• Cry to Heaven

  • By: Anne Rice
  • Narrated by: Tim Curry
  • Length: 3 hrs
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 10-17-00
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (156 ratings)

Regular price: $14.60

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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Anne Rice reveals the dark, eerie beauty of the 18th-century Italian society of the castrati: the castrated males - sterile yet sexually functional - who were celebrated and adored for their glorious soprano voices. Of the hundreds submitted to the knife at an early age - some sold by their parents, some brought by well-meaning maestros to the conservatoria of Naples to serve the music of the Church and State - few will achieve a voice so sublime, so crystalline, so pure that they will gain entrance to the mysterious, haunting world of the castrati. Here, they will know boundless fame and incredible luxury...but also know grueling dedication and sacrifice - and the tremendous pain of being despised as half-men, freaks. And as you are drawn into the castrati's strange and luminous world, Anne Rice also brings you into the sweep of 18th-century Italian life - its extraordinary decadence, opulence, and brutality.
©1982 by Anne O'Brien Rice (P)1991 by Random House, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Patricia on 02-27-05

Abridged = A-Butchered

I gave this as many as 3 stars becasue Tim Curry is an excellent linguist and perfect reader: I enjoyed listening to him. But, thats where the stars stop. True, it was an interesting and somewhat unique subject but I was left with the definite feeling that much was missing in this version. It is so obvious that it has been butchered and I have not even read the unabridged book. It was like going to a movie and all you got to see was the trailer. This was too abridged for me.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Kindle Customer on 08-04-15

Abridged means missing 2/3 of original book!

What disappointed you about Cry to Heaven?

This is a beautiful book and one of my favorites by Anne Rice. Unfortunately, the audio version does not live up to this at all. To have over half of the story removed is just awful. I am familiar with books being abridged, but this was excessive. Typically you would lose a few scenes here and there that are not critical to the story and maybe some of flowery descriptions in an overlong book. I would not call this an overlong book yet they cut from this book using an ax instead of a scalpel.

The audiobook fails to bring the main characters to life and glosses over the horrors and struggles over come by them. The vivacious world and scenery detailed by Rice in the book becomes a flat and watered down (barely recognizable) version of the Mediterranean. Strong and greatly influential characters become sides notes or disappear altogether! The scene cuts were so rough that I was left confused on how a new scene had come about and I have read the book three times! The written book details the life and time period of the famous Italian castrati. The audiobook focuses on the romances and sex scenes with no context provided, belittling them in the process. Characters fall in love and into bed with no rhyme or reason.

The book described on Amazon as a "sweeping saga" becomes a trite semi homoerotic fairy tale with no depth. Paint-by-number kits do a better job of paying homage to the original work than this audio book does. The sad thing is that many people will only experience this version and never know that they are missing so much.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Tim Curry?

No, his reading of this book was very stilted and his portrayal of the characters was indistinguishable from one to the next.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I loved the book, I hated the production of the audio book. I feel cheated.

Any additional comments?

Do not offer this book with the digital print copy. It will only leave people confused and upset that they are not getting the same quality product or even the same product at all for that matter.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jill Phillips on 03-25-11

The best 20th. century novel I've ever read

I'm a musician and very hard to please. I found this book by accident. I've recommended it to everybody I think could reach it. It's wonderful... truly wonderful.
It's the searingly moving and intricately informed story of the no-longer-tolerated 'production'(sic), practice and humanly demanding life of a castrato singer. I say no more.
Other books which have attempted to enter such culturally particular spheres have won big prizes. But I have never come across one which doesn't just skip the hard reality of such a life itself in favour of the bits of stories that inevitably attach to it. (Not that such stories do not also attach to the hero of 'Cry to Heaven'.) This book skips nothing.
It's a genuine masterpiece.
And it's been driving me mad, because all I've been able to find by Anne Rice to date is a load of vampires! I'll have another try now. I can't imagine I'll find anything, but if I do I know it can't be as amazing.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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