Picks and Pans Review: The Feast of All Saints

updated 02/04/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/04/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Anne Rice

Interview with the Vampire, Rice's first novel, was notable because of the fetid air of slow, blood-draining death that seemed to permeate every page. It was that rare kind of book that returns to haunt. Unfortunately her second, while bigger, is not better. It suffers from gothic grandness. The scene is New Orleans in the 1840s, and the characters are either fantastically beautiful or handsome, tainted, as they see it, by miscegenation; as the reader sees it, by clichés. These are people who live in the potboiler South, a country scorched by the women who cook up those big, silly paperback romances. Rice doesn't write well enough to put sufficient distance between her novel and that successful, heavy-breathing trash. (Simon & Schuster, $14.95)

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