The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles Series #2)

The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles Series #2)

by Anne Rice


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#1 New York Times Bestselling author - Surrender to fiction's greatest creature of the night - Book II of the Vampire Chronicles

The vampire hero of Anne Rice’s enthralling novel is a creature of the darkest and richest imagination. Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now a rock star in the demonic, shimmering 1980s, he rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his eternal, terrifying exsitence. His is a mesmerizing story—passionate, complex, and thrilling.

Praise for The Vampire Lestat
“Frightening, sensual . . . Anne Rice will live on through the ages of literature. . . . To read her is to become giddy as if spinning through the mind of time, to become lightheaded as if our blood is slowly being drained away.”San Francisco Chronicle
“Fiercely ambitious, nothing less than a complete unnatural history of vampires.”The Village Voice
“Brilliant . . . its undead characters are utterly alive.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Luxuriantly created and richly told.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780394534435
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/28/1985
Series: The Vampire Chronicles Series , #2
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 266,941
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Anne Rice is the author of thirty-two books. She lives in Palm Desert, California.


Rancho Mirage, California

Date of Birth:

October 4, 1941

Place of Birth:

Rancho Mirage, California


B.A., San Francisco State University, 1964; M.A., 1971

Read an Excerpt

IN THE WINTER OF MY TWENTY-FIRST YEAR, I WENT out alone on horseback to kill a pack of wolves.

This was on my father's land in the Auvergne in France, and these were the last decades before the French Revolution.

It was the worst winter that I could remember, and the wolves were stealing the sheep from our peasants and even running at night through the streets of the village.

These were bitter years for me. My father was the Marquis, and I was the seventh son and the youngest of the three who had lived to manhood. I had no claim to the tile or the land, and no prospects. Even in a rich family, it might have been that way for a younger boy, but our wealth had been used up long ago. My eldest brother, Augustin, who was the rightful heir to all we possessed, had spent his wife's small dowry as soon as he married her.

My father's castle, his estate, and the village nearby were my entire universe. And I'd been born restless—the dreamer, the angry one, the complainer. I wouldn't sit by the fire and talk of old wars and the days of the Sun King. History had no meaning for me.

But in this dim and old fashioned world, I had become the hunter. I brought in the pheasant, the venison, and the trout from the mountain streams—whatever was needed and could be got—to feed the family. It had become my life by this time—and one I shared with no one else—and it was a very good thing that I'd taken it up, because there were years when we might have actually starved to death.

Of course this was a noble occupation, hunting one's ancestral lands, and we alone had the right to do it. The richest of the bourgeois couldn't lift his gun in my forests. But then again he didn't have to lift his gun. He had money.

Two times in my life I'd tried to escape this life, only to be brought back with my wings broken. But I'll tell more on that later.

Right now I'm thinking about the now all over those mountains and the wolves that were frightening the villagers and stealing my sheep. And I'm thinking of the old saying in France in those days, that if you lived in the province of Auvergne you could get no farther from Paris.

Understand that since I was the lord and the only lord anymore who could sit a horse and fire a gun, it was natural that the villagers would come to me, complaining about the wolves and expecting me to hunt them. It was my duty.

I wasn't the least afraid of the wolves either. Never in my life had I seen or heard of a wolf attacking a man. And I would have poisoned them, if I could, but meat was simply too scarce to lace with poison.

So early on a very cold morning in January, I armed myself to kill the wolves one by one. I had three flintlock guns and an excellent flintlock rifle, and these I took with me as well as my muskets and my father's sword. But just before leaving the castle, I added to this little arsenal one or two ancient weapons that I'd never bothered with before.

Our castle was full of old armor. My ancestors had fought in countless noble wars since the times of the Crusades with St. Louis. And hung on the walls above all this clattering junk were a good many lances, battleaxes, flails, and maces.

It was a very large mace—that is, a spiked club—that I took with me that morning, and also a good-sized flail: an iron ball attached to a chain that could be swung with immense force at an attacker.

Now remember this was the eighteenth century, the time when white-wigged Parisians tiptoed around in high-heeled satin slippers, pinched snuff, and dabbed at their noses with embroidered handkerchiefs.

And here I was going out to hunt in rawhide boots and buckskin coat, with these ancient weapons tied to the saddle, and my two biggest mastiffs beside me in their spiked collars.

That was my life. And it might as well have been lived in the Middle Ages. And I knew enough of the fancy-dressed travelers on the post road to feel it rather keenly. The nobles in the capital called us country lords "harecatchers." Of course we could sneer at them and call them lackeys to the king and queen. Our castle had stood for a thousand years, and not even the great Cardinal Richelieu in his war on our kind had managed to pull down our ancient towers. But as I said before, I didn't pay much attention to history.

I was unhappy and ferocious as I rode up the mountain.

I wanted a good battle with the wolves. There were five in the pack according to the villagers, and I had my guns and two dogs with jaws so strong they could snap a wolf's spine in an instant.

Well, I rode for an hour up the slopes. Then I came into a small valley I knew well enough that no snowfall could disguise it. And as I started across the broad empty field towards the barren wood, I heard the first howling.

Within seconds there had come another howling and then another, and now the chorus was in such harmony that I couldn't tell the number of the pack, only that they had seen me and were signaling to each other to come together, which was just what I had hoped they would do.

I don't think I felt the slightest fear then. But I felt something, and it caused the hair to rise on the backs of my arms. The countryside for all its vastness seemed empty. I readied my guns. I ordered my dogs to stop their growling and follow me, and some vague thought came to me that I had better get out of the open field and into the woods and hurry.

My dogs gave their deep baying alarm. I glanced over my shoulder and saw the wolves hundreds of yards behind me and streaking straight towards me over the snow. Three giant gray wolves they were, coming on in a line.

I broke into a run for the forest.

It seemed I would make it easily before the three reached me, but wolves are extremely clever animals, and as I rode hard for the trees I saw the rest of the pack, some five full-grown animals, coming out ahead of me to my left. It was an ambush, and I could never make the forest in time. And the pack was eight wolves, not five as the villagers had told me.

Even then I didn't have sense enough to be afraid. I didn't ponder the obvious fact that these animals were starving or they'd never come near the village. Their natural reticence with men was completely gone.

I got ready for battle. I stuck the flail in my belt, and with the rifle I took aim. I brought down a big male yards away from me and had time to reload as my dogs and the pack attacked each other.

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The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles Series #2) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 493 reviews.
E_Bennet More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this series. I have read the first four novels (Interview, Lestat, Queen, and Body Thief). While "Interview" may not thrill the reader as much as future novels, once you delve into "The Vampire Lestat", you'll be hooked! Of the first four, "The Vampire Lestat" is my favorite. Every word is another heartbeat shared with Lestat. Rice creates a world and a creature so real, I swear one day Lestat will appear in the room while I'm reading. Additionally, in comparison to the "Twilight" series, you'll find Rice's Vampire Chronicles to be written at a more advanced level, for a mature audience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story starts off a little slow, but picks up after Lestat starts telling his story. Before he was a vampire, he lived in a castle with his family in an area in France near Paris. Before he went to Paris, he hunted down 8 wolves that were killing sheep. It cost him his horse, his 2 beloved Mastiffs, and it nearly cost him his life. Then, a few months after he moved to Paris with his best friend Nick, a 700 year old vampire, who had never made a vampire before, named Magnus turns him into a vampire against Lestat's will. From there on out there are just too many adventures to go into detail about, but he eventually meets up with Louis and Claudia. This is an excellent book. I reccomend this book for anyone over the age of 13.
David_Bremmerton More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and The Vampire Lestat is my favorite of the series by far. Wherein the hero of Interview with the Vampire (Louis) is a bit on the "poor me" side, here anti-hero Lestat is a classic narcassist with overflowing ego that fully captures the reader's imagination and attention. Awakened in modern day New Orleans, Lestat goes on a quest to become a famous rock star - all the while relating the tale of his upbringing as a young noble in France and his eventual turn into a vampire. One of the best vampire books I've ever read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
They don't get much better than this. A rockstar vampire. This is one of my all time favorite books and I hope it becomes that for you too. Very interesting and exciting read. The movie Queen of the Damned combined this book and the next book, of the same name, and very much sucked compared to the two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lestat is my favorite character so I really enjoyed reading about his backstory. In my opinion it's the best one in the series. I recommened this book to anyone who likes vampire books.
Jillsy More than 1 year ago
if you love lestat, then hearing his story will capitavate you. i 100% fell in love with him, for all of his flaws and all of his good qualities.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book mainly because i love Lestat. This was the first book in the series that i read. DO NOT DO THAT, START FROM BOOK 1. I fell in love with it anyway. I liked some of the actors in Queen of the Damned but that movie was one of the worst book recreations ever. Always read the book before you see the movie. READ THIS BOOK!!!
kelkel77 More than 1 year ago
Not as good as the first by far, but worth it. I continued on with the rest of the Chronicles and insist this one would make you loss out on the rest if skipped. A must read as crazy fiction goes. And good to know if you want to stop loathing Lestat.
Rynny More than 1 year ago
From the very first book my fav person was Lestat! This book is one of my favs of all time! The characters seem so real. When I was reading it, I felt like I was in another world!
susanbevans on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. Lestat is among my favorite vampire characters of all time. His story is beautifully written and extremely captivating.
ConnieJo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After the last one was the real-life memoir of Louis, I was delighted when this was written by Lestat, as a response. Even more ridiculous was that Lestat had made himself into a rock star in order to be more visible to Louis, and to give himself the opportunity to write the book. I laughed pretty hard at the first chapter.Then, after that, it was utterly fascinating when the fast-talking villain of Interview With the Vampire was turned into a sympathetic character, with a reason for doing everything he did in the first novel. And what's more, he genuinely loved Louis, more than Louis apparently loved him, and it was most heartbreaking to read with what Louis said in the back of my mind.Lestat's story is also a lot more fun and way more ridiculous than Louis's account. The story moves from France, to Egypt, to the US, back to France, and back to the US, and Lestat gets his hands in a little bit of everything. Being a modern rock star really suits him and his flair for the dramatic. The one thing I take issue with is how romance is handled in these novels. Lestat does care for Louis a great deal more than Louis seems to care for him, but he also seems to fall in love with just about everybody, including his mother and the "daughter" that he and Louis raised. And these relationships are described with just as much attention as Louis. We listen to Lestat go on and on about his love... but there's some strange hollowness to it, too. I'm not sure why.This was the best of the first three Vampire Chronicles. It was a welcome change of pace after the depressing story of the life of Louis.
jeffome on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
liked this an awful lot more than i thought i would....interview was a little tedious and the movie was likewise......almost did not read this, but there it was, so i did.....very slow start followed by a very fascinating tale that was easy to get caught up in.....guess i'll continue with the next one.....
Psychodrama on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not as fond as this one as I was of Interview with the Vampire. Maybe it was the lack of Claudia, who made me love the first book. What really had me confused here is that in this book, Lestat says that Louis was basically lying about his portrayal of Lestat in Interview with the Vampire. In that book, Lestat is portrayed as simple and violent and uncaring for humans. In THIS book, he's shown as having a great love for humans, and being as philosphical as Louis was in the first book. It just didn't make sense to me.
luvdancr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As always, the sensuousness and descriptive images run abound in anne rice's vampire lestat. A quote inside the cover says reading anne rice seems to suck the blood right from your veins....although I think he meant this as a compliment, I find it to be true in another way. Reading Anne Rice is very draining, and takes a very long the end though, it really is a rewarding read. can't wait to read the queen of th damned.
mauveberry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think this is the best out of all the books in Anne Rice's vampire chronicles series. The first book (Interview with the Vampire) was okay compared to this book. The ones after were not very interesting to me.
caelidh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books of all time. Must have read it at least 5 times!
MoiraStirling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How Lestat was made. A delectable introduction.
LaurenGommert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved the look into Lestat's birth into the immortal world. His story gives the reader incredible insight into why his character behaves the way he does. We see parts from the other Chronicles through Lestat's point of view. We see things as he saw them. I especially love the complexities between him and his mother. I think it might just be possible that all of Lestat's issues are Freudian! Not my very favorite book in the Chronicles, but an essential one. This one is kinda the thread the ties it all together.
poetontheone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was fourteen when I read Interview with the Vampire, so only dim recollections of that novel remain in my mind. Now having read this book, five years later. I do remember the lush quality of the prose, the questions of what is good and what is evil, and the sexuality that permeates character interaction throughout the work. All of these things have been mentioned before, and these traits are present in this work just as much as the other. The novel lags in some parts, though considering its length that is not surprising. It is a personal history of Lestat and a history of vampires a la Rice through the perspective of his character. Being that, it never becomes too tedious or dry, which could easily be the case if it were the work of another author. Rice has enough narrative skill to keep her readers engaged, and to transport them into this world she has created. Here, she crafts a version of the vampire mythos that is informed, original, and captivating, setting the stage for a grand morality play wrapped up in questions of humanity, sexuality, and the plight of being able to live forever in a world of perpetual change.
Gluk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
According to me, this one is the best I have read in the Vampire Chronicles.It provide a lot of backgroung throught Lestat investigation, history and characters are captivating.Book is quiet fast-paced...for a Anne Rice book.
chersbookitlist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the iconic modern vampire novel! Well-written, great plot progression and character development.
isabelx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Ah, the taste and feel of blood when all passion and greed is sharpened in that one desire!"The second book in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. I enjoyed it a lot when I first read it, but now I'm all vampired out.
Menagerie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was the first Anne Rice novel that I read and I fell completely, head-over-heels in love with her imagination and her lush, history-laden writing. Even though I normally do not like to read books out of order, I am glad that I read Lestat before Interview with the Vampire. I got to 'meet' Lestat through his eyes as opposed to those of his companions. This book, and indeed the entire Vampire Chronicles series, focuses on questions that no one in popular fiction ever asked before, namely what is the downside to immortality? What does beauty, wealth, intelligence and passion get you when you watch centuries go by? Can a human - undead though they may be - survive the changes and the sameness of the world through millennia? Rice spawned an entire genre with her vampire books and there aren't too many authors that can lay claim to such an accomplishment. This book is part of the foundation of that genre and it is still one of my favorite books of all time.
Wallflower90 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
** spoiler alert ** The Vampire Lestat is the second book in the Vampire Chronicles.I liked it slightly better than Interview With a Vampire. Just beacuse Lestat is such a great character!We also get to see how he felt about the events of IWTV, but also know more about him and his life before death and after it.Armand makes another apperance and he is very different from the Armand we know from the first book. Other interesting characters like Marius,Nicki,Akasha and Gabrielle appear....more The Vampire Lestat is the second book in the Vampire Chronicles.I liked it slightly better than Interview With a Vampire. Just beacuse Lestat is such a great character!We also get to see how he felt about the events of IWTV, but also know more about him and his life before death and after it.Armand makes another apperance and he is very different from the Armand we know from the first book. Other interesting characters like Marius,Nicki,Akasha and Gabrielle appear.It was alot more "Vampire History" in it. We got to know how the Theatre of Vampires came to be and so much more.There were some parts when I couldnt put the book down and had to continue reading but then there were the parts I just wanted to skip through as well.All in all a very interesting book
LucidLove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book. Lestat is one of my favorite characters of all-time, and that means one of my favorite characters from any book, movie, anime, play, Cartoon Network show, or anything. I love everything that he does and all of the problems he has. Besides Louis, Lestat is one of the most human vampires of any I've ever read about in a book. He's so torn between selfishness and selflessness, between good and evil. I think everyone can relate to Lestat, as most are torn between themselves at several points within their lives.This book was a faster read for me than Interview was. I love both, but I'm thinking that I may like this book better. Anne Rice is the man... or woman.