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Cry to Heaven

By: Anne Rice
Narrated by: Tim Curry
Length: 2 hrs and 52 mins
Categories: Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Horror
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

Best-selling author Anne Rice reveals the dark, eerie beauty of the 18th-century Italian society of the castrati: the castrated males - sterile yet sexually functional - who were celebrated and adored for their glorious soprano voices.

Of the hundreds submitted to the knife at an early age - some sold by their parents, some brought by well-meaning maestros to the conservatoria of Naples to serve the music of the Church and State - few will achieve a voice so sublime, so crystalline, so pure that they will gain entrance to the mysterious, haunting world of the castrati. Here, they will know boundless fame and incredible luxury...but also know grueling dedication and sacrifice - and the tremendous pain of being despised as half-men, freaks. And as you are drawn into the castrati's strange and luminous world, Anne Rice also brings you into the sweep of 18th-century Italian life - its extraordinary decadence, opulence, and brutality.

©1982 by Anne O'Brien Rice (P)1991 by Random House, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The best 20th. century novel I've ever read

I'm a musician and very hard to please. I found this book by accident. I've recommended it to everybody I think could reach it. It's wonderful... truly wonderful.
It's the searingly moving and intricately informed story of the no-longer-tolerated 'production'(sic), practice and humanly demanding life of a castrato singer. I say no more.
Other books which have attempted to enter such culturally particular spheres have won big prizes. But I have never come across one which doesn't just skip the hard reality of such a life itself in favour of the bits of stories that inevitably attach to it. (Not that such stories do not also attach to the hero of 'Cry to Heaven'.) This book skips nothing.
It's a genuine masterpiece.
And it's been driving me mad, because all I've been able to find by Anne Rice to date is a load of vampires! I'll have another try now. I can't imagine I'll find anything, but if I do I know it can't be as amazing.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Patricia
  • 27-02-05

Abridged = A-Butchered

I gave this as many as 3 stars becasue Tim Curry is an excellent linguist and perfect reader: I enjoyed listening to him. But, thats where the stars stop. True, it was an interesting and somewhat unique subject but I was left with the definite feeling that much was missing in this version. It is so obvious that it has been butchered and I have not even read the unabridged book. It was like going to a movie and all you got to see was the trailer. This was too abridged for me.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • B Chatman
  • 04-08-15

Abridged means missing 2/3 of original book!

What disappointed you about Cry to Heaven?

This is a beautiful book and one of my favorites by Anne Rice. Unfortunately, the audio version does not live up to this at all. To have over half of the story removed is just awful. I am familiar with books being abridged, but this was excessive. Typically you would lose a few scenes here and there that are not critical to the story and maybe some of flowery descriptions in an overlong book. I would not call this an overlong book yet they cut from this book using an ax instead of a scalpel.

The audiobook fails to bring the main characters to life and glosses over the horrors and struggles over come by them. The vivacious world and scenery detailed by Rice in the book becomes a flat and watered down (barely recognizable) version of the Mediterranean. Strong and greatly influential characters become sides notes or disappear altogether! The scene cuts were so rough that I was left confused on how a new scene had come about and I have read the book three times! The written book details the life and time period of the famous Italian castrati. The audiobook focuses on the romances and sex scenes with no context provided, belittling them in the process. Characters fall in love and into bed with no rhyme or reason.

The book described on Amazon as a "sweeping saga" becomes a trite semi homoerotic fairy tale with no depth. Paint-by-number kits do a better job of paying homage to the original work than this audio book does. The sad thing is that many people will only experience this version and never know that they are missing so much.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Tim Curry?

No, his reading of this book was very stilted and his portrayal of the characters was indistinguishable from one to the next.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I loved the book, I hated the production of the audio book. I feel cheated.

Any additional comments?

Do not offer this book with the digital print copy. It will only leave people confused and upset that they are not getting the same quality product or even the same product at all for that matter.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • DJM
  • 20-11-03

Rich and compelling listen!

I highly recommend this to all Rice fans, and especially to those who are unfamiliar with her work, but curious. Rice puts her considerable descriptive talent to excellent use - she really makes the time period come alive. The story is compelling, and I found the characters to be very accessible, which surprised me. I enjoy the vampire and witchcraft books, but they may seem daunting to many. If you want a sample of Anne Rice's exceptional talent without the substantial commitment that some of her work requires, this is the place to start. Tim Curry gives an outstanding performance. The only reason I didn't give this five stars is that it was too short - I would love to hear the unabridged version.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Aaron Elliott
  • 28-04-18

Cry to Heaven

Any additional comments?

This is the worst audio book I have ever read.

This audio book version is cut down to 4 hours from approx. 20 hours.

The history of the story is at once fascinating and sublime and sorrowful.
BUT...the history of the story takes a back seat to breathy whispers of "secret flesh" and sexual fumblings between adults and pre/post pubescent boys who have the "voice of an angel".

Mrs. Rice was given no favors by this hacked to pieces recording of a book that if given the correct length might be a beautiful book about the romantic and powerful castrati singers of 18th century Italy minus the scenes of bestockinged and eye-rolling parlor porn.

The audio master of this book should be destroyed. Please avoid and check out Rice's "The Witching Hour", which is genius on an epic scale.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Jones
  • 15-04-15

Abridged??

Any additional comments?

Did not even notice the word abridged when purchasing this book, ugh! as i was listening, Tim Curry should read all of Anne Rice's books, i kept thinking "he's skipping bits". what a mistake. you can't believe the "abridged" mistake won't happen again!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 26-01-03

Cry to Heaven

Ecellent. Wish I could get it unabridged

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-11-19

Abridged sucks but still a fascinating story....

Story is still great despite it being abridged and Tim Curry is always absolutely amazing!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Vistillia
  • 08-10-19

Great voice narration of an incomplete work

I have read this book several times over the years, and I was looking forward to listening to it on a long car ride. To my dismay and great disappointment, this narration is missing at least half of the book and story. Entire characters are gone, several subplots and side stories are gone and never read or referenced. This is a sad, pale imitation of a rich and delightful story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • PMcKibben
  • 01-05-19

Tim's voice

Good story however, Tim Curry's voice is velvety smoothness that ever so gently caresses your ear.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michelle Wagner
  • 15-02-19

Tim Curry is AMAZING

This has long been one of my favorite books. hearing it read by the wonderful voice of Tim Curry was better than sex. I am confident that I will be listening to this particular audio many times in the future.