Eddie Black's Reviews > The Vampire Lestat

The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
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's review
Jan 01, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: 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 great. I loved it. The book engendered a question within me that never found any sunlight growing up a protestant in the Deep South. That queston, can something evil love? The values of the Southern protestant is one of black and white and there is no mixing, no grey, no overlap. By witnessing the drama of Lestat's journey, this manifestation of the Shadow declaring it's evil and it's good... I questioned this myself.

It is a slippery slope to question everything. With no reading, history, or even exposure to any philosophy (Arkansas public school after all) I now asked questions about ethics, the nature of God, what is beauty, morality, and more. I had become a philosopher (though not a good one).

Now, 17 years later I've been around the world many times, am nearing the completion of two degrees (psychology and philosophy) and am a much different, much broader, much more deepened soul. The questions I've asked, the roads I've taken, the experiences I've had, are all a result of my search for my own truth. A lot of that was set afire because of reading this book.

I know that many bemoan Anne's move from the supernatural and to Christian writings. It's her life and I respect that. Yet I am reminded of something Jung said, we do not become enlighted by imagining beings of light, but by making the darkness visible (I'm paraphrasing). Lestat might not be a being of light (that's another topic) but his darkness is illuminating.

This is one of my favorite books ever.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 1992 – Finished Reading
January 1, 2009 – Shelved
June 15, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites

Comments (showing 1-29 of 29) (29 new)

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Alexander Draganov What an incredible story. Almost as amazing as the book itself.

Eddie Black Darth wrote: "What an incredible story. Almost as amazing as the book itself."

Thank you.

message 3: by Susanna (new)

Susanna Eddie,
Do you think I would need to read the first book "Interview with the Vampire" before I start this book? or can I start from here?

Eddie Black I started from here first and it hooked me. I went back later to read 'Interview'. No real spoilers in this that'll ruin the first book for you.

message 5: by Susanna (new)

Susanna Great Thanks!!

Cristina This is one of the first books I ever read in English at 13. I learned so much with it too. It's still one of my faves. And I've read almost every Anne rice book.

Holly Gollnick I have to just say, "Me too!".

message 8: by Cy (new) - added it

Cy Wussow I read the first book first and honestly speaking, while I am into the first book my thoughts are already with Lestat, who is he and how he became one very dark vampire. Reading your review excites me on buying this book!

message 9: by Katy (new) - added it

Katy What a touching review! I am glad to know that there are still people out there who are moved by literature.

This is one of my favorites as well. :)

Eddie Black Looking at everyone above, they all seem like really nifty people.

Guillermo  I'm new to this site, and was just bumbling around thinking of those books that just had that spark you still remember from long ago. And this was one of them. I read this book in the late 90s, and I had a similar experience of finding a book that really challenged me to think about our nature, especially when its so beautifully and tragically put by Ms. Rice. Lestat's "darkness" really is illuminating as you say.

Julie Hudson Man....Every Single word you wrote could have come from my own mouth! However, I tend to write hastily, and would not have put it so eloquently. You write Very well, yourself! I have just joined this site and am filling in my shelves, and i Had to start with Anne. Reading your review was like going back in time. It was 18 years ago for me ...I am also from the South (Alabama), and know all too well of what you speak, about the no grey areas. I was raised Baptist, Sunday mornings, nights and G.A.'s on Wed. nights. All was cut and dried, one wasn't to question anything and better not forget to say Thank you Sir/Ma'am after everything. Well, I was born with a curious mind and always questioned everything, hence getting ejected from Sunday School class at 16, for asking a question the teacher couldn't answer. It was a general question, nothing really risqué about it, and I was left feeling ashamed for trying to expand my mind and Understand God. Who, Exactly was I to try to Understand God?!!! God can not BE Understood, and then the All too common reply, when 'they' do not know the answers, yes...I am Sure you have heard it many times as well--You just Have to Have F*A*I*T*H!!! Please don't mistake me, I Know there is a God, and Do Believe in Him, I just am not quite sure What to believe. And this...after years and years of questioning and wondering. Anyway, not long after my shameful Sunday School ordeal, which did cause me to stop going to church altogether for some times, I came across This book at a yard sale. And I bought the one thing that aroused more curiosity within me than anything else to date, for only 45¢…The question it generated in me was much like yours- If Lestat was so horrible, and vampires so evil, didn't that mean God had to have that in him as well? And furthermore, if there is Nothing 'bad' in heaven, and no one is allowed to hurt or think bad thoughts; then how in the World(or Heaven) did Satan Ever find in himself the jealousy that proved his downfall? And why would there be streets of gold and jeweled crowns and mansions, for goodness sake? Are those things not materialistic and Doesn't THAT go against All the teachings of the bible?
Oh, wow...sorry I rambled like that! I only wanted to say how well your review was written and that it struck a similar chord in me when I read this glorious book. And for the life of me, I can not understand all the negative reviews of her work I have come across so far! Thanks for sharing, and taking me back in time. ~~Julie Anne

Eddie Black Wow Julie! I bet we would knock back a few while comparing notes. Such similarity that is all too common for many of us Southerners.

It was a very nice comment, interesting and familiar, and no ramble. Though there are good things, too, that ramble (bramble) offering sweet berries to passers-by.

Jeanine Kelly Read Dracula by Bram Stoker! You said you passed it by, do yourself a favor and enjoy it! Sooooo much better than any movie!

Eddie Black I did return to it and read it later. I enjoyed very much. Thanks.

Tasha I completely agree. this book helped me define myself.

message 17: by Addy (new) - added it

Addy Wow! Everyone's comments, especially Eddie's and Julie's, makes me very excited to read this. Great review!

message 18: by Daisy (new)

Daisy Holy cow! That is one of the coolest reviews I have ever read. Thank you. I think I am going up to my library and starting this book now.

Shara Great review your words capture my feelings about this story as well. Every time I am feeling deeply introspective I revisit this book. I first read it in my first year of college and many of my decisions in life were because of this book. I have lived in Louisiana, studied abroad in Paris and now I live in Miami and Anne's description of these places and how Lestat felt about them definitely color my view of these places.

Eddie Black Wow Shara, that is awesome! How cool is it to visit those places? What a stoey

Miquel Reina Great review Eddie! I felt the same!

Brittany Shreeves I have read interview with the vampire and I look foward to reading the next. Its good to see such nice reviews on here that aren't putting down Anne Rice's work. Yes, this has defined me, definately. Oh and the book dracula helped me find this one which is so fortunate!

message 23: by Iris (new)

Iris I liked how you phrased that. "His darkness is illuminating." I haven't read this book yet, but I will. Maybe I'll see what you see.

James Sullivan I think that The Vampire Lestat is one of my top two Anne Rice novels,...although I've not read nearly all of them. I also like novels that have some complexity of emotion and moral ambiguity. Great review!

message 25: by Ana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ana That was touching. Thank you for your words.

message 26: by Isla (new) - added it

Isla Wow, what a review! Very Inspiring !

message 27: by M.A. (new)

M.A. Marrrissette New Breed by M. A. Marrissette is cool too.

DAVID Carpenter you should be the writer dude you seem to have a knack for it

Nancy Thanks for sharing ! Awesome review :)

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