I've tried - no, I'm still trying - to get through The Vampire Lestat. As only my second Anne Rice novel, the first being The Wolf Gift, which I also had mixed feelings on, I went straight to the second book in her Vampire Chronicles series hearing this was her best work. First, I can't tell you the mental strength it took for me to get past my aversion to Tom Cruise, who played Lestat in the Interview with the Vampire film adaptation, to even entertain this one. And, I didn't even see the film!
I am just over halfway through The Vampire Lestat and, while I will admit the story is fascinating, the writing is just too exhausting. The only thing that has kept me going this far is my attraction to the beautiful Lestat himself and my desire to know what happens to his former mortal lover, Nicolas, and his mother, Gabrielle.
The story is Lestat's account of his youth and how he becomes a vampire. There is some deep examination of the virtues of good vs. evil in society as it debates the timeless spiritual question of the existence of God and Satan. I also loved Rice's description of 18th-century Paris with all its fanfare, a setting I find captivating.
OK, so I'm mesmerized by the characters, I'm addicted to the story, and I have some strange compulsion to finish it because I need to know where this one goes and how it ends. So why - tell me WHY - is it almost painful for me to read?
Let me answer that. It is VERBOSE beyond forgiveness! I want to scream at Rice through the pages to shut up and tell me the story! Skip all the rich, elaborate prose that goes on and on and on and TELL THE STORY!
Don't get me wrong, on some level I recognize that it is beautifully written and is on a level rarely seen in fiction today, but it is undoubtedly excessive. I remember feeling the same way when I read A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick but, truthfully, that wasn't half as bad as this. At least in that novel, the story moved fast enough to keep my interest.
So, here I am - over halfway done with The Vampire Lestat, dying to know how it ends, yet frustrated with the novel every time I sit down and try to read it.
For those that have read it and liked it, tell me: Do I push through and continue to read it? Remember, it took me until Chapter 27 (out of 40) in The Wolf Gift before that one clicked with me. And, while I didn't love that book, I did enjoy it enough that I was glad I finished and would consider reading the sequel.
I hate to NOT finish any novel I have put this much time and energy into, but maybe that is for the best. If you have any reasons as to why I should (or shouldn't) finish it, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks in advance for your feedback.
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