The Vampire Lestat

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

This best-selling novel purports to be the autobiography of Lestat de Lioncourt, the eighteenth century French vampire whose adventures in nineteenth century New Orleans were chronicled in Anne Rice’s INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE (1979). This sequel recounts Lestat’s transformation, his search for vampirism’s origins, and his efforts to convince humans of his reality.

Leaving his estate, Lestat becomes an actor in Paris. His beauty attracts Magnus, a vampire, who kidnaps him. Exchanging blood for blood, Magnus makes Lestat a vampire. Lestat then transforms his dying mother and closest friend into vampires.

Feeding on the blood of criminals, these three ravage Paris until they are challenged by a coven of vampires led by Armand. Armand has lived since the Roman Empire when Marius, vampire and magus, transformed him.

Lestat searches Europe for Marius then finds him in Egypt. Marius relates how, centuries before Christ, Druid priests made him a vampire. Marius now guards the immortals Enkil and Akasha, from whom all vampires descend. Lestat falls in love with Akasha, angers Enkil, and flees to New Orleans.

When society’s tumult awakens him, Lestat becomes a rock-and-roll star. He capitalizes upon pseudo-Satanism to assert the true Dark Powers. His record albums and videos pave the way for a concert which explodes into a vampire riot.

Though elaborating upon Rice’s previous novel, this book lacks its narrative pace and dark eroticism. The sequel’s plot--using successive tales by Lestat, Armand, and Marius--becomes repetitive. Convoluted connections of vampirism with ancient mythology produces much dialogue but little action. A vampire turned crusading rock star is an incredible premise that many readers may not accept.