The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Anne Rice, 1983


My favorite quote: “That is your life now, and you are to think of nothing else, and regret nothing else. I want that dignity peeled away from you as if it were so many skins of the onion. I don’t mean that you should ever be graceless. I mean that you should surrender to me.” 

Most interesting characters: The horny prince, who falls in love with Sleeping Beauty; Sleeping Beauty, the horny princess who loves him right back — over and over and over. P.S. — When I say “love,” I’m not talking about typical fairytale affections. These guys like it rough. And by rough, I mean rough beyond your most outrageous imaginings. Unless, of course, you imagine the same kinds of things Anne Rice did. In that case, it might not be so shocking

Opening scene: The prince, still grieving the death of his father, goes to the castle to check out Sleeping Beauty. He wants to find out for sure if the legend is true. She’s there, all right, but unlike that willowy, blandly pretty old Princess Aurora in the Disney version, this one’s all hot and voluptuous and stuff. We know this because she’s naked, of course. Also, she’s surrounded by the dozing bodies of other princes, all trapped in thorns and vines, who’d come to see her and not quite succeeded. Oh, and instead of kissing her awake, the prince — well, let’s just say he gives her something a little more intimate than a peck on the cheek to break the spell. You heard me 

The gist: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty is Anne Rice’s very x-rated spin on a beloved childhood fairytale. And I’m not being hyperbolic when I say x-rated. This is not erotica. Erotica is using a chicken feather. In The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Anne Rice brings the whole chicken — as well as the bald eagle, the pheasants and peacocks, a couple of ostriches, the gorilla, and more ass-paddles than you can flail your cat o’nine tails at  

Greatest strengths: The prose, as it is in all of Anne Rice’s work, is absolutely gorgeous in The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty — and against a backdrop that’s so graphic and smutty, it only shines all the more

Standout achievements: Let’s be honest: The whole thing is pretty remarkable. I mean, who but Anne Rice can take the story of Sleepy Beauty and so beautifully pervert it? I’ve never come across such a beautiful mind this deep in the gutter and I’m not gonna lie: I love it 

Fun Facts: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty is the first and (staggeringly) the tamest in a four-book series written by Anne Rice under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure

Other media: Umm, there’s really no way they could make this into a movie. I mean, I’d watch it, but in general, I don’t think it would go over well in the mainstream (it would be hilarious if Netflix picked it up, though)

Additional thoughts: As someone who considers himself a perv of the highest (lowest?) order, I have to say, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty seriously rattled my cage. There are scenes in this book depicting acts that have never even occurred to me, and when I had the honor of meeting Anne Rice a couple of years ago, all I could think was: That came from HER? I was trying really, really hard to focus on the subjects at hand, but my mind kept going back to … well, things they won’t let me repeat lest I be banned from the interwebs forever

Hit or Miss: Hit — as long as you know what you’re getting into

Haunt me:

Read The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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