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The Vampire Lestat

(The Vampire Chronicles #2)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  176,491 ratings  ·  3,752 reviews
Lestat. The vampire hero of Anne Rice's enthralling new 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 mes ...more
Paperback, 481 pages
Published August 31st 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published 1985)
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EliasAlucard The Vampire Lestat is a far superior novel compared to Interview with the Vampire, for various reasons, and many at that. The most important reason is…moreThe Vampire Lestat is a far superior novel compared to Interview with the Vampire, for various reasons, and many at that. The most important reason is that IWTV is basically a vampire family drama, with some occasional violence, and nothing really hardcore. In that regard, the Cruise/Pitt film, is actually a much better film than the novel is a novel, because IWTV is a boring reading about Louis' endless whining, conscience, guilt, humanism and so on. That was done well in the film, but reading several hundred pages of Louis being a crybaby, was no fun, I can tell you that. Had Anne not written the other sequels in the Vampire Chronicles, I find it hard to imagine that IWTV would be a well known novel today. Not knocking on it, it's not a bad book, it was actually a unique and revolutionary vampire novel in its own way for its time, and well written and all, but 'the Anne Rice magic' didn't really begin in the first book.

Now TVL on the other hand, was written like a decade after IWTV, and at this point, Anne Rice had not only matured as an author (IWTV was her first novel), but she had also become more erudite and enlightened in anthropology, religion. history and the arts. TVL is a testament to that, because a novel like IWTV isn't really difficult to write (not saying it's a piece of cake, but TVL requires far more erudition), but TVL was something else.

Basically every Vampire Chronicles novel that has been written after TVL, all followed or built upon the vampire universe and laws, first seen in The Vampire Lestat. Queen of the Damned is a direct sequel to TVL, and followed its recipe very closely; The Vampire Armand as well as Blood and Gold, are short stories we first read in TVL, and so on. Even Memnoch the Devil, though clearly Anne was influenced by Paradise Lost when she wrote it, is a continuation of the theme Armand and his Satanist posse had going on in Paris, as first seen in TVL, not in IWTV (where Armand had become a theater guy). When and where The Vampire Chronicles deviated from The Vampire Lestat formula, those novels were never really as good and purist as TVL (Vittorio, Merrick, Blackwood Farm and Blood Canticle). Anne simply had her best ideas in TVL; this was her prime; The Vampire Lestat, was Anne Rice's moment of glory and grandeur.

The best part about TVL is that it was this book, that gave Anne's vampire universe, a great origin story, that was not only an original take or spin on it (you know, as opposed to the traditional, "it all started with Dracula or Carmilla" stuff), but also paid homage to ancient Mesopotamian proto-vampire myths about blood drinking spirits and so on (you can tell that Anne had thoroughly done her research on vampire mythology, before penning TVL). It was like we got all the answers Louis (Brad Pitt) was asking Armand (Antonio Banderas) but which Armand couldn't answer, but The Vampire Lestat gave gave us those answers; Lestat answered all our questions.

And the powers of the vampires, were shown off more here, such as telepathy, telekinesis, pyrokinesis and so on. Louis in IWTV had basically no powers other than being immortal (he can't even read minds), and Lestat barely showed off his powers there, whereas TVL had a lot more action. IWTV was basically a story about two guys drinking blood and pretending to be parents to a little girl. That was it. TVL is more like an action/adventure tale about a powerful, self-confident and cocky vampire, who loves being a vampire and goes all the way with his immortality, as opposed to being depressed and emo 24/7.

Anyway, The Vampire Lestat is probably the best book in the entire Vampire Chronicles series, although I have to say, it's right up there with Memnoch. Not everyone likes Memnoch though, due to all its theology, but I personally loved it. I still reread TVL and Memnoch from time to time, like every 5 years or something.

To summarize: The Vampire Lestat is vampires done right; Interview with the Vampire (the novel, not the film, which is actually a classic film and a masterpiece) was an interesting experimental, first attempt of Anne Rice becoming a great author. She became one when she published The Vampire Lestat. That was when Anne Rice cemented her status as a cult legend.(less)
Cidney S. Hi. Even though this question was posted a year ago, I decided to answer just in case there are others who have the same question. Also, this is one o…moreHi. Even though this question was posted a year ago, I decided to answer just in case there are others who have the same question. Also, this is one of my absolute favorite books, and Lestat just might be my favorite character of any book I've read. That being said, I don't think it's necessary to read IWAV first.

Something to consider is that The Vampire, Lestat is written from Lestat's point of view, whereas, IWAV is written from Louis' viewpoint. Personally, while I thoroughly enjoyed IWAV and did read it first, I did not like the character, Lestat as depicted by Louis. Because of that, I almost didn't buy TVL. However, after reading a few pages, I decided to read it - so VERY glad I did. Lestat in the second book (his book LOL) is much more engaging, interesting, and ... ahem ... dare I say, fleshed out.

Lastly, it seems a good thing in a lot of cases, to read the first book in a series before moving on, but this book can stand alone. While you won't be lost, you will probably become very curious to know the first.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  176,491 ratings  ·  3,752 reviews


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Eddie Black
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of those books that defined me. I don't mean that I turned goth or vampire or whatever. No... it started me thinking.

I was born and raised in the South. I didn't read anything else other than fantasy novels (like Dragonlance). I joined the Marines in 89 and while watching a movie about a teenage vampire it was mentioned that Dracula is 'good literature'. I went to the base library to check out Dracula and beside it on the shelf was this book. I took this one instead.

The book was grea
...more
Christine (AR)
Nov 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Dear Anne Rice:

NOT WORTHY.

Signed, All Fictional Vampires Who Are Not Lestat

This was a re-read for me, but in all honesty, I don't think I was ready for this book the first time I read it. Or at least, I didn't appreciate it for the sheer masterpiece of storytelling that it is, and it's not just the mood and the world and the mythology and the fast-moving plot -- more than anything, it's the characters.

Lestat, of course, Rice's 'brat prince', arrogant and compassionate and impossible, all at the
...more
Jennifer
The Vampire Lestat is the second book in The Vampire Chronicles series by Anne Rice. I adored the first book, Interview With A Vampire which was told in Louis' perspective, a vampire that Lestat made who clung desperately to his humanity. The Vampire Lestat is Lestat's story told in his perspective. Although I viewed Lestat as somewhat of a villian in the first book, the reader gets a glimpse of Lestat when he was human and first made vampire. His story is long and tours the globe, even with a h ...more
Melissa
Oh, how I love Anne Rice.
I actually started reading these books after I read Twilight. Yes, surprisingly, I went back to vampire fiction after that. Meyer is a good writer, but once you've met Anne's Vampires, you're never going back. Anyhow, this book was great. It still has the good kind of vampires: the ones that sleep in coffins, drink human blood and burn in the sunlight.

description

This second book in the series wasn't disappointing, although I feared it might be, after reading the amazing 'Interview
...more
Ashley Daviau
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interview With the Vampire is a tough book to beat. That being said, I think I actually enjoyed this book more than Interview. And that’s saying a lot. Rice has such a beautifully poetic way of writing, it’s just so rich and you can’t help but be hypnotized by the story. I think Lestat is probably my favourite fictional vampire to date, there’s just something special about him as a character and I adore it. For me this book was utterly flawless, I loved every single word of it!
Crystal Starr Light
The year is 1984, and Lestat is the famous lead singer of the group, The Vampire Lestat. He stumbles upon a simple little book, "Interview with the Vampire", starring Louis, his ersatz lover of sorts (because vampires don't exactly have lovers the same way humans do). So Lestat sets the record straight and tells the tale of his life as a vampire.

When people say this is better than Interview with the Vampire, they are not kidding. This book is light years better than "Interview". I almost wish th
...more
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A very original take on the vampire tale, complete with a sweeping history and rich locales. This was Rice at the top of her game.
Kelly
Nov 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is my suggestion that, if you want to sample Anne Rice, and have never read any of her other works, this may be the book you want to read instead of her most famous novel, "Interview with a Vampire." let me explain.
"The Vampire Lestat" is quite a different novel from the first in the series, because we are dealing with an entirely different vampire than the depressed and vulnerable Louis from Rice's first book. Don't get me wrong, Lestat was the antagonist in Interview but towards the end of
...more
Gabrielle
I was raised by an unapologetic bookworm with rather eclectic tastes and whether its nature or nurture, I eventually turned into one of those myself. During my formative years, if I dared to say I was bored to my mother, she would simply throw a book at me and say “Read. You won’t be bored anymore”. It was very good advice, that I keep to this day: you will never catch me without a book in my purse! But the thing about my mother is that most of her library was not children/teenager appropriate, ...more
Stepheny

3.5

The second installment of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles switches perspective. The story is now being narrated by the one and only Lestat de Lioncourt. He is outraged by Louis’ tale and feels the need to defend himself. He decides to write a book detailing his long life as a vampire.

Lestat runs away with his lover when he is a young man. The two men run away to France where they drink wine and cry over the beauty of music and art. They’re of course madly in love and enjoy nothing more than th
...more
Calista
I loved these books in my 20s. Lestat had a great origin story and we explore that here. Anne takes us all the way up to Interview with the Vampire. Lestat is a crazy maker, he likes trouble. He did have a rough start as an immortal.

I loved the tone of Anne's books. They were so brooding and gothic and lush. She uses flowery language and I loved that then. Plus Lestat was Bisexual and he was one of the first characters I read that way. it was a big deal for the 80s and 90s as there weren't many
...more
Jaidee
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars !

The vampire lestat is like lavender candy floss.

addictive and a tad too sugary
too little....you want to grab another sticky handful
too much....a belly ache and tooth decay

beautiful to look at but melts to something hard when saliva is added

very enjoyable but need time away or it may lead to self-combustion

next year will start volume 3
Melody Sams
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It’s been nearly ten years since I first read this novel and I still find Lestat just as fierce and fascinating as ever! It’s of my opinion that he’s one of the most charismatic and contradictory characters ever created in literature.
Kristen Burns
4 Stars

Review:
Time for another super long review that no one will read!

Things I Disliked/Things I Didn't Mind but Others Might Dislike:

- The book was long, and between the flashbacks of Armand's and Marius's lives and Lestat's kind of long-winded way of talking about everything, the story moved forward at a very slow pace sometimes, which made me impatient.

- A lot of the characters' actions and words were dramatic and/or strange to the point of being unrealistic, but somehow it just worked and n
...more
Peter
Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic, read-2012
This was the Audible audio book, unabridged, read by Simon Vance. Who gives a really good performance, I love his vampire voice!

Lestat de Lion court rises from his long hibernation in 1980 and decides to become a rockstar. He puts out an album and to accompany this he writes his autobiography - revealing the story of his youth as well as the history of the race of vampires, which started 4000 years ago in Ancient Egypt.

Some gleaned facts: Anne Rice loves the words: 'preternatural' and 'savage ga
...more
Craig "NEEDS MORE DAMN TIME TO READ !!!!"
Phew!!! Spent most of yesterday and some of today finishing this book. Very seductive read indeed, I do like how the author writes but from time to time I felt my concentration slipping because she goes on just that little bit more than is needed sometimes.
Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Anne Rice's re-imagining of the "vampire" mythos is excellent and Lestat is on my list of "All Time Favorite" characters. As good as this novel is, the books that follow:The Queen of the Damned, The Tale of the Body Thief and Memnoch the Devil are even better. Highly Recommended?

Nominee: World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (1986)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (1986)
...more
Olivier Delaye
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is my fourth reread (in 15 or so years, mind you) of The Vampire Lestat and honestly it gets better every time. It's just incredible how well this book ages; like, it doesn't feel passé at all and is still very much up to date, even though it was written nearly 30 years ago! The prose is absolutely gorgeous, the story is downright engrossing and, history-wise, very well researched. Really, gothic literature doesn't get any better than this. That said, let me add a caveat here: if long and d ...more
Bart
Apr 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers in general
Recommended to Bart by: Todd
A happy surprise indeed. Perhaps it was a result of low expectations or a prior experience with the movie "Interview with the Vampire" that had me so unprepared to enjoy this novel.

The Vampire Lestat is a great read. It may not have all the literary quality of, say, Cormac McCarthy's equally gruesome accounts, but it is more enjoyable on its first reading.

What makes authors great, of course, is how their works hold up on revisits. Knowing the plotting and the conclusion of Anne Rice's novel, I'm
...more
Lana *Lifeinwordsandlyricscom*
Did I hear that right?! A tv show? With Bryan Fuller at the helm?
How?
What?
When?
Who?


I just have one little insy bitsy thing to ask of you, Bryan:

DON'T FUCK IT UP!


or...

...more
RJ from the LBC
The sequel to Interview with the Vampire focuses on Lestat, probably the most interesting character in the prior book and the central character in many, many more books to come. The story is fascinating when it intertwines with various historical events and places and times, but much less readable during long exasperating periods of existential fretting and romantic yearning. Rice's gothic prose is beautiful at times, overwhelming at others, best in small doses. ...more
Erika
Oh Lestat de Lioncourt, how can you be this rebel,
how dare you create such trouble while not giving a single thought to your actions.


This is the second book on The Vampire Chronicles, and it is time for Lestat to tell his story. It starts in the year 1984 if my mind is not playing tricks on me,

(wow, i just realized that i was reading this book at the same time with the book 1984. Isn't that weird? book set in 1984 while i was reading 1984... no?... but... are you sure?... not even a little
...more
Kim M
After reading Interview with the Vampire, Lestat decides that he wants to tell his own story in the form of a book, The Vampire Lestat. He starts his narrative with pre-vampire life, discusses his transformation, and then the bulk of the story describes everything that happened to Lestat pre-Louis.

I loved Interview with the Vampire. If I had read The Vampire Lestat first, I probably would have loved it just as much. Anne Rice's vampires are what vampires should be: dangerous creatures of the nig
...more
Parvati Patil
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Slow, over wordy and as anti-romance as it could be, but I really enjoyed this book. The cast of characters is amazing, Armand, Marius, Nicolas, Gabrielle, Akasha, and of course Lestat . I'm glad I had the sense to get book 3 weeks ago because that ending!
Miquel Reina
Anne Rice is definitely one of my favorite authors but as I said in my review for "Interview with the Vampire", in my opinion, Vampire Chronicles saga is divided into two parts; Interview with the Vampire and the rest of the books, especially by the shift in their point of view: the first point of view lies on Louis while in second lies on Lestat. That makes the "Vampire Lestat" and subsequent novels a more passionate and less melancholic mood than Interview with the vampire. Rice plunges us int ...more
Rita
Vampires are real and Anne Rice is their historian!
Anne Rice has created a very detailed world for the vampires that inhabit her world and the vampires in it. The first one of her Vampire Chronicles was Interview with the Vampire This is the second one.
Lestat was born into a noble family in Auvergne, France, a few decades before the French Revolution was to destroy French nobility. He travels to Paris with his friend, Nicholas, to seek their fortunes but it's there that fate in the shape of the
...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Was a 4 star but changed for personal reasons to a one.
Eric Allen
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
So my GF didn't believe me that there was ever a movie sequel to Interview with a Vampire. So, I dusted off my *cough* VHS tape of if. Wandered around the house swearing I still had a VCR around here somewhere for about an hour. Found that and dusted it off too, and popped the movie in. Wow. that movie. It's sooooooo bad. But it left me wanting to reread this book, and the book after it. I first read these books way back in the beforetimes of 1993 when I was in middle school, and it was just as ...more
Michelle
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
TL;DR - it's worth reading if you enjoy the franchise, the characters, and are willing to self-edit (that is, skip the repetitive expositions).

Although I read this book when it was first published, and reread it a time or two in the intervening decades, most recently I "read" this book as an audio book, which is an interesting test for a book. The book is in the first person, so listening to it heightens the effect of Lestat telling you his story; however, I hadn't realized how much of the ponti
...more
Jess The Bookworm
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books
This is the sequel to Interview with the Vampire, in which Lestat de Lioncourt awakens in the 1980s, reads Louis' account of the events in Interview with the Vampire, and decides to set the record straight.

Lestat takes us back to his upbringing as the son of a Marquis in France, where even as a mortal, he was in the thoes of an existential crisis, filled with the need to escape his family home. He runs away with his lover to Paris, where they join the theatre. It is here that Lestat is turned,
...more
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Vampire Lestat [Mar 15, 2019] 7 30 May 14, 2019 01:57PM  
Horror Aficionados : Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles coming to TV 14 64 Jun 04, 2017 08:31PM  
Plot holes between IWTV and TVL 3 75 Apr 14, 2015 10:12PM  
Goodreads Choice ...: The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles #2) - February 2015 7 38 Feb 18, 2015 03:43AM  
Is it worth it? 63 655 Jan 29, 2015 02:35PM  

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21,591 followers
Anne Rice (born Howard Allen Frances O'Brien) is a best-selling American author of gothic, supernatural, historical, erotica, and later religious themed books. Best known for The Vampire Chronicles, her prevailing thematical focus is on love, death, immortality, existentialism, and the human condition. She was married to poet Stan Rice for 41 years until his death in 2002. Her books have sold near ...more

Other books in the series

The Vampire Chronicles (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)
  • The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, #3)
  • The Tale of the Body Thief (The Vampire Chronicles, #4)
  • Memnoch the Devil (The Vampire Chronicles, #5)
  • The Vampire Armand (The Vampire Chronicles, #6)
  • Merrick (The Vampire Chronicles, #7)
  • Blood And Gold (The Vampire Chronicles, #8)
  • Blackwood Farm (The Vampire Chronicles, #9)
  • Blood Canticle (The Vampire Chronicles, #10)
  • Prince Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles, #11)

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