Lestat Book Coven Discussion Week #3 Reading Assignment &Questions

Hi Coven Members!

Everything that is contained within this post is everything that you will find in the newsletter that I’ll be emailing to everyone in a matter of minutes.

If you still wish to sign up for the newsletter, you can find the pertinent instructions about how to do so on the Lestat Book Coven Meeting Room page. On that page, you will find a form, where you will thus be prompted to enter all the relevant contact information needed to be entered for the newsletter. This just involves a real name or a pseudonym, and an email address that you actively use and check on a daily basis. Every Thursday, anything posted on this blog Thursday will now serve as the newsletter. This newsletter includes details about each weekly assignment or any other tantalizing bits of news that would interest any current or prospective coven members.

Now, I wish to brief you on the reading assignment details and discussion questions that you can mull over for the next week or so. As I posted about on the Coven’s Facebook Group page, I have decided henceforth to not schedule discussions for only one day because some of the members, after asking for suggestions on how to improve the group, have all one way or another suggested that having the discussion be more casual and less formal. As per that wonderful suggestion, all discussions will be week-long, and there will be no more separate discussion event pages that only serve the purpose of confusing all the members, rather than letting them know that all discussions will just take place on the Facebook Group page’s, versus the unnecessary addition  of a separate page.  Basically, discussions are much more casual and more loosely scheduled for now on!

  For all those anxiously awaiting the assignment details, here is the assignment details for next week’s discussion. Remember, that the discussion post for week#3 will be posted on my blog this coming Sunday evening (right before The Dinner Party Show at 7pm Eastern). Announcements, pertaining to the post, will appear promptly on the Coven’s Facebook Group Page.

Reading Assignment Details:

For this upcoming week’s assignment, you are to read from pg. 70 (in the Barnes and Nobles omnibus edition) up till pg. 94. The last sentence of this section on ps.94 (an arbitrary page number, since everyone has different edition) is “After all, when I’m tired…. I’m not so kind.” Then, the next sentence after this sentence will be “The vampire stopped,” aptly telling you that this is where week 3’s reading will come to an abrupt, but necessary stop.

Like vampires that are starved for the sensual pleasures of drinking a mortal’s blood, it can be hard to stop half-way though  the part of the book that begins to get both more intense and more visceral in terms of character development of Louis and Lestat.

We are also finally plunging into the section of the book, which deals with one of most enigmatic, fascinating characters in the whole of the Vampire Chronicles! Since, these 24 pages of text are some of the most pivotal to understanding all that shapes the subconscious mind of Louis’ character for the remainder of the book, there will be four questions, rather than three. Please do not feel that it is imperative of you to answer all of these, or really any of them.

The following questions are mostly here for things to possibly consider and think about,which are things you do not necessarily need to write out in words. Remember, do what you feel most comfortable with!!

Week 3 Discussion Questions:

1. What are your first impressions of Claudia’s character? Hoe does her first appearance in the novel, perhaps compare to the character of Babette? Chronologically-speaking, why do you feel that these scenes seem to occur in quick succession of one another?

2. So far, we have only been introduced to two female characters with explicit dialogue in the novel. Some critics have remarked on the supposed subtle sexism of Anne Rice’s writing, which is not necessarily a very fair or astute observation. Do you think Babette’s character was a well-developed character? Are these issues even important, given that the main psychological focal point is that of a fairly complex, slightly feminized male character, like Louis?

3. What do you think Lestat’s motivations are for aiding in the creation of Claudia and allowing her to join their growing coven?  Do you think Lestat uses Louis reluctance to feed on humans, as part of his master plan to eventually have Claudia join their newly formed coven?

4. Do you notice any differences in Louis’ psychological state, after experiencing the many traumatic events described in the first few pages? It is easy to become exceedingly annoyed with Louis’ tendency to whine, but do you think Anne Rice provides enough character development of Louis to make his whining justified? To really understand Louis’ psychological condition, it is really helpful to read websites that comprehensively detail what happens to people psychologically, when they have undergone a traumatic experience like witnessing the death of a loved one.

Hopefully, all of you enjoy these rather loaded questions! I think they reflect the growing complexity of Interview with the Vampire!

If you didn’t already know, Prince Lestat is being offered for pre-order through Barnes and Nobles with a rather exciting addition. All copies of the book, pre-ordered through Barnes and Nobles will be signed by Anne Rice herself. Given the somewhat discouraging, though completely understandable news of the book’s embargo, I will most likely be settling with pre-ordering my copy from Barnes and Nobles with the fastest shipping option available. I would have ordered it anyways, since I usually end up buying every edition available for Anne Rice’s books.

If you are unaware of what a book embargo entails, it basically means that the all copies of book, including promotional galleys, are withheld till date of publication. This is a bit of a downer for reviewers, like myself, that would never, ever breach the contract of trust I make with my readers and any publishing industry, by unthinkably publishing spoilers of the book before the book’s official publication.

I completely respect Knopf’s decision for deciding to embargo the book, considering the extreme popularity of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicle series. Nonetheless, it does sorta put a damper on my plans to provide everyone with a carefully written, spoiler-free review on the date of publication of Prince LestatWhen I received my ARC of Wolves of Midwinter,I was very careful about not telling others I even had a copy, and I never, ever posted any spoilers of the book, whatsoever.

Yes, it is a bit of a disappointment for bloggers and reviewers, who actively promote the book and abide by the rules of not providing spoilers, that they are barred from receiving an ARC. It sorta stems the tide of publicity that accompanies every book. Again, I totally respect Knopf’s decision for this, and I am sure that the readers themselves are pleased (as they should be) because this guarantees that no one will insidiously post spoilers of this long-awaited novel.

I don’t necessarily want an early copy, but I just hope that there are still plans in the pipeline for exciting promotional-related events to add to the excitement of this decade’s most exciting title. It is a pity that we live in a world, where people have to spoil everything for readers and professional reviewers by stupidly posting spoilers of an upcoming book.

For now, the Lestat Book Coven continues to grow in number, and I really hope that this group continues to thrive through the many eventual droughts that occur within all groups!!! I love to read all your posts, and cannot wait to see everything that awaits us for our future in this coven.

   Justin B. Literary Coven Leader


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