In the time of Coronavirus, Ashley and Joel finally finished another novel. We’re back to discuss the Tale of the Body Thief, the fourth entry into Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and one of the best adventure stories you’ll ever find.
In this episode we discuss adaptations and broken contracts, hot old men and casting necessities, side-plots and side-pieces, and so much more.
In case you actually listened to our COVID-19 intro, then you might want to see this video of my son putting on 60 t-shirts: https://www.facebook.com/joelsharpton/posts/10102726864863248
If you like Anne Rice and her vampires enough to read this, then you like them enough to join our cult...I mean Discord: https://discord.gg/PkbCaMgVu3
If Discord isn’t your thing, we also have a Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/articulatecoven/ or follow us on Twitter @articulatecoven
Until you hear from us again, wash your damn hands and read Memnoch the Devil!
Tale of the (Hot) Body Thief - Ashley and Joel Discuss The Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice - AC010
Joel: Isn't it the it's it's just it's the most I remember I remember a time somewhere it feels like two or three years ago when I thought to myself, I never imagined that all of the sports would cancel, and that was that was a moment so crazy that nothing else could top it. I I I joke that it was two or three years ago. It feels that way. It was honestly like, what? A week and a half ago? At this point, it's maybe ten days ago. And, honestly, it seems like it escalates well, I mean, it obviously does escalate every single day, but it is I I have repeatedly told my children This is a moment like others in history where we have faced something seemingly insurmountable and yet Our historical record shows us that our country and our species is in fact well adapted to overcome moments like this. So In the whole, things will eventually be quote unquote okay again, they'll be normal again. But the other thing that history tells us is that we reorder society fundamentally to save ourselves from this exact same disaster again. I mean, that's what we did after World War two. You created this, like, international community of governing bodies that effectively stop us from having a world war. After the depression, we changed the fundamental economic system in a bunch of different ways to stop that specific kind of collapse from ever happening happening again. So we'll do that. And the next time we face a pandemic, we'll be much better at responding to it. But the other thing that generally happens is that we reorder society in other ways too. So, like, after World War one, there was this huge movement and suddenly women got the right to vote. I say suddenly, I mean, they've been fighting for it for a long time, but it happened because of world war one. After world war two, there's a flourish of civil rights movement for African Americans because they had been empowered during the war and came home and it was no longer enough to return to life quote unquote as normal. And and likewise, there were white soldiers who had lived their lives thinking segregation was fine, and yet they were exposed to the bravery and the camaraderie and the humanity of African Americans during the war effort, and they were like, oh, we were wrong. You know, the boat mines were changed on both sides. Though there was a desire for more on the one side and there was an understanding that more was deserved on the other side. I think those things will happen after this too. Right? I think we as a society will come out and build a country in a world that's kinder and gentler and and more connected, honestly. But To do that, we all have to or enough of us have to survive to build a society on the other side of it. Right? That's my current worry. I am so thankful to see that the vast majority of people seem to be taking this seriously. I'm very thankful to see like, countless governors and mayors are stepping up and providing really stable secure serious leadership in the middle of what is a a trial that they never expected or thought was gonna happen. And and in the midst of all of that, like, people doing cool stuff. Right? Like I shared, Oh, man, I shared on so okay. Literally, I'll I'll just say the one that I did. We literally the reason why we're starting this recording a little late is because My son and I were downstairs. And well, upstairs at first, then we moved downstairs. His cousin last night sent us a video of of him. This kid's like twelve years old. He put on as many t shirts as he could, and he got all the way up to forty one t shirts and he he's hanging out with his dad and it's all of his t shirts and then I think he put on some of his dad's t shirts as well. They got up to forty one before they quit last night. So he sent us this video. My wife and I were laughing and enjoying it. The kids all laughed at it this morning. It was awesome. And then Remy decides, hey, I'm gonna do this too. So I'm like, yeah, absolutely. So he got thirty five shirts in his own bedroom from him and his brother, and then we moved downstairs to start mine. We got up to sixty shirts before he tapped out. He was like, I can't I can't do anymore. So There's a Facebook live video. And as a matter of fact, in the show notes for this episode, I will link that because if you are anything like us, Maybe you need a good goof during all of this. So having said all of that, that is our preamble on the state of the world as we record this March twenty second twenty twenty. If you're listening to this in the future, here's true little reminder that once upon a time, we were all coronaed in our homes. Yeah. What a crazy time, man. What a crazy time. But we thought in this time, now better than ever for us to finally do a damn up episode. And so, welcome to another episode of our articulate Kevin. The Articulate Coveen is the original unofficial podcast and fan community for Anne Rice's interview with the vampire and Anirise's immortal universe from AMC and AMC Plus. We are your hosts. I'm Joel.
Ashley: I'm Ashley.
Joel: And we are the articulate coven. So we have discussed in this series of episodes. Lots of stuff. We've talked about the first three books of the series, interview the Vampire, the Vampire L'Estat, and Queen of the Down. We've talked about the films interview with the Vampire and Queen of the damned. We've talked about the mummy, which is one of her side novels. And we've also discussed the Hulu announcement where we got picked up and we were gonna be on Hulu with a new TV series What we haven't discussed yet, Ashley, we'll talk about it a little bit here. Hulu and their new corporate overlords Disney have passed on the vampire chronicles? Bastards. Yeah. I'm I'm very bummed on this on the one hand. On the flip side though, production wouldn't likely have started. Like, we probably would have gotten casting announcements, let's say, in an alternate world that they've kept it on on schedule. We would have gotten casting announcements, but production probably wouldn't have started before everything shut down for the coronavirus. So we just would have been teased and this thing would have been hanging out there further. So I'm almost kinda glad that this project will start fresh when Hollywood begins again. And the other good news to think about in the wake of this sort of cancellation, which is bad news, Now and you've seen it on the Facebook and and Twitter accounts for the Vampire Chronicles, they've changed their headers what Christopher and Anne are shopping now is a full package of rights. They want to sell all of the books not only the complete vampire chronicles to the ones that crossover with the witch series, but also the Mayfair witch series as well. And one would imagine that would even include because these books crossover in some ways, the Mummy series as well. So theoretically, whatever media conglomerate ends up absorbing these rights down the road and deciding to give us this TV series that's percolating. It will now be not just a series, it'll be a TV universe.
Ashley: Which is awesome and excellent. And I think that there's so much fun crossover. And I remember, you know, just reading about, you know, and and obviously, we'll get more into this as we get into the book. But you know, there's some there's a couple of mentions of, like, Aaron Lightner and Tilly Body thief, and Aaron Aaron is a really important character in the the Mayfair, but the Mayfair books. And so I was like, oh, yes. I totally forgot about Aaron. I completely forgot that that character existed, and it made me want to go pick up the witching hour. Again, you know what I mean?
Joel: Yeah. Absolutely. The thing that occurred to me while I was reading the tail while I was finishing tail of the body thief, which by the way I should say, you and I both, I think, switched up things this time as far as how we read it. Right? I have been listening to these in audiobook fashion but I I and this was before the coronavirus actually. My wife kinda challenged me. She is reading a lot of books this year, physical books and also she's reading ebooks on her iPad. And I thought, you know, I wanna do that too. We got a as a family, we have a kindle unlimited subscription right now through my mom bought it for my son who's got a Kindle Fire tablet. And the whole family is getting the benefit from it. And that's kind of awesome. So anyway, I was like, let me let me borrow this thing from my library and let me read it, you know, the old fashioned way. It's really enjoyable. I liked it more than the audiobook, honestly. And I'm already I've started Memm Not The Devil Dow, and I'm reading it that way as well. I'm reading it in the Kindle eBook app on my iPad having borrowed it from my library's digital catalog, you know. And the cool thing with that is like, Okay. So you get fourteen days. Well, let's say you're kind of a slow reader, like lately, I have been. I just borrow it again. And the Kindle app holds any markers that I've made in it, it holds my progress so that when you borrow it again and load it back into the app, it's just you continue it like it was always there. Anyway, it's very cool experience. And if you haven't tried that, but you now find yourself with a little bit more time to read or a more desire to read, load it up, man. See what your library is offering in a digital sense and and take advantage of it during this time. Less do we wanna start this conversation? I think, first of all, I'll say this. As I wrap this up, the coronavirus was in fact ramping up, and we were beginning to feel like there was going to be some serious economic effects for us. I didn't really consider that we would actually like school would be canceled. I never thought it was gonna get to that point at that you know, a month ago. But this mortality idea was hanging over my head, and it's very interesting to read this book or think about this book, particularly with some sort of crisis like this hanging over us. You know, it's interesting to weigh life and immortality when we're all thinking about death. In a capacity like we are right now?
Ashley: Oh, for sure. It's like it's a really timely read. And actually, guys, too, like, this is if you haven't read this one or if you haven't read it in a long time, like, I hadn't picked this book up, probably since I mean, the like, the very early two thousands. And so I haven't read it in, like, I mean, almost twenty years probably. And it's it's a really quick read. It's one of those that's kind of like because it's not like setting up a huge it's not setting up a huge, like, mythos. You know, it's it's it's like a it's kind of like the mummy. It's like It's one story. It's this one adventure that we're gonna go on. And so it reads really quick and it is. And it's it's very much about the question of mortality, the question of being, you know, the opportunity, if you are more told, the opportunity to be mortal again. And if you're mortal, the opportunity to be immortal and what that the questions that that, you know, the questions of morality that that brings into play. And it is. It's a very interesting read right now, and it's not a stressful read. It's like it's not gonna stress you out. I will say trigger warnings There is a there's a rape scene. So just to give you a content warning, a trigger warning for that, there's if those of you that haven't read it before or haven't read in a while, that's definitely something that is in there, so that could be a little triggering in setting for people, so just to give you a warning about that. But for the most part, it's it's a it's a really, you know, it's a fun adventure, and it's an interesting, introspective trip with these characters that don't always have a lot of section. I
Joel: mean, I yeah. I I have always loved this book. So my history with this one is it's my it's the first book that I ever was brought to in the series, I found this book while I was visiting my aunt. The summer before I turned thirteen, I think she lived in Baton Rouge at the time. It might have been Lake Charles instead, but she lived in South Louisiana somewhere. And she was at work one day, and I was kinda going through her library there at the house. And I found this one pulled it out. It was the paper back copy. And the prologue to this, and Anne does a good job of she writes a similar prologue in effectively all of the vampire books, after this. And I think there's a pretty similar prologue in Queen of the damned as well. It just catches you up to speed. If you jump on at any time, supposed to tell you who Listat is and explain this world that you're being brought into. And sometimes, she gives you context like in this one, she Listat specifically says, you know, there's not gonna be any the world's not gonna be at stake. This is a low stakes adventure story that you're gonna hear here. So he sets that up. But the other thing he sets up is his own power and some of the things that he's gone through and everything. And it's just incredibly seductive as somebody who has always been drawn to horror, but is also a a fready cat. So I like it when you have a story that tells the from the point of view of the monsters because then it's not scary. If you're listening to the monster tell the tale, then there are no jump scares. Right? The jump scares are coming from you, so it's fine. And that that's what I was specifically drawn to here. And I just was madly in love with it. I stopped reading at the end of the prologue though because it was clear to me there was more before this. So I waited until my aunt got home and I was like, what is this? And where is the rest of it? And she was like, oh, oh, I love that series. The first one is interview with the Vampire, and we went through her cattle her library several times trying to find it. She turned out not to have a copy. She was like, well, you know, you could probably just jump on and read this one if you I was like, no. No. No. I gotta start at the beginning. So I waited until we got back to my house and I went to the library, like the first day I was home and I said, I need to borrow a copy of interview with the vampire. And when I took it to the desk, they wouldn't let me check it out. Because I had a children's card and it was an adult book. So I went back out to the car or whoever was with me, and I said, we need to get me an adult library card. And the next day, my mom came in with me and we changed my account over and I got an adult library card and started reading grown up books from that point forward. And the reason that that all started is because of interview with the Empire and the this prologue for tale of the body things. So I have always had to find this for this story. In the just as you put it, Ashley, the twenty years or so since I had read it, and that was from the first time I read it to not this time but the time before. I went on a string where I read at least the first six or so of this series about eleven years ago. But before that, it had literally been since I was a child. The last time that I read it was the first time that the rape had really hit me. Reading it as a twelve year old it seemed to be no different to any of the other horrible things that L'Estat does. The fact that he was now immortal as well and committing this heinous violent act against a human being that he ostensibly loved in some fashion. That's how this whole thing started, is he was kind of drawn to this woman and she was caring for him and took him home from the bar and his sort of stumbling mortality. And yet he he or he would do violence to her, this terrible, terrible grievous thing. As a twelve year old, I didn't especially a twelve year old in the nineties, the early nineties, I didn't think about it. I just it didn't weigh me down at all. Eleven years ago, it weighed me down much more. This time, holy moly, it hit me like a ton of bricks and it stops the story in so many ways. Thinking about it being adapted, as I'm reading it, I said, oh, they just they'd cut this out. They this scene wouldn't happen. Maybe he would maybe he would start to and then realize what he was doing. Like, he'd fumbled tear clothes off or something and then realized what he's doing and and then race out of the apartment. And he'd still that way you could still have the redemption at the end where he, you know, sends her money or whatever. But it it it wouldn't you wouldn't make him horrible at the beginning of this tale. And yet, I think there's honestly having read the whole thing again and really like sat with it. I think Anne stumbles through it. I think that's mostly about the time and the place where she was riding from. But I do think in a very you know, gifted storyteller's hands. There could be an adaptation of this story that uses still that moment and that event, but gives it the proper weight in the moment, and then also brings that to a more fuller conclusion in the end. And actually, could add a lot to this story. I don't I'm not for, you know, fringing your girlfriends and stories. I'm not for kill in the gays, etcetera, etcetera, all of these tropes that we have. I'm not for just throwing a rape in there to show that things are serious. I think that's a bad storytelling. But there are many parts of this story that are about consent. Right? At its core, the idea of a body thief is about consent of consciousness and and, you know, you're literally control of your soul. So I think, again, in a in a modern story, I I said it more gifted. Maybe that's the wrong way because I think Anne is an incredibly gifted storyteller. But in a in a more modern viewpoint of a gifted storyteller. I think this could be done better. Yeah.
Ashley: We're talking about a book that was written, you know, a lot a lot a lot of years ago.
Joel: Like thirty ish now? Yeah.
Ashley: Right. Yeah. And and I and I think that from my interpretation of reading it, I think that a lot of it was to draw parallels between between the act of of of the kill, the act of the bloodlust that the vampires have. And this is this is almost to me it almost shows that LASTAT inherently just by the fact that he is now in a human body, he still has that lust in him. He still has those cravings in him because it's part of it's part of inherently who he is now. Despite the fact that he is in a in a human body. He's still a vampire. He's still lived hundreds of years. He's still he's still what he is. And he is a monster and he is he is not a great person. He's not a good guy. And and that's something we have accept about our hero. You know what I mean? And I think that I think that a lot of that is to I think it would have to be I think it's important for it to be included if if, you know, in in adaptation sense. And I don't and I do think it's written in kind of a little bit of a little bit of a throwaway way. It's not the way she would write it now, I don't believe. You know what I mean? But there's there's a lot of there's a lot of scenes in these books that are, you know, aggressive sexually, you know, in whatever way a vampire can be sexual with a human or and whatever, you know, and and and you're right, consent is a big part of this. I mean, we're gonna run into that over and over again in this in this in this story in this adventure because it's all, you know, do you wanna do you wanna become a vampire Am I gonna make you one even though you don't wanna be one? You know, like, that's that's rape too. You know, like, that's in in another sense, in another way. And so there's a lot of different layers of of of it in this book to me in particular. And I think that and just thinking about the other novels as well. And and and how how, you know, I'm thinking about, like, there's just some really bizarrely sexual things coming up. Like in MIMNOC, I remember there's some weird there's some strange things that come up. And I'm, you know, I think that there's just intentional parallels that she's drawing with vampirism and then and sex, obviously. And then and then you you put in the consent the consensual section of it, and it's it's, you know, admitting that these that these creatures are lawless in a lot of ways.
Joel: Yeah. I mean, effectively every time lestat kills or drains its rape. Definitely, when he makes many of his fledgling, it was effectively right. He himself is the product of rape. Magnus never gave him a choice. So so, yeah, I think I think that is I think it's a very strong theme that runs through the books, particularly this one though. And so, yes, I I would like to see it honestly in an adaptation. I've just again done through a a more modern lens where the weight is. Honestly, it could be as simple as as the as he's committing the act. If he got a flash of Magnus forcing him, you know, once upon a time. Like, just that simple.
Ashley: A realization, you know, like, you know, a realization of the wrongdoing and the parallel being drawn, you know, like some some self awareness. Our our playlist always needs a little bit more self awareness. Bless
Joel: him. It's so weird too because he has moments of it. Right? Like, even in chapter one, he says at one point, the evil of one murder is infinite. So, like but it's but it's interesting because he uses that very realization to sort of give himself card launch well since anyone is already as bad as I could possibly be. It doesn't matter how many I stack on top of it.
Ashley: Oh, sure. I do love I do love that he was on this, like, serial killer killing spree though. That is, like, I didn't remember that at all for my for my earlier reads. And I got really delighted by that as like a true crime aficionado and someone who likes a little I don't know, sometimes enjoys a little vigilante justice. I really, really loved that he was like, I wanna go hunt down these nasty ass serial killers.
Joel: It really read, like, Dexter. Right? Like, tonight's the night. Like, that's exactly how it felt. So the the thing that struck that isn't interesting. You're absolutely right. The the the one particular serial killer with the saintly daughter that he's chasing at the beginning of this book, that is a particularly interesting subplot. And again, shows me the richness and the depth that this series could have if put to film. You know, if we if we get this in a long form TV series eventually, and I'm confident that someday when things are back to normal, we will somebody's gonna wanna put this on, you know, Hulu is doing a lot now with FX. I I would not be surprised if a retooled package of this showed up there. Or, you know, Universal has a huge new streaming service that they're pushing with NBC and and POC. HBO's got their own thing now with HBO not now. What are they calling it? HBO Max, and they're bringing a a whole bunch of things in house there. This this whole story has a history with Warner Bros. So maybe we might see a return there. Or Apple, you know, Apple now is making films and TV shows as well, and and they've got a lot of former HBO talent working behind the scenes there in production companies and stuff. So I'm sure that somebody is gonna see the value of this as an overarching narrative. The the thing that I was especially thinking of the other day, look at what Disney is doing with Star Wars. So the TV shows that they're making And they've done this already for a while with their animated series, but now they're they're moving it into the live action stuff as well, it seems. They're they're making these very specifically intended to be sort of short lived individual series. Hey, we're gonna have three seasons or four seasons, and we're telling one story, and then we're out. But then we're gonna take those characters and pick up some of them with new characters and the storyline overall will be continued in another series maybe even with a different art direction or something. And, you know, we're gonna jump from here to there and fill in the whole universe. This content lends itself to that. You could tell, for instance, this tale of the body thief could be your entry point to the story if you really if you wanted If you're not sure that people are gonna buy into this whole universe of empires and whatnot, tell a one season ten episode adventure story. Where a a powerful vampire loses his body and then gains it back again with the help of his telepathic friend. That's a pretty damn cool story. Right? And you don't have to know anything about where the vampires come from or badass, Louis, or, you know, angry ass, Marius, all of those can be hinted at. And then you could go do a whole season of Marius and Pandora. In ancient Egypt and in ancient Rome taking care of those who must be kept. Right? Like, you could do a whole season of that that sort of feels like it's disconnected. You're not even paying listings except for two episodes maybe, you know, that actor takes a season off, and then you come back and tell the interview with the Vampire Story. Yeah. You could do And then all of a sudden, in the middle of that, you could do a whole season of the tales of the telemasca where you're getting, like, literally, like, ancient scribes writing the stories of their first dealings with the witches, you know, from fifteen hundred, and you could tell five or six different witches tales in individual episodes, make it like American horror story, anthology style. I'm saying, you could do all sorts of things with this and never actually commit to we're gonna make seven seasons and pay this one guy as list at a billion dollars to to become famous. You know what I mean? And you could still do these stories justice. Anyway, I'm hoping I'm hoping I'm hoping I got my fingers crossed. That in this time of us all sitting at home and taking a breather, that somebody's reading over these books and looking at these scripts that they've worked on so far, and and making phone calls to Christopher and Anne and saying, let's make something happen. When we can all go back to work and we could put people back in studio, Let's make something happen.
Ashley: That is the hope. And there are so many like you said, there are so many different directions they can go in and and so much freedom if they buy the package, they've got all of it. You've got all of the stories. So I think that with the way you're right and the way people are thinking about telling stories these days. It's it's very much, you know, the the writers the writers are in control, the show writers are in control of what of what they do and how they do it. You know, I'm thinking about shows like like the good place that choose to just do thirteen episodes a season and you four seasons to tell their full story and, like, there's no need to drag it out and make it longer than it needs to be, you know, and that there's just and and also, you're not in a Game of Thrones type situation where the content's there. It's already there. You're not waiting for two books to come out. And and, you know, that you need to finish the story without, you know, having a really really train wreck of the last season. So I have hope too. I have big hope. I just we'll see. We'll keep our fingers crossed. And in the meantime, we'll keep reading. Thank God, got lots of books. She's prolific.
Joel: She does have lots of books. And speaking of, just for this show, I I think I can speak for Ashley here. I'm I know I'm I'm you said it myself. I'm diving into MIMNOC to devil already. I want to produce more content for you. I'm gonna try to read a bunch of these books this year. And dependent upon our work situation, maybe both of us can do that much more easily, Ashley.
Ashley: So Right.
Joel: We'll we'll try to do what we can for you and try to to get another episode out sooner rather than later. When we finish our discussion of Taylor The Body thief, by the way, we've got some feedback from some of you from our Facebook group. We're gonna talk about that at the end of this. But let's let's jump in and dig into this. First and foremost, what do you think of the of the body thief character himself James Ragland.
Ashley: Well, he's a he's a scam, isn't he? My goodness. Let's start such an idiot to fall for this, to start with. Like, good grief. Like, I it's such a scam. It's such a scam. It's such a scam. But what a cool power? You know? Like, I'm very impressed with with the power that he has. Like, that's and it's not anything that we've run into before in this world or actually at I haven't ever read a book where there's a body thief. You know? He's I his approach is very mysterious, and he knows you know, he's clearly been watching him take a digital step because he knows how to get him interested, you know. So he's obviously smarter than I'd like to give him credit for. Yeah. Well, it was so clear to me like,
Joel: even when I read this the first time, I was like, okay, he has to have gotten into those files about the stat from the telemat telemasca if he like, how else would he know that this is the vampire? What of of all the vampires to approach? How would he know that that's the one
Ashley: Yeah. No.
Joel: No. No. No. Had. Yeah. That would go for this. You know? It's like oh, god. It's like when your, you know, grandmother calls you and said, oh, I was talking to the nice man from the IRS day. He told me if I had just seen him a check for two hundred and fifty dollars, they'd take care of my tax bill this year. You're like, oh grandma. Oh, grandma. What did you do?
Ashley: Yeah. And you gave him his socials your Social Security number. Great. Awesome. Awesome. Yeah.
Joel: I mean, in every literally, everyone that lestat brings this to says it. David tells him, you've got to kill this creature immediately. Don't let him say anything to you. Louie, Louie even says, destroy this this guy. Why why are you even weighing this at all? Can you imagine what he would do with your body if he got it? Even if he could do such a thing to think of the danger. Like
Ashley: Yeah. You're talking about, like, giving just some, like, some random person, like, the keys to the nuclear weapons. You know? It's completely ridiculous of, like, clearly, one of the most powerful vampires that there are that there is. I don't even know my I'm so perturbed with Luspat right now. My grandma's out the window. And I I can't think of a single other vampire who would even really remotely consider it except maybe Pandora. That would even remotely consider it. You
Joel: know, that's I had not thought about Pandora, but you're right. Pandora has got this weird history of of reincarnation supposedly and and that she was mortal twice and all these things and you you can imagine the other the other one and I know Louis says no to this, but I thought I don't think Ragland would have ever been successful at talking Louis into it. But I do think there's someone that had this ability there was a way there was an approach. There was a way, I think, that you could have pitched Louie and talked him out of his vampiric body. Because Louis is so desperate for mortality. The difference though is Louis doesn't believe he deserves it. And L'Estat is eternally in belief that nothing is ever his fault. So like -- Oh. -- he he feels damned on the one hand, but on the other hand, his damnation is wrong. It's unjust in some fashion.
Ashley: Well, and Louis is Louis thinks of consequences. He thinks what what the what the end result is going to be. Like, that's something that's that's why he's the EOR of vampires. He's always thinking about, oh, well, this is what's gonna happen. Pooh and piglet. Don't go on that adventure. You know, like, that's why he's the EOR event because he's always thinking about what could happen. He's like your kill joy friend that's like, don't go do that. You know? So he's that's why I think it would be hard to convince Louis of it because he would he could he could think about how irresponsible it would be to put his powers, even his powers, which are not you know, or not what Lestats are. You know, putting them in a body in the body of someone you don't know, the body of someone you don't trust, that you don't know what their what their behaviors are gonna be like. You don't know what they're gonna do in that body. You know, I I I don't think he would do it just because he would be concerned about, like, the danger it would be putting other people in?
Joel: I think you're right. Speaking of, I love and he does it a lot in this book, L'Estat, straight up trashes Louis as far as, like, his status as a vampire so many times. I the lowliest of vampires, this weak ass, Louis. But I guess I'd take his blood over it, you know, if that's the only thing that I can get. At least he'll definitely he'll definitely help me out. I wish it was somebody stronger, you know.
Ashley: He gets mad at him, burns down his little house.
Joel: Oh my god. It's like straight up what is it waiting to exhale? Yet lights the house up as he walks away, man. Like, what the hell?
Ashley: As of the he's so mean to I don't know why Louis puts up with his shit, frankly. I I really don't.
Joel: There's a there's a beautiful line that Anne writes here when Lustat is considering Louis, though, as he's still making up his mind to go on this adventure. He says about Louis. He wears woe as others wear velvet. Saro flatters him like the light of candles, tears, but come him like jewels, like, man. That dude is hot, just so you know, like that dude. Even sad ass, you're a vampire. He is a smoky eyed motherfucker.
Ashley: Yeah. Yeah. He's beautiful.
Joel: I love more than any other character in this book. And I knew I remembered this being the case. I'm a little sad that he doesn't play as major a role in some of the more recent books, the character of David Talbot.
Ashley: Oh, yes. Good lord. Yes.
Joel: He's so good in this. And I specifically was thinking to myself, who would you get to play him especially in his mortal form, like the old man David Talbot. Who who do you cast for this adventure if you're if you're making it a TV series? And you'd need him, you know, a a a few appearances in the old and the last story, and then he'd really get to shine in this one. You know, like, ever in in history, I think about the way that goodness. Sir, Alec Guinness looks in, like, bridge on the river kai, you know? Like, little sweaty proper English gentleman with his backbone straight? Yeah. Like, I'd uh-huh. I like, L'Estat drools over him a lot in this book, and I'm there for it, honestly.
Ashley: He's gotta be like a like a little bit of a daddy.
Joel: Yeah. Yeah. And I I mean, like, that's I mean, there are a lot obviously, there are a lot of older guys at this point in Hollywood that would probably be great. But, I mean, I think about I the the the actor's probably not right, but you think about the way his fan base treats him. It was Jeff Goldblum. Like,
Ashley: Oh, yeah.
Joel: That energy, that's that's kinda what I want. You know? Like, he's not I don't think he's the right age. And I don't think he would still obviously, he's not British, but Yeah. I I want, like, smoldering sex appeal honestly from David in this.
Ashley: Yeah. Yeah. Because my stage goes to like
Joel: Anthony Hopkins, but then I don't find him, like, sexy. Yeah. So what was what was the movie that he made with Koopa Gooding Junior. It was like he played a some sort of, like, he was a psychologist or something that had gone crazy, like, feral in some fashion. I can't remember anyway. There there was a movie basically like his version of Wolf with Jack Nicholson that I I could maybe get down on that. You know, again, he's not old enough, but Matt's Nicholson's version of Hannibal Lecter. That kind of, like, yes. Yeah. Anyway, that's what we want whenever mister Hollywood producer, missus Hollywood producer, as you're listening to this, bring us a sexy David. That's all we're asking. Yeah.
Ashley: We want we want we want we want a sexy a sexy old man. Bring get bring me, Patrick, Stewart. Break anything happen.
Joel: Yeah. Okay. So like Patrick Stewart again is not exactly right. But yes, the way that he carries himself the the confidence that he exudes to reality. Right? Like, there's something about someone that is a sure of themselves and their place in life and the universe and the choices they've made, that is sexy in and of itself. And David brings all of that to table.
Ashley: I don't believe Maybe Sam Neill.
Joel: Oh, oh, yeah. I could get behind that. You might have to page you up a little bit, but, yeah, that would work. That would absolutely work.
Joel: He says at one point, No. This is not David that says this. I now I can't remember who says this, but I love this quote. I dream the dreams of the young, he said, and they are always dreams of being older and richer and wiser and stronger. Don't you think? First of all, I think that's true, particularly when you're a child, it's all about, well, when I grow up, when I'm in charge, when I have a house on my own, when I get to say what my bedtime is, when I get a car, you know, etcetera, etcetera, always about being older and richer and wiser and stronger. And that concept again, plays heavily into all of the themes of this book and that is embodied very much in the person of David Talbot. David Talbot is on the cusp of literally mortality. Listat talks about how frail his form is in some ways and how he worries that he might die at an a moment and it's one of the reasons why begged him to become a vampire even in the beginning of the book at the end of the last one temps him with the blood and yet Also, the experiences that David has accumulated over the years, the the wealth of knowledge and wisdom and again, life that he has accrued, that has its own quality and and draws especially, let's talk to him, but it draws us to him as the reader as well.
Ashley: Yeah. He's a to me, he's a a fascinating character. I love I love that he's his wisdom. I really love his wisdom. I think that's one of the reasons why we why we find him sexy. I mean, obviously, we're also looking at him through Lestat's eyes, but he's wise and he's there's reassurance about him. There's something very comforting and he's wise and brave and and not afraid to do the right thing even if it's the wrong thing, if that makes sense. You know? And I I like that even with the telemasco, he's he's not afraid to go against the grain and and go against tradition even if it means that, you know, he's I mean, he's definitely bucking tradition with with them and he a clearly in a lot of trouble with them off and on throughout this this novel, you know.
Joel: Yeah. And I love him as our I mean, again, I guess it's kinda cheating. Like, Anne just writes yourselves these, oh, and Listat's best friend happens to be the director general of the Telimaska. So he's got full access to all the powers of the organization and can override any of their decisions at any moment and can send their wealth anywhere that he needs to, etcetera, etcetera. But at the same time, it's nice to get a deeper glimpse into them. If you've never read any of the the Mayfair which books at this point, this is, you know, your deepest look into there are organization in the way that they do business and where they come from and everything. And it's nice to get that glimpse, and it wouldn't be nearly as good if this was just some staffer that had fallen and leveled the statin was along for the ride, you know. It was Jesse for instance.
Ashley: Right. Absolutely. And I love that not. I love that it's it's this it's like it is. It's it's it's a he's a what's the word I wanna use? I mean, he's like a stalwart. He's been there for years and years and years and he's not one that's, like, easily taken in by, you know, Lestat's charm and everything, but he is easily taken in by Lestat's jarm. Yeah. And again, like,
Joel: sometimes, especially in this book, especially towards the end, with David, you wonder what is it about L'SAT? That that I mean, look, David should know better. David should know better about all of this, about about giving in to Lisai at all, about maintaining this friendship about helping him in this time and need of the whole nine yards, all of this is against David's best interests. And and when the ultimate thing that happens to David in this book happens, there's a big part of you or at least there's a big part of me that was like, well, you got what was coming to you in some capacity. Like, you dance with the devil and and he's eventually gonna burn your hands. You know? But, like, at the same time, It's a picture of us again as the reader. Right? L cannot rapids a woman early in this book. And yet we don't throw him away as our hero. Over and over again in the series, he takes people against their will. He kills humans almost nightly in the early part of his life to survive, and yet we don't throw him away as a hero or as a protagonist. Why is that? It's because he is a darker version of the of the bad that we see in ourselves. Right? I mean, that's the whole point of this series is that we weigh with we we wrestle with our own wrongdoing and our own understanding of ethics and and morality and how we don't live up to it on any given day. You know? Well,
Ashley: then what would you The
Joel: beauty of these two characters?
Ashley: For sure. And, like, what would we do if we were in this position, you know, like, what if if we were an an an immortal being with this power with all these powers and the strength. Like, what what would our behavior be like? Which one of these which one of these characters would be more like? You know, those tend to be the characters that we that we kind of cling to and sort of relate to. Like, I let's start, I wanna slap about ninety percent of the time. But I still will go on a ride with him. You know what I mean? Like and I guess maybe that makes me more like Louis than I like.
Joel: Yeah. I think but I think I think most of us are like that. We we either are we either are like Gabriel where, like, we're we would be independent and sort of, like, chiding, looking down on the stat, but mostly try to avoid him so that we don't feel like slapping him. Or we'd be like Louis following him around petulantly for the rest of our eternal lives going, oh, why are you so bad? I love you, sir.
Ashley: Why are you such a jerk? Why did you burn my house down?
Joel: Yeah. So let's talk about for a minute the other character that, again, I I talked about how David Talbot being the the head of the Tallamaska is sort of a a writing cheat from Anne. Here's definite a a writing cheat in my opinion. The perfect unassailable dog that she invents in the in the person of Mojo. Right. So so Mojo is First of all, Mojo is the we we are led to believe anyway that Mojo is the dog of the person who Raglin James has latest taken over the body of. Right? That's not Ragland's dog. It is the dog of whoever's house he's in at that moment. Right?
Ashley: Right. Okay. Right. That's that's what
Joel: I got out of it too because he doesn't like Ryan Ryan.
Ashley: Yeah. He yeah.
Joel: But he not only recognizes the stat no matter what body he's wearing. But but immediately is drawn to him just as much as we are as readers. And apparently has a telepathic bond with him like chewie and Han. You know, they they understand each other on some sub subliminal level or something. But I love this I love this gigantic devil dog. You know, everybody's afraid of him. As List Out walks with him, but also he seems to walk with him unleashed everywhere they go, and and Mojo just follows him around. I love the idea And I honestly, I would love to see it played out as like a, you know, a scenario like family guy style. They talk about something and then you just see it shown on the show. I don't think it would fit in a television show like the vampire chronicles, but Lrastat imagines this scenario where he has this devil dog that guards his tomb at night in the cemetery. And it's such a badass idea like a vampire dog that's amazing.
Ashley: I I did not remember the dog at all. From my previous readings. So when this dog shows up, I was like, what what the hell's happening? And then I was delighted. It it gave me this real one of those it gave me this real John Wick feeling that I was enjoying. And yeah. No. I I love I love Mojo. I love that I love that inclusion. I think it's hilarious. And it's another thing that gives L'Estat like a a feeling of humanity too. Like, I have this amazing dog named Maggie who I could walk around with unleashed everywhere because she just follows me around like that. Like, it it's it draws those parallels Like, he has a freaking pet. He's got a dog. Like, what's more human than that? Like, as he's exploring his own humanity and and what he wishes he could experience as a mortal. One of the first things he does is end up with a pet.
Joel: Absolute. There's a there's a line I don't believe that this isn't specifically about Mojo, but this is kind of the way that I felt about it. He says, so we reach into the rage and chaos. And we pluck some small glittering thing and we cling to it and tell ourselves that it has meaning and that the world is good and we are not evil and we will all go home in the end. And that is absolutely what Mojo is for L'Estat in this book. It is a it is an anchor to humanity. It it is a validation of his choices in some ways. Mojo loves me even if no one else does. Mojo understands me even if no one else does. And particularly in a book where he's actually haunted by Claudia, which is, again, you talk about, you didn't remember Mojo, I did not remember ghost Claudia at all. She shows up a bunch in this book though.
Ashley: Oh, yeah. I know I didn't remember that because because Claudia is just a character that stayed has stayed with me, like, hardcore. Claudia from from from reading interview the first time and and just like going on that journey with Louis and that heartbreak with Louis, Claudia has always really, really stayed with me. And it's something that that's like, him being haunted will stop being haunted by Claudia. It's something that sort of let me forgive, lestad a little bit about what went down with her. I think, like, knowing that that's like his guilt manifesting, that's like, you know, it's I mean, hell or it's it could be a real ghost who knows. But, like, so much of it is is to me is this guilt and his and his grief, you know, manifesting. And and to me, that's another way another way that he's humanized to us.
Joel: Oh, absolute. I think you're a hundred percent right that it's his own that's his own crap manifesting in the form of Claudia for himself. And and I think that's it's telling because There's a moment where he says, and and again, this is another good line. And Claudia wasn't laughing anymore because Claudia was dead. Like, he and that's to me that he knows Claudia was never there. It was his own, you know, understanding of what is actually right and wrong and what he's done that was tormenting him. But at that moment, he had to move past it because he had to get out of this stuff. You know, like, the he was under under the weight of his daunting realization that he had been you know, he'd had his body stolen. I didn't make a knot a lot of notes about her, but let's talk for a moment about the nun in his first of all, he hates mortality. He gets the he gets this body. He gets a human body from Ragland, they switch even though everybody in his life has shown him its terrible idea. He runs headlong into it after he makes and and by the these loopholes that he draws oh, we're only gonna do it for two days. And you gotta show up in person on a Friday or you're never gonna get the money. And surely that'll mean that you'll show He said, the whole time I'm like, you, Imbecile. There are like nineteen different ways that he can get out of this and still get most of your damn money anyway. But also, if he's got your body, does he need your money? He'll just go get more money? Like, oh, anyway, I was very disappointed in Lyft app the whole time as as this happens. But once he switches bodies, He almost immediately gets sick. Even before the rape, the reason why he sort of stumbles through that whole experience as he goes to the restaurant, he he doesn't have any money on him. He doesn't know what to do. He's he's he's running out into the cold and and catching his death, you know. And then he's literally spends the rest of what would be his work vacation as a mortal incredibly ill, like deathly ill in the end, which brings us to the character of the nun.
Ashley: Can I real quick before we hit that? Do you think that that body was ill to start with, like, that that he that that Ragland picked that body on purpose. Sure. Like, maybe his intention was that Lestat would die in that body.
Joel: I wondered if And I I wonder I haven't looked into like, I haven't done a a a a good job of, like, doing deep research on this to see if maybe anybody has maybe there's an interview somewhere with, like, a rough draft of the story. But it occurs to me that there might have been a storyline where the body might have been an HIV infected person. I thought about there were several hints to me that implied that there was a compromised immune system. And then maybe he already had pneumonia or something like that, which was gonna be the the death of him. And there's not nothing there is overt. There's not even like a side plot where any of that is really referenced. So I think maybe some of that might have been there. And again, maybe it wasn't maybe it was never overtly about HIV or AIDS. But I do think there was some sort of illness there that was an original draft of the story maybe, and it mostly got glossed over in whatever the final version that we have here. But, yes, I I took that I I feel like there are hints of that in the story, but it's so subtle that I feel like it maybe it wasn't meant to be there in whatever version we are now reading. That was the way that
Ashley: I thought
Joel: it took it. That
Ashley: could totally make sense. I yeah. I just had this, like to me, that would be if you wanted to keep that vampire body, that would be the smart thing to do. Give him a body that he's gonna die in over the next week, you know?
Joel: Yeah, absolutely. Because
Joel: then it's he's only he's got literally a ticking time bomb to to find you at all. You know?
Joel: So I don't know that. On to the necessary No. No. I'm glad you I'm glad you brought it up. And I'm actually it's funny. I was going to I'm jumping into my copy of the Alpha the Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, Alphabetery, and I was gonna pull up the the entry for Gabriel. Not Gabriela. What what was the nuns name?
Ashley: Oh god. Hang on. Is
Ashley: in my notes? It's not in my notes.
Ashley: Gretchen. That's what it is.
Joel: Yeah. I found her. I knew it was a g. So so this in in the alpha battery specifically says he's suffering from pneumonia. After Ragland James, the body thief steals the stats, vampire body, and Ragland James mortal body begins suffering them, which by the way, I'm gonna give a plug here for so this book, the alphabetary, is by Beckett, which I don't think he's actually working for Anne anymore. But Beckett was a long time. Personal assistant for Anne, and he compiled this from her notes and with her help and approval. The biggest thing and I think I've said this in asked on the show. The biggest thing from the alphabetity that she should take away is the prologue where Anne describes her fictional worlds. I I don't think I've spoken about this specifically on the show, and Ashley, I'm pretty sure I have not spoken to you about it directly. It's fascinating stuff. If you've never heard about this, she has in her mind since she was a child, created, not one, but multiple, complete fantasy worlds. On top of the Vampire Chronicles world that she's produced in text, I think she's got three that she manages on an ongoing basis in her mind, and she describes them in full detail. And I'm talking about She knows generations worth of details about these people's history. Some of it, she's written down in diaries and things. Some of it, she just literally holds in her head. But the way that she describes these creations makes you understand how she can create such fully formed characters and why this world of the vampires is so compelling, I think. The the fabric of it is really fleshed out for me in a in a real way by the opening of this alphabetserie book. But anyway, it also says here that Raglin James mortal body is suffering from pneumonia. In the hospital he's cared for by Gretchen, a Roman Catholic nun who is experiencing a crisis of faith. This story of Gretchen, I thought, was really, really cool. First of all, do you know any nuns in your personal life, Ashley, or former nuns?
Ashley: You know, I not not Not really now. I knew some, I knew some nuns when I was younger, when I was a child. There were some actually some pretty bad ass nuns in Hot Springs, Arkansas, that some of them got excommunicated from the church a few years ago for it had to do with communicating with Mary. Some of them a few of them had had they thought communication from from Mary and apparently, nuns aren't supposed to have those kinds of experiences, and they ended up getting it, like, excommunicated just little little side little side story there. But, no, I'm not, you know, I'm not cast like I wasn't raised I actually wasn't raised with any sort of organized religion, which is pretty interesting. Just an interesting tidbit about me. So I don't have a lot of experience with nuns, but my brother went to daycare run by nuns for a while.
Joel: So I I'm not Catholic either, and I I did not know almost any nuns growing up. But in my college life and since, I've met several people who were former nuns who left the I guess, they left the their them their mission. You know, they stopped being nuns for one reason or another. One of them for love, one of them because they had a crisis of faith, like Gretchen, one of them because she felt a a mission to move home and be more involved with her family and community and and minister in a personal way. She still kind of considers herself married to the church. She's just not wearing a habit and and working at the convent anymore. But this idea of a none on a, you know, rum Springer sort of basically like like like the Amish get to do when they come of age. You know, the the the Amish populations, they have this concept that when a child comes of age, when a young man or woman comes of age, they get to go out and experience the English world, go out and experience the regular world for a while, and decide whether their faith and culture is something that they wanna continue or whether they wanna join the world at large. And it feels like that's what this is for Gretchen. Right? She's like, she's like, I'm at a point in my life where I I'm gonna recommit in a way that basically will mean the rest of my life. And yet, I feel like I'm missing this physical connection, this romance. I don't even know what it is. Let me get out into the world to experience it. And then she sort of has cold feet until she meets the stat. It's really it's really a beautiful story, honestly. Especially in comparison to his first fumbling attempts and and and the rape of this poor waitress. You know? Yeah,
Ashley: it is. It's it is interesting. I I find I find it, like, I always find when someone's having a a crisis of faith I find those very very sensitive situations personally because I think that even if someone again who who does not practice any organized religion, I think faith is faith is a different thing and faith is faith is
Ashley: worst thing I can imagine is is a loss of faith. You know, even even though mine is not necessarily the same sort of thing that most people experience that go to church and things like that. When I see someone who who has so much so much belief in faith and then they have than they have a stumbling with it or have a struggle with it. That internal struggle to me is so is so great and and heartbreaking on so many levels regardless of what the end result is. I think that having to question something like that you believe in so stringently, that that means so much to you, that is that is what brings you comfort, that what is what brings you, that is what gives you comfort about what the end of your life is going to be like, things like that, like to lose to lose that is is one of the most is I think one of the most heartbreaking things a person can experience. And no matter how you come out of it, whether you come out of it with the face renewed or you come out of it with a different perspective where you've let the religious thing go and and it turns into something different and you look at the world differently, that that crisis is is is in and of itself, one of the most heartbreaking things I think a person can deal with.
Joel: Yes. You're absolutely right. It's again, like, what a rich what a rich story? What a to have that is just a subplot. Right? Like Gretchen's not a large part of this book. And yet she brings so much color to it, particularly when you get to the end of her story after L'Estat recovers his body and he he returns to show himself to her the fact that that is a further crisis of faith that causes her to turn away from the world completely. She which again, you wanna talk about something subtle. Does she receive the Stigmata? Or does she cut her hands in the form of the Stigmata?
Ashley: I think she cuts her hands, but that's just me.
Joel: I thought she did too. I thought she did too, and yet it's it's not clear. Like, it it's not it was late. I read it three times and I was like, what does Anne want us to take away from? It's I don't But
Ashley: I kinda took it as, like, a self like, almost like a self
Joel: self mutilation. Yeah. Self self ejaculation exact like, literally, like, the lash and the whatnot or or stepping on the nail -- Yeah. -- shoes or something. Yes. Yes. That's that's that's what I took away from it as well. But again, I feel like she could have made that more clear. In if it had been an actual, like, miraculous big model appearance, I feel like Lastat would have responded to it in some way, particularly because Lastat also is having a crisis of faith here. There's there's the discussion with David of God and the devil in the very beginning of this book. All throughout the book, L'Estat is even the first appearances of the body thief, they play very much like the first appearances of Mimics in MIMNOC the devil. I've I've as I said, I started to read that. And the first things that happen is L'Estat fills himself being watched. He's just There's a presence around, which is exactly how Raglin James first is he shows himself. It's just a mortal in the crowd that notices Lrastat. And is watching him. Unless that can see it and then he's kinda gone again. What what anyway, so thick. Her writing is just so frott. And here, we've talked about this several times, I feel like the later stories that she tells are clearly percolating in her subconscious already, and she's sowing seeds for future adventures even as she's going through this.
Ashley: Oh, that's Gretchen's story then. Sets up MIM not quite a bit. Like, I feel like this book definitely is setting up is setting up MIMNOC for sure in a lot of ways.
Joel: Oh, yeah. A ton. A ton. The the Bootsie, and we've talked so many times about in once we get this adapted into a a television series, what a wonderful role Gretchen is. And it's literally gonna be, like, you're you're committing to maybe three episodes total, you know. Right. You can be in and out and yet that's the kind of thing that somebody's gonna win a supporting actress Emmy for if if the series is what we want it to be.
Ashley: Oh, for sure. For sure.
Joel: Okay. Let's talk a little bit about the resolution, how they actually come up with David and and L'Estat together, which by the way, how much of a sigh of relief did you breathe when when David finally shows up to help him?
Ashley: Oh, yeah, for sure. And I love that it's like, now it's gonna be a heist on a cruise ship. Like, we're on a boat and it's a heist No. No. No. It's just I love it. I love I love that it that it I love how this book just so it's a it's a broking adventure. So much fun. And, yeah, Lestat's been on his own for so long. So it's it's amazing when he when the cavalry shows up and he gets some help,
Joel: Yeah. And and David is so calm, cool, and collected through all of it too. Like, he's just we're forging ahead and here's the plan and here's how we're gonna get him and here's how we can track him down and and I'll call him my man and he'll put the guns in the cabin and everything is set. You know? I love it. I love it. I love it. Particularly because the one time that he is at all unnerved or rattled is when L'Estat straight up comes onto him. He's like, you know, David, we could get it a little bone in right now.
Ashley: Right. And he's like,
Joel: I love so there's a line here L'Estat in the body of Ragland James has just gotten out of the shower, and he says I realized I had stripped off all the garments and was standing there naked. And this had produced in him, David Talbot, a strange reticence, and a near blush to his face. Here, dry socks, he said, don't you know better than to go about in soaking wet garments? Like, how very British of him. He's standing there looking at his penis, trying not to just jump this young man, and he goes, dry socks. Yep.
Ashley: That's what you need right now. Lieutenant Dan says so.
Joel: I I love all of that. I love the fact that Lestat comes on to him over and over again. I
Ashley: love the fact too that David puts it away. It's it's kind of like a it's kind of a bummer after the fact that they never got to try that out since now they're of companions and vampireism, and vampires don't really do that. But at the same time, it makes sense because David is about business at this no, there's a crisis. Let's not
Joel: You have to take a source to
Ashley: do. Like, it's this is not time time. This is not horny time. This is work time.
Joel: What did you think of the of the action will plan in the resolution. I've I've felt like even knowing the power that L'Estat has, I felt like Anne lines it up pretty well. She establishes that Ragland doesn't have full control of the body or his powers. And then she lays out their their plan in a in a way that to me, it made sense. I felt like, yeah, I think they can do this. And then and then when they are able to pull it off, especially with the slight, you know, change in plans that happens at the very end, I think it made total sense. It was very satisfying as a conclusion.
Ashley: Oh, I loved it. Yeah. Like, I and it to me, this this book reads like like the mummy did. You know, like, feels just like especially, like, the last probably the last quarter of it, it just it is all, like, it is all kind of adventure time. It's like it's a and it it is a heist. It's like the heist is it's not for jewels. It's for it's to get this body back. The heist is for the vampire body. And I I do. I love it. I think it's it was a it was such a fun read and I I tore through that book. I really tore through that book fast. I mean, I finished it. I really read that open like two days over the course of two days. And and that last quarter of it, I probably I probably finished that in, like, an hour. I just I loved it. I loved it. It was just really fun and you just don't always these books don't always give us fun. And so when you get when you get it, it's like twice as much fun as it should be, I guess, if that makes sense. Howard Bauchner:
Joel: Yeah, no, absolutely. I know what you're saying. The there's a there's a good line from David. Liasat asks him after Liasat has turned him and David has accepted him back. He says, why do you love me? I asked. And David says, you know, you've always known. I wish I could be you. Wish I could know the joy you know all the time. And lest that ask and the pain, you want that as well? And David answers your pain, he smiled, Certainly, I'll take your brand of pain anytime as they say. And I think that we talked earlier about why we love the stat in spite of you know, the theme that he is. I think that's why. I think we all we know our own tortured souls And even though L'Estad is a picture of that in some ways and he longs for redemption and he longs to be good and to be an instrument of good, even though he is at his heart kind of a a dark creature. None of us are killers like L'Estat. We also don't arise to the good that he could bring about in the world because we're not, you know, superheroes like he is at times in these books. And so that's what we love him. We love him for the joy that he has and the powers that he holds. And we also love him for the way that he deals with his pain. The suffering that he has is a slight glimpse of our own. And so it's like, yeah, I'd take your brand to pain any day, buddy.
Ashley: Yeah. The torturing yeah. I don't I don't feel like Lestat's yeah. I agree. Really know how to phrase what I wanted to say. I just I think that I think that some of his suffering is is superficial if that makes sense.
Joel: Mhmm. Yeah. It's for show. It's for show anyway. Yes. For show. Yeah. He he knows that we expect him to recognize that he's evil. And so he plays as if he recognizes that he's evil and feels bad about it.
Ashley: And so the suffering that he feels is probably not the same as the suffering that, like, we're all feeling right now with, like, the the what's going on the world? We don't really know what's happening gonna happen day to day right now and that stress and and that, like, okay, I'll I'll take I feel bad because I have to eat people. Sometimes. I don't know.
Joel: No. Absolutely. A hundred percent, which is again why? Okay. So we talked about the the rape scene at the early part of this book where he he listers forces the waitress in human form, the book ends And he tells him he's gonna do it. Right? He tells David effectively that he's coming for him, and then he kinda gives him a while to live in his mortal body and then he just goes and
Ashley: does it anyway. And he takes David and forces him to become a vampire, at the end of which David ends up forgiving him for because like us, we we, you know, you can't help but loveless that in some way. But here, this is again why I think in an adaptation of this, you would need to address the rape at the beginning of the story because the conclusion of the story is a rape of David. It's a rape that David ends up forgiving Lastat for. And maybe in the end, he would have asked for the blood anyway but that doesn't forgive what Lestat's done. It doesn't change it. It doesn't stop it from being part of his character. So I
Joel: think a storyteller that lays this out in in cinematic fashion or for for television. I think you're gonna have to wrestle with that and and make those sort of balances of the ark. This is a deeply flawed and and terrible protagonist we have here that we've fallen in love with. And those two events are part of who he is. They're part of this broader narrative. So, anyway, it's it's very it's very telling and challenging to me. This whole story. And as you said, it's so much lighter than so many of the other books. And yet, here are these two massive events that take place in the lives of our characters that sort of, you know, bookend the the arc.
Ashley: Yep. For sure. For sure. I mean, there is there is some really The the the darkness in this in this book is deep, but but the again, like like Glistat says, this is not this isn't the world isn't gonna end in this book, you know. So the stakes the general stakes are not as high in it, which is, I think, make it a little bit of an easier read as far as, like, as far as from from just from a reading perspective, from a reader's perspective.
Joel: Nobody's nobody's gonna visit the the crucifixion. Spoiler warning as they do in the next book.
Ashley: Exactly. Exactly. The next one is a lot is a lot. The next one's a lot.
Joel: It's so and I oh, and Ashley, I keep thinking there are parts of the next book, which I have not read since I've read the the the current, you know, two or three books that she's written. There are parts of this next book that are colored by some of the events in the most recent books, the Prince La Staten novels. And I'm so interested to hear you unfold this all as we continue on through the end of the series. I am really excited to see your reactions to this. And I and honestly, our listeners reactions sense as well. Speaking of, if you don't have any other thoughts on the book, Ashley, why don't we move to feedback? Are you ready for that?
Ashley: Let's do it.
Joel: Okay. Nicholas Dan which by the way, there's a Facebook group. There'll be a link in the show notes for us. You can find us there. But join us if you are fan of the books. If you find found this podcast recently join us in the Facebook group, feel free to start conversations there while we're all waiting and tell us what you think of the show as well, of course. This is from Nicholas Danielson. He goes, oh, boy. Here's the long one. Thanks for the shout out. First of all, we mentioned him in one of our previous episodes. And most of this is about our discussion of the Queen of the damned. This is Joel. I would argue that Anne Rice was very deliberate in the creation of a cautious immaturity. We had talked about what a child she is as a leader, especially, or or as a ruler. Right. He says, I think Cayman says at best when he says that vampires don't really change. They only become more themselves. Akasha was in mortality as spoiled princess and later queen with lots of power, but none of the moral or spiritual insight necessary to respect or wield that power properly. To her, everything must have a grand purpose because whenever she looks closer at the details, she realizes that whatever she does, might not be so significant as she thought. So she makes these grand sweeping but simple plans. Consider also how Cayman muses and Akasha describes that the queen spent millennia in a torpor overwhelmed and losing herself in the billions of voices that come to her through the mind gift until the stat manages to send a signal through the noise. This suggests to me that her plan is simple and juvenile, mainly because she was already ill disposed to handle the messy details of the world, compounded by whatever distancing and disassociate of measures she had to take to save whatever sliver of sanity that she might have had left. And blood and gold, which comes up later, Marius even muses, that Akasha, that woke was perhaps mindless like an AI only able to act on certain elements for a certain for a symbiont being at least. Maybe effectively she was brain damaged is what Marius Musees as a possibility. Very limited directors, basically hardwired into her brain. He thought that it wasn't the full Akasha that woke up. Acastia remains compelling to me even as an adult. When I first read Queen of the damned in my teens, I had a really hard time coming up with a good counterargument against her plan except that, you know, killing people equals bad. As an adult, I look at her and I find that she's such an excellent example of the banality of evil. He doesn't make the comparison, but I think we did she's a her plan's a lot like Thanos is from the Avengers movie recently. Right. That people are looking for simple, drastic solutions are the ones who are ultimately either r monsters or they create the monsters those people that are looking for simple and drastic solutions, something that is deeply relevant in today's political climate, especially. But yes, I agree. As a character, she is simple juvenile And if she wasn't a vampire, she'd be the goddamn mean girl, drama Llama, of your otherwise varied and wonderful social group. She's just a bully. Writ large. She's, you know, she's Hitler in that way effectively. She he's just a a a school ground bully, a school yard bully, except he had a lot of power. And that's exactly what what Akasha is as well. I like that though. He's And he's right. I don't When we say that that that character is simple and we don't really like her. I I think he's absolutely right and that it was on purpose and that Anne is making a statement there on a certain kind of leadership?
Ashley: Oh, for sure. For sure. For sure. For sure. And it's to draw those parallels, I think between what we see around us today is very wise as well. I mean, it is yes. Those are some really great observations sense?
Joel: So here's another one. This is from Christina Alina Pervin. She says first of all, I agree Queen of the damned is a train wreck of a movie, but since you guys reread the book recently for your previous episode, there were a few things you missed. We mentioned in one of the final scenes with all of the vampires that aren't actually named in the movie, but we can read the credits and figure out who they are. She says, why would Mel touch Jesse instead of Cayman? Because he was in love with her. In the in the book, he was in love with her a point of making flour vases break with his mind gift because he couldn't control himself around with her. And she reads a quote here. She had in fact turned around from him to stare at the bowl of flowers in the middle of the table, old tea roses falling to pieces of mitts, the baby's breath, and fern and purple zenias, then the bowl broke into pieces, and the water went everywhere. And Mayo had said quietly quite sincerely, oh, forgive me. I didn't mean to do that. Or going to a concert hall to protect her and thinking obsessively about her when he knows many others may be able to read his thoughts. Came and closed his eyes to shut this out. Then he heard it again suddenly. Jessica, my Jessica came and studied the creature even more intently, probing even deeper, but all he caught now was the fierce protectiveness. Rescue Jessica, not merely from the danger of the mother, but from this place altogether, where Jesse's eyes would see that no one could ever explain away. Where Jesse's eyes could see what no one could ever explain away. So this is a little thing that she says. Christina says this is a little thing that the movie gets right. Maybe I can only take your word for it. I don't have the middle fortitude to rewatch it again nor can I turn it into a drinking game? But she says that we mentioned that strange interaction. She says it makes sense. That's something they actually got right from the movie. They just didn't explained it in the or got right from the book. They just didn't explain it from the movie. She also says the the guy who rescues Marius alongside Pandora is Santino. Remember him? Poor character. Everyone seems to hate him. I don't know. It just irked me. So thank you for those corrections. You're absolutely right. But again, that's an example of like, I mean, I we talked about it when we talked about the movie. It seems like that movie was written, like, during a writer's director something. Right? Like, they got half the script and then they were like, we just gotta shoot it.
Ashley: Come on. Let's go. Yeah. Good luck. Yeah. That that that script's a mess. It's a mess. I I mean, I I I can't I won't defend it.
Joel: Yeah. Me neither, honestly. If you have feedback on any of these books, any of the movies, or what we're doing with the podcast, Or honestly, if you wanna tell us about what you're doing as far as what you're rereading or reading for the first time during this weird time in our society, our global culture here. As as we were recording this, Ashley, I just got a text from my wife that our governor for the state of Louisiana has issued a shelter in place starting, I think, Monday, tech you know, it begins tomorrow at five PM. Yeah. Today is Sunday. So tomorrow at five PM, but he would really like us to start doing it ASAP. So there you go. Louisiana Shelter egg in place here on March twenty second. I am glad that we got together for this discussion. It makes me feel better. We're gonna both dive into MIMNOC the devil and try to have another episode for you before too long. But in the meantime, continue that conversation. Get on Facebook. Join us there and chat with us about these books and these movies and this potential TV series down the road. Let us know what you're doing to keep sane during this time, hopefully not eating people. But other than that, social right. You can't eat people because social distancing. So It's just
Ashley: the thing, guys. Socialist distancing.
Joel: Yeah. It it does make me wonder so there's, again, a little hint at some of the things that happened later in the books. There are some vampires who are, you know, top level doctors and their ends up being, like, this vampire medicine thing that happens in the Princeless stat books. And I have thought many times, boy, I'd like some vampire doctors working on this damn coronavirus.
Ashley: You know, that's not a bad idea. I haven't so for those of you that don't know, I have not I'm not up to date on the newer books. So when Joel says he's excited to, like, kinda watch me make these connections. It's literally because I haven't read them yet. And so it's gonna be we're gonna be like, I'm gonna be discovering it as we go along because I'm kinda committed to not reading ahead yet. So so, yeah, so I'll get to experience that want and need as we go along. So those of you that are behind don't feel bad and behind too.
Joel: No. Absolutely. Join join in and and read read along with us as we go. So we've wrapped up tail of the body thief now. The next one is obviously Memm not the devil. And chronologically, if we were gonna do them in in order of release, we would get into the witching hour after that. But I think probably we'll plow ahead and continue with the vampire chronicles straight through. There are some really interesting and shorter books, the vampire Armand, and vittorio, the vampire, and Pandora comes out, and then you have blood and gold. So there's some really good ones in there that I would I would definitely like to get to ASAP. So we'll see how it goes. But right now, your homework is mimicked the devil. Let's get to that. And to join the Facebook group if not there and tell us what's happening in your world if you are. Ashley, thanks so much for making some time with me during this craziness.
Ashley: Absolutely. This was fun.
Joel: Alright. Until we return again, we are the articulate coven. We've been your host. I'm Joel.
Ashley: I'm Ashley.
Joel: And we are the articulate covenant. Thanks for listening to the Articulate Coveen. You can join our community on Facebook by following the links in the show notes or searching for articulate coven on Facebook. You can subscribe to the show in Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or at articulatecoven dot com. And share us with your An Rise loving friends.