TITLE: THE TALE OF THE BODY THIEF
AUTHOR: ANNE RICE
PUBLISHER: KNOPF; 430 PAGES; $24
THE BOTTOM LINE: A foppish bloodsucker gets conned out of his socks in a narration that is very campy, very clever.
One of the better literary jokes of the past few years is Anne Rice's portrayal of vampires -- actually gray-suited Pat Buchanan-type homophobes who wouldn't risk a Paisley tie, most of them -- as mincing exquisites. Boldly and impudently, she has caricatured the gaudy world of high-camp New Orleans homosexuals (so the reader guesses) as a cabal of tormented blood drinkers. The mannered dress and...