THE TALE OF THE BODY THIEF by Anne Rice
Kirkus Star

THE TALE OF THE BODY THIEF

The Vampire Chronicles

KIRKUS REVIEW

Rice fans awaiting the finale of 1990's The Witching Hour will be only temporarily dismayed by the author's fourth bloodletting and the return of the Vampire Lestat--in what is Rice's most strongly plotted novel yet. Lestat first appeared in the cloth-of-purple-velvet Interview With the Vampire (1976), the first modern novel to take up vampirism on a scale of detail whose seriousness sowed the dragon's teeth of imitators. Here, Lestat holds the storyteller's reins and tells of his recent folly in attempting to return to mortality. He despairs of his present 200 years of life, then goes to the Gobi desert to commit suicide by flying into the sun. But death by sunlight is too painful to bear. So when he is approached by Raglen James--a con artist who has been kicked out of the secret psychic organization The Talamasca, good guys with a computerized record of all major evil events caused by nasty spirits, and who has learned the trick of body switching--Lestat is fatally seduced into switching bodies with James for two nights and a day. This is a third of the waffling way into a novel that is slow to set its hook. But once Rice gets to the body switch, she provides her most inspired pages ever. Sweet-smelling, cruel, proud, self-pitying, death-proof, snotty, multimulti-billionaire honcho vampire Lestat finds himself in the tall, handsome body of a man who bears every human frailty, suffers proneness to a killer cold that lands him in the hospital, has mortal fears by the dozen, synapses much slower than Lestat's, sloshy flesh that twists with hunger, always feels leaden, and must descend to the horrid stinks of the toilet. He's robbed blind by James, a great hacker thief, and falls in love with a Catholic nun--while James, on a bloody flying rampage, won't give Lestat his body back. Irresistible as Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin's All of Me.
Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1992
ISBN: 0-679-40528-3
Page count: 428pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1992




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