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The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles, Book II) Mass Market Paperback – September 12, 1986
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After the spectacular debut of Interview with the Vampire in 1976, Anne Rice put aside her vampires to explore other literary interests--Italian castrati in Cry to Heaven and the Free People of Color in The Feast of All Saints. But Lestat, the mischievous creator of Louis in Interview, finally emerged to tell his own story in the 1985 sequel, The Vampire Lestat.
As with the first book in the series, the novel begins with a frame narrative. After over a half century underground, Lestat awakens in the 1980s to the cacophony of electronic sounds and images that characterizes the MTV generation. Particularly, he is captivated by a fledgling rock band named Satan's Night Out. Determined both to achieve international fame and end the centuries of self-imposed vampire silence, Lestat takes command of the band (now renamed "The Vampire Lestat") and pens his own autobiography. The remainder of the novel purports to be that autobiography: the vampire traces his mortal youth as the son of a marquis in pre-Revolutionary France, his initiation into vampirism at the hands of Magnus, and his quest for the ultimate origins of his undead species.
While very different from the first novel in the Vampire Chronicles, The Vampire Lestat has proved to be the foundation for a broader range of narratives than is possible from Louis's brooding, passive perspective. The character of Lestat is one of Rice's most complex and popular literary alter egos, and his Faustian strivings have a mythopoeic resonance that links the novel to a grand tradition of spiritual and supernatural fiction. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Rice continues what promises to be a series with this fascinating sequel to her Interview with the Vampire. One of its characters, Lestat, encouraged by the telling of that story, narrates his own history, focusing on his boyhood transformation, subsequent wanderings, and constant attempts to rationalize his newly acquired immortality. Don't expect the usual stake-in-the-heart story; Rice is creating a new vampire mythos, mixing ancient Egyptian legends into her narrative, and weaving a rich and unforgettable tale of dazzling scenes and vivid personalities. This extraordinary book outclasses most contemporary horror fiction and is a novel to be savored. Highly recommended. Literary Guild alternate. Eric W. Johnson, Univ. of New Haven Lib., West Haven
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
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.
Her novels deal with the internal struggle between human morality and the need to kill and consume to maintain immortality.
Lestat is a loveable devil. He ponders his existence and his purpose in the savage garden like no other. If you have met him in another Rice book (interview with a vampire perhaps) you should absolutely read this book which gives you a deeper understanding of his character.
When Louie tells his story you only see one dimension of his being. After reading this book you will see Lestat in a whole new light, and be able to understand some of the choices he made in the first book.
I also think this book is essential for developing a greater appreciation of all of Rice's other vampire chronicles. Really you shouldn't need a positive review to buy this title. If you are as intoxicated by Rice's language as I am, then you can no more deny yourself this book than Lestat could deny Akasha's invitation to taste the oldest and most powerful blood in the world.
My main statement for those that have seen the movies is to say don't worry they are nothing like the books and you will be seeing a whole new world. The authors are so complex especially how they end up intertwining with each other through out their stories. Read them in the order the author suggest trust me you will find much more pleasure in doing so.
I bought "Dracula," by Bram Stoker, "Interview with a Vampire," and "Vampire Lestat" to raffle among the students in English 100 class, before spring break. Told them that Bram Stoker might have started it all, and assigned an extra credit project on Vlad the Impaler. Two or three took up the challenge.
Lestat is a worldly, sensuous vampire musician who falls in love with the modern world. Very entertaining, luscious and erotic read.