Jon-michael's Reviews > The Vampire Lestat

The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
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's review
Sep 22, 2009

it was amazing

This is one of those books that defined me. I do 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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