The Vampire Lestat
is a paranormal fantasy by Anne Rice. It’s the second book in the Vampire Chronicles
series and it centers around a lonely, ancient vampire searching for others like him. The book received nominations for both the 1986 Locus Award and the 1986 World Fantasy Award. The first book in the series, Interview with the Vampire
, is a major motion picture. Rice, born Howard Allen Frances O’Brien, is an internationally bestselling author. She mainly writes fantasy, erotica, and supernatural books. She’s best known for the Vampire Chronicles
The protagonist is a vampire called Lestat de Lioncourt. He’s over 200 years old. He started life as a nobleman in pre-revolutionary France, and he’s now living in 1980s America. The Vampire Lestat
takes place between the late 18th century and the 1980s, and the book’s events often deliberately contradict other books in the series. It’s up to the reader to decide which vampire in the series they trust the most.
The book begins with Lestat waking up surrounded by rock music. He went into hiding at the end of Interview with the Vampire
, and he feels energized after his brief disappearance underground. He’s now living the rock-star lifestyle. Lestat realizes that this is the most powerful he’s ever been, and he doesn’t realize why his powers are so strong.
Most importantly, Lestat wants to know more about vampirism and where it comes from, because he wants to create more vampires for companionship. In the novel, Lestat reflects on his own loneliness, and what it means to be an immortal being. For Lestat, immortality means boredom and staleness, and he wonders if he’ll ever be happy. The Vampire Lestat
is a novel with a chronological plot, but the narrative structure reads more like a memoir.
Lestat begins his story right at the beginning. He grows up in Auvergne, France. He’s born into a minor noble family. Although the family descend from the aristocracy, they have little money of their own. The only valuable things they possess are an estate and a title. Lestat hates living in the countryside because it’s boring and there’s nothing to do. He’s sick of poverty and his family’s rules, and he decides to run away when he’s old enough.
Lestat falls in love with a Frenchman called Nicolas de Lenfent. Together, they run off to Paris to make new lives for themselves. Lestat loves music and performing, and he decides to become a musician. Nicolas warns him that Paris can be dangerous, but Lestat ignores his warnings. Lestat’s arrogance costs him his mortality.
One night, after a performance, someone breaks into Lestat’s Parisian apartment. The intruder is a vampire called Magnus, and he immediately turns Lestat into a vampire. Before Lestat wakes up from his transition, Magnus kills himself. Lestat is a new-born vampire with no one to guide him, and he feels completely overwhelmed.
Meanwhile, Lestat’s mother arrives in Paris. She’s dying from a terminal illness and she wants to see her son again before she passes. Lestat goes to her because he wants to apologize for running off. He decides to tell her about vampirism because, for the first time, he feels truly alive. To Lestat’s surprise, his mother accepts his vampirism.
Lestat’s mother asks him to make her into a vampire. She doesn’t want to die. Lestat doesn’t know what he’s doing but he manages to change her. They’ll work out what their abilities mean together, because there’s no one to help them adapt to vampire life. Lestat’s mother is sure that there must be other vampires in Paris. They must find these vampires because it’s the only way they’ll be safe.
Lestat hasn’t forgotten about Nicolas. He changes Nicolas into a vampire so they can be together forever. For a while, everything’s great between the trio. They spend months honing their new skills and they thrive in the Parisian nightlife. Finally, Lestat makes an exciting discovery—a nest of vampires in an old cemetery.
Lestat, his mother, and Nicolas befriend these vampires. The vampires live by ancient rules and they love tradition. Lestat, on the other hand, thinks they’re wasting their immortality by hiding underground. He encourages them to pursue new ambitions, including music, but they’re too set in their old ways to listen.
Although Lestat craves adventure, Nicolas thrives underground. He wants to stay with the cemetery vampires, and Lestat must let him go. Lestat decides to travel the world with his mother, and they eventually part ways. Lestat promises to find his mother again, because they’ll always be a family.
Lestat travels around Europe for a time on his own. He hears about an ancient vampire called Marius who lives in Greece. Lestat visits Marius, who tells him more about vampirism. Lestat realizes that he’ll never be a typical vampire, because he enjoys freedom and modern life too much. He doesn’t want to spend his life in the shadows.
Lestat finally moves to New Orleans, where he establishes a rock band called The Vampire Lestat. Other vampires dislike Lestat because he draws too much attention to himself, and they plan on killing him. However, Lestat’s mother saves him and she promises to stay with him this time. Lestat finally feels at peace with who he is, his family, and his future.