In the past, when I was very ill with parasitic food poisoning, Greg read to me during my weeks of recovery (The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King). With the onset of Greg’s vision difficulties, we have adapted our “reading time” again such that now I read to him. One benefit is that we spend time together without having to wait until one of us is finished with the story before the other can read it. The down side of that is when we run into a book that is… well, not terribly good. In those cases, we suffer together. (No, we do not put down the book without finishing it - once started, we see it through to the end.) Unfortunately, the tale we have just finished, Anne Rice's The Wolf Gift, turned out to be one of the suffering kind.
What had been anticipated joy for a new opportunity to lose ourselves in the eloquent settings and gripping story lines of Ms. Rice's imagination turned quickly into bathos and grueling disappointment as we struggled through chapter upon chapter of repetitive, unimaginative language and shallow characterization and plot. I don’t mean to be harsh… Anne Rice has proven in the past to have the inexplicable talent to transport her readers to a different place and time. Her rich descriptive narrative and ability to introduce multifaceted characters of great depth and wisdom endeared her to her fans (Greg and myself included) through stand-alone stories like The Feast of All Saints or Cry to Heaven and her captivating series such as the now famous Vampire Chronicles and The Mayfair Witches. The premise of The Wolf Gift held promise but, unfortunately, didn’t deliver. What could have been a brand new series full of innovative plot twists, remarkable places and fascinating people fell horribly and inexcusably flat. Needless to say, I don't recommend the book. :)