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Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles (Anglais) Relié – Séquence inédite, 28 octobre 2014

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The Voice

Years ago, I heard him. He’d been babbling.

It was after Queen Akasha had been destroyed and the mute red-­haired twin, Mekare, had become “the Queen of the Damned.” I’d witnessed all that—­the brutal death of Akasha in the moment when we all thought we would die, too, along with her.

It was after I’d switched bodies with a mortal man and come back into my own powerful vampiric body—­having rejected the old dream of being human again.

It was after I’d been to Heaven and Hell with a spirit called Memnoch, and come back to Earth a wounded explorer with no appetite anymore for knowledge, truth, beauty.

Defeated, I’d lain for years on the floor of a chapel in New Orleans in an old convent building, oblivious to the ever-­shifting crowd of immortals around me—­hearing them, wanting to respond, yet somehow never managing to meet a glance, answer a question, acknowledge a kiss or a whisper of affection.

And that’s when I first heard the Voice. Masculine, insistent, inside my brain.....

“Hear me, come to me.” And he’d say that over and over again, night after night, until it was noise. . . .
The Voice rumbled and bellowed and whispered whenever I was there, rolling their names around in a stew of invective and rumination and demand. One evening, the Voice said, “Beauty is what drove it, don’t you see? It was the mystery of Beauty.”
A year later, I was walking along the sands of South Beach in Miami when he broke that one on me again. For the moment, the mavericks and rogues had been leaving me alone. They were afraid of me, afraid of all the old ones. But not enough.
“Drove what, dear Voice?” I asked. I felt it was only fair to give him a few minutes before shutting him down.
“You cannot conceive of the magnitude of this mystery.” He spoke in a confidential whisper. “You cannot conceive of this complexity.” He was saying these words as if he’d just discovered them. He wept. I swear it. He wept.
It was an awful sound. I don’t glory in any being’s pain, not even the pain of my most sadistic enemies, and here was the Voice weeping.
I was hunting, thirsting though I didn’t need to drink, at the mercy of the craving, the deep agonizing lust for heated, pumping human blood. I found a young victim, female, irresistible in her combination of filthy soul and gorgeous body, white throat so tender. I had her in the fragrant darkened bedroom of her own lodgings, lights of the city beyond the windows, having come over the roofs to find her, this pale woman with glorious brown eyes and walnut-shaded skin, black hair like the snakes of Medusa, naked between the white linen sheets, struggling against me as I sank my fangs right into the carotid artery. Too hungry for anything else. Give me the heartbeat. Give me the salt. Give me the Viaticum. Fill my mouth. . . .
On this dreary cold night, I’d been thirsty, more thirsty than I could bear. Oh, I don’t technically need the blood anymore. I have so much blood from Akasha in my veins—the primal blood from the old Mother— that I can exist forever without feeding. But I was thirsting, and I had to have it to stanch the misery, or so I told myself, on a little late night rampage in the city of Amsterdam, feeding off every reprobate and killer I could find. I’d hidden the bodies. I’d been careful. But it had been grim—that hot, delicious blood pumping into me and all those visions with it of filthy and degenerate minds, all that intimacy with the emotions I deplore. Oh, same old, same old. I was sick at heart. In moods like this, I’m a menace to the innocent and I know it only too well.
Around four in the morning, it had me so bad, I was in a little public park, sitting on an iron bench in the damp, doubled over, in a bad seedy part of the city, the late night lights looking garish and sooty through the mist. And I was cold all over and fearing now that I simply wasn’t going to endure. I wasn’t going to “make it” in the Blood. I wasn’t going to be a true immortal like the great Marius, or Mekare or Maharet or Khay- man, or even Armand. This wasn’t living, what I was doing. And at one point the pain was so acute, it was like a blade turning in my heart and in my brain. I doubled over on the bench. I had my hands clasped on the back of my neck, and I wanted nothing so much as to die, simply to close my eyes on all of life and die.
And the Voice came, and the Voice said:
“But I love you!”
I was startled. I hadn’t heard the Voice in such a longtime, and there it was, that intimate tone, so soft, so utterly tender, like fingers touching me, caressing my head.
“Why?” I asked.
“Of all of them, I love you the most,” said the Voice. “I am with you, loving you now.”
“What are you? Another make-believe angel?” I said. “Another spirit pretending to be a god, something like that?”
“No,” he said.
But the moment he’d started to speak, I had felt this warmth in me, this sudden warmth such as addicts de- scribe when they are infused with the substance they crave, this lovely reassuring warmth that I’d found so fleetingly in the blood, and I’d begun to hear the rain around me, hear it not as this dismal drizzle but as a lovely soft symphony of sounds on the surfaces around me.
“I love you,” said the Voice. “Now, get up. Leave this place. You must. Get up. Start walking. This rain is not too cold for you. You are too strong for this rain and too strong for this sorrow. Come on, do as I tell you. . . .”
And I had.
I had gotten up and started walking and made my way back to the elegant old Hotel De L’Europe where I was lodged, and I’d gone into the large, exquisitely wall- papered bedroom and closed the long velvet draperies properly over the coming sun. Glare of white sky over the Amstel River. Morning sounds.

Then, I’d stopped. I’d pressed my fingers to my eyelids and buckled, buckled under the weight of a loneliness so terrible I would have chosen death then if only I’d had such a choice.
“Come now, I love you,” said the Voice. “You’re not alone in this! You never were.” I could feel the Voice inside me, around me, embracing me.
Finally, I lay down to sleep. He was singing to me now, singing in French, singing some lyrics put to the beautiful Chopin etude, Tristesse. . . .
“Lestat, go home to France, to the Auvergne where you were born,” he whispered, just as if he were beside me. “Your father’s old chateau there. You need to go there. All of you human beings need a home.”
So tender it sounded, so sincere.
So strange that he would say this. I did own the old ruined chateau. Years ago, I had set architects and stonemasons to rebuild it, though why I did not know. I saw an image of it now, those ancient round towers rising from that cliff above fields and valleys where in the old days so many had starved, where life had been so bitter, where I had been bitter, a boy bound and deter- mined to run away to Paris, to see the world.
“Go home,” he whispered.
“Why are you not winking out the way I am, Voice?” I asked. “The sun’s rising.”
“Because it is not morning where I am, beloved Les- tat.”
“Ah, then you are a blood drinker, aren’t you?” I asked. I felt I’d caught him. I began to laugh, to cackle. “Of course you are.”
He was furious. “You miserable, ungrateful, degenerate Brat Prince,” he was muttering . . . and then he’d left me again. Ah, well. Why not? But I hadn’t really solved the mystery of The Voice, not by a long shot. . . .
When I woke, it was of course early evening, and Amsterdam was filled with roaring traffic, whizzing bicycles, myriad voices. Scent of blood pumped through beating hearts.
“Still with me, Voice?” I asked.
Silence. Yet I had the distinct feeling, yes, the feeling that he was here. I’d felt wretched, afraid for myself, wondering at my own weakness, inability to love.
And then this happened.
I went to the full-length mirror on the bathroom door to adjust my tie. You know what a dandy I am. Well, even down and out, I was in a finely cut Armani jacket and dress shirt, and, well, I wanted to adjust this bright, flashing, beautifully hand-painted silk tie and—my reflection wasn’t there!
I was there, but not my reflection. It was another me, smiling at me with triumphant glittering eyes, both hands up against the glass as if he were in a prison cell behind it. Same clothes, yes, and me down to the last detail of long blond curling hair and glittering blue- gray eyes. But not a reflection at all.
I was petrified. The dim echo of doppelgänger rose in my ears, and all the horror such a concept connotes. I don’t know if I can describe how chilling this was—this figure of myself inhabited by another, leering at me, deliberately menacing me.
I remained sober-faced, and I continued to adjust my tie, though I could see no reflection of what I was doing. And he continued to smile in that icy mocking way, as the laughter of the Voice rose in my brain. . . .
I went to Anatolia to escape it all. I wanted to see Hagia Sophia again, to walk under those arches. I wanted to wander the ruins of Göbekli Tepe, the oldest Neolithic settlement ever discovered. To hell with the problems of the tribe . . .

Revue de presse

Praise for Anne Rice’s
“[Rice] retakes her throne as Queen of the Damned . . . visceral and gritty . . . [Prince Lestat] infuses new life into the Vampire Chronicles and sets the stage for a new era.
-Elise de los Santos, Chicago RedEye
“No one does what Anne Rice does . . . Not only does she find ways—brilliant ways—to tease new narrative potential from old stories, she does so while acknowledging that those stories are already part of the other characters’ psyches.  I don’t know of any other novelist doing that . . . she has not lost any of her flair for description, allowing us to experience the world the way her vampires do, with the sensory volume turned up to 11 . . . fun, sexy, and irresistible.”
-January Magazine
“Irrepressively seductive.”
-John Russell, Next Magazine
“Bloody marvelous . . . Prince Lestat is saving the undead from banality and overfamiliarity.”
-Daniel D’Addario, Time
-Us Magazine
“Anne Rice reminds us just how immense and rich with history her universe of poetic, morally questioning vampires is, and Prince Lestat serves as a palate cleanser to the hormone-soaked teen dramas of the past few years. It’s nice to have a real grown-up back in the game.”
-Cotton Codinha, Elle
“Ambitious...Rice never lost touch with the exuberant, often witty, and always fearless voice of irrepressible vampire Lestat de Lioncourt... Rice has offered us a tale of tremendous ambition, and she’s absolutely delivered.”
-Matthew Jackson, BookPage

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Détails sur le produit

  • Relié: 480 pages
  • Editeur : Knopf (28 octobre 2014)
  • Collection : The Vampire Chronicles
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0307962520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307962522
  • Dimensions du produit: 16,7 x 3,7 x 24,6 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 40.159 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Anne Rice est l'auteur d'Entretien avec un vampire, adapté au cinéma par Neil Jordan en 2000 avec Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas... Lestat le vampire, la suite, parue en 1985 aux Etats-Unis, a été publié pour la première fois en France par Albin Michel en 1988.

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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Jacques COULARDEAU le 20 novembre 2014
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
We had been waiting for that return of Lestat in glory and fame for many years indeed, since 2003. We of course know about the two films adapted from the Vampire Chronicles, “Interview with The Vampire” in 1994 and “The Queen of the Damned” in 2002, which were quite short as compared to the eleven volumes published in 2002, and twelve in 2003. What went wrong? It is said that Anne Rice signed a bad contract for these adaptations selling the character, Lestat de Lioncourt, along with the adaptation rights to a bad “partner.” That blocked her absolutely for the whole series of books because she could not negotiate other contracts for the other volumes, in spite of the rather poor use of this contract by the person or firm that bought the rights. Luckily this contract has a limited duration and that duration must have come to an end. The rights must have gone back to the author, Anne Rice.

She can then start the whole business all over again. But in the meantime the vampire stage has changed tremendously. Anne Rice is the author who managed to finally give some positive image of vampires, after and along with witches, in literature and her books became extremely popular. Due to the bad adaptation contract and the bad partner she took in this adventure, the vampire stage was left totally empty for cinema and television, particularly television, where numerous series were produced in the US and in Great Britain, with vampires, but also werewolves and ghosts as their main characters along the similar line of a society that is trying to live and organize itself independently from the human world, next to it, parallel to it. We all know these series that became films conjugating diaries and other academies or even attempts at being human.
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Par Craczy le 27 février 2015
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I liked it. I was missing all those blood drinkers fellows from the previous books. But I think this book might be without any sense or meaning for someone who never read the whole series of vampire chronicles. Also, I think there are still some loose ends concerning earlier stories. Let's hope Mrs Rice does not stop here!
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Par L. Marlene le 9 décembre 2014
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Ah enfin le 11ème tome des chroniques ! Enfin on retrouve Lestat. Se lit facilement, à peine acheté et presque fini, snif. Un 12ème tome dans les tiroirs ?
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It took a while to get into it (~first half): lots of new characters, going back and forth in time. But once everything was put into place I was hooked!
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263 internautes sur 304 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Lestat is back with a brand new ENORMOUS ARRAY OF CHARACTERS! 4 novembre 2014
Par Author Andrew Butcher - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
You thought I was gonna say 'track', didn't you, DIDN'T YOU?! Well, no, I believe Lestat is done with the whole rock star phase of his life--you know, after all the havoc it caused--so you won't be finding any new tracks in this book.

But you will find a massive host of characters! I said 'new' above in the title, but most of the 'new' characters are not new, but were very minor side characters in previous books in The Vampire Chronicles and have been fleshed out and cleverly weaved into the tapestry of vampire history Anne Rice has created. You'll even see the return of characters you had believed were dead! But to avoid spoilers, that's all I'm saying on that point.

The way Anne Rice weaves together character story lines across millennia is pure genius. In scope, it reminds me of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, but the style of writing and storytelling is quite different. A fair amount of Prince Lestat is written in a kind of narrative summary style, which isn't to everyone's taste, but I actually loved it. It means that when Anne Rice comes out of this style, which she does in action scenes and for most of the dialogue, it gives a fast-paced feel to the reading experience; you kind of know she has purposely upped the ante.

And the story also takes you all across the globe, which is totally fun! And if I haven't mentioned it already, I love this book!

I'm trying to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, but I think it's fair to vaguely mention aspects that are hinted at in the synopsis. The main mystery that drives this novel forward is The Voice--a rambling and rather capricious voice that can enter vampires' minds and is compelling ancient blood drinkers to immolate the younger vampires. Who or what is this Voice? What does it want? Why is it doing what it's doing? I loved the way Anne Rice keeps you guessing; just when you think you know who or what the Voice is for sure, she throws in something else that makes you doubt your theory. I did correctly guess at it quite early on, but I was never really, really certain until close to the reveal. And it always feels nice when you've been given enough clues by the author to figure it out just before the characters do.

Even if you do guess at who or what the Voice is, there are so many other plot twists and revelations in this book that you'll be gasping and muttering to yourself at regular intervals. You'll be discovering more about the Talamasca, a secret order of scholars of the supernatural, who have always intrigued me! The revelations to do with the Talamasca were some of the most exciting points in this book, actually. And, as to be expected, there's also blood and violence and some jaw-dropping deaths!

Anne Rice has very cleverly given the book a modern feel by introducing science into the equation. You'll meet a vampire scientist: a scientist who studies vampires and is indeed a blood drinker himself. And you'll also see modern gadgets and inventions such as iPhones and emails mentioned throughout. One of the young vampires even has his own vampire-only radio show!

You are in for an exciting read that will have you imagining long ago times, far away places, beautiful immortals, yet also have you contemplating deep social, political, and emotional issues as you live inside the head of some truly tragic beings who somehow still find the strength to see the wonder of life all around them.

In fact, that appeared to be one of strongest themes running throughout Prince Lestat: the need to affirm life's intrinsic value, to embrace life, and not only to make the best out of the present moment, but to let go of old conceptions of an evil, damned race of beings and embrace an optimistic future and a new vision of what vampires can be. It's a powerful and modern statement that Anne Rice makes.

Keeping it as vague and spoiler-free as possible, there's a fantastic point in the book where Lestat himself shows an amazing level of empathy when none of the other characters seem able to. He also shows his ability to be brutal and ruthless when he feels he needs to be, but I thought it was a great and modern message to show just how valuable empathy and forgiveness can be. Maybe Lestat's willingness to show forgiveness will backfire in later books, but it still made me think: What is the point of our prison system if we don't really believe people can be reformed and given another chance? People make mistakes. And yes, I believe there should be punishment, but there should also be empathy, a willingness to see the good in others and to educate them into a better way of living. Is there any point of prison at all if the criminal is not allowed to move past their crimes after serving his/her sentence? We might as well return to the death sentence if most believe there is no point. Anyway, I've massively digressed.

Now, it may be worth pointing out that I'm probably rather biased towards Anne Rice's work, because she had such a massive influence on my life. I probably never would have fell in love with writing if I hadn't fallen in love with and devoured The Vampire Chronicles at around the age of sixteen. Before that age, I wasn't particularly interested in books at all. But after reading Anne Rice's work, I have gone on to fall in love with Charlaine Harris's The Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Books) and many other novels. Reading is now my favourite hobby and I'm also writing my own books now.

Having admitted how much of a fanboy I am, I'm not without my complaints about Prince Lestat. And, from frequently visiting Anne Rice's Facebook page, I know that she is very open to receiving readers' opinions on her work--whether positive, negative, neutral, or whatevz, Trevz--and is also extremely respectful of her readers' opinions.

And so here is the main thing that bugged me about this book and has bugged me about many of Anne's books (although, in perspective, it is actually a rather minor issue):

I would really like to see more obviously intelligent characters who aren't romantics, or so poetic, or massive fans of long-dead musicians, painters, poets, architects (and so on) whose names I can't even bring to mind right now because most people my age aren't really all that interested in them.

This is more of a personal annoyance for me. I understand that many immortals, especially the older ones, would have genuine interests in these type of things. But at times it almost seems that Anne Rice uses it as a mark of intelligence. It wasn't until around 30% into the book that characters started appearing who were portrayed as intelligent yet weren't prone to passionate ponderings (I'm not sure if 'pondering' can be used as a noun like that, but oh well--I like it!) of art and music from other centuries and all of rather sophisticated taste.

Anne Rice's books show diversity in so many other areas--sexuality, ethnicity, religious beliefs, and so on--and so I'd just like to see more diversity in this respect. Especially among the young vampires. Maybe this says more of my social group than of anything else, but I don't know many people my age who really care about or could properly identify many, if any, of the musicians, poets, philosophers (and so on) that are mentioned in Prince Lestat from multiple characters' perspectives.

The only other complaint is very minor too, at least for me. A lot of plot information was repeated within the book itself. I didn't mind, and actually quite appreciated, the recaps of events from the previous Vampire Chronicles. But then I began to notice that a fair amount of it was re-repeated (am I making up words again?!). Anyway. A minor issue for me, as on some level I believe repetition can actually reinforce the plot and your connection to it. If overdone, though, it can irritate and push you away.


Be warned that some reviewers are posting massive spoilers in their reviews and even in the titles of their reviews. Also, try not to be too disconcerted by the way some reviews have been voted unhelpful and some have been voted helpful. The system is gamed. People know that the 'most helpful' reviews float to the top of the reviews, so people who hate the book or the author for whatever reason go out of their way to down-vote positive reviews and up-vote negative reviews, regardless of the quality of the review. So, honest and well-written positive reviews are being pushed down, and negative, inaccurate, and mean-spirited reviews are moving up. Of course, there are fair and well-written reviews on both sides of the fence, but if you look at the votes, you'll soon see for yourself that some hateful people will vote ANYTHING as 'helpful' in an attempt to get at the author. You'll probably find that this review gets a lot of 'unhelpful' votes too, because one of the things the hateful people who are targeting Anne Rice hate the most is being revealed for what they are, and so they shall try to sink this review. If you find this review helpful, please vote it so to counter the attacks. =]

Right, let's wrap this up with the positives:

If you've always been intrigued by the Talamasca and want to know more about them, Prince Lestat is for you!

If you like sexy vampires and witches and spirits, Prince Lestat is for you!

If you like blood and gore and fascinating descriptions of vampire cosmology and ponderings on how science and magic meet each other, Prince Lestat is for you!

If you like stories with shed loads of characters, Prince Lestat is for you!

If you like beautifully poetic descriptions of EVERYTHING, Prince Lestat is definitely for you!!!

And if you're wondering why I gave this book 5 stars, instead of knocking off a star for my minor complaints, then it's because overall I loved it. I read it as fast as I possibly could. I was obsessed. It made me smile, laugh, cry, and all the reactions you want from a book. And I'm someone who either loves a book or decides it isn't really for me. And if it's not really for me, then I don't see much point in reviewing it.

Thanks for reading!
140 internautes sur 173 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Lestat is Back and Rice Has Never Been Better. 5 novembre 2014
Par Joshua Converse - Publié sur
Format: Relié
If you’re a fan of the Vampire Chronicles you may have had some mixed emotions about titles beyond Queen of the Damned. I found Tale of the Body Thief interesting in the beginning and at the end, but the middle was, at times, a tad painful. Memnoch the Devil was polarizing, to say the least, and even a die-hard like me must admit a certain difficulty with the hybrid Mayfair/Vampire novels. That said, Prince Lestat is everything Anne Rice’s best novels have ever been and then some. Rice has become truly masterful at drawing the reader on.
All the old favorites come back out in Prince Lestat, Armand, Louis, Gabrielle, Marius, and David, and so, too, ancillary characters or even characters previously referred to but unnamed in earlier works. The familiar characters are themselves after all these years, with no slippage in continuity or feel, and yet they are as vibrant as they were when we met them for the first time. There are also so many “new” characters, from fledglings to the First Brood and Queen’s Blood who were first Born to Darkness in Ancient Egypt. Each new character has a particular magnetism, from the beautiful Allesandra to the dangerous Rhoshamandes and his fledgling, the tender-hearted Benedict (Lestat’s grandsire In the Blood). Naturally, one need not have read all the novels to appreciate this one and it may be the first introduction to Rice’s world for some—that’s perfectly all right. She has written something that will appeal to first-time readers and Lestatophiles.
Without spoilers I will say the novel is centered on an existential threat to the Vampire Species which necessarily draws them together despite the weariness of the Ancients and the solitary nature of most of the Undead. Lestat must rise as a reluctant leader or risk the destruction of the Vampire race. As slumbering Elders awaken at the promptings of a mysterious Voice, the danger increases for all.
What amazes me about Anne Rice is this: even when a particular scene or line of dialogue seems over-the-top, out of place, or contrived, it still works. She gets away with “mistakes” that lesser writers cannot. Yes, the Vampire Chronicles are pulp, but Anne Rice, even as Lestat’s hardboiled detective demeanor gives way to the weeping Byronic poet, manages to render those jarring transitions natural, interesting, and (even for readers who have read and reread her novels for decades) unexpected. My only caveat there is by the last sixty to eighty pages I have a good idea how the story will play out, but again, it’s such a fascinatingly-rendered story that I don’t really mind when I perceive where it’s going. Rice’s research, worldliness, and sophistication renders her heroes utterly unique in the genre. She is literary without being esoteric, intellectual without being pretentious, and most importantly she is genuine. Her characters are genuine. This is no small matter in a world where more and more genre authors (not to name names) are striking a pose when they write.
If many of these seem like backhanded complements, they aren’t. I’m sincerely impressed by what Rice has done in this novel that so few authors, even “great” literary authors never seem to attain: a novel of images, ideas, and human (so to speak) truth that never beats one over the head, never condescends, and never stops being fun. This book’s tragedy is that it ends. I wanted more. I was rapt with the possibility of there being more books to follow this one—Prince Lestat has come into his own and shed so much of the pessimism and angst that has from time to time in the past, perhaps, weighed the Vampire Chronicles down. What is ahead is framed as an exciting new chapter with dazzling possibilities.
Final verdict: Prince Lestat is the best vampire novel to be written in decades—by anyone. Read it slowly because by the time it’s over you’ll already be thirsting for the next one.
97 internautes sur 121 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
How does one redeem those for whom no redemption seems possible? 30 novembre 2014
Par M. Galishoff - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
In 1976 Ms Rice published Interview with the Vampire (IWTV). While on the surface a Gothic horror tale, Rice opened for us the world of the "undead" which would yield ten novels, collectively known as "The Vampire Chronicles."

What distinguishes Ms Rice's writing is her meticulous attention to detail, historical research, imagination and character development. There is also a relentless existentialism that leaps from the first pages of IWTV and continues through the present work.

The world and characters of Rice's creation are more than stock figures used in superficial plots and to satisfy the reader's taste for violence. The violence is in many ways incidental and part of their existence (as well as ours). Each character is a complex persona with virtues and tragic flaws. They manage to possess a unique literary equivalent of leitmotif wherein their very presence brings forward a unique representative account forged in the time and culture in which they were "made." Spanning six thousand years of history, they struggle to come to terms with their strange powers and the evil acts that must sustain them. They must live in a world dominated by humans. And despite their accumulated, power, wealth and knowledge they cannot escape themselves and the times in which they were created immortal. Each is a creature of his/her aeon.

When reading IWTV I was reminded of Jean-Paul Sartre's (1905-80) "No Exit" (1944). This existential play concerns three dammed souls locked inside the same room in hell for all eternity. They have been placed in this room to make each other miserable. This nihilistic existence negates hope.

The same maddening tension is found throughout Rice's work yet she refuses to give in to Sartre's nihilism. There must be some purpose, some trajectory and above all, some hope. In Prince Lestat, we revisit the outlandish actions of an unwilling hero. Lestat recklessly serves his own will which is driven by mid-enlightenment and pre-revolutionary French aristocratic ideals. His actions awaken Rice's cast of characters to deal with Sartre's trap. Their room may be the world, their surroundings tailored to their comfort yet try as they may they cannot escape each other or the common source of life that at once mystifies, terrorizes and binds them.

A crisis has occurred that threatens to destroy them. Their estate is a mirror of enigmatic life force, Amel, trapped in a mindless body and trying to break out and forge a destiny and identity for itself. This Amel's life has been characterized by disorientation and confusion as it interacts and enters into a world that for him is meaningless and absurd. And now Amel is trapped in Sartre's eternal hell, alone, unable to become by acting. His only connection to the outside is tangential to the lives of the beings that depend upon its existence.

The true horror here is not the blood, burnings and destruction but the abject hopelessness and sense of uncertain meaning that pervades the existence of Amel and Rice's vampires. In shuffling off their mortal coil, they too have lost much of the human experience which, in turn is tangential and elusive. Out of this mire Rice raises a hero whose capacity to overcome lay not merely in his substantial power but in the force of his mind and will which is driven by the dreams and ideals of the dawn of modernity. Yet there is a problem. Lestat is a rugged individualist who, unable to break out, has turned inwards. Can a modern man rise above circumstances far greater than he knows? Will he achieve victory as a Nietzsche übermensch or find a better way?

Underlying the existential trap is the problem of immortality itself. While many of the modern vampires in Rice's world have chosen this Faustian bargain, those like Lestat and many of the elders did not. Lestat describes his "making" as a rape. In addition to the root crisis involving Amel and the most ancient of these creatures, Rice has created a new type of vampire. This new vampire seeks immortality for either virtue or vice. There is a generational conflict paralleling the hyperbolic changes in human society, philosophy and science. It brings both promise and chaos and raises another important theme in Rice's work: the ethics of a finite immortal creature.

The Czech playwright Karel Čapek (1890-1938) explored the tragedy of immortality in his 1922 Věc Makropulos (The Makropulos Affair) which was later made into an opera by Leos Janáček. This is a tragedy of a teenage girl whose father was a Greek physician commissioned to create an elixir that would give immortality to whoever drinks it. The problem was that it was dangerous and the dose had to be repeated in 300 years. Makropulos' daughter was healthy enough to survive the treatment and was left as a lone immortal, banished and forced to make her way from the 16th Century world of her birth into the turn of the 20th century.

While a summary of Čapek's play is beyond the scope of this review, the heroine faces the same dilemma as Rice's immortals. They range from the practical challenge constantly having to move on, change identity, preserve wealth and live undetected as the world is becoming more sophisticated and hiding becomes harder. She is of unprecedented beauty and drives men mad. Three hundred years of singing opera has allowed her to become the greatest singer of all time - a giant with almost superhuman capacity. She loved once and offered her father's potion her mate but it killed him.

Ms Marty, as she known in the play, is discovered and reports that although she lives on her soul died long ago. She has had offspring, many lovers and fantastic lives. Loss, through death and estrangement is inescapable for her. She is cold, cynical and dead inside. She is now physically dying and needs the formula which is unknowingly tied up in a 100 year old estate legal case. As she rapidly approaches death, desperate to regain her father's formula for eternal life, the sheer ugliness and horror of her living death unfolds. She embraces death and offers the formula to her adoring understudy who promptly burns it.

Immortality has the same attractions and problems for Rice's characters. We are introduced to a host of brilliant and virtuous people who wish to use their immortality to gain knowledge and improve the lot of the undead. Yet they must live with continual loss of the humans in their lives and the madness that often accompanies their association. There seems to be a basic incompatibility between vampires and human that transcends the former having to hunt and prey on the latter. What is their place in the order of creation? What is the role of the immortal among the mortal? While immortality offers much whatever joys it brings are highly dependent upon mortal activity in art, music, science, technology and luxury. Mortality dives growth, change and creativity while immortality stagnation. At the same time human development threatens the very existence of the vampiric world as technology makes potential their discovery and undoing.

Thus with the opening of Price Lestat we have all these forces and issues coming to the fore. Rice crafts a tapestry with each chapter focusing on the experience and reflections of her different characters from the past and some new. This trajectory is no less than the sweep of 6000 years of human history, meticulously researched and woven together. As many a fine novelist before her, Rice patiently interlaces these individual trajectories in the setting of how the crisis is affecting creatures whose age varies from a few years to the dawn of civilization.

In Price Lestat vampiric history is being driven towards a common τελιος (telios - end result). It is relentless and inescapable. The characters and our hero do not create the events but are swept up in them. In order to bring the full force and import forward Rice must painstakingly draw each line. Some have found this tedious but such is the art that brings a meaning to the work above that of a simple horror novel. Nothing less than the meaning of existence and life itself is in play.

To those who have been critical of Rice's efforts in this regard I will remind them that the great novelists of the 19th century and early 20th century commonly used this technique. Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov comes to mind. It is the lengthy character, plot and philosophical development that make this a masterpiece and not a simple family murder mystery. "If there is no God then all things are permissible."

Some have critiqued Rice for retelling the stories from her previous novels. Again, these are the trajectories that create the tension and finally the climax. In Wagner's finale of Der Ring des Nibelungen, Götterdämmerung, much of the opera is spent singing the tales of what has happened before. The weavers of fate, the Norns, sing the story for us and we know the tragic end. The hero Siegfried spends much time recounting his life before he is murdered by Alberich's son Hagen. We hear Alberich's voice echo in Hagen's head ("Hagen mein sohn") liken to Amel's voice haunting the vampires and convinces them to murder.

The telling and retelling of stories and common history is one means by which people groups have formed and maintained their identity. So it is with the efforts of the "new Vampires" to forge an identity around these events and tales. This is the basis of the third great theme of the book: the formation of distinct and unified people out of a heretofore heterogeneous individuals.

The tensions in such works under-gird seemingly simple plots and transform them into works of great depth. Otherwise you are left with empty violence and death.

Many modern authors have chosen the nihilistic path. Martin Amis comes to mind. Common in recent lauded novels are the senselessness and meaningless of life. Violence and tragedy become void of context and there is no resolution, no redemption for the human characters. Their experience leaves them empty and the stories often lack moral virtue and a sense of direction and purpose. Such works are a sad commentary on the lack of hope in the human experience. Indeed, they are more dehumanizing than Rice's vampires.

Ms Rice will have none of this. She is a secular humanist who has tremendous faith in mankind to overcome his failures and morbid estate. She is uncompromisingly optimistic and places her hope for her creatures in the vestiges of their humanity and will to transcend the muck and mire. Will the hero, Lestat, wild, reckless and unpredictable, rise to the occasion? The vampiric Valhalla is doomed to burn and fall along with its old gods. Is this the end or a new beginning?

The redemption of the vampiric world is in its discovery of its place in creation. It is not a true-redemption, impossible in the Christian sense, but redemption through the rejection of nihilism and Sartre's "No Exit." It is a redemption based in the hope of a better humanity. The vampiric world will have to learn to live in harmony with itself and with the world around it. This includes humanity which it must be symbiotic as well as strange new creatures, who are themselves emerging and finding their way and place. In this way, Rice's vampires serve as a muse for mankind.

As the Rheingold is returned to the Rhein maidens the leitmotif from the opening of Wagner's cycle signals a new beginning and restoration of order, Prince Lestat ends where the chronicles begin - the leitmotif of Louis de Pointe du Lac. Where the future leads is right now left to the reader's imagination. Perhaps there will be a new set of Chronicles where the challenges, victories and failures will be played out. Will there ever be a final exit for these creatures other than self-destruction? We shall see.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
As an Anne Rice fan for years, I really wanted to like this. 28 février 2015
Par C. Beirne - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I almost feel bad reviewing a book I couldn't finish, but I did wade through almost half of it.
I'm not sure if it is because it's been so long since previous Lestat novels that she felt as if she had to recap everything. But It seemed as if I was reading "Cliff Notes" of all the previous novels: threaded together by a very thin storyline.
Finally, another novel beckoned me.
Prince Lestat, unfinished.
31 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
SO disappointing: Not even close to the brilliance of her other books. 5 janvier 2015
Par tammness - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I've rarely been this disappointed in a novel. I am a huge Anne Rice fan; have read all of her books. While I have not enjoyed her last few attempts (the Angels and Wolves just didn't live up to her usual standards), I was still wildly happy she was returning to the land of the Vampires and to her fantastic character, Lestat. This is not a novel that even reads like an Anne Rice book. It is boring--rehashes old themes/story lines--and it introduces "new" characters that are not really new at all. It's just more of the same types. Even Lestat's voice is different--it's as if she's dialing it in and not caring if she captures the joy and essence of her old favorite. I finished the book, only because of my loyalty to a once-favorite author and my ever-decreasing hopes that it would improve. Oh--best part? Once I bought the book, suddenly my Kindle is inundated with ads for her other novels--and one written by her son! Then I knew exactly why she wrote this book. Sad to see she's sold out completely.
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