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Cry to Heaven Anne Rice brings to life the exquisite and otherworldly society of the eighteenth century castrati, the delicate and alluring male sopranos whose graceful bodies and glorious voices brought them the adulation of the royal courts and grand opera houses of Europe, men who lived as idols, concealing their pain as they were adored as angels, yet shunned as half menAs we are drawn into their dark and luminous story, as the crowds of Venetians, Neopolitans, and Romans, noblemen and peasants, musicians, prelates, princes, saints, and intriguers swirl around them, Anne Rice brings us into the sweep of eighteenth century Italian life, into the decadence beneath the shimmering surface of Venice, the wild frivolity of Naples, and the magnetic terror of its shadow, Vesuvius I found Cry to Heaven to be as rich, baroque and sensual as the previous works, I ve read, by Anne Rice The Mayfair witch series A young boy was brutally castrated because of a struggle for power in a Venetian household of the 18th century After a life time of study and vocal training, he eventually becomes a star of the opera in Rome The public is entranced by his remarkable voice and stunning good looks He can play both male and female roles with authenticity, and is larger than life o I found Cry to Heaven to be as rich, baroque and sensual as the previous works, I ve read, by Anne Rice The Mayfair witch series A young boy was brutally castrated because of a struggle for power in a Venetian household of the 18th century After a life time of study and vocal training, he eventually becomes a star of the opera in Rome The public is entranced by his remarkable voice and stunning good looks He can play both male and female roles with authenticity, and is larger than life on stage.The young man, Tonio, has amorous liaisons with both men and women, who find him irresistable However, he cannot accept his physical impairment and refers to his elongated physique, that of the eunuch, as the body of a monster His character is marked by sadness and a deep longing.The end of the story is powerful and dramatic Tonio does deal with the past and those who sought to destroy him.A further note, I rated this book a 4 star because of its excessive length 566 pp This book was the first time I really understood what a brave writer Anne Rice is I had read many of her books and appreciated her style, but this book took me to a dark place that I dreaded going and figured she couldn t possibly gobut she went there, just as she promised When I met her, this is the book I had her sign even though she was touring in support of a different book. Cry to Heaven was the second Anne Rice novel I ever read The subject matter is intense sometimes graphic from PAGE ONE yet too fascinating to put down What I did NOT now until way after the fact, is Anne s work in this well written book is historically correct and highly researched Among other things, Cry to Heaven is a story of life long revenge It s steeped in rich historicity of 18th Century Opera, the Church, the history of the Castrati and some other sexuality explicit, yet appa Cry to Heaven was the second Anne Rice novel I ever read The subject matter is intense sometimes graphic from PAGE ONE yet too fascinating to put down What I did NOT now until way after the fact, is Anne s work in this well written book is historically correct and highly researched Among other things, Cry to Heaven is a story of life long revenge It s steeped in rich historicity of 18th Century Opera, the Church, the history of the Castrati and some other sexuality explicit, yet apparently accurate, goings on of the Church at that time Italian Opera had conquered the world But it was the Soprano singer the world worshiped Bam I NEVER in a million years would ve guessed such abominable practices went on at that time alas, it s heartbreakingly true Young boys were forcibly castrated to prevent the pre puberty change in voice and keep their voices soprano alto high so they could sing in the choirand the Operas of the day supported this venue.It s a story about great contrasts in life Love vs Revenge, internal struggles with Right Wrong, sexual awakening the desire to be loved and find peace in your skin where you stand, confusion vs ambitionthere are so many threads in this book that for me, while deeply interesting, the read at times seemed too long Now that I ve had several years a few casual re reads of the book, I think there can be a modern day correlation The desire for fame becoming an music Idol revered by the masses comes at a HIGH price many are not willing to pay It s a bitter sweet story The Church states it never officially sanctioned the Castrati However, it happened I never would have chosen this book on my own had it not been recommended by a dear friend Once I got into itit was like a train wreck in a good way I couldn t put it down Again, Anne Rice amazes me with her rich descriptions ofanything Anne Rice verbally paints vivid, realistic feeling prose so that you imagine you re there I could have done without some of the sexual content, but seriously, HOW can you relate to a cast of characters who are struggling with what they have become and HOW they find intimacy without going there It s was their life in the story apparently in real life history, too Describing sexuality in the face of castration, the Church, the Opera, Aristocracy, fame fortune, AND tremendous heartacheseems the natural way to go to help you bond with and or root for a character It defines the people and further defines their times A Bio of almost any modern day rock star an be fartawdry Since my first read of Cry to Heaven, I ve seen some good some horrible reviews IF you are closed minded, prude, homophobic, or hate history the Arts, this is not the historical tale for you Conversely, if you re new to Anne Rice, enjoy music history, descriptive details about life in the 1700s, are compassionate, and have the time to dedicate to a long, concentrated read I d say it s a Good Read Note A review is not an endorsement of any sort of lifestyle choice, religious affirmation, not a discrimination or exaltation of one view over another It s simply an opinion and they all vary from person to person I enjoyed recalling the memories of a book I read at a very good time in my life, recommended by a dear friend Just talking about it was cathartic.My description is intentionally vague I ve noticed that some reviews are quite the spoiler, almost like Cliff Notes I see no need to re write a book someone else has not even read yet My husband is a big fan of Anne Rice s early works, but he won t read this one, for obvious reasons just read the first sentence of the book and you ll understand I thought the whole book was wonderful I love stories of transformations, and the main character changes so much from the beginning to the end that he becomes a completely different person Heck, it s almost as if he becomes a different species Anne Rice spends a lot of time describing the gorgeous exotic world of the Venetian cas My husband is a big fan of Anne Rice s early works, but he won t read this one, for obvious reasons just read the first sentence of the book and you ll understand I thought the whole book was wonderful I love stories of transformations, and the main character changes so much from the beginning to the end that he becomes a completely different person Heck, it s almost as if he becomes a different species Anne Rice spends a lot of time describing the gorgeous exotic world of the Venetian castrati in loving detail, and also manages to make the specifics of voice training downright fascinating Be warned LOT S of sex in this one mostly with guys, but that s kind of a given with Anne Rice s books , and also one scene of violence that s not for the faint of heart Given the subject matter, it won t give anything away to say it s every man s worst nightmare

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