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80 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Total Genius
If Anne Rice had never written another book after "The Vampire Lestat," her reputation as a rare genius would have been created and sealed with this one novel.
Unlike most Rice fans, I read this book first, and it has always been my favorite of all the Vampire Chronicls, much more so than "Interview with a Vampire."
I cannot count how many times I have reread...
Published on February 13, 2002 by Wendy Kaplan

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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Oh well, since you want to know . . . I ate her in self-defense."
The above quote is from the short story LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD AS A DICTATOR WOULD TELL IT, wherein the wolf explains how he was the real victim, and Little Red and Granny had it coming. THE VAMPIRE LESTAT is a bit like an irony-free book-long version of the same thing.

This is, of course, the sequel to INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, which did not need or want a...
Published on December 27, 2006 by Louisa the Lemming


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80 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Total Genius, February 13, 2002
This review is from: The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles, Book II) (Mass Market Paperback)
If Anne Rice had never written another book after "The Vampire Lestat," her reputation as a rare genius would have been created and sealed with this one novel.
Unlike most Rice fans, I read this book first, and it has always been my favorite of all the Vampire Chronicls, much more so than "Interview with a Vampire."
I cannot count how many times I have reread this book, and with each reading, I find a new richness, a new insight, a new awe-inspiring peak into the mind of a woman whose genius may be madness, but with whom I will gladly cross the line. (Case in point: This is the only book ever for which I stood in line for hours to have the author inscribe her name.)
I won't belabor the plot here; it is simply too baroque to try to put into simple words. Suffice to say that, in the first person, we meet Lestat, the teenaged son of an impoverished 18th-century nobleman, whose life is at best cold and harsh, at worst, a constant battle with cruelty of every sort for one's mere survival. One particularly dark and fiercely cold night, Lestat, a beautiful young man despite all his hardships, is out with his beloved dogs, hunting wolves. Into the strange fog he rides...and when he first hears the deep, surreal, and otherworldly voice calling him..."Wolf killer, wolf killer," we are there with him. And we are by his side as he becomes, in a strangely but riveting erotic passage, one of the undead. A vampire unto eternity.
All of Anne Rice's intensity, her eroticism, her love of history, her incredible sense of detail, and her dark view of the world is present in this book, much more so than "Interview with a Vampire."
It is my suggestion that, if you want to sample Anne Rice, and have never read any of her works, this may be the book you want to read. And if you know Rice's works but not this particular novel, I urge you not to deny yourself another minute. This is truly one of the must-reads of one's life.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lestat and His Savage Garden, April 13, 2012
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This is only my third Anne Rice novel though I have been a long time supporter of hers and a fan of her work. Having only recently read Interview with the Vampire, the first book in the Chronicles, I immediately wanted to read the next book, The Vampire Lestat. I'm so glad I did because it gave me a better understanding and a stronger admiration for Interview, of which I had somewhat mixed emotions about upon finishing it.

In The Vampire Lestat, we learn more about Louis's maker and get to enjoy a nice long tale of his life story. We open in the 1980s with Lestat in New Orleans taking an interest in rock music and becoming a vocal celebrity. He has even sought out the book, Interview with the Vampire, to read and has determined much of it to be lies so he needs to set the record straight by writing his own book.

From here, we spend a lot of time with Lestat as a human and get to study the close loving relationship he had with his mother. We meet his vampire maker, Magnus. We learn that Lestat loved the stage and we see the early development of what would become the Theatre of the Vampires which played such a crucial part in Interview. We witness Lestat's bond with Armand, the vampire who became the head of the theatre and learn a lot about his story and his creator Marius, who Lestat begins to obsess over. And Marius introduces Lestat to "those who must be kept," who are the king and the queen of all vampires. This sets the reader up for the next book in the series, Queen of the Damned.

Rice excels at classic story telling, but treats her readers to a historical saga of fine vampire literature. Unlike the vampires today's generation obsess over, who are either blood thirsty monsters or sparkling romantics, Rice suffers her protagonist with questions of existence, being, and soul. Hers truly are vampires that will live forever, both on the page and in the minds of her readers.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best literary sequels of all time, December 14, 2000
By 
Edward Aycock (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles, Book II) (Mass Market Paperback)
Published 9 years after "Interview with the Vampire", this sequel tells us the story of Lestat, the villain of the first book. Opening in 1985, we read that Lestat is now a "rock and roll" star. (Note to Anne Rice: people have not said "rock and roll" for quite some time...) This seems a strange change for the brooding vampire of the first book, and it's not entirely successful to me as a reader. It may have worked better in 1985, but by now, it seems a bit unnecessary and kind of silly. Thankfully, this plot is only a framing device for the life story of Lestat de Lioncourt (and that's why I insist on giving this book 5 stars.) "Lestat" is quite a different novel from the first in the series, but we are dealing with an entirely different vampire here than the depressed and vulnerable Louis (who remains my favorite vampire). Lestat's story goes throughout the centuries, and he meets other vampire's who tell their tales. This book is a fantastic pageant that goes back to Ancient Egyptian times, to classical Rome, to pagan Europe, to the times of the French Revolution, to an old, decaying Parisian cemetery and even up to the present time. "The Vampire Lestat" is a much denser novel than the first (which has now become a sort of prelude or teaser to the entire Vampire Chronicles) but it's just as enjoyable. This book seems to be the hands down favorite of most readers of the Vampire Chronicles, but this is not an incentive to read these books out of order. "Interview with the Vampire" contains some very important passages and character development that are important to your understand of the second (especially in one of the final sections of "Lestat"). Amazingly, Rice maintains the continuity between the two novels, and doesn't make any of the "revisionist history" in the second seem false or forced. (Of note is the explanation as to why Lestat's father but not mother was in the first book... that revelation is a shocking one.) Another fun aspect is Lestat's reaction to reading Stoker's "Dracula". And fear not, some of our favorite characters from the first book do appear again... in unexpected ways. One of my favorite characters to be introduced into this book was Akasha, who is the Queen of the Damned of the third novel.
With The Vampire Lestat, Rice again does a wonderful job with her prose; it's a beautifully written, exciting and captivating book. I had no idea where the book was going from one moment to the next, and it never disappointed. Rice even successfully depicts twentieth century America as a fascinating place to be. I never thought a drugstore would seem so interesting. Read this book, but don't read it too fast... savor it, it's worth the time.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE: Lestat is Revealed!, June 17, 2014
This review is from: The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles, Book II) (Mass Market Paperback)
I'd say that this novel truly reveals Lestat in all his despicable and beautiful detail. It helps if you lived through the 1980's to get an authentic feel for what kind of an era Lestat is stalking through, but it is not essential. In the age of excess, glamour, drugs, wild sex, and hair metal, our anti-hero fits right in and basically takes over.

Yet the novel sweeps us through history, through Lestat's memories, through Lestat's twisted and unpredictable and appealing mind! Rice does this beautifully, thoughtfully. Though flashbacks abound, they never feel like flashbacks. Her writing is evocative and enthralling.

You will get to know the vampire Lestat really well. The question is, can you survive doing so? You may be horrified by what you learn. You may be more horrified by how much you . . . LIKE what you learn.

BUY IT.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving, sweeping, dark masterpiece of literature, July 31, 2003
This review is from: The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles, Book II) (Mass Market Paperback)
The Vampire Lestat is not only one of the most engaging, remarkable, illuminating, and important horror novels ever written, it is a beautiful work of art that stands proudly among the ranks of what I define as great literature. The breadth and scope of this novel is almost staggering, as is the hypnotic language in which every word and phrase is uttered. Interview With the Vampire was provocative and soul-stirring, but its greatest achievement pale in comparison to the least of the many wonders worked into this second volume of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles.
It was the story of Claudia the vampire child that touched my heart in the first novel, although the moral and philosophical questions asked by Louis opened the door for a new kind of vampire literature. Still, Lestat hovered and brooded over every page of Interview With the Vampire, leaving nothing but unanswered questions in the wake of his coldness and sometimes pathetic manifestations. One could not help but wonder about his origins and history, the heavy weights of his mysterious life having left him little more than a husk of a vampire at the end of Louis' story. Finding out in the opening pages of The Vampire Lestat that this inscrutable wanderer is not only thriving once again but that he has in fact become a rock star seems pretty strange. Yet all things are made clear in this novel, for this is Lestat's story, and he violates every vampire law by revealing secrets beyond the ken of mortal man. Lestat wants to embrace his true nature, show the world's population that vampires live amongst them, and incite a glorious war between man and the Children of the Night.
This is much more than just Lestat's story, however. What Anne Rice has managed to do in this novel is to create a brand new history and legend of the vampire, taking this most beloved of horror themes and transcending the literature of Stoker, Le Fanu, and the greats of the past. The cold and inscrutable Lestat we saw in Interview With the Vampire is now revealed to be at one time the most human of vampires, an immortal whose love for humans exceeded even that of his creation Louis. We learn of his human childhood, his creation by the immensely old and powerful Magnus in the seventeenth century. The depth of his feelings for his mother and adolescent soul companion Nicholas are quite touching and beautiful, and we see how his first recipients of the Dark Trick come to bring him much pain and tragedy. We see his crazed outbursts and intensity of feeling revealed in the most telling of ways. We learn much more about the vampire Armand, a character I quite honestly despise for his weakness. He hides behind old traditions, betraying the very notions of his own creator Marius by embracing a pseudo-religion of evil, punishing those wretched creatures who dare disturb his antiquated way of existence. Marius, an ancient vampire of great power who links Armand and Lestat together in the most telling of ways, introduces Lestat and ourselves to the Mother and the Father, Those Who Must Be Kept, and it is through these individuals that the history of vampirism is delivered so originally and brilliantly here, drawing and touching upon ancient Egypt, religion, philosophy, and a myriad of other powerful subjects and inspirations. Through Lestat's daring and individualism, we learn much more than any other vampire teacher could tell us; he truly did have stories to tell, and now we learn why he refused to share his wisdom with Louis and Claudia.
The introduction of the Mother and the Father, Akasha and Enkil, leads us directly into the next book in the series, The Queen of the Damned, and The Vampire Lestat actually ends on a note of new beginnings potentially more powerful than anything introduced and revealed in this book's 550 pages. I find Those Who Must Be Kept absolutely fascinating, the most ancient of vampires who live lives of immobility and seeming inactivity, staring open-eyed eternally, leaving open the possibility to Lestat in particular that they can be reawakened. Yet Lestat's active plans, his flagrant announcement to the world that he is a vampire (even though mortals may believe in the image rather than the reality of what he is saying) and his daring publication of the most secret of his kind's secrets leaves one spellbound and in wonder as to how things will play out in the end. His actions are rash and dangerous, yet the exuberance he feels in doing these things brings him to life ever more fully. I could go on and on about the wonder and power of this novel, but even then I could not begin to convey the beauty and force with which Anne Rice weaves her dark wonders. Anne Rice takes us inside the hearts and minds of these vampire characters, and that is a perspective that even Bram Stoker never provided. I thought nothing could possibly surpass the dark brilliance of Dracula, but I have to say that The Vampire Lestat is the greatest vampire novel I have ever read.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars enchanting and intriguing, August 28, 2000
By 
This review is from: The Vampire Lestat (Hardcover)
I read this book in English. I am Italiam, and it was not that simple for me. But _The Vampire Lestat_ is something you cannot restist. _Interview_ is a beautiful book, indeeed, but I think it's a substantial mistake. Why does Louis obstinately hate Lestat? Why does he not understand that Lestat loves him? Why does he prefer the treacherous Armand? Lestat's end in _Interview_ is terrible, unbeareble. You cannot let a creature die of depression. Even if he were much and much worse than he is descripted. So, thanks to _The Vampire Lestat_! Miss Rice understood what depression really is. Maybe she knows this terrible disease. She gives a chance to her bad boy, to her villain, to her horrible, enchanting and intriguing character. And besides, she writes so well!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vampire series with fangs, March 19, 2013
The year is 1984, and Lestat is the famous lead singer of the group, The Vampire Lestat. He stumbles upon a simple little book, "Interview with the Vampire", starring Louis, his ersatz lover of sorts (because vampires don't exactly have lovers the same way humans do). So Lestat sets the record straight and tells the tale of his life as a vampire.

When people say this is better than Interview with the Vampire, they are not kidding. This book is light years better than "Interview". I almost wish this book never ended, it was so good. I already have book 3 lined up to read - and normally, I would give myself a break, just so I didn't burn out.

What makes "The Vampire Lestat" so good? Just about everything - from characters, to setting, to writing, to mythos. About the only thing I can critique is that at one point, not long after Gabrielle is turned and we meet Armand, the story kinda stalls and gets a bit dull. Oh, and when Marius is telling his story, I kinda got confused and thought we went back to Lestat's POV. But honestly, those are nitpicks - I enjoyed myself thoroughly with this book.

Lestat is a WAY better protagonist than Louis. He's not so whiny, so pathetic, so useless. He's a master of his own life - sure, he contemplates whether he is evil and tends to choose victims who are evil (those women Louis says Lestat seduces? They are prostitutes that cheat sailors and probably kill them). He is a passionate being - he cares enormously for Nikola and Louis (some of the sweetest interactions in the book) and his mother (though his love for her gets a bit creepy in the "I don't think we should be kissing our MOM this way"). He is a curious being - he searches all over the Mediterranean for Marius and the source of answers. He is a powerful being - his powers attract the attention of Armand and Marius and when others can't stand being a vampire, he is able to press on.

The rest of the cast is beautifully done as well. Gabrielle, Nikola, Marius, Armand, and even Louis all get dimension. They are real people, with real desires - Gabrielle to be set loose to live alone. Nikola to balance his "wicked" pursuit of the theater with his religious beliefs. And so on. And so forth.

The story was engaging and exciting. I was enthralled with the depths of the mythos, a perfect balance of complex and yet simple - not a list of rules sloppily tacked together when the author needs to add a new challenge to her characters, but actual rules that make sense in the world and seem to originate naturally from the circumstances. And the addition of Akasha and her brother - I can't tell you how deliciously creeped out I was! I loved it!

At this point, I'm just gushing. Honestly, I really loved this book and am SO GLAD I didn't give up on this series. If you like your vampires wicked and blood-thirsty, you definitely need to check out this series!!

Brought to you by:
*C.S. Light*
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be Spellbound!, August 31, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles, Book II) (Mass Market Paperback)
The vampire Lestat is back, and as dashing, gay, and carefree as ever!
If you were left wondering at the end of Interview with the Vampire the same things that Louis was, this book and it's conclusion, Queen of the Damned, will answer all your questions, the foremost being: Why and how?
Lestat lays bare the events that lead to him becoming a vampire and the adventures that follow, including how he came to be one of the first vampires in the New World, and just who was that intriguing Armand fellow from Interview?
He forms a rock group (this wasn't as cheesy as it sounds, his reasons were quite masterful) and through his songs, tells the world of the humans of the world of the vampires. His ulterior motive is to get other vampires from around the world together, as they invariably will at such an outright violation of their secrecy, and then--who knows what? Will they accept him? Kill him? Or maybe, and a pretty exciting prospect at that to Lestat, mankind will believe him and the existence of his kind and wage open war on the undead!
The night of the his big, debut rock concert comes, and the feeling he gets is that something big is going to happen. He couldn't have been more right. He also didn't expect THIS to happen. What happened? Read the book, my friend...and it's cliffhanger ending will leave you wanting to read the mind blowing, myth-shattering conclusion, Queen of the Damned.
Anne Rice to me communicates brilliantly in this novel! In many scenes I felt the subtle insanity that indoubtedly plagues vampires worse than sunlight. I don't know if this was intentional on Rice's part or not, but there was definitely a common thread of madness woven into this tale that seemed to jump out at me more than anything else; the madness of one unwillingly plunged into a world of physical immortality. I have never read an author that could get that across as effectively as she did. There was one scene where Lestat was "charmed" by Armand that she executed perfectly. When one is charmed or hypnotized, they do not know what is happening. Once they do, the spell is instantly broken. She did this scene so well that I didn't know what was happening! I felt myself drifting from reality into a sort of dreamy confusion, no longer in touch with what was real...until the spell was broken! I was literally spellbound by this! I still don't know how she did it, but she did. This was just one example of sheer mastery of the written word as communication of ideas.
Humor was well done; not too much as to make the novel a farce, but enough to give you a good laugh once in a while. (For example: the scene in the church when Lestat and Gabriel jumped out wailing in the middle of Mass! I was on the floor!)
This book is great!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful and Moving, though Wordy, Tale!, September 30, 2002
By 
This review is from: The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles, Book II) (Mass Market Paperback)
I have some mixed feelings about Anne Rice's "The Vampire Lestat", but all things considered, I truly believe it is a worthwhile read. In this follow-up to "Interview with the Vampire", we are told the life story of Lestat de Lioncourt, and I was bothered by the inconsistencies between the two books. Lestat tells us that Louis has lied about all kinds of things, and the cruel and cold-hearted villain we came to know and love in "Interview with the Vampire" becomes a moral, soft-hearted, and tortured soul, always trying to do the right thing and find the answers to life's mysteries. Hmmm. I think if I had not read "Interview with the Vampire", I would have found "The Vampire Lestat" far more enjoyable, because then I would have been blissfully unaware of the transformation of Lestat's character. With that said though, "The Vampire Lestat" is a compelling, if lengthy and somewhat verbose, tale, and in the end I was glad I read it, because it has many redeeming qualities.
The book purports to be Lestat's autobiography, and we are taken on a lush and erotic journey through Lestat's long and eventful life. From his youth as the son of a marquis in pre-Revolutionary France when Lestat befriends a troubled violinist named Nicolas, to the crowded streets of Paris where his life is changed forever by a solitary vampire named Magnus, who gives Lestat the dark gift before deserting him forever. Shocked and amazed by what has befallen him, Lestat, begins to learn what it is to be a vampire. Questions about the why and how of what he has become torment Lestat, but there is nobody for him to turn to. Lestat's story has many twists and turns; as he saves his mother from her deathbed with his immortal kiss, meets a hostile coven of Satan-worshipping vampires living under a cemetery, and ultimately goes off on a quest for a legendary ancient vampire named Marius in hopes of finding some answers to the questions that haunt him. And through it all we are treated to Rice's memorable and moving prose. However, the author's tendency to become overly descriptive is in evidence here, and there were some portions of the book that were a bit hard to get through.
As I've already stated, my feelings about "The Vampire Lestat" are a bit ambiguous. But despite my criticisms of this book, I actually did like it a lot. Lestat's story is affecting, intriguing, and entertaining, and in the end I could honestly say that I enjoyed it. Many people adore this book, and it's easy to see why, and on the other hand quite a few people hate it, and I can understand their point of view too. I can't guarantee anything to anyone picking up this book, because Anne Rice's writing is hypnotic and beautiful to some, and deadly boring to others. Personally, I would have been sorry if I'd missed "The Vampire Lestat", since I really did become quite engrossed in Lestat's tale. So give this book a try and see what you think, you may just be pleasantly surprised!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, October 2, 2003
This review is from: The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles, Book II) (Mass Market Paperback)
This book was beyond anything that I have ever read before. I've always loved vampire novels, and Ann Rice is one of the best authors I've read. Like many people, I started to gain interest in Ann Rice's books after watching Interview with the Vampire. But I finally chose to read the books when I saw the most recent movie Queen of the Damned. As I was reading the book, it was easy to imagine exactly what kind of person (so to speak) Lestat really is. Lestat suffers from the one thing that almost all humans fear; loneliness. I guess that's what makes him different from most vampires. He still has some of his human moralities left. Nevertheless, Rice's descriptions in everything that is going on is so vivid, you'd swear that Lestat is real. However, some parts of the story made me loss interest and I just skimmed the pages. I guess you can be a little over descriptive. Overall, it was a great book to read and I plan on reading the next one.
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The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles, Book II)
The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles, Book II) by Anne Rice (Mass Market Paperback - September 12, 1986)
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