Anne Rice writes entertaining books and Prince Lestat, published in 2014, is one of them. There is a plot, but most of the book is devoted to the stories of a large number of vampires who were born as humans in different times and places. It hardly seems fair to quibble about such an impressive feat of the imagination, but in spite of arising in eras stretching from ancient Egypt to modern times and covering the globe, these vampires all speak with similar voices and are hard to keep straight. I suppose that’s why Rice has sorted them all out in an appendix.
A quote from the Washington Post on the cover points out that Rice’s vampires are always impeccably dressed. I’m all for this; it’s much more fun than reading about rags and tatters. But why are vampires so interested in clothes? They can’t be thinking that life is too short to dress shabbily, because they’re immortal. Could the elegant vampire be based on the originator of the (literary) species, Count Dracula, who always appeared in evening dress as portrayed in old movies by the Hungarian actor, Bela Lugosi?
Another quote from the Washington Post calls Rice’s vampires “unrelentingly erotic”. This gives rise to another quibble, since almost all the erotic experiences described involve either sucking blood out of someone or having the blood sucked out of yourself. If and when I become a vampire I’ll no doubt be better able to appreciate those scenes.
On the whole, is it worth being a vampire? On one hand, there’s being immortal, and on the other hand, the whole business of having to shun daylight. A vampire can’t eat or drink anything but blood, but on the other hand, they never have to worry about calories or physical fitness. I have been tending to vote no, but something Rice points out in this book could be the deciding factor; blood-sucking insects avoid vampires. They flee, scatter like flies, and make a bee-line in the opposite direction.