Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
The Tale of the Body Thief - Anne Rice Once upon a time, Anne Rice had an excellent series called the Vampire Chronicles. It began with Interview with the Vampire, where her "main" vampire, Lestat, is introduced, and continued her focus on the various adventures and mishaps of Lestat through this novel, The Tale of the Body Thief.::: Oh, That Silly Lestat. There He Goes Again :::The Tale of the Body Thief begins with the age-old question of the existence of God. Lestat, as usual, begins the narration, and the topic continues as he meets with the Superior General of the Talamasca, David Talbot. The Talamasca is a secret organization who studies all facets of the supernatural, from vampires to telekinesis, and David's friendship with Lestat is frowned upon by the rest of the group. Nevertheless, Talbot describes his own theory of a fallible God and a Devil who actually has the position in shifts with others, no one wanting to be the face of evil.Lestat sees himself as a form of the Devil, becoming evil when his mortality was sacrificed when he was made a vampire. Of course, The Tale of the Body Thief will give Lestat the opportunity to change all that; a man capable of swapping bodies at will offers Lestat the chance to experience a mortal body again. Protests from Talbot and Lestat's vampire compatriot Louis (the protagonist of Interview ignored, Lestat makes the deal with the mortal, Raglan James, and almost immediately realizes that his usual impulsivity has led to what might be the permanent loss of his body. In the mortal body, Lestat is horrified by what he considers to be the foul side of being human again almost immediately, and while in the body, he becomes ill, gets drunk, has sex, and finally turns to Louis for assistance, begging to be remade as a vampire. Louis, of course, refuses, seeing Lestat's folly as a chance for redemption, and Lestat turns instead to Talbot to formulate a plan to regain his own body.::: The Plot Thickens... And Goes Missing :::As much as I love the Vampire Chronicles, I hate Lestat. When they made the movie of Interview with the Vampire with Tom Cruise playing the role, I was doubly annoyed, for a despised actor was playing a despised role. The arrogant, half-cocked antics of Lestat have always annoyed me, even when I loved the books, and The Tale of the Body Thief is no different. Both times I've read the book, I found myself wanting to slap Lestat silly for his stupidity, but without his stupidity there would be no book. None of the other vampires from the Chronicles would be so stupid as to hand over what is one of the most powerful vampiric bodies to a common thief, yet that is exactly what Lestat does, trusting that he won't be duped, even though the reader can see it coming from miles away.Still, the book is an excellent read. The beginning sections with the theories of God and Evil are intriguing, and the mere concept of someone who has has preternatural powers for centuries reverting to the ordinary humanity he has forgotten was a fascinating read, and Rice provides the reader with a very realistic vision of what that might be like.There are only two things that keep the novel from being truly superb. One is the addition of a nun Lestat meets in the hospital when the mortal body falls ill. While this interlude seems to be a vehicle for more discussion of morality, it seems beyond contrived (why would a volunteer nun take an ill man she doesn't know out of the hospital and bring him to her home?) and is just another excuse for Rice to add in one of her requisite number of sex scenes. The other is a feeling that somehow the question of whether or not there is a God got lost in the shuffle. After Talbot's description of "seeing" a conversation between God and the Devil in his past, I felt like by the end of the novel there might be some inkling of what this episode was, or some answer other than Lestat's own belief whether it was true. It all seems to rest in his contact with Gretchen, and it falls flat.The Tale of the Body Thief, nonetheless, is an excellent and entertaining read. For once, Lestat gets a bit of comeuppance for his arrogance, although that never seems to slow him down for long. The Tale of the Body Thief is still one of the better books in the Vampire Chronicles series. This review previously published at Epinions: http://www.epinions.com/review/The_Tale_of_the_Body_Thief_by_Anne_Rice_and_by_Copyright_Paperback_Collection_Library_of_Congress_/content_174868041348

Currently reading

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography
Elisabeth Sladen, David Tennant
Diary of a Submissive: A Modern True Tale of Sexual Awakening
Sophie Morgan
Bellman & Black
Diane Setterfield
Deep into the Heart of a Rose
G.T. Denny