monster as is The word count is 327,360 words, 10,000 shy of Stephen King s baby high chair Under the Dome Rice is a gifted scenarist who sets the table for adult horror dripping with sensuality and dread, the type moviegoers had to imagine in the 1940s with thrillers like Cat People [...]


  3. I got this book for Christmas that year This was my first ever Anne Rice book, and it was about a year after Interview With A Vampire came out as a movie with Brad Pitt, Christian Slater and Tom Cruise I was blown away people If you like a story, like Gone With the Wind on crack, no seriously, epic like that, except VERY ADULT don t let your tweens get their hands on this one Mom s and Dad s , but such an addicting read that you may just get fired for calling in sick over it.This was far and awa [...]


  4. Warning SPOILERS And gifs Lots of both, actually.I don t even know how to summarize what I ve just finished It s like trying to tell someone what happens in a George RR Martin novel You might try to list item by item, but everything is woven with everything else there s no way to distinguish in the grand scheme Oh, y know Stuff happens People threaten each other People fight People die People have sex More stuff happens More people fight More people die The end Sorry, Robb Anyway.Before I get to [...]


  5. What a queer little book although at 1207 pages, little isn t the right word This was my first attempt at Anne Rice and I fear it might well be my last.Halfway through The Witching Hour , I was absolutely enthralled I loved the idea of The Talamasca At that stage of the story, I would have loved knowing it was a real organisation and applied for a job I revelled in learning the entire Mayfair history Anne Rice has a gift for choosing the words that bring it all to life I could imagine the house [...]


  6. One of my top 3 favorite novels of all time Anne Rice gets a bad rap for being pure shlock, but what most people who haven t read her don t realize is that she is obsessed with history She studies a particular time period, learns everything she can about it, and then creates characters and sticks them in it She rarely disappoints me And her prose is beautiful You can sit down to read and realize that 2 hours have passed having not even noticed.This book is about a woman named Rowan Mayfair, who [...]


  7. I FINALLY finished this Good Lord, what a long winded mess this was All the wordy history was boring but I stuck it out then ended up hating the ending Why in the world to I keep reading Anne Rice


  8. The Mayfair s are an extremely powerful and wealthy family, in each generation there is a chosen one, a witch, who inherits not only the family home and money, but supernatural powers and an evil entity, named Lasher, who only has one aim to become human again The Witching Hour is an extremely long novel, 1207 pages, but don t let that put you off reading as once you open the first page you soon find yourself completely absorbed in the chilling tale of the Mayfair Witches This novel has a spellb [...]


  9. This is one of the best books that I have read With her Dickensian writing, Anne Rice weaves a wonderfully dark and historically fascinating tale about a spirit attached to a family of witches Although this book is almost 1000 pages, it goes by so quickly The historical description of the family s travels from places such as Scotland and Port au Prince, Haiti is detailed in a way that made me swoon Yes, swoon.




  10. 26 years ago Anne Rice decided to move away from her vampire chronicles for a little while and tackle another supernatural theme which until then hadn t showed up in her fiction witchcraft With this first installment in the Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy, she wrote the perfect family saga full of history, intrigues, description and boy is there a lot of it , fully crafted pun intended characters a plethora of them, actually , dark magic, creepy scenes and details boy, that scene in the cem [...]


  11. Review is tainted by romance.When my man and I first moved into the Garden District last summer while I was still a bartender we moved into a pristine apartment with a gallery balcony which overlooked Chestnut street Left in our room in an otherwise pristine apartment was a box of clutter left by the previous tenant She left spoons, a rubber ducky, a hideous vase and five Anne Rice novels I spent most of the summer mornings on the balcony reading the Mayfair witches series, starting with The Wit [...]


  12. 3.5 stars This is a long book The story is in no hurry to tell itself and meanders along like a slow running riverd that was ok It suited the detailed history of the Mayfair family from its earliest origins through to modern times.I would never have made it without doing it through audio The actual book has tiny print and close together lines and I only read it when I wanted to finish a chapter that I d started while driving The narrator did a fantastic job and her languid voice for much of the [...]


  13. My favorite Anne Rice book of all time, anyone who reads this book will fall in love with New Orleans and Anne s writing Not a vampire book, and I do love her vampires, but this is the best.


  14. When I got to the end of this thick book, after having read hundreds of lukewarm pages, and found that it basically said to be continued, I was pretty pissed off If the book had been mine and not one I had borrowed from a friend, I would have tossed it across the room That was when I decided that I would never again buy an Anne Rice book I haven t.


  15. Here goes another teenage favorite that I just had to revisit, just to see how my tastes have evolved over time Why do I do this to myself This book is a hot mess Perhaps that s why I loved it so much when I was sixteen Now, I really see it as a multi generational, historical soap opera, with weird not always coherent occult elements, and lots of often weird sex That is not a bad thing a good, juicy, trashy read is fun every once in a while.This complicated, massive novel is the story of the May [...]


  16. Engrossing from the first paragraph Anne Rice is best known for her book, Interview With the Vampire, but she SHOULD be best known for this.This is an epic novel that follows the lives of the Mayfair witches through generations, time and place Eerie, magical, and mysterious Characters are woven into an intricate and mesmerizing plot Beautiful descriptive writing.I was chilled to the bone and genuinely scared during nearly every chapter, but addicted like nothing else Stayed up way past my bedtim [...]


  17. I read this book back in 2011 immediately after I finished secondary school It took me forever to read it then but I loved the story even till today, I ve still not read anything quite like it.A generation of witches traced back to the 1800 now reside in new Orleans, the book is written in an amazing way, It s super crazy how Lasher the spirit they get their power from drive them to insanity and all.I m definitely going to reread it and finish the series because even after 6 years I ve still not [...]



  18. Knowing my love of vampires and witches, my sister, upon hearing a review of this book sent it to me for my Birthday and I cold not put it down This book connects the spirit world, with old world interest, new world love for anything gothic and just plain good writing I followed the witches, spirits and vampires in every book by Anne Rice This by far was the best


  19. Probably my favorite novel of hers As is the case with most AR books, I don t particularly connect with the characters as much as I do with the world she creates Love the web of history and how everything weaves together.


  20. Be Warned Thar be major SPOILERS ahead All and all, I loved this tale of a family with generations of witches The witches are so interesting and seductive Their spirit , Lasher, is an enigma who does both good and bad things to the Mayfair witches Anne Rice gave just enough information to keep me unsure but I always felt as though he was calling the shots with the witches, as early as Deborah The Mayfair witches are free spirits who rarely conform to the norms of the day The current witch, Dr Ro [...]


  21. This book is bad in so many ways The most offensive being her erotic descriptions of incest and child sexual abuse activities She writes these as steamy harlequin romance moments with no alluding to the wrongness and damage these activities and crimes truly are in real life It s as if she champions them as some great sexual experiences That in and of itself is enough for me to hate a book Makes me wonder about her as a person That being said, and those parts aside, the beginning of the book is i [...]


  22. The whole time I was reading this 1,000 page epic, a thought continuously ran through my head This is Anne Rice s IT The subjects of The Witching Hour and Stephen King s horror novel couldn t be different, but the writing style its grandiosity is quite similar In this, surely the New Orleans author s magnum opus, a time span of three centuries is covered this is the quintessential generational saga The Mayfair family has a sordid, macabre past, and the center of it all is the large plantation h [...]


  23. Seventeenth Century Stonehenge a woman sways and chants beneath a stony sky, calling to the Devil We know there are such entities they may grant our wishes in ways that cause us to cry to heaven in desperation The Witching HourAnne Rice made terror respectable.Okay, so some of her recent efforts may have made me want my high school ring back, but her early work did for contemporary horror what P D James did for detective fiction legitimized it, returned it to the level of literature In 1976, Int [...]


  24. This book stinks Anne Rice wrote really good vampire books, but the Feast of All Saints was dreadful and I couldn t finish Her book about the childhood of Christ was horribly slow and boring The Witching Hour goes on and on and on It is as boring as real life You just wait for something to happen Every few pages she gets around to saying something about someone who may or may not be a witch.The narrative runs sort of like, In 1954 one of our investigators talked to a maid who lived down the stre [...]


  25. I always hated vampire witch stories but my honors English teacher in high school recommended this book to me for our final paper Its about 1000 pages long so I used the first 500 hundred and literally fell in love Since then I have read the book about five times I LOVE IT It centers around a wealthy family living in New Orleans, there is a spirit that follows one woman in every generation and the story follows the spirit from its conception It is a really interesting, complex novel with many la [...]


  26. after reading most of the vampire chronicles, i decide to try Rice s Witches trilogy i know that for a lot of people, this book was hard to get through there s a lot of information in it that seems like, well who the hell cares but it s all relevant in one way or another, and it SOOOOOOOOOOO sets you up for the subsequent novels, Lasher, and Taltos there s also Merrick, Blackwood Farm, and Blood Canticle, which came later if you can bear with a somewhat slow read for a little while, this book is [...]


  27. Did not like this book Her description skills are beautiful, which drew me in initially plus I was looking for a book that would take me longer than a day to read, and at over a thousand pages You can SEE and FEEL what she says, like your in the room with her looking and touching her characters and environments So I gave it a star for that.However How do you write over six hundred pages without touching on a story plot I was kind of entranced by the huge history she gave the family, but I realiz [...]


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