The Wolves of Midwinter : The Wolf Gift

  • by Anne Rice
  • Narrated by Ron McLarty
  • Series: The Wolf Gift
  • 15 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In Anne Rice's surprising and compelling best-selling novel, the first of her strange and mythic imagining of the world of wolfen powers, readers and listeners were spellbound as Rice conjured up a daring new world set against the wild and beckoning California coast.
Now in her new novel, as lush and romantic in detail and atmosphere as it is sleek and steely in storytelling, Anne Rice takes us once again to the rugged coastline of Northern California, to the grand mansion at Nideck Point, and further explores the unearthly education of her transformed Man Wolf.
The novel opens on a cold, gray landscape. It is the beginning of December. Oak fires are burning in the stately flickering hearths of Nideck Point. It is Yuletide. For Reuben Golding, now infused with the Wolf Gift and under the loving tutelage of the Morphenkinder, this promises to be a Christmas like no other...
The Yuletide season, sacred to much of the human race, has been equally sacred to the Man Wolves, and Reuben soon becomes aware that they, too, steeped in their own profound rituals, will celebrate the ancient Midwinter festival deep within the verdant richness of Nideck forest.
From out of the shadows of Nideck comes a ghost - tormented, imploring, unable to speak yet able to embrace and desire with desperate affection …. As Reuben finds himself caught up with - and drawn to - the passions and yearnings of this spectral presence.
Includes the Original Song "Exiles (The Wolves of Midwinter)", Performed by Mary Fahl. "I devoured these pages . . . As solid and engaging as anything she has written since her early Vampire Chronicles fiction." (Alan Cheuse, The Boston Globe)
"A delectable cocktail of old-fashioned lost-race adventure, shape-shifting, and suspense." (Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...MAN WOLF!

Rueben, the Renaissance man, reluctant werewolf, continues his paradoxical struggle with his transformation into the world of the Morphenkinder, aka Man Wolves, now surrounded by the gentlemanly old-school wolf pack. He's moved into the bequeathed Nideck mansion, is doing well with his Man Wolf lessons, has a new loup-garou love interest for his animalistic amatory side, but is haunted by the painful memory AND the spectral manifestations of his one-night stand love, the beautiful now ghostly, benefactor Marchent. Marchent is "Earth-bound" and hanging with the Forest Gentry until she works out the glitches in her ascension to the other side.

Did I mention it is the Yuletide season?!! Oh, it is -- for about 14 hours of the 16. The Man Wolves renovate the mansion and surrounding *village,* plan a Midwinter celebration feast for the local population, and string miles of colored lights. (This is the true horror of this book... stuck at Westworld-like Medieval Times and being schooled on all the minutiae of the period: roasted wild boar, mead and mincemeat, antique rag dolls, Battenburg lace, wooden puppets, and mummers...with an infinite loop of Greensleeves playing. Where's a hungry Man Wolf when you need him?) If it takes $1.5 million to maintain Downton Abbey, the Man Wolfs make the Grantham/Crawleys look like paupers; they are gazillionaires with an over-the-top penchant for decoration -- when they aren't taking care of magnanimous depradation or ritualistically frolicking naked among the ancient redwoods.

I 'd like to sit down with the spiritually diverse Ms. Rice...say maybe over a pina colada at Trader Vic's, or a big dish of beef chow mein from Lee Ho Fook's...discuss philosophy, Germanic neopaganism, her conversion from atheism. I'd sit with her for days until she got it all out of her system; I'd do it in memory of Lestat and Louis, and for all the reader/fans that yearn for the Anne Rice from the Vampire Chronicles. With that out of the way, I'd love to talk to her about what she does best -- writing gothic-fantasy-horror, creating epic characters and their complete cosmology based on universal myths and lore, how she layers her books with her knowledge of history and a keen eye for architectural and atmospheric details. Once she understood that I meant her no disrespect, I would start a conversation about the importance of an author distancing her personal obsessions from her work, and the need for professional editing to avoid a bloated theological treatise, over reliant on superfluous imagery that suffocates the plot.

There actually is a good story here, and it does set up some interesting possibilities for the concluding book, but you have to suffer for it. If you barely made it through Wolf Gift, you probably won't make this installment -- unless you are obsessed with Medieval set decorating. If determined but reluctant--skip through the decking the halls. They say horror done poorly becomes comedy...this is borderline, at times causing me mental images of a super-hero Man Wolf, sniffing out evil, and devouring the evil-doers down to "the last knuckle" before dragging himself to confession. I crawled to the finish line with hope that the final book makes the often uneasy reading task, so far, worth it.
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- Mel "Say something about yourself!"

Not Anne Rice's Best

Would you try another book from Anne Rice and/or Ron McLarty?

I have read and loved practically every book that Anne Rice has written, but unfortunately found The Wolves of Midwinter, unlike The Wolf Gift, slow and even cumbersome reading most of the time. The story read like a "Werewolves' Christmas Tale".

What could Anne Rice have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I could and would never try to give Anne Rice advice on making her books more enjoyable--she and Stephen King are my two favorite authors--but seldom can any author, particularly one with such a large body of work, satisfy each reader thoroughly with every book. This one just happens to be one of those times.

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- James

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-15-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio