The Vampire Armand

Anne Rice’s multiple literary personalities — vampire chronicler, romance novelist, soft-core pornographer — are all on display in The Vampire Armand, her latest installment in ”The Vampire Chronicles.” The main character, Armand, will be familiar to any reader of Rice’s monster fictions, as will the format of the book, which echoes that of Interview With the Vampire (Armand dictates his story to another). Indeed, much of Armand’s story is old news, since it covers the same ground as Lestat’s. Where it differs is in narrative style. Rice’s early vampire books might have been fantasy, but they were tight, coherent fantasy. Here, Armand begins with a grotesquely florid account of his early years in Venice, segues into graphic descriptions of his sexual awakenings, moves on to vampire lore, and then takes off into truly hokey liturgy. The net effect is that of a writer who’s run out of ideas — and started plagiarizing herself. D-

The Vampire Armand
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