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November 14, 2014

#FBF: The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

The Vampire Lestat
Vampire Chronicles 2
Anne Rice
Knopf
Literary Fiction | Sci-Fi
September 12, 1985



It's been a while since I did my #FBF: Flash Book Fridays, I did say that this was a sporadic meme so that's my excuse for slacking off. Anyway obviously this edition is inspired by the release of Prince Lestat, the 11th novel of Anne Rice's cult classic series, Vampire Chronicles and I just have to pay homage to the first Lestat novel released almost 30 years ago.

Anne Rice is my gateway drug when it comes to books similar to marijuana and illegal substances. She was the first person who introduced me to the world of erotica before it became what it is now, gave me a taste of paranormal romance way before the genre was coined, popped my M/M, M/F/M, and various human-otherworldly couplings cherry, made me fantasize about walking down Garden District and The French Quarter as some sort of Supe (preferably her kind of vampire or witch), and lastly I owe my love for the supernatural to this literary icon. In short, I have a mild obsession with Anne Rice and her books. Don't judge.

THE VAMPIRE LESTAT, or Lestat de Lioncourt to be exact, was my first concept and encounter with an anti-hero and he became the gold standard and my benchmark moving forward.  For those of the younger set, he is my Niklaus Mikaelson (The Originals), and he was an addiction that took years and years to shake off. He is a meddling, conceited, selfish, self-important mofo that one can't help but love. I never really understood his concept of love and loyalty but he is those things, he does have redeeming qualities but "arrogant prick" is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Lestat and I mean that in the fondest way. 


A little backstory for those of you who aren't so familiar with his tale and you can forget associating my Lestat with Tom Cruise (another self important prick and I mean that in a disparaging way). Anyway Lestat is an aristocrat who got turned into a vampire sometime in 18th century France. In ARice's myth, your strength as a vampire depends on your maker. Lucky for us Lestat's maker is one of the ancients making him a formidable vampire even if he's just a fledgling. Lestat turned his mother, Gabrielle, into a vampire too to prevent her from dying and became his companion for years. It was after meeting Armand that Lestat got curious about their origins and his constant search finally led him to the race's progenators, Akasha and Enkil (The Queen of the Damned, again forget the movie because Aaliya [RIP] as Akasha was a travesty). Lestat managed to waken the royals from their stupor, managing so semi-seduce Akasha allowing him to feed off of her which made Lestat even more powerful and enabled him to walk during the day without self-combusting. ARice's vampire myth follows more or less the night walker archetype.

What appealed to me most about THE VAMPIRE LESTAT is it's provocativeness and almost androgynous approach to romance. It was more erotic than than sexual with beauty as the focal point. The vamps are obsessed with beauty whether it's physical, talent-based, or one's profoundness and genius or capacity for a certain emotion. They handpick their progeny and their selection process is usually based on the qualities I mentioned. However these vampires are fickle and sometimes quick to anger and because their lives span millenia they have the tendency to harbor grudges and the like.

Lestat is the badboy of their lot, he challenges the unspoken rules like discretion by outing their kind, becoming a rockstar and writing songs about vampires and what's it like to be one. He hid in plain sight which angered a lot of vampires making him a target. But as Lestat is Lestat, he managed to turn it around and convince the ancients not to kill him. And it's Lestat's propensity to annoy and provoke anybody, whether it's the reader or his cast mate, that endeared him to me and he remains and will always be one of my most favorite fictional characters of all time.

And I think it's time I catch up and see what he's been up to, I did hear Prince Lestat is awesome!







32 comments:

  1. I have seen the movie but I have never read one of her books. I so need to.

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    1. The books are way better although Interview with the Vampire the movie wasn't a bad adaptation.

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  2. Gahhh I adore Lestat! He is just the best. I haven't finished The Vampire Chronicles yet but I've made it through most of the Lestat centered ones. I can't wait to get caught up and dive into Prince Lestat. Love this post!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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    1. I'm with you on Prince Lestat, I heard it's really good. Her werewolf series pales in comparison to her vamps so I'm excited!

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  3. I wish I'd gotten far ahead in this book when it fell on my lap. A disgrace, really. I always think that if a person would declare themselves bookworm, they must at least be able to say they've read books from authors such as: Anne Rice, Stephen King and Margaret Atwood. Just sayin'. :D

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    1. Bwahaha! I know what you mean, I call my blog Talk Supe but haven't read a LOT of great UF/PNR series. We have time to catch up

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  4. I'm not judging! I haven't read! Although I have heard vaguely of Anne Rice and I think a friend was talking about her the other day.... I'm always vaguely wary of vampires though. I think they have to be done really cleverly and originally. ;-)
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

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    1. Girl she's the QUEEN OF VAMPIRES, everyone and everything else AFTER her is either a copy or a wannabe. Just sayin

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    2. Yes!! No one compares to Anne Rice!! She IS the QUEEN, I agree! I have not been able to read any YA vampire stories at all, and have only found one other adult vampire author I have liked. I read M.R. Graham's The Medium and really enjoyed it, but no one is on the same level as Anne.

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  5. LOL! I'm good with that reason for FBF. Haha!

    I was so struck by Lestat the first time I read her books. I can't believe how long ago it was. You're right about how Anne Rice paved the way and set the standard for so many afterward.

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    1. Right? She's or generation's Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, etc., she made creatures of the night cool again.

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  6. I use to work night shift at that airport and her books are what got me through the nights...

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    1. She has a way with words and her brand of romance is always unconventional

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  7. After everything Rice has said about reviewers, no thanks

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  10. Oh yes, the perfect anti-hero. It's been forever since I read an anne rice book. And Lestat is my favorite character. I have to get back on that reading horse.

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    1. You can skip the other books, although this series is really good, and just get to Prince Lestat.

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  13. I go back and forward about getting this book - I LOVED this series, and this was my first book about vampires and eroticism too. I used devoured her books - I'm convincing myself to just go ahead and get it!

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    1. Me too, I'm THIS close to getting Prince Lestat

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  14. Oh yes I'm curious about the new one too. I really enjoyed this one. I've read 3 in the series and they were fun, I need to do like you. catch up.

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    1. We're always catching up, this one I don't want to miss though

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  15. Anne Rice was one of my go-to authors as well back-in-the-back, and responsible for kick starting my love of all things paranormal. I'm pretty sure I'm up to date on this series except for this latest installment (I'll have to double-check), and I'm super excited to reconnect with Lestat. It's been too long!

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    1. Amen sister, it's time this bad boy pays us a visit!

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  16. When I was a teen the only one I could get my hands on was Queen of the Damned. I may have later read more and I don't remember. But I remember being slightly shocked at things (well, more than slightly). I was probably only about 13 at the time though. I have read some of her other books and they maybe get a little too dark for me, but there's something about them that is pretty amazing.

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  17. 30 years, Braine?!? I'm feeling old. ;) I was really drawn to Lestat myself - and Rice was sort of my "gateway drug" as well. Don't feel bad for slacking with this meme...I asked if I could join you and I've yet to do one. *haha*

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