- Series: Vampire Chronicles (Book 4)
- Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (September 1, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 034538475X
- ISBN-13: 978-0345384751
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (547 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Tale of the Body Thief (Vampire Chronicles) Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1993
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It's been said that Vladimir Nabokov's best novels are the ones he wrote after starting a failed novel. Anne Rice wrote The Body Thief, the fourth thrilling episode of her Vampire Chronicles, right after she spent a long time poring over that most romantic of horror novels, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, to research a novel Rice abandoned about an artificial man. Perhaps as a result of Shelley's influence, The Body Thief is far more psychologically penetrating than its predecessors, with a laser-like focus on a single tormented soul. Oh, we meet some wild new characters, and Rice's toothsome vampire-hero Lestat zooms around the globe--as is his magical habit--from Miami to the Gobi desert, but he's in such despair that he trades his immortal body to a con man named Raglan James, who offers him in return two days of strictly mortal bliss.
Lestat has always had a faulty impulse-control valve, and it gets him in truly intriguing trouble this time. On the plus side, he gets to experience romance with a nun and orange juice--"thick like blood, but full of sweetness." But Lestat is horrified by an uncommon cold, and his toilet training proves traumatic. He's also got to catch Raglan James, who has no intention of giving up his dishonestly acquired new superpowered body. Lestat enlists the help of David Talbot, a mortal in the Talamasca, a secret society of immortal watchers described in Queen of the Damned.
The swapping of bodies and supernatural stories is choice, and there's even a moral: never give a bloodsucker an even break. --Tim Appelo
From Publishers Weekly
Rice's fourth Vampire Chronicle--a 14-week PW bestseller and a BOMC main selection in cloth--depicts the tormented vampire Lestat's struggles with immortality. An enchanting tale of body-switching, necromancy and betrayal, set in New Orleans, Miami and Paris.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
No spoilers here, though. It makes it hard to say why I liked the book so well, but what I can say, is it is told from Lestat's viewpoint. And, if you are considering this book you've likely read the first three Vampire Chronicles. So at this point, you are familiar with Lestat, and if you like him, I think you'll really enjoy this part of his story. The experiences he has in this book are unlike any that he or any of the other vampires have experienced at this point, and some of it is quite moving.
More than one reviewer said Anne Rice's writing in this book is not as good as previous books. I thought there were plenty of moving passages. In one section a character repeated something he'd said earlier and it felt like a mistake, but it may have been intentional. It didn't detract from the story. So I can't say I agree with it being badly written.
In summary, I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to continue with Vampire Chronicles and Lestat fans because it is an interesting and unique story. Once it hooked me, I did not want to put the book down until I knew what was going to happen.
It explores many of the themes I love about the vampire genre. What they've lost, what they've gained, how they relate to humans, what is left of their humanity... and while the idea that drives this plot may have been done elsewhere, for me it's a first. Overall, I say it's a good read.
Has been my favorite author since Jr High, and I have always been quite the bibliophile (now in my 30s). I have my 7th grade daughter reading these books now. They are transforming, rich, educational, and complex. I have more respect for Anne Rice then any other fiction writer rivaled only by Daniel Quinn, possibly. Her characters and dialogues are so well written that I would easily believe that she listened to these conversations as they happened. Vampires that were "created" 6,000 years ago to today from locations all over the world provides readers with tantalizing glimpses into histories and cultures that must have cost Rice quite a bit of research to deliver. Romantic and dark, her books find the spark of poetry in the most Stoic of souls--- as poetic as that may sound, I am known for being fairly Stoic.
I would say that persons as young as their late teens may enjoy these books. Sexuality is not explicit, its implicit in most of the books. Very well written.
Lestat the Vampire. I enjoyed this book. My wife hated it. Learn more about Lestat from his point of view.
Queen of the Damned. The movie had very little to do with this book. That was more Lestat combined with Queen and then pulverized into a partial telling of both stories. Yuck. Of the three, this was my least favorite. It continues Lestat's story mostly.