Cyndy Aleo's Reviews > Interview with the Vampire

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
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May 20, 11

bookshelves: popular-fiction, vampires

** spoiler alert ** Having recently trashed at least three of Anne Rice's books, I feel it only fair that I go back and review one of her best, the book that began my love affair with Anne Rice novels: Interview with the Vampire.

::: The Plot :::

Interview with the Vampire is the first novel in Rice's Vampire Chronicles, and is actually narrated by the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac to a reporter as he tells the story of how he became a vampire. Distraught over the death of his wife, Louis turns to Lestat to be released from his Hell on Earth missing his wife, and instead is taken to what is to him everlasting hell, life as a vampire. Louis leaves his home and follows Lestat, although he is unable to deal at many points with this life as a blood drinker, instead turning to rats and other small animals rather than humans for the blood he needs.

Going through a section of town that is quarrantined because of the plague, they find a little girl, Claudia, sitting with her dead mother. Lestat does the unthinkable, creating a child vampire; a vampire who will gain the knowledge of an adult for eternity but lack the size and strength and body that she needs. Claudia, Louis, and Lestat live together as a tiny vampire family for decades, with Lestat treating Claudia as a small child, and Louis acting more as a surrogate father and then friend, though her maturity and intellect become that of an adult. Years of dolls given on her birthday, and her frustration at her fate leave her to turn against her Maker, and, with Louis' reluctant assistance, Claudia attacks Lestat, and then Claudia burns Lestat's house down, apparently killing Lestat.

Louis and Claudia then journey to Paris with another vampire created to be a caretaker for Claudia, where they believe they will find another group of vampires, and encounter Armand and Santiago, vampires even older than Lestat who perform as a theater troup. Armand wants Louis all to himself, and incensed at the creation of a child vampire, has Claudia and her caretaker killed. Louis then kills all the vampires in the troupe as revenge for their killing of Claudia.

::: Why So Many Fell in Love :::

Unlike many of the novels that follow this book in the series, Interview with the Vampire is a deep, philosophical book. In Louis' recounting of his story to the skeptical reporter, he ponders the nature of good and evil, and his own role in how his life as a vampire has played out.

Louis has a melancholy, a resignment to his fate, that makes him a very sympathetic character. We see his inability to take a human life, and turning instead to the rats rather than do what to him is abhorrent. In comparison to the demanding and evil Lestat, Louis functions as the force of good in the novel. His love and care for Claudia, following her reluctantly even as she decides to kill Lestat make him the most human of vampires, which even Lestat keeps pointing out.

::: And the Writing? :::

One thing most people agree on is that Interview with the Vampire isn't a fast-paced book. However, Rice's writing still makes it an easy and fast read, and her characterizations are excellent. The reason that many readers were disappointed when the movie was released was that the casting was all wrong. Armand is a young boy vampire, just skirting the edges of manhood when he was created. Lestat is a gorgeous and powerful vampire, but his evil is always simmering near the surface. The lush descriptions of the French Quarter and the back alleys of Paris when Armand and his troupe live are easily pictured in the minds of the readers.

The main reason that the Vampire Chronicles have been so successful is because of the legion of fans that was created out of this one book. While I have read each novel in succession, none has ever struck quite the same nerve that this first tale did, and Louis still remains my favorite of the vampires.

While many of the subsequent Chronicles are take-it or leave-it quality, Interview with the Vampire is still a must-read.

This review previously published at Epinions: http://www.epinions.com/review/Interv...
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