So Long and Thanks for All the Fish!!

The Tale of the Body Thief - Anne Rice

Bullet Review:

Wow. What a serious waste of my time! I felt bad when I was bored with The Queen of the Damned, which I attribute to being Vampire Chronicle-d out, but I can't use that excuse with this book. I had quite a few months between "Queen of the Damned" and whatever THIS is.

This book has a thread of a good idea - a being who can switch bodies and Lestat who wants to be a human again - and RUINS it with endless talking and thinking about the same points ad nauseum. Scenes that could have been powerful run FAR too long, thus running any good points into the ground.

Full Review:

After being mostly OK with his vampire life up to this point (well, after the events of The Queen of the Damned, where he defeats Akasha's uprising, I can see why he'd be a bit bummed), Lestat hears about a Body Thief - a being who can move between bodies and thereby live forever. Louis and David tell him repetitively and in long, clunky chapters that this isn't a good idea. After, of course, long, clunky chapters talking about what God is, who the devil is, and all sorts of religious issues that the author must have been working through at the time.

A quarter of a book later, Lestat meets up with the Body Thief. They spend several long, clunky chapters going back and forth on a "deal" so that Lestat can use a human body for a week. Lestat hems and haws (and Louis and David chime in again too) before he finally makes the switch, nearly halfway through the book.

Lestat then quickly learns that being human isn't all it's cracked up to be. It involves taking a p!ss, eating, being sick, and not being rapey when you want sex. He pretty quickly decides that being human is one of the worst things in the world.

When he is sick, he meets up with a nun, who takes him home to care for her - cue long, clunky chapters talking about religion and humanity and vampirity and all topics that could have been interesting if we hadn't spent several long, clunky chapters driving the point home.

Once Lestat is better, he rings up David and begs for his help to get his body back. Cue long, clunky chapters talking about everything we've talked about before, squeeze in a brief scene where Lestat gets his body back (and someone else gets a body transplant), and end with long, clunky chapters talking about stuff that really didn't belong in this book.

It may be hard to believe, based on my snarky plot summary, but I actually liked Interview With The Vampire and The Vampire Lestat. I thought they were fascinating books, the characters were great, the mythos wonderful. Sure, they are not action! Adventure! Thrills! Chills! every other minute but THAT WAS OKAY.

Even when I didn't like The Queen of the Damned, I blamed that on the terrible Mary Sue character, Jessie, and the fact I had read the first three books straight through, which almost always leads to series burnout. So I gave myself a break, to renew my love of this series.

And then I listened to this audiobook.

Honestly, this could have and should have been a fabulous book. I mean, I still adore Lestat, Louis, David (Lestat and David TOTALLY needed to hook up!), and Gretchen. Even the Body Thief himself was fairly interesting.

The problem is, there was too much author intrusion, too much time spent on talking about various topics until their insight and usefulness had died a dismal death and too little time for the story to unfold. I can't tell you how many scenes there were that would start out awesome, with a great new idea, a new concept, a new thought, and then totally destroy it because the characterswouldn't f@#$ing move on.

To me, this was particularly apparent when Lestat was with Gretchen. What started out as a beautiful, sensual scene, quickly devolved into monotony and pedantry. Round and round, without end.

If only the editor had the sense to cut the book in half! That half would have been the most brilliant, poignant story probably in the entire series!

Speaking of series, here comes the biggest question: do I continue?

I read series for one of two reasons:

+ I enjoy the series
+ I enjoy the snark

It's obvious I'm no longer enjoying the series (and reading what many others have said about later books, I'm unlikely to refind my love of Lestat and company). Unfortunately, unlike with Anita Blake and Ayla, there really isn't anything to snark. It's just BORING.

And so, with that said, let me finish off with the following: