The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

(Cover picture courtesy of this site I cannot translate.)

Lestat.  The vampire hero of Anne Rice’s enthralling novel is a creature of the darkest and richest imagination.  Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now a rock star in the demonic, shimmering 1980s, he rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his eternal, terrifying existence.  His is a mesmerizing story—passionate, complex, and thrilling.

If you don’t like slow plots or are in any way sensitive to gore or explicit sex scenes, this book is not for you.  But if you can appreciate a slow but compelling narrative filled with fascinating characters, you will appreciate The Vampire Lestat.

The Vampire Lestat is the second book in the Vampire Chronicles, but you don’t have to read Interview with the Vampire to understand it.  Anne Rice lets her book stand on its own, but it is interesting to see first Louis’, then Lestat’s different perspectives.  Whereas Louis found his vampirism to be a curse, Lestat chose to embrace it, delighting in his newfound power.

I think a big part of why the Vampire Chronicles are so popular is the fact that Anne Rice has created truly memorable characters.  If I’m honest with myself, Lestat remains in my mind along with other great characters like Thu, Harry Potter, Katsa and Hamnet.  What keeps people coming back for more is her characters, not her slow moving plot or her sensual descriptions, as some reviewers claim.  Lestat is not always sympathetic, but he is appealing enough to command your attention.

I can honestly say that once you start reading The Vampire Lestat, you won’t be able to put it down.  When I first read it, I stayed up until four in the morning to finish it—although that was partly because the alternative was going to sleep on a concrete floor with nothing but a thin sleeping bag.  Still, it is a great book and you’ll have to forgive me for being cliché and describing it as “hypnotic”, because there is no other word for it.

I give this book 4/5 stars.

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