INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE (Anne Rice)

41fG5TgY0lLI had minimal experience with Anne Rice before reading this novel. My tastes have changed somewhat so I decided to reacquaint myself with Rice’s work. On the back cover of the paperback, there is a quote from the Boston Globe which reads “If you surrender and go with her, you have surrendered to enchantment, as in a voluptuous dream”.

I couldn’t agree more, since the writing style here demands that you surrender logic and suspend disbelief in order to gain any enjoyment out of it. A wealthy plantation owner, by the name Louis, grieves over his suicidal brother when he was changed by the vampire Lestat in the late 18th century. Lestat is a pompous and selfish being, taking Louis’s human life for his money and companionship. Now immortal, Louis must accept his changed body and gather the knowledge of the rare vampire race. Will he be able to find other vampires like him who can teach him about their history and ways of living? More importantly, will he be able to set aside his human morals and kill innocents for the blood needed to survive?

At least this vampire tale doesn’t involve teenage love! This work is by far the best vampire book I have read. Published in 1976, Anne Rice gave a new perspective of the stereotypical vampire. Set in mostly America and France, she gives plenty of information that allows the reader to clearly visualize the wonderful sight that Paris would have been in the seventeen hundreds. The background and pieces of history that she highlights about Louisiana and Paris made me feel like I was actually there in that time period.

Written in first person, Anne Rice wrote the book to not only give readers a new perspective of blood sucking monsters but also to find her religious point of view. Louis, who was Catholic, struggles to find himself as a vampire in the spiritual word of God and begins to doubt if there even is a God, for he believes he has become the son of Satan and will be damned forever. This clearly shows Anne’s struggle to find her religious beliefs.

The overall theme of the book is to accept the person you really are no matter what others think. It also touches on the don’t- take- your- family- for-granted theme. Louis, who will live forever, becomes saddened with the death of his family members and friends because their lives end and his will go on forever until he has no one.

The author has immense gifts when it comes to writing prose so I found myself ignoring the nonsensical aspects of the novel in favour of relishing in the language she uses. Her writing has a very unique, spellbinding quality which more than made up for any lapses in logic. I even found myself comparing the writing to H.P. Lovecraft, which is high praise indeed coming from a Lovecraft fan like me.

Moral struggles used to be rarely present in vampire novels. Certainly not from the vampire’s point of view. But that is exactly what Anne Rice established with this book: a whole new sub genre. She wraps her dark story in rich prose and enchanting descriptions of Paris and her hometown of New Orleans, making this one of the best-written vampire stories since Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.”

No gore and grit here. The writing is exceptionally beautiful, full of lush descriptions and intricate detail. Best of all, it has that rare quality of atmosphere — no matter how enchanting the vampire, or beautiful the setting, a feeling of darkness and sorrow runs through it. The vampires are as human as you or me. In any case, I would recommend this book, and I plan on reading the others in this series as well. “Interview” was a pleasant surprise for me and I hope the other novels will be too. For anyone desiring to sink their teeth into it, you may become thirsty for more.

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Comments

  1. This is a really good book. Thanks for reminding me of it , although I do feel that the series doesn’t maintain the standard of this first one. My favourite Anne Rice is “Cry To Heaven” which is about the castrati who sung in 18th Century Italian opera (with some of their important bits missing!). It’s a great tale of slow, burning revenge – give it a try!

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  2. Hi Phil, the sort of plot you describe sounds right up my street …I almost feel like crying to heaven in sympathy with those poor souls already. Thank you for the suggestion! It will probably appear on this blog in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dorothi J Jounos says:

    I have read the series twice and love it to this day

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  4. Anne is a phenomenon. I wish I had made the effort to read her many years ago. Plenty for me to catch up on now.

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  5. Love this book! I love Anne Rice’s works. I write about my journey through her books in http://riceyears.blogspot.com/

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  6. Reblogged this on Vanessa Wester.

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  7. My novels have been compared to this… and it is one of my favourite movies! I really should read it one day 🙂

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  8. Your most brilliant review yet! In fact so brilliant that even Anne Rice likes it herself, well done! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I had story to tell about this one, sit down children and let me tell you about the time I was young and in love with beautiful red-head with emerald eyes. Once day while talking she handed a tatter copy of this very book, inside was note “read, love and treasure it”

    But the note was not for me, for someone she had love long ago. I read the book, as person who was fan of the supernatural but hated vampire books, it was eye opening. Not only were the character interesting but as you mention before you did get sense of what the world was like back then, I was totally immense in the book.

    Once again sir, a great review : )

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  10. Your title is incorrect. I have my 1989 paperback sitting right here, and the title is Interview With The Vampire. Heard of the Mandela Effect?

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    • Yes you are totally correct! When the movie came out I kept hearing my sister say it was Interview With A Vampire. At the time I assumed she was right as I didn’t have any intention to read the book or watch the film. It must have had a long term effect on my memory. How I could overlook the title in front of my eyes is amazing. I’ll Google the Mandela Effect.

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      • The Mandela Effect is everywhere now, I mean, in our lives and on the ‘net. Be forewarned, if you don’t already have one foot in the rabbit hole, you’re going to soon. Happy researching, be well.

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        • I am usually a stickler for correct facts and dates etc but this Mandela Effect sounds more fun. Maybe there are different ways of experiencing events and memories. I remember having a minor argument with my mother over the first Dr Who episode ever broadcast on TV. It occurred before my birth, when she was twenty, but I had learned the correct date from a book while she swore it must have been much earlier. She angrily refused to believe it. Objectively she was wrong about the date but maybe truth is subjective as well. Maybe if we believe something is true powerfully enough – maybe it is for the individual.

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  11. Not sure where my original comment went. To repeat myself: Your title is incorrect. The book, and movie, incidentally, is called Interview With The Vampire. Because of the current goings on I have taken a photo of my 1989 paperback copy of the novel (extremely well-thumbed from countless readings over the years). Would you like a copy?

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    • No thanks, but I’m grateful to you for pointing this out to me. Its very strange how nobody else picked up on it when I posted this last last year. 🙂

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      • Well, currently there are a number of people who are arguing about this title, swearing up and down that the name of the book/movie contains an “A” not a “The”. Also heard at least one say “The Vampire Lestat” is properly written “A Vampire Lestat” (also have that paperback, also took photos)…so either folks reading this simply haven’t noticed the discrepancy OR they’re experiencing the (you guessed it) Mandela Effect.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I prefer the title Interview With A Vampire because it is a little more subtle but I would not deliberately type the wrong title. Interesting that there are even disputes about it…Anyway, thanks for sharing this info about the Mandela Effect! 🙂

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  12. You’re welcome. No matter how much I’ve loved traveling along through time with Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, truth is still stranger than fiction. 😉

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