Anne Rice "Wolf Gift" Signing in Philly: A Real Upcoming Event!!
Philly has often been overlooked by publishers when book tours of any kind are formed. The reason for this could possibly lie with Philly's proximity to New York where most book tours commence. I couldn't believe my eyes several days ago when seeing for myself that the signing that I had hypothetically written about a few weeks ago had become a very real thing. Part of me wondered if my post had any influence on the decision to have the Philly signing occur on the official release date of "The Wolf Gift." Hopefully, I'm not being boastful in any way, but there is definitely a chance that some individuals connected with Anne Rice's publisher might have very well read that post, and have been inspired to plan a signing at the very location that I suggested. Then again, the Philadelphia Free Library has had a slew of several famous writers as it is the main venue for book-signings within the city.
Anyways, for all Philly residents, this is very exciting news either way!! If you live within the area, and happen to be an Anne Rice fan, I implore you to consider attending the signing because it will be worth the admittance price to meet such a talent.
Here are the details for the signing, taken from the Free Library of Philadelphia site:
Date and Time: Tuesday, February 14, 2011 at 7: 30pm.
Prices: 7 dollars for Students, and 15 dollars: General Admission.
Additionally, tickets go on sale January 12, 2012 at 10 am.
By the way, another new post will appear tomorrow that will relate with the ongoing discussion about "death" that reappears within Anne Rice's books. How does this relate with the mummies? Why were the Egyptians so fastidious when embalming bodies and preserving them in the hopes that they'd properly enter the afterlife? What does their idea of the afterlife consist of? How does it differ from our Mainstream ideas?
Nearly all Anne Rice's books are seemingly conventional though she usually employs unconventional elements, philosophical concepts, and colorful characters to differentiate the story from other novels that feature witches, vampires, mummies, etc. Anne Rice's "The Mummy," or Ramses the Damned follows this same formula and thus might appear formulaic if you're familiar with her novels. In actuality, this novel contains its own unique paradigm with different types of characters and far more action sequences than "Interview with the Vampire." In many ways, this novel is stylistically similar to "The Tale of the Body Thief" where there were many more fast-paced action sequences than the usual Anne Rice book which are primarily filled with dialogue and descriptions that focus partially on the sensual details of her fictitious worlds, or philosophical questions. This isn't a criticism necessarily.These are the most rewarding elements that make her novels stand apart from other books.
From the beginning, the novel begins with the momentous discovery of Ramses the Damned's tomb. The main archaeologist, behind this discovery, happens to find written evidence that Ramses might have lived during Cleopatra's reign. Using meticulously researched historical facts, Anne Rice crafts a story that hypothetically explores the idea of the "mummy" of a famous pharaoh being an immortal. During this rather interesting beginning sequence, Anne Rice also constructs the template from which the 400-page novel will follow. Whether she outlines or not, the scene works perfectly as an effective beginning sequence that captures the reader's attention because it is staged to stir questions in our minds. Interestingly, we are vicariously discovering these archaeological finds which makes us raise some of the same questions that some of the characters form about these odd archaeological findings: How could Ramses have been able to live past his alleged death? Where is the irrefutable proof behind this?
After the beginning, the novel becomes very rapidly paced as more elements of the story are slowly unraveled. Using a mummy analogy, the mummy's white linen much like the story itself is slowly unwrapped till we behold the whole story which still elicits questions even when we finally come upon the resolution. Another effective element within Anne Rice's novels, especially "The Mummy," lies with her ability to incorporate exposition without hindering the flow of the story. Some writers tend to inundate the reader with meaningless exposition whereas Anne Rice, and several other writers with similar talent (Madeleine L'Engle, Margaret Atwood,etc.) artfully place the exposition in places which bolster the quality of the story rather than make the exposition appear too contrived. Perhaps, the reason behind this lies with the ability for these writers to focus more upon "showing" us the story that unfolds in their mind rather than forcefully pull together something mainly for financial compensation.
One of the drawbacks of the novel though for me was the way Julie Stratford, one of the main female characters within the stories, partly disappears from the second part of the story as if she was only an important force within the first part of the story. During the first half, Julie Stratford remains one of Anne Rice's more dynamic female characters who is an active participant during this segment of the story. Towards the end, she seems to slowly fade into the background and thus loses the capacity for further development. Perhaps, the reason for this lies behind a greater focus on another female character (whose name will not be revealed due to my anti-spoiler policy). Or, Anne Rice unconsciously focused more upon the characters who were integral to the main plot though I thought Julie Stratford was a fairly important piece to the novel. She seems to be eclipsed by that other female character "whose name, again is "She who shall not be known.. spoilers."
Overall, I loved the recurrent philosophical discussions about "death," and how the inevitability of death shapes our lives. Would immortality have a greater ability to grant us more time to create more meaning? Or does the longevity of our lives only contribute to the overweening melancholy that occasionally fills our lives? Anne Rice's novels has always been about escaping the imminent nihilism that floods our lives. Her vampires metaphorically depend upon "human blood" or vitality to sate our hungry spirit that earnestly searches for meaning. Her mummies are no different: They need a myriad number of pleasures to imbue them with satisfaction that eliminates the moroseness of an unfulfilled life spent reflecting upon the possibility that life itself might be overwhelmingly purposeless. All Anne Rice's books are illustrative of this necessity to live a purposeful existence to purge this fear that can leave us as comatose as Louis in "Interview with the Vampire" because he refused himself those carnal pleasures that might have kept him divided from the dark thoughts of existence.
Overall, this book has a frenetic pace and it is very well structured! It comes highly recommended as a book to savor while waiting impatiently for "The Wolf Gift:" It's coming out Feb. 14, 2012!!!!! That is a little less than two months from now.
Right now, there is ongoing discussion about several Madeleine L'Engle titles. As of now, there are two posts dedicated to Camilla and Both were Young. I highly recommend for people to read these posts especially if you happen to be a fan of Madeleine L'Engle's works as I am. Sometime in March, due to the anniversary of "Wrinkle In Time, I'll have a number of comprehensive posts in celebration of this momentous occasion.
The earth will never be the same again. Rock, water, tree, iron share this grief As distant stars participate in pain. A candle snuffed, a falling star or leaf, A dolphin death, O this particular loss Is Heaven-mourned; for if no angel cried, If this small one was tossed away as dross, The very galaxies then would have lied. How shall we sing our love's song now In this strange land where all are born to die? Each tree and leaf and star show how The universe is part of this one cry, That every life is noted and cherished, And nothing loved is ever lost or perished. (p. 166)
As evidenced in the poem above, Madeleine L’Engle was definitely endowed with a true gift of writing lucidly and poetically. Also, she brought much desired depth and artistic ambiguity to the world of Christian fiction that often suffers from being didactic. To be fair, many writers from different religious and ideological backgrounds struggle with this problem. Often, our insular worldview presents itself as a preachy voice that is jarring to the flow of any story that we set out to write. It takes a while for many writers to overcome these problems and focus entirely on the shaping of deeply complex human characters who are never superficial. One of the greatest examples of a writer who could naturally fit their ethical message into the framework of the story was Charles Dickens and his wonderful novel, Hard Times. In that, we see proof that its possible for an ethical message to be intertwined with the content of the story in a way that is natural and seamless.
Madeleine L’Engle always incorporates her Christian worldview into her novels in a way that greatly enhances her work. As an agnostic or seeker who has no definitive views on religion, I find the Christian message of hers to be very nuanced. It is not Christian in the way we often see it being poorly represented by fundamentalist groups. Madeleine L’Engle instead focuses on the sacred mystery of God rather than the God of certitude and firm belief. Her God often makes us feel healthfully doubtful more than feel tritely fullfilled. It is this intellectual humility present in her spiritual beliefs that often did not make me feel uncomfortable. Instead, the humility of her writing focuses more on the universal struggle for meaning rather than a struggle exclusive to Christianity. Remarkably, St. Augustine often depicted all people, regardless of religion, as struggling to follow the good intentions of their soul rather than the bad intentions. We are all meaning-seeking creatures.
InRing of Endless Light, there are no silly arbitrary classifications between Christian, atheist, and agnostic. Instead, Madeleine L’Engle presents a world with humans who are valiantly struggling to comprehend this chaotic world that we’ve miraculously find ourselves in. Vicky Austin, the main female voice of the story, represents the most inquisitive individual of the story. Recently, the reality of death is threatening her tidy worldview. Fascinatingly, Vicky has three guys who are vying for her attention. The father to one of them had recently died when rescuing Zack, the atheistic voice of the story. On the other hand, Adam portrays the openness of the world of nature. Adam struggles with all the same existentialistic questions that plague Vicky’s artistic mind. Yet, he studies the dolphins and tries to see how they come to grips with death.
Many Christian books never appear to present the true difficulties that plague human existence. Except, many of these struggles over doubt and depression seem to vanish once someone is “born again.” Madeleine L’Engle’s books never end the lifelong struggle of trying to comprehend the world and God. If anything, our relationship with God is never static. It is always evolving. In “Ring of Endless Light,” we are given the far more artful portrait of this struggle. There are no clear answers. Within Ring of Endless Light, we are instead given the opportunity to accept the fact that our doubts or thoughts revolving around the divine are never settled. They are merely the dynamics of this existence within a world that is so vast and incomprehensible.
There is a rich subtlety and silence within many parts of this book. One of my favorite character was Vicky Austin’s grandfather who represents the epitome of a good minister. Her grandfather refuses to define God or have his faith hinge on a certain litany of beliefs. Instead, her grandfather’s spiritual belief represents the wisest form of spirituality that accepts the mystery and finds solace in the search for theoretical answers to those big questions. In Vicky’s world, spirituality can be constrained by religious legalism and even rigid atheism. By condensing the spiritual search to a “Yes” or “No,” question about whether or not he/she/ it “exists,” we are greatly denying our place in the universe. We are a mote of dust that contains a lot of depth. If we fail to understand others adequately, How can we be so confident about what or who God is?It is our greatest pitfall that limits our ability to see the “ring of endless light” hiding beneath the fabric of the supposed meaningless universe. Like Shakespeare, Madeleine L’Engle’s way of showing us God is not by telling us about God, but showing us a reflection of our difficult lives where we are constantly wrestling with these complicated matters about "Why we are even here?" "Does death equal dissolution into nothingness?" We don't just have certain recycled answers that we're always complacent with. Lately, it seems like that is all that people do at church: Find complacency in easy beliefs to insure we're going to heaven. Yet, How can we ever be so certain in a universe so much bigger than ourselves?
To me, this book is the pinnacle of Madeleine L’Engle’s literary successes that masterfully evokes the experience of the universal search for meaning within this world. All aspiring writers should read Madeleine L’Engle to learn the art of creating stories that grant us an emotional experience rather than give us direct answers about things we cannot possibly fathom.
As we all impatiently..patiently await the release of Anne Rice's "Wolf Gift," many fans are probably speculating about potential book signings. Normally, publishers devise some kind of promotional tour for authors in promotion of their recent book. It is all part of advertising the book because it stokes interest and excitement for the new book. Unfortunately, the changing book market which seems to becoming more focused on e-books over physical books seems to be giving publishers solid reasons to extricate funds normally set aside that are specifically used for book signings. While I greatly love my Kindle, (which I hope to review in-depth in the coming weeks) the greatest disadvantage for the devices is the inability to have your books signed with traditional pen or sharpie marker. Sue Dent, author of the recently published Electric Angel, came up with a solution. She had a virtual signing done via webcam and electronic copies were digitally signed.
To me, there still does not seem to be that great sense of realism. Yes, you still get to have a short conversation with the writer but it is not comparable to a real book signing where you interact with fans prior to the signing. Surely, virtual signings are a wonderful solution for people who live in rural areas of the country who are unable to attend physical signings due to inability to travel far distances. For those people, like me, who love real book-signings, virtual book signings are largely an inferior option.
Approximately one year ago, I was given the opportunity of meeting Anne Rice who seemed positively overjoyed to meet her fans. We were all excited to meet the author whose books gave us many sleepless nights of entertaining reading. Again, I don't think a virtual signing compares with an actual signing. Its very similar to watching low-quality live performances of your favorite band. Where is the ambiance of a room full of thrilled fans? You can't grasp that energy when you're watching a performance through a video or going to a virtual book signing in your pajamas. It all seems sub-par to the real thing!
So, what are Anne Rice's schedule as of now. According to her website, there are no specific details as of recent about any planned book signings for "The Wolf Gift" Within the comment area, I want to hear your wild ideas about potential places to be placed on Anne Rice's tour calendar. Anne Rice is not involved with the process of forming any tour calendars. Additionally, she does not do lavish signings anymore with genuine New Orleans jazz bands or funeral proceedings (Anne Rice actually use to come to book-signings in a casket which is quite befitting of her). Either way, use Google or any other resources available to you to find potential book stores. Be brave, and send inquiries to these bookstores through email and ask if they're interested in hosting an Anne Rice signing. Additionally, offer them the email address of Kim Thornton who deals specifically with interview or promotional things for Anne Rice's releases. Her email address can be found on Anne Rice's website on the sidebar which is labeled "Interviews."
Who knows? Your email could help bring forth plans for a signing at that bookstore you thought Anne Rice would never visit in a million years.
Here is my own personal wish for a potential tour stop for Anne Rice's book signing: Since I live in the Philly region, I would love for Anne Rice to have a book signing at the Free Library of Philadelphia . There are definitely enough things for Anne Rice to do in Philadelphia. Seeing as she loves to explore old churches, we have a beautiful church which dates from the colony days. It is called Christ Church and it carries a lot of history. Moreover, we have the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Philadelphia Art Museum which will soon be having a Van-Gough gallery. This art museum recently had an Rembrandt gallery with mainly Jesus paintings that were formerly not exhibited to the public. Readers of Anne Rice are well-aware of her love for history therefore having a signing in Philadelphia seems like a natural choice.
Certainly, many fans reading this have cities nearby that carry it's own unique history. Therefore, when you comment, please include some potential historical sites that Anne Rice might be interested in when visiting your city on a specific leg of the "Wolf Gift" Tour.
Coming soon to my blog: An article about the "enigmatic" Cleopatra that was far more than just a "femme-fatale." The historical Cleopatra was a powerful, imposing figure!! This will launch my series of posts on "Ramses the Damned or The Mummy"
I've been struggling to juggle all the tasks that must be completed before the end of my semester. Once I get to the blog, all my creative energy is expended. Since, I want my posts be high quality and not the product of a lack of inspiration: I'm making some needed alterations to my schedule for the "Wolf Gift" Countdown. Instead of having it begin in November as originally planned, the countdown officially begins this month. Now, the three supernatural entities/individuals/creatures will be vampires/mummies for the month of December, witches for January, and werewolves for February (during the month when "Wolf Gift" is slated to release.
Please be patient with me as I slowly, but surely finish all my college assignments. This time is very hectic for college students. My whole semester itself has been jam-packed with about four heavy-duty literature courses. By the time, I'm able to read anything for potential review upon this blog; I'm so thoroughly exhausted with reading that I have to read something that piques my interest. It cannot be another book that I must force myself through in order to adequately access it.
Thank you for your understanding!! "A Bibliophile's Reverie has only been on hiatus recently not because I've abandoned any plans of reviewing anything!! Soon enough, I'll be back with many posts!!
Until then, Prepare yourself for vampires and mummies this month!!!
A Bibliophile's Reverie's "Countdown to "The Wolf Gift" Begins Tomorrow...
On Valentine's Day, during the year of the impending 2012 apocalypse, Anne Rice plans to release a book which features werewolves for she has decided once again to move onto to a new cosmology with a new breed of enigmatic creatures. In lieu of this release and Alfred K. Knopf's recently release synopsis with new tantalizing details about the novel, I am launching four themed months that encompass all of Anne Rice's supernatural creatures as "The Wolf Gift" symbolizes Anne Rice's courageous return to the creatures of the night or the "sinful aberrations" cast out by pious society. These creatures are consciously aware that they cannot inhabit the world of daytime much like King Hamlet's ghost or the band of twisted, contradictory witches from Macbeth
During each of these months, I will feature detailed posts about the history of each of these creatures and how Anne Rice has refashioned them to fit within her fictitious universe. Also, I'll strive to review any notable works that include different interpretations of these creatures.
As of now, the supernatural creatures/individuals being represented are...
November=Mummies December=Vampires January=Witches (I'm required then to review Roald Dahl's The Witches!!!!) February= Werewolves (Review of Anne Rice's "The Wolf Gift," Posts about the philosophy of "The Wolf Gift, and hopefully an interview with Anne Rice herself)
If you haven't already, click the book cover below for "The Wolf Gift" to read the details that Alfred K. Knopf, the publishers of Anne Rice's books, have happily released about the novel itself:
Every occurrence of writing
Makes me feel abashed
For I have to shed some unexpressed feelings and
Weave them into a poetic tapestry that is
Both beguiling and bewildering
After my hands leave the keyboard and
The Poem lies in finished form
Before my dispirited eyes
I can only feel pain that
Now everyone can discern past the
Enticing metaphors and
See directly into my core
Writing should be a private love affair
Behind Closed doors
Where the writer consummates with their lusty muse
To conceive a written work
Filled with nuances that hint at
A deeper significance that lies beneath
Sometimes, my prose is overwrought
To the extent where it overreaches its
Other times, I can just imagine
The disapproval of my disastrous work
Laying in a pretentious heap
On the floor of the motel room
Where my muse and I
Worked tirelessly to create
Why do I share these precious works of mine?
What is this burdensome artistic incline
That strives to share these meaningless
Pieces of pedantic poo
Tomorrow morning, I could care less
If the maid who periodically cleans
My rented motel rooms
Discards these pieces of
Used Toilet Paper
Even as my writing leaves me unsatisfied
I still have this insatiable desire to have another
Romp with my muse-
All writers desire this cathartic release
Because we thrive off the ecstasy of
That climatic moment where our work
Beautifully comes together
Writing is our elixir, our passion
In the end, we just cannot get enough
Link to other blog: Agnostic Inner Sanctum (Click the brilliant Rembrandt painting below!)
I'm posting this if you're interested in reading posts from my other blog:: The Agnostic Inner Sanctum. Earlier this year, I separated the more religious posts from the literary ones because some people find honest religious discussion disconcerting. My other blog is one of my most challenging blogs to post on because I'm always hindered by the "fear" of other people's reactions. Sadly, its still ingrained in me, from my Christian upbringing, that expressing doubt in Christianity is a chief evil. Now, I currently don't believe in that at all or probably never did authentically. But, its still hard for any person to work against neurotic thought processes inherited from their childhoods.
It will be offensive to some people because humanity is ironically offensive to itself. Oftentimes, people don't want to encounter people's honest views because we'd rather hide ourselves underneath those lavish masks provided at Capulet's masquerade party. Sometimes, I think that we need to reread Shakespeare,the Greek rationalists, or the Old Testament stories and see that these people are truly human and not a bunch of uncomplicated "believers" in a religion. Of course, no Christian is "uncomplicated," just like no human is. But often, I think we forget this when we're instructed from the pulpit to strive towards having unwavering belief to insure that we're going to heaven.
Karen Armstrong marvelously details the problems that plague religion presently. This is an illuminating speech and Karen Armstrong is a very bright person who really seems to understand the problems that strain religions.
Anne Rice's fans have requested me to conduct a
survey to determine which of Anne Rice's heart-throbs is their favorite. The three choices are Matt Bomer, Richard Armitage, and that damned, elusive "Scarlett Beckett!"
You can only vote once so take great care in choosing. Soon enough, the results will be sent to Anne Rice and she'll then devote her attention to one of these heart-throbs.
If you are interested in having me review a certain title, you are welcome to email me at narniafanatic(at)gmail(dot)com. I promise to read the book in its entirety and write a review that garners attention, but also informs. I mostly review novels and graphic novels of the science fiction, Gothic fiction, fantasy, and horror genre. Thanks! Giveaways: I'd love to feature giveaways and would promote such giveaways in a truly innovative way. For my convenience, add giveaway to the subject line of the email