The Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice

The Tale of the Body Thief (1992) is a novel by Anne Rice, fourth in her Vampire Chronicles, in which the Vampire Lestat de Lioncourt attempts suicide and then suffers a body switch with a mortal man.

World- and vampire-weary, Lestat tries to destroy himself by flying into the sun, but fails. Ironically, he is strengthened in the process. A mysterious man, James Raglan, contacts Lestat and claims he has the ability to switch bodies. He offers to trade bodies with Lestat, promising it will be temporary.

Lestat, desiring to experience again what it is like to be mortal, agrees. After the switch, Lestat realizes he prefers his vampire form, but Raglan decides to keep Lestat’s body. He disappears. Most of the plot concerns Lestat’s international adventures as he seeks to reclaim his body.

He appeals to his fledgling, Louis, and his mentor, Marius, for help, but they refuse him. He then turns to David Talbot, the head of the Talamasca, a secret order that collects data and artifacts relating to the occult. Talbot agrees. Lestat reclaims his own body, but Raglan switches with Talbot.

Talbot is pleased at trading in his 74-year-old body for a younger model. He accepts Lestat’s offer of the Dark Gift—the transformation into vampire. The Tale of the Body Thief is about selling one’s soul to the devil and the lengths one will go to do that, according to Rice.

She intended Tale to be the fourth and final volume of the Vampire Chronicles, but went on to write more books in the series.


  • Ramsland, Katherine. The Vampire Companion: The Official Guide to Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. New York: Ballantine Books, 1993.
  • Rice, Anne. The Tale of the Body Thief. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992.

[author image=”” ]Rosemary Guiley works full-time in the paranormal and metaphysical fields. She has written more than 50 books, including single-volume encyclopedias, on a variety of topics, A-Z, angels to zombies and everything in between. Source Amazon.[/author]
Taken from : The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters

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