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Out of the House of Life
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About the Author

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's interests range from music--she composes and has studied seven different instruments as well as voice--to history, from horseback riding to needlepoint. Her writing is similarly wide-ranging; under her own name and pseudonyms, she has written everything from westerns to mysteries, from science fiction to nonfiction history. Yarbro's critically-acclaimed historical horror novels featuring the Count Saint-Germain, including Hotel Transylvania, A Feast in Exile, Communion Blood, and Night Blooming, have a loyal readership. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has always lived in California and currently makes her home in the Berkeley area.

Reviews

Learned, lustrous-haired Madelaine de Montalia, dead over a century but reborn to the vampire life, joins an expedition of French antiquarians to excavate Egyptian ruins at Thebes, 1825-1828, in this ponderous novel, the seventh featuring the Count of Saint-Germain, the immortal vampire ( Hotel Transylvania ). From offstage, the Count sends letters to his adored Madelaine, recalling his thousand-year stint in ancient Egypt when he labored first as a captive demon (chained in Judea and given to Queen Hatshepsut) in the House of Life--a hospital/mortuary--then as slave, servant, physician and, finally, as ``Sanh Zhrman,'' high priest of Imhotep. Madelaine imbibes the fluids of men she visits in dreams as well as (discreetly and in the flesh) those of her lover, the blue-eyed German Dr. Falke. Meanwhile she is besieged by lecherous misogynists and by the bribery of local officials, the theft and sale of choice treasures, the blatant plagiarisms that are all part of the game of archeology. Unfortunately, these promising story materials founder in a plotless narrative, talkily expressed in pseudo-Victorian style. (Dec.)

"Le Comte de Saint-Germain is many things: healer, scholar, lover--and vampire. Out of the House of Life is a revealing, all-new look into the Count's exotic and mysterious past. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has created the most memorable and original vampire since Bram Stoker's Dracula." --The Bookwatch "Fans of this prolific writer of historic horror novels will delight in [Out of the House of Life]. Yarbro's knowledge of history and fastidious attention to detail combine to form a fascinating backdrop for these supernatural intrigues....Whether you follow horror or if it's historical fiction you love, Yarbro's work will come as a welcome discovery." --R*A*V*E Reviews "Out of the House of Life may be the finest vampire tale since 1983. That's when it's author, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, last brought out one of her eloquent romances of the long-lived Comte de Saint-Germain." --The Washington Post Book World Le Comte de Saint-Germain is many things: healer, scholar, lover--and vampire. "Out of the House of Life" is a revealing, all-new look into the Count's exotic and mysterious past. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has created the most memorable and original vampire since Bram Stoker's "Dracula." "The Bookwatch" Fans of this prolific writer of historic horror novels will delight in ["Out of the House of Life"]. Yarbro's knowledge of history and fastidious attention to detail combine to form a fascinating backdrop for these supernatural intrigues....Whether you follow horror or if it's historical fiction you love, Yarbro's work will come as a welcome discovery. "R*A*V*E Reviews" "Out of the House of Life" may be the finest vampire tale since 1983. That's when it's author, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, last brought out one of her eloquent romances of the long-lived Comte de Saint-Germain. "The Washington Post Book World"" "Le Comte de Saint-Germain is many things: healer, scholar, lover--and vampire. "Out of the House of Life" is a revealing, all-new look into the Count's exotic and mysterious past. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has created the most memorable and original vampire since Bram Stoker's "Dracula."" --"The Bookwatch" "Fans of this prolific writer of historic horror novels will delight in ["Out of the House of Life"]. Yarbro's knowledge of history and fastidious attention to detail combine to form a fascinating backdrop for these supernatural intrigues....Whether you follow horror or if it's historical fiction you love, Yarbro's work will come as a welcome discovery." --"R*A*V*E Reviews" ""Out of the House of Life" may be the finest vampire tale since 1983. That's when it's author, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, last brought out one of her eloquent romances of the long-lived Comte de Saint-Germain." --"The Washington Post Book World"

Yarbro is best known for a series of historical novels about the Comte de Saint-Germain ( Blood Games, LJ 2/1/80; Hotel Transylvania, LJ 1/15/78), a scholarly, humane, and centuries-old vampire. Here she alternates the story of his early life in Pharaonic Egypt with that of Madelaine, a 19th-century French beauty, herself a vampire, and lover of the count. Madelaine joins an archaeological expedition in the hope of discovering the ancient site of the House of Life where Saint-Germain toiled for 800 years. Usually Yarbro easily evokes a sense of time and place. Unfortunately in this novel, the rich history of Egypt never comes to life. Worse, the Muslim characters who populate the modern period are little more than caricatures. A disappointing book from a writer who has done so much better.-- Patricia Altner, U.S. Dept. of Defense Lib., Washington, D.C.

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