Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - Interview with the Vampire

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Interview with the Vampire is a classic vampire novel by Anne Rice published in 1976. This is the first book to feature the vampire Lestat, and the first book of The Vampire Chronicles. Lestat is the perfect evil vampire, nothing like the "wimpy" vampires that have populated the reading world over the past few years.

The story is a simple one: Louis du Lac, an 18th century Louisiana plantation owner descends into alchohol binges after the death of his family. At his lowest point, Louis is confronted by Lestat, a charismatic and powerful vampire. In a moment of weakness, Louis allows Lestat to give him the dark gift, turning Louis from a grieving human to a grieving vampire.

While Lestat preys on the innocents of society, Louis finds it repulsive to kill humans to feed his own hunger. He resorts to living off the blood of rats and other small mammals, until one day he is confronted by a lonely little girl, Claudia, who has suffered losses of her own. In a moment of uncontrol, Louis feeds off Claudia and with the help of Lestat, turn her into a daughter of the night. Claudia turns into Lestat's perfect pupil, learning from him all the tricks of the living dead.

But the good times don't last long, and when Claudia learns what really happened to her, she turns on her teacher, Lestat. Claudia and Louis they decide to go overseas in search of others of their kind (this is also the book that introduced the vampire Armand). Unfortunately, the Old World vampires do not get along with the New World vampires and their time overseas turns into a fatal trip for one of the two.

The true charm of this novel is the method Rice chose to tell her tale. Louis gives a first-person confession to a skeptical boy. In retelling his story, Louis transformed the evil vampire into a sympathetic and seductive entity. It is Louis' deep sorrow and undying grief that turn him into the most sympathetic vampire since Barnabas Collins.

If you love vampires and have never had the privilege of reading The Vampire Chronicles, then you are missing a true literary treat. Interview with the Vampire is one of my all time favorite vampire books, and I have read dozens and dozens of them. So, go ahead, don't be afraid - check out some real vampires.


Oh said...

did I already say I like your "new" template? niiiiice.

And I actually DID read Interview with a Vampire, the whole darn thing and I liked it. A few years later, I saw the movie. I did NOT like it.

Glad to see your review. As always!

Anonymous said...

I adore this series. I can't believe this was published so long ago though, in 1976 crazy. I keep saying I am going to re-read all of Rice's books soon, maybe in 2010.