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The Tale of the Body Thief
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About the Author

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

Reviews

The fourth book of the Vampire Chronicles series, launched in 1976 with Interview with the Vampire (which Knopf is simultaneously reissuing in cloth), reconfirms Rice's power as a mesmerizing raconteur. In sensuous, fluid prose, she follows the tormented vampire Lestat as he struggles to integrate his bloodthirsty nature with his aspirations to achieve humanity. Desiring to see the sun, to love without taking blood, to seek God as mortals do, Lestat enters blindly into an unholy bargain. In order to experience mortality for one day and two nights, he agrees to switch bodies with the scoundrel Raglan James, a former member of the secret order of scholarly occultists called the Talamasca, and a ``sinister being,'' according to David Talbot, the order's superior general and Lestat's longtime friend and advisor. But Lestat has given little thought to how James intends to use his body and its vampiric powers. Trapped in the mortal state, Lestat must overcome the human frailties of despair and physical pain to thwart James's evil intentions and, with Talbot's help, regain his immortal self. Drawing on characters met in earlier novels as well as the lushly evoked settings of New Orleans, Miami and Paris, Rice once again deftly lures readers into the enchanting world of her anguished and deeply sympathetic hero. 500,000 first printing; BOMC main selection. (Oct.)

This fourth book of the ``The Vampire Chronicles'' is by far the weakest. The plot involves everybody's favorite blood drinker, Lestat de Lioncourt, who foolishly strikes a bargain with sinister sorcerer Raglan James for a brief exchange of bodies; the soul of each vacates its respective flesh and slips into that of the other. Once befanged, James welshes on the deal, so Lestat, aided by David Talbot, Superior General of the Talamasca (a sort of CIA of the supernatural) must pursue and evict him from the immortal coil. The characters' body swapping could have made fun reading, but rather than using the vampire powers to truly seize the night, Rice has James merely dance with old ladies on the QE2 and rob wall safes. Lestat in human form contracts pneumonia, adopts a stray dog, and has safe sex with a nun. In between, there are doses of homoerotica and much silly talk on the nature of God, the soul, and good and evil. Though Rice's popularity demands its purchase, this book has little sound and less fury that signify next to nothing. A real disappointment. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/92; BOMC main selection.-- Michael Rogers, ``Library Journal''

Praise for The Tale of the Body Thief

"Tinged with mystery, full of drama . . . The story is involving, the twists surprising."--People

"Rice is our modern messenger of the occult, whose nicely updated dark-side passion plays twist and turn in true Gothic form."--San Francisco Chronicle

"Fast-paced . . . . mesmerizing . . . silkenly sensuous . . . No one writing today matches her deftness with the erotic."--The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Hypnotic . . . masterful."--Cosmopolitan

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