Posts Tagged ‘Lestat de Lioncourt

01
Apr
13

Book Review: The Vampire Lestat

Review on: The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

Series: The Vampire Chronicles (Book 2)

Rating: 5/5

You haven’t understood Anne Rice’s vampires until you read about the Vampire, Lestat.  The Vampire Lestat is an introduction to Lestat, from his days as a human to his days and nights as a vampire. I find that Lestat is more human than most, but is also one of the best examples of a vampire.

So who is Lestat in this story? He first begins as a nobleman, born into a poor family of noble lineage. Early on, he was somewhat isolated from his brothers and sisters, but very close to his mother. He always felt like he didn’t belong, but he had wondrous dreams that always felt like they were out of reach. But on his final adventure as a mortal, he escapes with his friend Nicolas to Paris where they live their liberal and independent lives, until their jobs at the local theatre make Lestat the target of the vampire Magnus. Magnus kidnaps Lestat in the middle of the night and turns him into a vampire, before throwing himself into the fire (ultimately killing himself) and leaves Lestat to fend for himself as a new-born vampire. Lestat, proud and willful as he is, uses the money left to him to splurge on himself and his friends at the theatre, who don’t know who their benefactor is. Somewhere along the way, Lestat’s mother Gabrielle comes to say goodbye to her son, as she is already at the brink of dying. Instead of letting her die, along with her mother’s unresolved dreams, he turns her into a vampire like himself. Later on in the story, Nicolas becomes resentful of Lestat’s money and gifts, and forces Lestat to turn him into a vampire too. In the time before Nicolas is turned into a vampire, Lestat and Gabrielle encounter a band of vampires who belong to a coven under Armand (see book 1) who have long ago followed a set of guidelines about vampires, and serving Satan, and who have lived in hiding from humans. This coven tries to condemn Lestat and Gabrielle who try to make themselves human by living amongst them. Later on, this coven along with the now-turned Nicolas, become the Théâtre des Vampires (see book 1), leaving a very reluctant Armand in-charge of a band of vampires who must now try to adapt to the more modern Paris. Gabrielle and Lestat leave Paris and go on their own adventure but later part as they find that they have different desires for the future, but promising that they will meet again. It is in Egypt that Lestat becomes distraught and he buries himself underground, and how he later on meets Marius – a very old but legendary vampire. It is Marius who has been alive for over a thousand years that shares with Lestat all the questions he has had, later on introducing Enkil and Akasha whom Armand calls Those Who Must be Kept. He listens to the beginnings of Marius and his time since being turned, increasing evermore Lestat’s curiosity for Enkil and Akasha whom he wakes up with his violin-playing. Here, Enkil almost kills Lestat and Marius is forced to send Lestat away  to the New World, where the story of Interview With a Vampire begins. The story doesn’t end here as it takes us back to the beginning of the novel, where Lestat introduces himself as a rockstar who has exposed himself to the world as a vampire (fictional of course, to the eyes of the mortal) and exposes his story and the stories that were to be kept.

If you’ve read the first book, Interview With a Vampire, we finally see the character of Lestat whom Louis doesn’t describe much in his story, more or less because there is so much of Lestat’s story that Louis doesn’t know. If you wanted to see more of Lestat, this is really the book you should be reading. Finally, readers get a chance to see how Lestat really is, and why his personality and character is perceived the way he explains it. Because Rice writes the story from Lestat’s time as a mortal to his time as a vampire in pre-Industrial Europe to the modern 20th century, we are able to see the various parts of Lestat and how his experiences mold him to become the vampire that he is at the end of this book. This book is full of various characters, each interesting on their own, but contributing to a better understanding of our main character. It’s like joining a character from their birth to their death (or as far along as the story can take us), we see how they are at their immature stage, yet we see them learn from their experiences and we see them grow into something more. We don’t understand much of Lestat at the beginning of the story, but as time passes on, and the years and centuries in the book take place, we see Lestat grow and face both his immortality and his human-ness.

At times, the book feels like it’s carrying too much. Like there are too many characters and too many stories and too many things happening at the same time. When I read this book, I felt like I wanted to know more about so many other characters but it wasn’t tackled by Anne Rice. Well, it is about the vampire Lestat and not the others, but the introduction of those characters in the book, though short, pave the way for the future books of this series. One thing that the introduction of so many new characters does though, is that it gives us a clearer understanding of what a vampire really is. The different stories and personalities of the characters from the first two books (this and Interview with a Vampire), already tells us so much of Anne Rice’s vampire characters. It is quite a sight, seeing the limits of vampires, and also becoming disillusioned by what we think vampires are. As the book progresses, we begin to understand that vampires are not to be understood in the context of a single lifetime, but the lifetimes of so many characters put together, and the characters we have yet to meet in the future books.

At the start of this review, I said that I think Lestat is more human than most. Throughout the story, Lestat has this characteristic of being both inside and outside of a circle. He is made immortal but he clings to his human side, his family and his friends and his memories. Throughout the story, he is continuously searching for the place where he can belong or people he can be with. Unlike other vampires (explained in later stories), he is rarely alone and always has a companion with him. He longs for companionship while most vampires tend to keep away from each other. Also, within Lestat is a continuous struggle for good and bad.  One cannot say that Lestat is completely evil, but one cannot say he is completely good. This struggle to do what’s right and to do what’s natural (for a vampire), constantly clashes as Lestat lives on, whether it’s something personal that he learns on his own or whether it’s from the other people and vampires he encounters. Despite the years, Lestat’s personality changes yet remains the same, and you can see a power and arrogance and strength that was with him when he was a human and is still with him as a vampire, with his being a vampire and immortal and with power only making all these characteristics all the more clear to the readers.

One can’t help but love and hate Lestat for what he is.

The next book is even more shocking.

01
Apr
13

Book Review: Interview with the Vampire

Review on: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Series: The Vampire Chronicles (Book 1)

Rating: 4/5

Interview with a Vampire follows the story of Louis, a vampire currently living in the 20th century, who in an interview with a young journalist introduces his story of how he lived when he was a human, until he was turned into a vampire, and his life following that event.

Louis, the wealthy young master of a family who owns a plantation in New Orleans, recounts to us his life with his younger brother and sister, and how the events after the death of his younger brother drove him to the brink of alcoholism and how this eventually leads to his having encountered Lestat who turns Louis into the vampire he is. Louis continues to recount to the journalist how he learns to become a vampire under Lestat, his journey as they try to live within the society without giving away their identity. And later when Lestat turns a young girl child into a vampire to act as Louis’ companion, how they journey through the years and the realizations they encounter along the way. Later, Louis and Claudia (the girl vampire) try to escape from Lestat by attempting to kill him and they flee to Europe in the hopes of finding old-vampires who can teach them things that Lestat was never able to share with them. This leads them to meet the Théâtre des Vampires, with their coven leader Armand, who introduces them to their vampire world with vampires who are nothing like the vampires that Louis and Claudia hoped to find. Later, this is where they are again discovered by Lestat who hopes to take Louis away and to do away with Claudia who in the first place attempted to kill Lestat. Here, Claudia and Madeleine (a woman who Louis turns into a vampire to act as a companion for Claudia – upon her request) are killed by the Théâtre des Vampires, whom later Louis takes vengeance on before running off with Armand. The end of the story follows Louis who happens to meet Lestat again in New Orleans, and later on the end of the recounting of his story with the journalist who is not satisfied with the ending to such a thrilling story.

This book actually has a movie-version, which I happened upon over 10 years ago. I can remember parts of the movie, and faces of the characters, but nothing more of the story, so I guess you can say I came upon this book without any expectations.

The content of the book is exactly as the title says it is, it is an interview with a vampire. The recounting of a sad story, to an interested journalist/ reader. The start of the story is actually quite intriguing as we see and we sort of empathize with Louis who after the death of his brother has to deal with becoming a new vampire, just like a child who needs guidance. Time within the book is hard to understand though as the passing of a couple of years in the book happens over a couple of paragraphs at certain parts of the story, and other parts are more detailed. The switching of dialogues between Louis’ and the journalist, and his recounting of the story can be a bit confusing as it seems so realistic, like someone remembering a story and actually living in the memory and then suddenly finding themselves thrown back into reality. But it is just a characteristic of the story that makes it even more interesting. All the characters are given enough “screen time”, depending on how important they are to the flow of the story as they are introduced with character descriptions.

I can say that for this book I am somewhat disappointed, just like the journalist. The ending came by quickly, and maybe I had hoped for something more grand for the ending because the start of the book just sounded so amazing and interesting. But then again, the end was a little cliff hanger, leaving the reader to imagine what happened to Louis. Now that I think about it, I wish the book was a little longer and had more dialogue for Lestat, but then again this is the story of Louis, not Lestat, so I cannot fault the book for this.

Overall, this is really quite an interesting book as it tries to explain to us the story of Anne Rice’s vampires, from their beginnings (when they are newly turned) to decades and centuries later as they try to adapt to the ever-changing world. I cannot wait to read the other Anne Rice books that have Lestat as a main part of their story. It also makes me want to go back and read the Anne Rice books that I read over 5 years ago, because I’m sure that their stories will make more sense to me now.




The Doll(dalera)

What lies behind the mask of a doll, kept sheltered and propped against the shelf wall. Beautiful and untouched for all to see, she comes unmasked in beautiful glory.

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A fresh university graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University who loves to write stories, articles and poetry. Enjoys reading books - mostly fiction, and loves to play video games.

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