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on March 5, 2000
This book was terrific! I was drawn in word by word. I found myself yelling at Lestat not to make a terrible mistake, and then mourned for him when Louis didn't help him. I cheered when he cornered James and I gasped when he turned agaisnt David's wishes. This book definetly strikes up my emotions as do all of Anne's books in her wonderful Vampire Chronicles. This is a great read and I highly recommend it!
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on March 8, 2011
What a brilliant and entertaining book! The Vampire Lestat is faced with the opportunity to become mortal again by trading bodies with a Thief. Will he ever get it back?
After several tales set predominantly in the past, this new volume of the vampire chronicles is completely of the moment. Such a fascinating plot! What if a vampire could become human again? Would he want to remain so? What is it like for someone who has been free of all mortal necessities for such a long period of time to suddenly have to deal with bowel movements and shaving? And to have this happen to Lestat! Truly one of the best fictional characters I've ever encountered.
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on May 18, 2001
I have always been a big Ann Rice fan and have read most of her books. The tale of the body thief was an interesting tale where Lestat has the opportunity to become human by switching bodies with a human by astral projection. It sounds like the beginning of a fantastic journey, but unfortunately, I was disappointed. It just seemed like there was something missing in the story. There was lots of potential, but most of it was left untapped. I consider this the weakest of all the Vampire Chronicles series.
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on February 10, 2003
Instead of filling the fourth installment in the Vampire Chronicles with various histories on ancient vampires and myths, this story takes place present-day. There's real action involved, no discussions of heroic or tragic battles. Lestat puts it best when he muses, "...I've been a man of action. Grief is a waste, and so is fear. And action is what you will get here, as soon as I get through this introduction." (2) This is entirely Lestat's story. The book is filled with his devilish plots and ideas, and there is little involvement from other vampires. He has always been a creature of impulse, and this story allows his character to really develop those ideas.
The setting is Miami, and Lestat has been troubled lately by disturbing dreams of Claudia and his mortal friend, David Talbot. Lestat is the same ancient, mischievous youth that he's always been; only now he has a body that can withstand any kind of torture he may put it through. So he becomes bored with his immortal life. He looks for a release. And he is soon in touch with the Body Thief, who has an interesting proposition.
Rice's story did not get weighed-down in lengthy passages discussing the history of the vampires, as some of the previous novels in the series had. I was completely captivated until the end, and I found the ending was remarkable, very true to the character of Lestat. This book was full of surprises, drama, and mystery. It answered so many questions about her characters, but asked so many about our own. I also really enjoyed some of Lestat's observations on every-day human life. When he finally gets what he thinks he wants (a day in the life of a mortal body), he finds it repulsive. The only reason Interview is better than this book is Interview is told by Louis. What can I say, Rice has convinced me to hate Lestat (but that's a good thing)!
If you're an avid reader of the Vampire Chronicles, I'm assuming you'll read this book without a prompt. If you've dabbled in the series, don't skip over this book! And if you're new to Anne Rice's world of the vampires, you can start here because you won't get bogged down with history. (But for your sake, eventually read Interview with a Vampire because you'll be doing yourself a disservice if you miss out!)
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on November 3, 1998
The gratification you get from reading a phanominally outstanding book comes to you again thanks to The Tale of the Body Thief, Anne Rice's fourth installment of the Vampire Chronicles. Anne Rice's words dance in your head as she vividly describes image after image in this fantastic book. Your appetite will be satisfied as she calms your cravings for action and intrigue. The whole cast of vampires are here along with a few fresh faces. The spotlight is once again on Lestat as he is faced with an overwhelming delima. The book begins a little drull, with the suicide attempt by Lestat, but but soon picks up the pace. It is a bit boring to be reintroduced to the same characters, but if this is your first Anne Rice book, you will be gratefull for this. Two- fourths through the story it begins to lag a bit due to Lestat seeming to be clueless. Then Anne Rice turns up the action when the body thief is introduced. Hang on, you are about to take a roller-coaster ride through the depths of excitement! The fun begins when Lestat... becomes human?! Yes, it is true! Now Lestat's only problem is trying to get back his vampiric body. There are some outstanding cliffhangers near the end of this story. Some will give you chills and some will leave you puzzled. I would love to go into further detail, but I do not want to spoil anything for those of you who have not read this book yet. Besides, I want you to experience this book for yourself. Just reading Anne Rice's name on the cover of this book should give you goosebumps from excitement. While there are some that disagree with reading this book, they are happier to watch T.V. rather than be open to an author's magnificent talents. As you can see, I am very pleased with this book and I highly recommend it. Look no further for what you crave.
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on August 10, 2007
Even if you haven't read the previous three novels, you can read and enjoy this one to the fullest! Anne Rice continues her and our journey into the world of the vampire with another addition to The Vampire Chronicles! This time, its all on Lestat and his mortal friend David Talbot, pretty much all by themselves!

Lestat longs to be human and mortal again, so when a body thief named Raglan James approaches him with the offer to switch bodies, he gladly accepts! Despite repeated warnings from Talbot, his dear immortal companion Louie, and even Mr. James himself, Lestat cannot refuse. Once the switch is made is when the real fun begins!

Lestat quickly realizes that being mortal is something he has forgotten and what follows is elements of humor, despair, and even bits of romance. It was this reletively quick and small love story that surprised me with this reading. Anne Rice is one to point out that the way Vampires love is dramatically different than humans, and that is why having Lestat re-discover true "human" love was quite a new twist and something I'm glad Rice did.

Above all, I feel that Rice had a deeper message within this novel on top of the story of Lestat. Be thankful and be happy with the life you have now, because you never know when it could be gone. Lestat was taken out of his mortal world by force the first time, and it is with this tale, he learns that he has grown to accept and even love the new life he has as a member of the "Dark Children."

Wonderfully crafted novel, and a true step up from the previous "Queen of the Damned." I highly recommend it for all fans of reading.
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on February 15, 2016
Ok, the first half of the book is at least readable, but as soon as you get past Lestat actually getting conned by the "body thief" it actually became impossible to keep reading. As other reviewers put it, the simple premise of an extremely powerful and learned, centuries old vampire being swindled like this is at best laughable. But as far as the writing itself, the writer extracts exasperation from the reader by engaging in the most intricate descriptions of absolutely every object possible, and the plot became so ridiculous, and the writing so very boring, with everything feeling like molasses of the mind. Was it really Ann Rice who wrote this? After forcing myself to read on and skeeping several pages in the futile attempt to finish it, I did something I loathe doing. I put the book away without finishing it, at about 55% of the way. If you value your sanity, your time and your money, please pass on this one.
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on April 16, 2012
This is definitely not my favorite Anne Rice novel, although I cannot really pin down why. It has all the hallmarks of a good Anne Rice; her astounding ability for capturing what it would be like to suddenly live in a different century, her ability to bring a setting to life. Every place she describes turns into a place I feel I must visit before I die; it's a true credit to her descriptive abilities.

I loved the growth of David's character. He turns out to be something of a tragic figure, although the way the book ends offers the chance for that to change. I also was interested in the way David's conversation with Lestat about the conversation he observes between God and the Devil foreshadows Memnoch; I wonder if this was intentional, or if she liked the conversation so much she turned it into a full book. Interesting, either way.

Likewise, I was thrilled to see Louis return a bit in this book; he is one of my favorite literary characters and I missed him in Queen of the Damned (and in Lestate he was mostly just reprised from Interview). I also really enjoyed the introduction of the Mojo character; I wish he reappeared in later novels but I do not recall him doing so.

She also does an excellent job with foreshadowing; particularly with the dog and the rape of the young woman he meets in a bar. Furthermore, As is always true of Anne, some of her conversations are just so thought provoking; Lestat's conversation with Gretchen is really a mirror for most of humanity, and their discussion on individuality really resonated with me.

I was bothered by her description of the serial killer Lestat stalks near the beginning; minor detail I know, but he wasn't at all realistic. Most serial killers, particularly ones that take a long time to catch, are incredibly intelligent and cunning. I just didn't buy her killer as someone who would escape detection for any extended period of time. He also just doesn't fit the profile of a serial killer. Again, this is a minor detail, just something that bothered me because serial killer psychology is a particular interest of mine.

My only real complaints are true of almost all Anne Rice novels; there is quite a bit of fluff and over description before you get to the actual story. So much can be cut out without really taking away from the plot, in my opinion. I am sure many Anne Rice fans would totally disagree with me, but I often feel that so much of her novels could be reined in a bit. That was particularly true in this one; all the visions get very tiresome.

In sum, Anne is totally true to form in this book - the wonderful settings, the rich characters and good character evolution (especially with regard to David), and the thought provoking passages. The conversations between David and Lestat and Gretchen and Lestat can not help but make one think about the human condition, and (SPOILER) the rape of David is an interesting commentary on Lestat's character. Furthermore, it highlights (at least for me) the fact that all (or almost all) of the vampires who are long lived are made in force. Again, to me this is a really fascinating commentary on the human condition and the resilience of our minds.

Somehow, despite all this, this is not one of my favorite vampire novels. However, I would still strongly recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed the other books in the series; you do not get a complete picture of Lestat or the other characters without it, and as I have said, it gives great food for thought. Enjoy!!
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on December 5, 1999
Where do I begin? I loved this book so much! The plot itself was so interesting. I was a bit worried that Lestat would succeed in his attempt to distroy himself, but of course Anne woundn't let that happen. I have also fallen deeply in love with Louis. Found myself hoping that he would reappear in the book again and again. I loved the parts with Lestat and Louis. The church seance was so wonderful. One little thing I didn't like about this book was the overall fact that I personally don't think that Lestat would make such a stupid mistake, switching bodies with James and all. I know that he longs to be human again but come on, you think that he would at least consider what David and Louis were telling him that something horrible was going to happen. I have been led to believe that Lestat was a pretty smart guy. The other thing I didn't much care for was when Lestat turned David into a vampire without his consent. In my heart I really wanted David to become a vampire but not in that way. I thought it was very mean of Lestat to do that to him after everything that David helped him with and after David had been "reborn" so to speak in James' body. But, when you try and overlook these two flaws, the book is to die for. I have read it about 5 times and still feel as though I could read it for an eternity :) Please if your and old fan or a new one, do not pass this book up :)
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on February 12, 1999
"Tale of the Body Thief" is perhaps the best novel to date from Anne Rice and there are some tough contenders in the catagory. To be honest it's not my favorite("Lestat" will always have a special place in my heart,) I do concede that it has the best balance of plot, character, and philosphy without losing control of any of them. The novel is truely a "tale," in that it is very densely told and economical, almost like a great short story, yet without ever losing sight of the great urgency and vividness that is Rice's trademark. Even the florid language is kept to a minimum. The novel is wholly believable despite being what amounts to a genuinely bizzarre vampire story. The characters are all developed even the ones on the perephery. No character is there just as a plot device or a "symbol."
Like an actor returning to his most beloved character, Rice is in great form with Lestat at his darkest hour sans his usual smugness. David is also a great and interesting character. Thank you Anne Rice for writing a truely resourceful and interesting elderly character. One again she turns expectations on their heads.
Also for someone who's never read a Rice novel, if you don't mind the fact that there are three novels preceding this this would be a great novel to start off with for it is mostly self-contained.
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