The Tale of the Body Thief

Photo of sculpture “The Rape of the Sabines”
Lovely art, ugly tale.

The Tale of the Body Thief is told by Vampire Lestat, the self-described “James Bond of vampires,” formerly “a smash…as a rock singer.”

Lestat has the blues. The world has deteriorated since he became a vampire: Bloodsucking isn’t what it used to be.

So, when Lestat is approached by a handsome male figure, he wishes he were human again. The animating force inside that body is Raglan James, a telepathically skilled con artist who stole it.

James offers to trade bodies with Lestat for $10 million. Both of Lestat’s friends tell him not to risk it, but he ignores them.

Lestat slips inside the young male body and James goes off inside Lestat’s vampire body.

Lestat finds being human isn’t at all what he expected. He also finds that a deal that sounds too good to be true probably is.

The novel ends predictably, gruesomely.

Anne Rice is a fine writer. She not only has a vivid imagination, but the discipline to confine her imagination within the constrictions set by her characterizations. Her philosophical and theological musings are stimulating. I’d love to see what Rice could do if she applied her talent subjects worthy of her talent.

Vampires just aren’t important enough.

The Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice
Book 4 of The Vampire Chronicles
Alfred A. Knopf. ©1992. 430 p.
1992 bestseller #7; my grade: C+

©2020 Linda G. Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. My program for turning teens and adults into competent writers is just eight sentences, 34 words.

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