Title: Memnoch the Devil
Author: Anne Rice
Publication Date: 1995 (audiobook: 2000)
Memnoch the Devil is much different from the earlier Vampire Chronicles, especially the first three. Its events take place entirely in the present. In this one, Lestat starts by telling us about this man he's hunting. He's taken to choosing a victim and then stalking him for months before killing him. This time he's picked a high up drug dealer who collects religious artwork. He's also become rather attached to the victim's daughter, a tv evangelist. The second half of the book covers a more-or-less unrelated story, as Memnoch, the devil, takes Lestat on a tour of heaven, Earth, and hell, while trying to convince Lestat to be his lieutenant.
This book basically gets rid of all the aspects of the Vampire Chronicles that I like, and emphasises all the ones I don't like. In other words, all the interesting characters (other than Lestat himself) have only minor roles, and there's an unbearable amount of philosophising. A good chunk of the book is just telling the history of how Memnoch went from being one of God's angels to being his adversary (though he still works for him, so it's kind of complicated). Essentially, this book is boring, because it has none of the spark of the earlier books. I want Louis's whining, and Marius's wisdom, and heck, even Armand's... whatever it is that Armand has! And I want Lestat to be the brat prince! I don't want to read about Lestat going on a grand tour and occasionally weeping.
As for the audiobook, after the previous ones read by the incomparable Frank Muller, this one was rather painful. It was read by a man with a dull voice, who couldn't do a proper English accent, and who made all the voices sound more-or-less the same. So if you are going to read this one, I recommend reading it with your eyes.
This book counts for the 2012 Anne Rice Challenge.