Ramses is not so damned after all, December 30, 2005
Reviewer: Lisa M. Headrick "Eve wuz framed" (Ye Ole Smoky Mountains, USA)
Would you like to live forever? I'm not talking eternal life as the undead, Lestat style. I'm speaking of immortality: never to die. If so, you'll probably think that Ramses, the mummy, isn't so damned after all! You see, Anne Rice's new spellbinding hero has drank the elixir of life 3,000 years ago, only to wall himself up in a book-lined tomb 1,000 years later when his beloved Cleopatra commits suicide. Wealthy archaeologist Lawrence Stratford discovers the tomb and meets his death inside of it. That leaves Stratford's daughter, Julie, as the custodian of the mummy... who of course scrambles to life in the sunlight.
Ramses--often accompanied by Julie--has a dandy time in 1914 England, although hopelessly prone to gluttony and debauchery. Then on a trip to Egypt Ramses steals the mummified form of his darling Cleopatra from a museum and brings her back to life utilizing the elixir. The handsome 3,000 year old stud then finds himself in a bizarre love triangle, playing for keeps. But ole Cleopatra ain't what she used to be; now the insatiable murdering seductress is unstoppable!
This book is less of a horror novel and more of a Victorian era romance. It's escapist fantasy: a contemporary twist on your parents' mummy tale with some alchemy mixed in. I recommend it for anyone who has ever dreamed of living--and loving--forever.
Good Anne Rice!! Not as good as the Vampire Lestat, but Good none the less.
Ramses the Great lives.... Reawakened in opulent Edwardian London he becomes Dr Ramsey, expert in Egyptology and member of a group of jaded aristocrats with strange appetites to appease. But searing memories of his last reawakening, at the behest of Cleopatra, burn in his immortal soul. For he has drunk the elixir of life and is now Ramses the Damned, doomed forever to wander the earth, his most intense longing of all, a great love undiminished by centries, will force him to commit am act of unspeakable horror...
This is the first Anne Rice book I ever read and it hooked me. I have read every other book she has written with the exception of her newest offering "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt" and Ramses will always be my favorite.
An eerie & gripping novel of Ramses the Damned resurrected in Edwardian London in the body of an Egyptologist. As he mixes in the opulent lifestyle of the wealthy business & royal classes, he is ceaselessly seeking his beloved, his Cleopatra.
Quite possibly my favorite Anne Rice of all time, this stand-alone book tells the tale of the great Ramses of Egypt. Entombed but not dead, he returns to life in 'modern' times. The story follows his triumphs and follies, a very entertaining and all-too-believable story.
Ramses tomb is opened by archaeologists and his mummy is shipped to England for museum display. Before the mummy reaches the museum, it is stored in the estate of a lovely English heiress. When Ramses awakes in England in modern times, he is bewildered but is helped by the lovely heiress who is swept off her feet by the great Egyptian's aura of power and wealth. They return to Egypt and he uses the same magic which awakened him to try and awaken his queen (whose mummy has lain in a glass museum case for years). She, however, is not completely reanimated and becomes a vicious murderer. I've never been a big Anne Rice fan but this was better than the Vampire series in my opinion.
"The reader is held captive, and, ultimately, seduced."
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Ramses the Great has awakened in Edwardian London. Having drunk the elixir of life, he is now Ramses the Damned, doomed forever to wander the earth, desperate to quell hungers that can never be satisfied. Although he pursues voluptuous aristocrat Julie Stratford, the woman for whom he desperately longs is Cleopatra. And his intense longing for her, undiminished over the centuries, will force him to commit an act that will place everyone around him in the gravest danger....
Interesting story and kept my attention enough, but not one of Anne Rice's best. Still a good read and quite enjoyable.
From the back of the book:
In her bestselling "Vampire Chronicles", Anne Rice created a world of haunting sensuality and seductive power-- "Interview with the Vampire", "The Vampire Lestat" and "The Queen of the Damned" are novels unsurpassed for the hypnotic, erotic quality. Now Rice takes the theme she has always explored to such chilling effect--the interplay of the undead with their mortal brethren--and has fashioned it into an electrifying entertainmen.
Ramses the Great Lives....
but having drunk the elixir of life he is now Ramses the Damned, doomed forever to wander the earth, desperate to quell hungers that can never be satisfied--for food, for wine, for women.
Reawakened in opulent Edwardian London, he becomes Dr. Ramsey, expert in Egyptology. He is also the close companion of voluptuous, adventurous Julie Stratford, heiress to a vast shipping fortune and the center of a group of jaded aristocrats with appetites of their own to appease.
But with the pleasures Ramses enjoys with Julie cannot soothe him. Searing memories of his last reawakening, at the behest of Cleopatra, his beloved Queen of Egypt, burn in his immortal soul. And though he is immortal, he is still all too human. His intense longing for his great love, undiminished over the centuries, will force him to commit an act that will place everyone around him in the gravest danger...
Julie Stratfords father is a retired shipping mogul who now spends his time as an archaeologist in Egypt. He uncovers a tomb that claims to be that of Ramses the Damned, even though his tomb was already found. Everything in the tomb is written in hieroglyphs, Latin, and Greek, and the mummy is accompanied by scrolls claiming that Ramses is immortal, was a lover of Cleopatra, and can and will rise again.
Anne Rice's beautiful, lyrical writing is again present here. Unfortunately, it is destroyed by a mainstream romantic plot that completely undermines the willpower and respectability of the heroine. Additionally, there is stark Eurocentrism present in the story. The clearest example is the fact that the elixir of life turns brown eyes blue. So there are no immortals with brown eyes. I am so disappointed, Anne Rice. Whereas the Vampire Chronicles are a lovely mix of social commentary, lyrical writing, and all the best tropes of genre fiction, The Mummy is a beautifully written book that is destroyed by a kind of offensive, all-too-common plot and Eurocentrism. Even beautiful writing cant overcome that.