The Vampire Chronicles
Interview With The Vampire
This is the story of the Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even “settle down” for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia’s struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are.
Louis and Claudia travel Europe, eventually coming to Paris and the ragingly successful Theatre des Vampires–a theatre of vampires pretending to be mortals pretending to be vampires. Here they meet the magnetic and ethereal Armand, who brings them into a whole society of vampires. But Louis and Claudia find that finding others like themselves provides no easy answers and in fact presents dangers they scarcely imagined.
The Vampire Lestat
The Vampire Lestat, whom we first met in Interview With the Vampire, has his own story to tell. Anne Rice’s second book in The Vampire Chronicles follows Lestat through the ages as he conducts his own search for his origins and to find meaning in what has happened to him. Unlike the cruel and dark Lestat we saw in Interview, this book reveals a sympathetic figure with his own blend of morality, romanticism, and bravery. Lestat has been asleep for fifty-five years and awakes entranced with the modern world. He becomes a superstar rock musician and millions of fans fall under his spell. Breaking the vampire code of silence, Lestat reveals himself to the world in the hopes that the world’s immortals will rise and join together to solve the mystery of their, and his, existence.
The novel moves effortlessly back in time to eighteenth century France, the world of Lestat’s chilhood artistocracy, as he tells his story. From his childhood struggles against his father through free and easy eighteenth century Paris as an actor, and his making into a vampire. We travel with Lestat as he searches for other vampires, sometimes alone, sometimes with the haunting Gabrielle, sometimes with the devastating Nicolas. Lestat circles Europe searching for his origins, and for clues to the birth of the vampire, but he finds that the seminal answers elude him. Through his travels and searches, Lestat also makes enemies of vampires who are terrified that his wanderings and searchings will disrupt their coexistence with mortals, or that he will attempt to rule them all. And when Lestat finds the very first vampires, he finds his seminal truths, but also unleashes ancient forces and the wrath of his enemies. Lestat, hunter, has become the hunted.
The Queen of the Damned
The third book in The Vampire Chronicles, Queen of the Damned, follows three parallel storylines.
The rock star Vampire Lestat prepares for a concert in San Francisco, unaware that hundreds of vampires will be among the fans that night and that they are committed to destroying him for risking exposing them all.
The sleep of a group of men and women, vampires and mortals, around the world is disturbed by a mysterious dream of red-haired twins who suffer an unspeakable tragedy. The dreamers, as if pulled, move toward each other, the nightmare becoming clearer the closer they get. Some die on the way, some live to face they terrifying fate their pilgrimage is building to.
Lestat’s journey to a cavern deep beneath a Greek Island on his quest for the origins of the vampire race awakened Akasha, Queen of the Damed and mother of all vampires, from her 6,000 year sleep. Awake and angry, Akasha plans to save mankind from itself by elevating herself and her chosen son/lover to the level of the gods.
As these three threads wind seamlessly together, the origins and culture of vampires are revealed, as is the length and breadth of their effect on the mortal world. The threads are brought together in the twentieth century when the fate of the living and the living dead is rewritten.
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The Tale of the Body Thief
Returning to Lestat as the main character, the fourth in the Vampire Chronicles series finds Lestat impulsive and careless in the pursuit of what he wants: a serial killer in Southern Florida. Lestat is surrounded by mortals in this tale, an a new worthy counterpoint character to Lestat is introduced, Raglan James. James is a vampire hunter, and a formidable adversary for Lestat. James offers Lestat the opportunity to switch bodies temporarily with a young mortal. Against Louis’ advice, Lestat accepts and discovers he hates everything about being human. He also finds that James has disappeared with Lestat’s powerful vampire body. Louis refuses to help Lestat become a vampire again, and he turns to another mortal to help him trick James into switching souls, and giving up Lestat’s body.
Centering on the themes of body and soul and soul migration, The Tale of the Body Thief is a novel of action.
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Memnoch the Devil
In the fifth Vampire Chronicle, Lestat is searching for Dora, the beautiful and charismatic mortal daughter of a drug lord. Dora has moved Lestat like no other mortal ever has, and he cannot get her out of his visions. At the same time, he is increasingly aware that the Devil knows who he is and wants something from him. While torn betwen his vampire world and his passion for Dora, Lestat is sucked in by Memnoch, who claims to be the Devil himself. Memnoch presents Lestat with unimagined opportunities: to witness creation, to visit purgatory, to be treated like a prophet. Lestat faces a choice between the Devil or God. Whom does he believe in? Who does he serve? What are the element of religious belief? Lestat finds himself caught in a whirlpool of the ultimate choice.
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The Erotic Adventures of Sleeping Beauty
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty
In the traditional folk tale of “Sleeping Beauty,” the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince. It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind?s unconscious. Now Anne Rice?s retelling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince awakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty’s complete and total enslavement to him… as Anne Rice explores the world of erotic yearning and fantasy in a classic that becomes, with her skillful pen, a compelling experience.
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This sequel to The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, the first of Anne Rice’s elegantly written volumes of erotica, continues her explicit, teasing exploration of the psychology of human desire. Now Beauty, having indulged in a secret and forbidden infatuation with the rebellious slave Prince Tristan, is sent away from the Satyricon-like world of the Castle. Sold at auction, she will soon experience the tantalizing punishments of “the village,” as her education in love, cruelty, dominance, submission, and tenderness is turned over to the brazenly handsome Captain of the Guard. And once again Rice?s fabulous tale of pleasure and pain dares to explore the most primal and well-hidden desires of the human heart.
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In the final volume of Anne Rice’s deliciously tantalizing erotic trilogy, Beauty?s adventures on the dark side of sexuality make her the bound captive of an Eastern Sultan and a prisoner in the exotic confines of the harem. As this voluptuous adult fairy tale moves toward conclusion, all Beauty?s encounters with the myriad variations of sexual fantasy are presented in a sensuous, rich prose that intensifies this exquisite rendition of love?s secret world, and makes the Beauty series an incomparable study of erotica. In it, Anne Rice makes the forbidden side of passion a doorway into the hidden regions of the psyche and the heart.