Anne Rice vs. Stephenie Meyer

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Lestat
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Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:47 pm Post

We all know that vampire novels have gained widespread infamy because of the Twilight saga. You either love it or you hate it. But what about when vampire novels were good? I would argue that Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles were the height of vampire novels, and Twilight was the low point. I would like to hear from those of you who are fans of Twilight or the Vampire Chronicles about who is the better author. So, what do you guys think?
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AmberV
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Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:38 pm Post

Is this in part a target audience thing you are referring to as well? I don't think the Twilight novels were written to the same audience as Rice's, but I'll freely admit to have never read Meyer's work, and it's been a good solid 13 or so years since I've picked up any Rice.
.:.
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:20 am Post

AmberV wrote:Is this in part a target audience thing you are referring to as well? I don't think the Twilight novels were written to the same audience as Rice's, but I'll freely admit to have never read Meyer's work, and it's been a good solid 13 or so years since I've picked up any Rice.


I'm not sure what you mean by target audience but this is meant for any person who is even remotely familiar with either author I personally love Rice's work. Queen of the Damned is maybe my favorite book I've yet read. I have limited experience with Meyer but I can say I'm not much of a fan.
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AmberV
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:40 am Post

What I mean is, I don't think Rice was writing for early-teens in her books. Twilight strikes me as being for the same audience as Harry Potter---maybe plus a year or two. That isn't to say inferior, just for a group of people that are looking for a different type of thrill. I wouldn't stack Ender's Game against Iain M. Bank's Culture novels for the same reason. I greatly enjoyed the former when I was a kid, but I read it again recently and there wasn't much to it beneath the surface, unlike the latter books.
.:.
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:10 am Post

Ah I see what you mean. Although I myself am merely 15, I have no appreciation for twilight, yet I love Rice's work. I don't know if that's because I'm weird or something else but that's beside the point. It is maybe a difficult comparison to make. I would agree with you a bit on that. Rice has much more deep meaning behind her work compared to Meyer who in reality is writing to please and excite adolescents. They are much different authors but we can still compare them for the sake of doing so.
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:33 am Post

Yeah, when I said "early teens" I was really thinking 12 or 13; maybe 14. I could be totally wrong, like I said I haven't read them but that is the impression I have gathered over time. Fifteen is around when I started reading stuff like Rice and Frank Herbert's Dune (you should try those if you haven't yet, great stuff that will last you a long time and kind of touches on the same themes as the epic vampire tales; I still go back and read that one every other year or so). Anyway, I don't really have a whole lot to add to this specific debate. :twisted: Maybe a small point, author and work aside; but it seems society can only withstand one major vampire epic at once. Rice dominated the '90s and then some, Twilight the '00s. It has a bit of a Highlander to it; there can be only one and all that. Ha. Perhaps the success of Twilight has less to say with a diminished appreciation for depth, and more to do with a gap that was filled in part by timing and luck, and will remain so until it evaporates and the next can come along.
.:.
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:03 am Post

I thoroughly enjoyed both 'interview..' & "the vampire lestat'.

You'd have to put a gun to my head to get me to pick up that twilight nonsense.

:P
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:21 pm Post

Lestat, have you read the, in my opinion, real vampire novel? Go to the library and ask for Bram Stroker's Dracula.

For the record I hate the vampire genre, but love that one book.
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:40 pm Post

pigfender wrote:I thoroughly enjoyed both 'interview..' & "the vampire lestat'.

You'd have to put a gun to my head to get me to pick up that twilight nonsense.

:P

Right on! I'm right there with you. If you haven't already read it, the Queen of the Damned follows those two and I strongly recommend it to you. I started with Queen of the Damned not Interview but I don't feel like I missed anything plot wise. I love this book so much you see my user name is Lestat :wink:

I think Meyer tried to copy the sensuality of Rice's books but did it poorly. Rice incorporates that element very well. What do you think?
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:00 pm Post

Let me start by agreeing with Jaysen: Bram Stoker's Dracula is a great book. It's a testement to the writing that a million and one movies and clones can't dampen it's appeal. You know the story, but it still grips you and drives emotions.

On Rice vs Meyer... Well, first and foremost, Rice's books are horror. Not slasher horror ore gore-fests, to be sure, but they are defintitely about the horrible parts of being a monster with a good slice of 'what it means to be human' thrown in.

Meyer's books (and I've not read them) strike me as first and foremost romance novels. Really they are the oldest slush romance format in the book: woman falls for the muscle bound adonis who can protect her from the boring regular men. It's just she gave the lead male a different source of his strength than working out in the gym (lifting logs, etc). Honestly, it strikes me as part of the same dumbing down of our culture as reality tv; the idea that success is something that finds you not that you work hard for. All these cooking shows where people proclaim they have always wanted to be a chef, but not enough to , you know, go to catering college or actually get a job in a restaurant. They expect to win a head chef position after a few 30 minute tv performances.

The idea that your hero is born into it (I'm looking at you, Harry Potter) or bitten instead of hard work is abhorent to me as a reader. It just another form of Deus Ex Machina.
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:28 pm Post

You're absolutely right about that. I have a strong disdain for a lot of pop culture (which explains why I love metal so much). It's funny you mention this because I recall a recent English class where we discussed why people read. The resounding answer from most was because it was popular. Pop culture seems to have no meaning anymore. Most If It is the same underlying themes with thinly veiled variations that most people can't see through. As an aspiring author I had to disagree with my classmates as to why one would read. There are countless good reasons to read yet I was the only one who could come up with any. But the deplorable state of the US educational system is an entirely different discussion. And hell, I'm in a private school. It just shows that people have lost their sense of self and individuality. The gregarious nature of people today is agonizing to watch and I think Rice addresses that in some of her work while Meyer promotes it.

To your question jaysen I have not read Dracula. I should like to at some point but I am reading two books at the moment.
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:42 pm Post

Only two! ;)

I'm a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to "newfangled things". Not tech, but concepts about art and craft. I might suggest that one who is really just starting out in this world (you did say you were 15 at one point) start with the older stuff. And by older I mean OLDER. Hemingway is new to me as is London (both of which I recommend reading for both a study of "how" the craft can be done very very well as well as for a good read). Look for publishing dates that start with 18 or 17 or even 16 and learn from the books that survived the tests of time what made them worth keep through the centuries. Cervantes, Dumas, Melville, Longfellow. Writing that was done when print was TV, radio and internet combined.

Note that you are not expected, not should you expect, to like any thing you read. But you will begin to see the traits of good literature. Once you start to see the traits then you can look at what you enjoy in a new light.

For the record, I enjoy several modern authors. But without fail they all exhibit the same traits that I see in the "classics", just in a topic or style that I prefer.
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:00 pm Post

Jaysen wrote:I'm a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to "newfangled things".

Nicely done, sir. :twisted:

The only criticism I can bring to bear on a book I haven't read is the idea that an idealized romance can occur between a teenaged girl and a 100+ year old man. Why readers aren't wigged out by this, I don't understand.

If you want something that casts vampires in a new light, check out "Fledgling" by Octavia Butler. She had an interesting take on the apparent age difference between vampire and human. Also, a few other issues of note in today's modern world.
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:17 pm Post

I absolutely hated Hemmingway's A Farewell To Arms. We were made to read it in my English class and it is one of the worst books I've ever read. I even stopped reading for homework! I have also read the Odyssey and can say I disliked that. I will definitely have to read some older authors to study their styles for my own writing. The advice you've offered seems wise and I will have to do much more research on this subject of time tested writing.
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Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:11 pm Post

robertdguthrie wrote:The only criticism I can bring to bear on a book I haven't read is the idea that an idealized romance can occur between a teenaged girl and a 100+ year old man. Why readers aren't wigged out by this, I don't understand.


You have to think outside the calendar. Sure, right now she's only a tenth his age. But consider: in another millennium, she'll be nine-tenths his age.

More seriously, as to viability of a February-December pairing: It may seem unseemly (sorry) for the teenager who hooks up with a centenarian, but it's going to be equally disquieting for the old man. I love my grandchildren dearly, but cannot imagine living full-time with an adolescent.

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