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Encyclopedia > The Tale of the Body Thief

The Tale of the Body Thief is the fourth novel in Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles series, following The Queen of the Damned. Published in 1992, it continues the adventures of Lestat, specifically his efforts to regain his lost humanity. Anne Rice (born on October 4, 1941) is a best-selling American author of gothic and later religious themed books. ... The Vampire Chronicles is a series of novels by Anne Rice that revolves around the fictional character Lestat de Lioncourt, a French nobleman made into a vampire in the 18th century. ... The Queen of the Damned is the third novel of Anne Rices The Vampire Chronicles series. ... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... Stuart Townsend as Lestat in the film Queen of the Damned Lestat de Lioncourt (pronounced les-tat with a rather French flair, according to Blackwood Farm and Blood Canticle and page 151 in Memnoch the Devil) is a fictional character appearing in several novels by Anne Rice, including The Vampire...


It is a contemporary novel set entirely in the late 20th century. This is a departure for Anne Rice, who often takes readers into the past. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999...


Plot summary

At the beginning of the story, Lestat grows depressed and becomes remorseful because of his vampiric nature. Although he tries to limit his victims to murderers, serial killers and other criminals, he nonetheless caves into temptation once in a while and kills an "innocent" or someone who he feels does not necessarily deserve to die. Lestat also suffers from constant nightmares concerning his late "daughter," Claudia, for whose death he blames himself. Stuart Townsend as Lestat in the film Queen of the Damned Lestat de Lioncourt (pronounced les-tat with a rather French flair, according to Blackwood Farm and Blood Canticle and page 151 in Memnoch the Devil) is a fictional character appearing in several novels by Anne Rice, including The Vampire... Further reading Christopher Frayling - Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula 1992. ... Serial killers are individuals who have a history of multiple slayings of victims who were usually unknown to them beforehand. ... This page is about a type of dream. ... Claudia is a fictional character in the novels Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned, and The Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice. ...


The "coven" of vampires formed at the end of The Queen of the Damned has long since broken up, and Lestat has become extremely lonely. Among his only remaining friends is the mortal head of the Talamasca Caste, David Talbot, who is seventy-four years old. Although Lestat has repeatedly offered David the Dark Gift, David has always refused to become a vampire and keep Lestat company through eternity. Lonely and depressed, Lestat goes to the Gobi desert at dawn in a half-hearted suicide attempt. When he does not die, he goes to David's home in England to heal. The Queen of the Damned is the third novel of Anne Rices The Vampire Chronicles series. ... The Talamasca Caste is a fictional secret society described in the works of Anne Rice. ... David Talbot is a fictional character created by author Anne Rice. ... The Gobi Desert lies in the territory of the Peoples Republic of China and the Country of Mongolia. ... Dawn in Peng Chau, Hong Kong. ... Rather than surrender to US soldiers, the Mayor (Bürgermeister) of Leipzig, Germany, committed suicide along with his wife and daughter on April 20, 1945. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto)1 Unified  -  by Athelstan 927 AD  Area  -  Total...


A mysterious figure, Raglan James - the eponymous "Body Thief" of the story - approaches Lestat with what seems to be a cure for his ennui and depression. James sends Lestat several messages hinting that he has the ability to switch bodies. Eventually, he proposes to Lestat that the two of them trade bodies for a day. Against the advice of other vampires and David Talbot, Lestat jumps at the opportunity. Unfortunately, James has no intention of ever switching back, and Lestat is forced to scheme to regain his body. A body swap is a storytelling device seen in a variety of fiction, most often in TV shows and movies, in which two people (or beings) exchange minds and end up in each others bodies. ...


Lestat nearly dies after becoming human again - his new body is wracked by pneumonia, which he ignores during a tour of Washington D.C. in the middle of winter. He is saved by the care of a nun named Gretchen. He enjoys a short love affair with Gretchen before she returns to South America, where she works in a convent, and Lestat sets out in search of his body. Pneumonia is an illness of the lungs and respiratory system in which the alveoli (microscopic air-filled sacs of the lung responsible for absorbing oxygen from the atmosphere) become inflamed and flooded with fluid. ... Aerial photo (looking NW) of the Washington Monument and the White House in Washington, DC. Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia (also known as D.C.; Washington; the Nations Capital; the District; and, historically, the Federal City) is the capital city and administrative district of the United... Winter is one of the four seasons of temperate zones. ... For other uses, see Nun (disambiguation). ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ...


Lestat seeks help from other vampires but is completely ostracized by them. Marius is extremely angry at him for leaving such a powerful body to a thief and refuses to help him. Likewise Louis turns him away when he asks Louis to make his new body into a vampire, arguing that Lestat ought to be happy to be human again and also calls him out on his previous writings, accusing him of altering his actual past in favor of one that portrays him heroically. Lestat's only ally is David Talbot. Marius De Romanus is a fictional character in the Vampire Chronicles universe created by Anne Rice. ... Brad Pitt as Louis de Pointe du Lac in Interview with the Vampire. ... The Vampire Lestat is a novel by Anne Rice, and the second in her Vampire Chronicles, following Interview with the Vampire. ... Illustration by Gustave Doré for Baron Münchhausen: tall tales, such as those of the Baron, often feature unreliable narrators. ...


Drawing from the Talamasca's resources on the supernatural, Talbot reveals that James was a gifted psychic who once joined the order, but was kicked out for constant theft. He is a kleptomaniac who enjoys stealing for the thrill of it — it is revealed that every single thing he owns, from his house to his body, was stolen or schemed for. However, he also has major psychological problems, and his life is a series of cycles — he gets rich by theft, then often ends up in prison. Dying of cancer several years before, James tricked the inmate of a mental institution into switching bodies with him, allowing him a type of immortality. Psychic is a term relating to or denoting paranormal extra-sensory abilities or phenomena that are apparently inexplicable by known natural laws, since they transcend the confines of our current understanding of what a human being is capable of. ... Everyday instance of theft: the bike which fits on this wheel has disappeared. ... Kleptomania (word of Greek origin) is an obsession with stealing. ... Psychology (ancient Greek: psyche = soul and logos = word) is the study of mind, thought, and behaviour. ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these to spread, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion, or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis (where cancer cells are transported through the bloodstream or lymphatic system). ... A psychiatric hospital (also called a mental hospital or asylum) is a hospital specializing in the treatment of persons with mental illness. ... This article is about living for infinite period of time. ...


It is James' lack of imagination and petty thievery that allow Talbot and Lestat to track him down. Despite his newfound wealth and powerful new body, James continues to steal jewelry from people. He also makes a conspicuous show of his wealth, boarding the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, and draining victims of their blood along the ship's path. The pattern allows his pursuers to easily find him. Imagination is accepted as the innate ability and process to invent partial or complete personal realms within the mind from elements derived from sense perceptions of the shared world. ... Jewelry (the American spelling; spelled jewellery in Commonwealth English) consists of ornamental devices worn by persons, typically made with gems and precious metals. ... RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) is a Cunard Line ocean liner named after the earlier Cunard liner RMS Queen Elizabeth. ...


On the cruise ship, Lestat manages to regain his body with David's help, but the sun is rising as he performs the switch and he must immediately flee to a safe place in which to spend the day. When he awakes in the evening he finds that both James and Talbot have disappeared.


Lestat finds David in Florida and is surprised to find that his friend, despite his earlier protestations, now wants to become a vampire. However, while taking his blood, Lestat discovers a final trick — when forced out of Lestat's body, James took over Talbot's body instead of returning to his own. Lestat angrily attacks James, crushing his skull. The blow proves fatal - the injury damages James' brain and prevents him from leaving the dying body or trying to switch bodies before his current one dies. Official language(s) English Capital Tallahassee Largest city Jacksonville Largest metro area Miami Area  Ranked 22nd  - Total 65,795[1] sq mi (170,304[1] km²)  - Width 361 miles (582 km)  - Length 447 miles (721 km)  - % water 17. ... In animals, the brain or encephalon (Greek for in the head), is the control center of the central nervous system, responsible for behaviour. ...


At this point, Tale of the Body Thief reaches a false ending. Raglan James is dead. David has begun to enjoy life in his new, young body. Lestat returns to New Orleans, reunites with Louis, and begins to renovate his old house in the French Quarter. Above all, Lestat claims that he has finally come to accept his vampiric nature. However, Lestat then warns readers not to continue if they are happy with this ending... A false ending refers to a rarely used story-telling device where the plot seems to be heading to its conclusion, but in reality, theres still more to the story. ... New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... French Quarter: upper Chartres street looking down towards Jackson Square and the spires of St. ...


Lestat then resumes the narrative, claiming that he has regained his "evil" nature, and decides to make Talbot into a vampire against his wishes, and despite the role Talbot played in saving his life when everyone else abandoned him. After having immortality forced upon him, David again disappears. Lestat looks for him for a while, but upon having no luck he gives up and returns to New Orleans — where to his surprise he finds that David has already contacted Louis. New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ...


Now that Louis and David - who both have valid reasons to dislike Lestat - have spoken with each other, they no longer feel dependent on Lestat or his friendship. While David claims that he's no longer angry with Lestat, he effectively usurps Lestat's position of leadership - he makes plans to visit Rio de Janeiro with Louis, but pointedly ignores Lestat's protests. Lestat then realizes that, despite all that happened, he is still alone, has failed to regain his "humanity," and that he has thrown away his only chance to make amends for his past misdeeds. Location of Rio de Janeiro Coordinates: Country Brazil Region Southeast State Rio de Janeiro Government  - Mayor Cesar Maia (PFL) Area  - City 1,260 km²  (486. ...


Motifs

In many ways, The Tale of the Body Thief lays the groundwork for the following Vampire Chronicles novel, Memnoch the Devil. David Talbot, in his occult fieldwork, has begun to understand the nature of the spirit world, and actually claims to have seen God and the devil sitting and talking in a cafe. Memnoch the Devil is the fifth novel in Anne Rices Vampire Chronicles series, following The Tale of the Body Thief. ... The word occult comes from the Latin occultus (clandestine, hidden, secret), referring to knowledge of the hidden.[1] In the medical sense it is used commonly to refer to a structure or process that is hidden, e. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Satan frozen at the center of Cocytus, the ninth circle of Hell in Dantes Inferno. ...


In interviews after the book came out, Rice claimed that her own father's death helped to form the model for the relationship between Lestat and Talbot. Rice had loved her father very much (her mother died prematurely after succumbing to alcoholism), and when he was dying, she wished (as Lestat does with Talbot) that she could somehow make him young again so that she wouldn't lose him. This could make Tale of the Body Thief the second of two Vampire Chronicle novels inspired by Rice's personal tragedies, the first being Interview with the Vampire (which is denied by Rice). Alcoholism is the consumption of, or preoccupation with, alcoholic beverages to the extent that this behavior interferes with the drinkers normal personal, family, social, or work life, and may lead to physical or mental harm. ... Interview with the Vampire is a vampire novel by Anne Rice written in 1973 and published in 1976. ...


Lestat's adjustment to his human body takes up a major portion of the book — after almost two centuries of being a vampire, he finds he has trouble with the basic human nuances of eating, defecating, and taking care of his body. One of the realizations made by Lestat is that he took his powers for granted for too long; only after his adventure is he able to fully appreciate his vampiric abilities.


The story is ironic in other ways as well. James is described as a petty thief who keeps making the same mistakes over and over. Despite everything he goes through, Lestat ends up doing much the same thing at the end. Although this seems to be a novel of "personal growth," Lestat remains much the anti-hero he always was. Perhaps one of the book's most ironic inclusions on this count is Lestat's adoption of a stray dog, which he names Mojo. By the end of the story, the dog is pretty much the only friend Lestat has left. Irony is a literary or rhetorical device, in which there is a gap or incongruity between what a speaker or a writer says and what is generally understood (either at the time, or in the later context of history). ... In literature and film, an anti-hero is a central or supporting character that has some of the personality flaws and ultimate fortune traditionally assigned to villains but nonetheless also have enough heroic qualities or intentions to gain the sympathy of readers or viewers. ... Trinomial name Canis lupus familiaris The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domestic subspecies of the wolf, a mammal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. ...


Likewise, Lestat describes James as a devious and cunning opponent, a characterization he uses to justify how he was tricked. However, in reality, Raglan James is an extremely petty and predictable criminal who is constantly dropping clues as to his next move - at one point, Talbot refers to James as "a glorified purse snatcher." Characterization is the process of conveying information about characters in fiction. ...


The novel is also ironic in the cues that it leaves behind. For example, one of the "hints" that Raglan James leaves Lestat is a copy of H.P. Lovecraft's short story, The Thing on the Doorstep. In the Lovecraft story, body-switching also takes place, and has an added twist when a third party gets involved without the narrator's knowledge. Lestat doesn't bother re-reading the short story; if he had, he might have anticipated Raglan James' final trick. Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American author of fantasy, horror and science fiction, noted for combining these three genres within single narratives. ... The Thing on the Doorstep is a short story written by H. P. Lovecraft, part of the Cthulhu Mythos genre of horror fiction. ...


The darkest irony is Lestat's supposed concern for the elderly David Talbot. One of his nightmares concerns a flashback to when the young Talbot was a big-game hunter, and was nearly killed by a man-eating tiger. At the story's beginning, Lestat is constantly bothered by a foreboding that his friend is dying or in some mortal danger. He connects this feeling to William Blake's poem The Tyger, which is quoted piecemeal throughout the entire novel: Hunting is, in its most general sense, the pursuit of a target. ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) Historical distribution of tigers (pale yellow) and 2006 (green). ... William Blake (November 28, 1757 – August 12, 1827) was an English poet, visionary, painter, and printmaker. ... William Blakes original plate for The Tyger. ...

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

At the end of the story, Lestat realizes with horror that he must have been the "tiger" of his visions.


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