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The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles) Paperback – November 29, 1997
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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 alternate Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first book in the series was awesome. It had a continuing story and kept me interested. I got about halfway through this one and then closed the book after seeing that I was... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kevin
Interview with a Vampire may be the more famous book, but this is far superior. The Vampire Lestat is one of my favorite books and he is one of my favorite fictional characters. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great, each book continues to surprise no "Twilight" vampire romance kiddie pop nonsense with Anne Rice. You get really immersed into darkness and history. Read morePublished 2 months ago by USA4EVR
Great story! Really shows the true nature of aGreat story! Really shows the true nature of a vampirePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great follow up to Interview with the Vampire. After reading Interview, I was so eager to read Lester's story. I enjoyed the style of the book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Cady
In my opinion, this was the best book out of the entire series. I enjoyed the adventure that was in place and how everything was told through Lestat's perspective. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Christy