Lestat, the mischievous creator of Louis in Interview, finally emerged to tell his own story in the 1985 sequel, The Vampire Lestat. As with the first book in the series, the novel begins with a frame narrative. After over a half century underground, Lestat awakens in the 1980s to the... read more
Set in the late 18th century to the late 1980s, the story follows the 200 year long life of the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, and his rise from humble beginnings as an impoverished aristocrat in the country side of France to the city of Paris to become a vain and arrogant Vampire. After... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Set in the late 18th century to the late 1980s, the story follows the 200 year long life of the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, and his rise from humble beginnings as an impoverished aristocrat in the country side of France to the city of Paris to become a vain and arrogant Vampire. After escaping his family and running off to Paris with his friend and confidante Nicholas (Nicknamed Nicki by Lestat), Lestat is bitten by the rogue elder vampire Magnus who orphans him on the night he is made. He abandons Nicki for fear of causing him harm, and shuns contact with his loved ones, until one day his mother, Gabrielle, arrives in town. Gabrielle is dying, and in order to save her, Lestat bites her, transforming her into his first companion.
The pair are antagonized by a coven of more "traditional" vampires living in the nearby cemetery Les Innocents. This coven, led by the vampire Armand, are convinced that all vampires must worship Satan and do his work on Earth; terrifying their human victims, dressing in rags, and returning to crypts at night. Armand and his coven kidnap Nicki in order to force a confrontation with Lestat and Gabrielle, but when Lestat demonstrates to them that vampires can easily co-exist with humans and live comfortably among them, the coven dissolves, leaving Armand distraught and alone. Nicki, however, is now aware of the world of vampires, and feels betrayed by Lestat. Lestat bites Nicki, turning him into a vampire, but he takes to his new lifestyle poorly and rejects Lestat, instead banding together with some of the dissolved cemetery coven to form the Théâtre des Vampires. Lestat then begins a worldwide search for the vampire Marius, a wise and ancient vampire who he learns of from Armand, in an attempt to find out the history of the vampires.
Lestat eventually parts ways with Gabrielle, due to irreconcilable differences in their natures - Gabrielle yearns for desolate spaces and loves nature, while Lestat is perpetually drawn to humankind. He eventually finds the fabled Marius, who teaches him much about the origins of the vampire species and Marius's own past. He also reveals his secret, one he refused to unveil even to his former protege Armand. He is the guardian of Those Who Must Be Kept, a pair of immobile vampires of unbelievable strength and power. These two are named Akasha and Enkil, and are the original vampires from whom all others are descended, but over the millennia they have lapsed into stillness and hardly ever move or communicate. They must be protected, because any harm done to Akasha and Enkil is also done to all other living vampires.
From Marius's island in Greece, Lestat travels to New Orleans. After the events detailed in Interview with the Vampire, he "goes into the earth" again in 1929. In 1984, Lestat emerges to become a rock star with a mortal band that consists of Alex, Larry and Tough Cookie. He writes a manuscript entitled The Vampire Lestat (which comprises the bulk of the actual novel), and publishes it, thereby using his new found fame to reveal all the secrets of the vampire world. With the eyes of the world on him, Lestat seeks to start a war. Just before the night of the band's unveiling concert, Lestat reunites with Louis, who fills him in on recent events in the vampire world, including the new system of meeting grounds known as the Vampire Connection and Lestat's own danger as a pariah among vampires.
The book ends on a cliffhanger after Lestat's debut concert in San Francisco, and leads directly into the third volume, The Queen of the Damned.
“Schönheit war kein trügerischer Schein, wie er glaubte. Schönheit war eher ein in keinem Atlas verzeichnetes Land, in dem man tausend tödlichen Irrtümern erliegen konnte, ein wildes und gleichgültiges Paradies, in dem es keine Wegweiser zum Guten oder Bösen gab. Trotz der Kunstwerke, die die Zivilisation hervorgebracht hatte, trotz der schwindelerregenden Vollkommenheit eines Streichquartetts oder der atemberaubend großartigen Gemälde eines Fragonard blieb Schönheit etwas Wildes. Sie war so gefährlich und anarchisch, wie die Erde es gewesen war, Äonen ehe der erste Mensch den ersten vernünftigen Gedanken in seinem Kopf zusammengebraut oder Gesetze in Lehmtafeln geritzt hatte. Schönheit war ein Wilder Garten.”Lestat
“Poor Armand. And you told me Louis was dead. Go dig a room for yourself under the Lafayette cemetery. It's just down the street.”Lestat
“I realized aloud in the midst of saying it that even when we die we probably don’t find out that answer as to why we were ever alive. Even the avowed atheist probably thinks that in death he’ll get some answers. I mean god will be there, or there won’t be anything at all. “But that’s just it,” I said, “we don’t make any discovery at that moment! We merely stop! We pass into nonexistence without ever knowing a thing.” I saw the universe, a vision of the sun, the planets, the stars, black night going on forever. And I began to laugh. “Do you realize that! We’ll never know why the hell any of it happened, not even when it’s over!” I shouted at Nicolas, who was sitting back on the bed, nodding and drinking his wine out of a flagon. “We’re going to die and not even know. We’ll never know, and all this meaninglessness will just go on and on and on. And we won’t any longer be witnesses to it. We won’t have even that little bit of power to give meaning to it in our minds. We’ll just be gone, dead, dead, dead, without ever knowing!” But I had stopped laughing. I stood still and I understood perfectly what I was saying! There was no judgment day, no final explanation, no luminous moment in which all terrible wrongs would be made right, all horrors redeemed. The witches burnt at the stake would never be avenged. No one was ever going to tell us anything!”Lestat
Downtown - Saturday Night in the Twentieth Century 1984
The Early Education and Adventures of The Vampire Lestat
Part I: Lelio Rising
Part II: The Legacy of Magnus
Part III: Viaticum for the Marquise
Part IV: The Children of Darkness
Part V: The Vampire Armand
Part VI: On the Devil´s Road from Paris to Cairo
Part VII: Ancient Magic, Ancient Mysteries
Epilogue - Interview with the Vampire
Dionysus in San Francisco 1985
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