Author: Anne Rice
Publisher: Ballantine Books
For centuries, Lestat --- vampire-hero, enchanter, seducer of mortals --- has been a courted prince in the dark and flourishing universe of the living dead. Now Lestat is alone. And suddenly all his vampire rationale --- everything he has come to believe and feel safe with --- is called into question. In his overwhelming need to destroy his doubts and his loneliness, Lestat embarks on the most dangerous enterprise he has undertaken in all the danger-haunted years of his long existence ...
The Tale of the Body Thief is the fourth book in Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series. Like what Lestat said in the epilogue, this book is different from the previous books. It’s not a book about old legend of vampire. It's a contemporary story about a body thief. I read this book expecting nothing because I didn’t really know what this book is about. What is body thief? Besides, the blurb of the edition that I own is kind of misleading. Apparently, body thief is a person who’s capable of switching bodies. In this book, Lestat encountered a mysterious man claiming to be a body thief. He offered Lestat a deal to switch into a human body. So the body thief would occupy Lestat’s body, a vampire body.
I would say that The Tale of the Body Thief is a vampiric coming of age story. In this book, Lestat started questioning his existence as a vampire. He even tried to kill himself (which is a hard thing to do if you’re a vampire). He saw this body switching as an opportunity to have a second chance. It’s sad actually to see that he wanted to be mortal again, like he's trapped in loneliness.
I enjoy the part where Lestat becomes mortal. He’s been a vampire for too long that he forgot what it was like to be human again. He struggled a lot to do mundane things such as eating and going to the bathroom. He despised them so much and that’s shown in his description of the activities. Which I found hilarious. He kept on whining about how disgusting it is that human needs to pee. I mean, really? Lestat? Peeing is a sign that you have a healthy pair of kidneys. Also, he’s great at making everything that he does look sensual. I’m still amazed every time he does that. Lestat is a complex character. It’s fun to be inside of his head.
Although I enjoyed reading this book, I feel that this book could be shorter. The main plot is basically Lestat having a deal to switch into mortal body for a day. But the body thief didn’t keep his part of the deal (he’s a thief, for God’s sake). Lestat then tried to get his body back with help from his mortal friend, David Talbot. David Talbot is a Superior General of a psychic organization called Talamasca. If you’ve read the third book of Vampire Chronicles, which called The Queen of the Damned, you’ll know what kind of organization Talamasca is. So that’s the main plot of this book which in my opinion could be written in less than 400 pages. I don’t know what make this book feels so long. Probably the part where Claudia appears in Lestat’s dream. I found it boring. I don’t like Claudia anyway.
All in all, I like this book. Even though this book is an enjoyable read, The Queen of the Damned is still my favorite of all the Vampire Chronicles books that I’ve read. If you’ve read the previous book and like being inside of Lestat’s head, you might enjoy this one. Oh and this book contains mature contents and graphic sexual scenes.