A burning urge
Release Date: OUT NOW!
460 pages | Hardback/ ebook Author: Anne Rice Publisher: Chatto & Windus
It’s been close to 40 years since the first instalment of the Vampire Chronicles sequence was published. Interview With The Vampire made its way into the world the same year as “Anarchy In The UK” – and a year after Stephen King’s ’ Salem’s Lot.
Since then, for reasons we’ll leave cultural historians to pick over 50 years hence, bloodsuckers have made their way to the front and centre of popular culture. So it seems an apposite moment for Rice’s most popular vamp, anti- hero philosopher Lestat de Lioncourt, to come out of retirement.
But how to achieve this without seeming cheap and cheesy? Rice’s solution for the eleventh volume in a sequence that’s been on hiatus for a decade is to offer a novel that finds the bloodsucker community plagued by the Voice. No, this has nothing to do with will. i. am; instead it’s an apparently disembodied presence that commands old vampires to burn their younger brethren.
Prince Lestat follows the undead’s reaction to this threat. As Rice switches between vampiric viewpoints, she also appears to be rebooting the franchise.
This involves many scenes of vampires talking to each other, which becomes rather tiresome, especially in the longer chapters. Moreover, for all that Prince Lestat is often beautifully written, there’s a sense of a fictional world that’s become too involved, too convoluted, too reliant on its own mythology. Jonathan Wright
Universal has acquired movie rights to the Vampire Chronicles novels – a big‑screen reboot may be in the offing.