Monday, February 8, 2010

The Tale of the Body Thief

Book four in The Vampire Chronicles raises an assortment of questions that seem to be a general topic amongst vampire characters. Picture you were forced to become a vampire. Now, you are given the chance to be a mortal again. Would you do it? Would you try?

That's the opportunity presented to the infamous Lestat. Of course, being the curious creature he is, he accepts the opportunity and then is lead into an adventure he had never foreseen. Faced with the reality of being human after two hundred years of living as a predator Lestat realizes that his new mortal form isn't going to make life as easy as he had previously assumed it would be.

I enjoy how Anne Rice elaborates on the beauty of the life around us. Many things that we, in our busy lives, fail to take notice of and appreciate. The sun appearing after a snowstorm and how it sparkles on the fallen snow. The heat of a house and the comfort of clean sheets on a bed. She eloquently brings all of this forth and with her writing style makes it perfectly easy to imagine just how the snow lay on the statues in Washington DC.

There are some portions of the book which might be unnerving and uncomfortable to some readers. An accidental rape (I paused when writing out 'accidental' but it is true, the character didn't intend to rape the other) and love of a nun. Anne Rice has never shyed away from topics that can cause a reader to question the sanity of a character. She doesn't take pause if something is uncomfortable or controversial. I think that's why I enjoy her so much. She writes what she writes and doesn't let anyone stop her.

Unlike the start of the Chronicles (Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat) this is only the second time I've read this book. And yet... I see it completely different then I did the first time I read it. I've noticed that lately all of the books I've had the opportunity to reread I see in a whole new light.

I feel that this book is not a tale of the thief who steals Lestat's body. I feel that it is a tale of what a vampire would do if given a chance to become a mortal again. What would that vampire do if they experienced mortality for the first time in years. And how would other vampires feel about this experience. Vampire literature seems to always display the vampire who never wanted to be a vampire. Well, this gives the vampire an option for mortality and that option is taken. The only question left is once the vampire is a mortal will he chose to continue his life as that of a mortal or will he try to return to the darkness?



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