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安萊絲《吸血鬼阿曼德 The Vampire Armand》

阿曼德的「主人」是位藝術大師。為了襯托出他的超凡品味,安萊絲將背景安排在文藝復興時期的威尼斯。這讓我聯想到「人魔」漢尼拔萊克特博士。作者湯瑪士哈里斯同樣相中了歐洲的藝術氣息,將重要場景搬到了佛羅倫斯上演。
只不過,萊克特博士幾乎是和性愛絕緣的(四部曲中僅在《人魔》出現了一小段),而阿曼德的「主人」則簡直是情慾的化身,不僅在豪華宅邸養了一屋子的男孩(!?),還男女都愛。
這本書以阿曼德向在《肉體竊賊》中首度登場的大衛敘述自己的故事作為主軸。我的閱讀尺度向來頗寬。一開始我覺得《吸血鬼阿曼德》是以吸血鬼故事作包裝的BL,OK我可以接受,但後來當尺度越來越超過時,我不禁回想到之前聽安萊絲的情色文學《The Beauty Trilogy》有聲書的慘劇。雖然說有了《The Beauty Trilogy》的經驗,應該不會有什麼情節會嚇倒我了(主僕、施虐與受虐),只是當看到那些情慾愈來愈暴烈、扭曲、複雜、邪惡,且安萊絲以大量的殘酷悲慘情節堆疊企圖營造出阿曼德的悲劇性時,我只能暫時將這本該讀完第一部(篇幅超過全書一半)的書「封印」起來,讓自己沉澱。明明只剩下不到四分之一的篇幅就可以讀完結局,卻怎麼也無法繼續。
在隔了幾個月後的如今,重新翻看書頁,這本書卻又彷彿變得讓我不認識了。最後幾部,完全脫離了第一部的鮮血迷情,而轉向近乎偏執的宗教探索。
如今陷入沉睡之中的黎斯特,竟然親睹天堂與地獄,甚至上帝的容顏。他所描繪出的天堂與地獄,會是什麼樣的面貌呢?而黎斯特來回的聖顏巾(The Veil,又譯「聖帕」,傳聞耶穌受難時面容印在拭面的聖顏巾上),又是如何令阿曼德起了巨大的改變呢?
我喜歡在接近尾聲時出現的兄妹。宛如GOTH》的黑暗魅力,充滿隱喻的救贖,並瑰麗的結合貝多芬的奏鳴曲「Appassionata 熱情」 。至於不能在此明說的結局,令人不知該覺得是幸福還是悲悽。
 
原文內容簡介:
In the latest installment of The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice summons up dazzling worlds to bring us the story of Armand - eternally young, with the face of a Botticelli angel. Armand, who first appeared in all his dark glory more than twenty years ago in the now-classic Interview with the Vampire, the first of The Vampire Chronicles, the novel that established its author worldwide as a magnificent storyteller and creator of magical realms.
Now, we go with Armand across the centuries to the Kiev Rus of his boyhood - a ruined city under Mongol dominion - and to ancient Constantinople, where Tartar raiders sell him into slavery. And in a magnificent palazzo in the Venice of the Renaissance we see him emotionally and intellectually in thrall to the great vampire Marius, who masquerades among humankind as a mysterious, reclusive painter and who will bestow upon Armand the gift of vampiric blood.
As the novel races to its climax, moving through scenes of luxury and elegance, of ambush, fire, and devil worship to nineteenth-century Paris and today's New Orleans, we see its eternally vulnerable and romantic hero forced to choose between his twilight immortality and the salvation of his immortal soul.
 
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