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Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)
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message 1: by Angie, Constant Reader (new)

Angie | 2535 comments Mod
Discuss Interview with the Vampire here. Mark all spoilers please so those reading along can comment and enjoy.


Sara (museoffire) I've always thought this was the strongest of the original trilogy. Flame me if you will but I've always found Lestat the least appealing of all her characters. He's always been this petulant, whiny, spoiled toddler. Louis on the other hand seems like the perfect hero for the world Rice created here. The reluctant vampire who fights his nature. She just does something so cool by actually letting us see him from the moment of his turning. The reader gets completely invested in his journey because we're experiencing all these insane new things with him and we're as conflicted as he is by what he's become. He's totally sympathetic. We feel so sorry for him which makes the things he ultimately does that much more abhorrent.

Claudia's also got to be one of the neatest vampires ever written about. (view spoiler)

The original trilogy is a major contribution to the vampire cultural lexicon because Rice was saying such new things with this book. As I said I don't think any other author really took the trouble to look into what being a vampire, being an immortal, could actually mean to someone on a mental and emotional level before. I love how she went so deeply into how your concepts of death and romantic love and sex would shift when there are basically no consequences for your actions and you literally have all the time in the world.

This was probably one of the first vampire novels I ever read and it formed a lot of my feelings about the concept of the vampire in mythology and literature. I continue to wish she'd stopped after Queen of the Damned and as a person and public figure I think the way she conducts herself is reprehensible at best and downright evil at worst but she did something pretty extraordinary with Interview... and I give credit where credit's due.


message 3: by Deb (new) - added it

Deb Storey (debstorey) | 14 comments Great review of a series I learned to love thirty years ago. I have followed Anne Rice's life as well and am unaware of anything reprehensible or evil about the way she conducts herself. I've never had anything but respect for her and find this to be a baffling comment.


Sara (museoffire) Huh, its all over the place. She's totally horrible to anyone who even slightly criticizes her and has been widely reported for instigating more than one cyber attack on bloggers or reviewers who had anything even remotely negative to say about her more recent works. She's personally responsible for at least one person receiving death threats (though she denies having done anything of course).

I'm terrible at linking but here's one article from Time that discusses another time she attacked someone on Amazon: http://time.com/13137/cyberbullying-a...

here's another: http://www.bookslut.com/fear_factor/2...

And here's another that discusses the issue when a blogger made an art piece out of a used copy of Pandora and she essentially told her fanbase to go after the woman who ultimately started receiving death threats: http://www.themarysue.com/anne-rice-p...


Kandice | 3912 comments Sara wrote: "Huh, its all over the place. She's totally horrible to anyone who even slightly criticizes her and has been widely reported for instigating more than one cyber attack on bloggers or reviewers who h..."

I clicked the links you posted and although I agree that Rice has responded to poor reviews in a somewhat childish way, I don’t find her comments or reactions reprehensible or evil. I know this thread is to discuss the book and I don’t want to turn it into a Rice discussion as opposed to a discussion about the novel, but I don’t feel your comments were fair.


Sara (museoffire) To each their own. I think rousing your fanbase to attack someone and threaten them because they didn't like your book is morally reprehensible and way beyond childish. If she'd done it once and learned something from the backlash or ever acknowledged that what she did was wrong maybe I'd think better of her but that's clearly never been the case.

That said, as you point out, this is about the book Interview... and it is probably best to turn the discussion back that way.


Betsy Hetzel | 469 comments I am an eclectic reader , love all kinds of books. I am "almost" ashamed to say that I have started INTERVIEW.... 3 different times and have only gotten up to 35% Kindle. I can't seem to get into it. IF I try once more, maybe starting again from the beginning, and after reading Sara's 1st 3 introductory paragraphs, do you think there's hope for me? I certainly know that not all books are for all people, but do you feel that my perseverance will be worth it and why?


Terri (terrilovescrows) | 69 comments Sara wrote: "I've always thought this was the strongest of the original trilogy. Flame me if you will but I've always found Lestat the least appealing of all her characters. He's always been this petulant, whin..."

I am the opposite - I think Lestat revels in being a vampire, accepts it and that is what I find interesting. To me, Louis is whiny and woe-is-me. I actually do not usually enjoy the Reluctant vampire thing. Claudia I loved. Armand was interesting. It is hard for me to remember which vamps appeared in the first book.


message 9: by Kenneth (new) - added it

Kenneth McKinley | 277 comments Betsy wrote: "I am an eclectic reader , love all kinds of books. I am "almost" ashamed to say that I have started INTERVIEW.... 3 different times and have only gotten up to 35% Kindle. I can't seem to get into i..."

I'm in the boat with you, Betsy. I've tried to read Interview and other Rice stories and I've found that I simply do not enjoy them. Her writing style is just not for me. I've heard people say the same thing about Clive Barker, who I absolutely love, but I can understand why someone wouldn't enjoy his style. You're right. Not all authors are for everyone and I feel that life is too short. Books are meant to be enjoyed, not endured.


message 10: by Tom (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom | 78 comments Is this a spoiler thread? I love David the Interviewer and all that happens to him


message 11: by Tom (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom | 78 comments Of all the books I've read, I think up to Merrick, I thought Interview was the hardest to 'get into' as they say.


message 12: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (museoffire) Terri wrote: "Sara wrote: "I've always thought this was the strongest of the original trilogy. Flame me if you will but I've always found Lestat the least appealing of all her characters. He's always been this p..."

Ha! Total opposite reactions! I bet it totally has to do with the frame of mind you're in when you read them too. I guarantee I was going through my petulant teenager years when I first read this and I'm sure Louis and all his angst was super appealing to goth wannabe me ha ha.

Its probably worth noting too that Lestat is written (by Louis) as the bad guy in the story (view spoiler)

I think all the vampires are at their most visceral and interesting in this book. Armand was a totally neat character, a perfect foil for Louis really and I always thought a better companion. His back story has always been my favorite.


message 13: by Lena (last edited Dec 01, 2015 12:42PM) (new)

Lena Teen years I loved these books but I always thought this first one was the boring one. Give me Pandora! My favorite Rice was The Witching Hour, though I never read the rest in that series and last year I looked up Rice and found both the series had somehow merged!

Sara I agree authors bitching about reviews is bullshit. Once your book is out there it's out there! Just be glad someone's reading it.


Kandice | 3912 comments ”by Lena (last edited 1 minute ago) (new) 2 minutes ago
Teen years I loved these books but I always thought this first one was the boring one. Give me Pandora! My favorite Rice was The Witching Hour, though I never read the rest in that series and last year I looked up Rice and found both the series had somehow merged!


I devoured the Vampire series by her, and although I found some tedious, I enjoyed them all to different degrees. I love David’s story as well.

The fact that Rice entwines the Vamps and Mayfair witches stories using the Talamasca to do so made both series more enjoyable to me. I think I enjoyed the Mayfair story a little more on the whole than the Vamps, but I love her style of writing (unlike some of you) so even the stories I found a bit weak I enjoyed reading.


James | 31 comments This is the first Anne Rice book I have read. I have just finished the first chapter and so far I like her writing style. I actually felt a little sick to my stomach about the first feeding.


message 16: by T.W. (new) - added it

T.W. Smith (twsmith) I love this book. I read it decades ago (at least 3 more times since) because it was on a list of Stephen King's top 10 horror novels. It's intimate, yet grand; the characters leap off of the page; and it's dark, and beautiful, and tragic--Shakespearean, in my mind.


Kandice | 3912 comments T.W. wrote: "I love this book. I read it decades ago (at least 3 more times since) because it was on a list of Stephen King's top 10 horror novels. It's intimate, yet grand; the characters leap off of the page;..."

"Intimate yet grand" is a terrific way to describe her style!

Does anyone remember her not liking the casting of Tom Cruise for Lestat and then taking out a full page ad in a newspaper and apologizing after actually seeing the movie? I really do think the casting for the movie was superb.


message 18: by Lena (new)

Lena He's not what was described, for either Lestat or Jack Reacher, but the man makes great movies. I still go see movies just because they are Tom Cruise movies.


Kandice | 3912 comments Lena wrote: "He's not what was described, for either Lestat or Jack Reacher, but the man makes great movies. I still go see movies just because they are Tom Cruise movies."

He didn't meet the description, but he just oozed the character anyway! That whininess that someone mentioned was perfect.


message 20: by Lena (new)

Lena (view spoiler)


Kandice | 3912 comments Lena wrote: "[spoilers removed]"

Yes, cinematic perception!


message 22: by Sara (last edited Dec 02, 2015 10:27AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (museoffire) I remember she took out a full page ad in the Times to rave about how wonderful Cruise was after the movie opened.

Its interesting if you ever read the graphic novels that came out roughly around the same time as the novels Lestat is drawn to look remarkably like Rutger Hauer who was apparently a favorite of Rice's at some point (presumably when he was much younger) to play Lestat.


message 23: by Lena (new)

Lena That would certainly have been more book accurate casting.


message 24: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (museoffire) the graphic novels are hilarious. Sooooo 80's especially with the wardrobe choices...


James | 31 comments Just got finished reading this and I have to say I liked it. She is a very vivid writer. I really got pulled into the story and am thinking of reading more of her vampire books. I really felt sorry for Claudia. I have mixed feelings about Louis. Anyway, I thought she made some interesting characters.


Kandice | 3912 comments James wrote: "Just got finished reading this and I have to say I liked it. She is a very vivid writer. I really got pulled into the story and am thinking of reading more of her vampire books. I really felt sorry..."

If you read more of the series you realize what an unreliable narrator Louis is. Really, all of her narrators are and that's part of the fun of her writing, but you only "get" it if you continue.


message 27: by Nick (last edited Dec 03, 2015 09:26AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick Iuppa | 3941 comments Man, how could I get so far behind after only two days. This is my first listen to this book and the reader is very good. (Same guy who read Weaveworld BTW.) I've read this book before and now - about a third of the way into it - I'm starting to get the feel for it. It was so different from the great novel I had read previously. So for Betsey I say give it more of a chance, you really have to let it sweep over you.

Now, about the issue of responding to negative criticism... you sure want to but it can only make things worse. Some brilliantly written retort might seem ideal, but almost impossible to do without looking like a jerk. If you can respond to the critic directly, outside of the public form, it makes things a little better. A debate about the quality of your work in front of an audience just makes you and your critic play to the crowd, and that's not literary criticism, that's theater... and then a whole new set of rules start to apply... and, unless you're a stand up comic, they are not usually kind to either performer.


message 28: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (museoffire) This strikes me as a book that really lends itself to the audio format. The right narrator could certainly weave a ton of atmosphere into it. Its also the kind of book that is so reliant on emotion, Louis is more less driven entirely by his emotional reaction to things, so an actor definitely has a ton to work with.

Interview... and really the other two in the original trilogy as well have always struck me as more character studies than plot and action driven narratives. What's kind of neat is that I think Interview... in particular really can stand alone as a cool vampire novel even if you don't have an interest in continuing the series.


message 29: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick Iuppa | 3941 comments I'm not sure how far into this I am, but I'm starting to think that little Claudia is one of the scariest characters I've ever come across, even scarier than Lestat. The descriptions are extremely powerful. Her images are very clear. It's almost as though the author is a movie director framing scenes: The dead bodies posed around a table. (I'm trying hard not to give anything away here.) This is a damn powerful book.


message 30: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (museoffire) Have you seen the film Nick? I think Neil Jordan made some questionable decisions *cough* Antonio Banderas *cough* but visually he gets the atmosphere and tone just right. He does such perfect literal translations of the scenes like the one you describe. He (and his cinematographer) have an incredible gift for tableau. They also do some remarkable things with light that just hit all the right notes.


message 31: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick Iuppa | 3941 comments You know I haven't seen it. Sounds good though. I plan to.


Kandice | 3912 comments Rice's writing is very, very Gothic and cinematic. I find her a visual writer, like Nick said and because of that I "see" her books in more detail than I usually do, and I don't find her descriptions purple or overdone.


message 33: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick Iuppa | 3941 comments Kandice wrote: "Rice's writing is very, very Gothic and cinematic. I find her a visual writer, like Nick said and because of that I "see" her books in more detail than I usually do, and I don't find her descriptio..."

Unlike mine.... ;-)


message 34: by Lena (new)

Lena Cry to Heaven has that descriptive magic as well. Yes Antonio Banderas looks as much like Armand as Tom Cruise looks like Lestat, but it works in the movie. It was the first time I had ever seen him as he stood up as an old exotic vampire next to the pretty pretty boys.


message 35: by Sara (last edited Dec 08, 2015 01:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (museoffire) Lena wrote: "Cry to Heaven has that descriptive magic as well. Yes Antonio Banderas looks as much like Armand as Tom Cruise looks like Lestat, but it works in the movie. It was the first time I had ever seen hi..."

Yeah but I think the casting kind of totally misses the point of Armand. (view spoiler)

Also I'm sorry but I can never understand half the words coming out of his mouth. Between the vampire teeth and his accent I get like every third word.


message 36: by Lena (new)

Lena I like that Armand/Claudia idea.


message 37: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy (thenikitagirl) | 32 comments Tom wrote: "Is this a spoiler thread? I love David the Interviewer and all that happens to him"

I liked him a lot as well Tom, and really liked the role for Christian Slater. In fact, i thought much of the film was cast well, with the exception of Armand.


message 38: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy (thenikitagirl) | 32 comments I hope this message doesn't find me shot, as I did not enjoy this book as much as many. In fact, I thought Betsy and a few others, including people who really liked it here in this thread, made many great points.
I read this book in October, for a different groups monthly read; so I hope nobody faults me for joining in here, as I did not in the other group, other than to rate it.
Let me start by saying I did not dislike this book and have always wondered if my distain for it was mostly because I had already seen the film adaptation and I always find its better to read the book before the movie. This is no less true in this case, as I feel I would have liked it a little bit better to maybe earn even a half star-rating more. I rated it a three.
I read part two, The Vampire Lestat, about 15 years ago and loved it. I have always thought it to be a favourite of mine. I don't usually skip a book in a series but like I said, where I had seen the movie and heard the first one wasn't as good, I decided to skip it. In hindsight, I am happy I did. I have always meant to get back to the series and finish it and made it one of my goals for this coming year.

I felt the same way as most, in that Lestat, is just an awful character in this book; given that it is written from Louis' point of view. However, a strong one. Louis, I also felt the same as someone had mentioned, as whiny and sad, dragging his feelings around everywhere he went. This too, however, I felt necessary character development and as another had pointed out, a first strong directive in developing vampire characters who felt great angst for their kind and self. Claudia is by far, one of my favourite vampires ever written. I also agree with the fact that she was much more evil than Lestat. She personified lacking a soul, similar to Lestat, in that she never felt any remorse. Her character development and stunted youth was painful as it was developed. Until her, I felt the book dragged on painfully and this is where I could understand Betsey's lack of ability in hanging on, as Claudia is not introduced until halfway through the book. Armand, Is most definitely my second favourite character here and can't remember why, but was also a strong case in the second book. I always remember thinking I couldn't wait to get to his book being that it would be mainly about him and from his point of view. Armand, also quite evil and manipulative, like Claudia, even though it was easier to like him in this, compared to Lestat, because of his enamour for Louis and his vast knowledge of intelligence and seeming elegance.

I have always been a fan of Anne Rice, falling in love with her in my late teens, early twenties. Her way of describing everything in great detail would likely be something I used to love. However, either age or this book in particular, changed my mind and I will be interested to see how I feel when I reread Lestat this year as part of my goal in finishing the series, to see if I feel the same way (five star) that I did then.

The film, I felt, was cast extremely well with the exception of Armand. From Christian Slater to Claudia, they did well by finding her. She was a gem in this movie and I can see how it started her career. Excellent. I don't see what other people see, in that Tom Cruise being a bad choice, but then again that's because I saw the film first. So I didn't really have a separate vision of what I thought him to be, because I always had him and Brad Pitt in the back of my mind as Louis and Lestat. Antonio Banderas, however, was just so far removed for me as Armand (I forgot while reading the book that it was him who played him in the film), that it almost ruined his character for me as I watched the movie again in October after reading the book. In my opinion, not that he is a bad actor or anything, it was just a bad casting call for the integral part of Armand.

First half of book, terrible. Slow. Middle to end, almost excellent.

Sorry to be so long winded. :)


message 39: by Betsy (new) - rated it 1 star

Betsy Hetzel | 469 comments Thank you, Amy, for taking the time to explain your thoughts re. VAMPIRE.... and for understanding how some might feel, in your words, that the "first half of the book, terrible" which is exactly how I felt, and I really try to give books, esp. one like this, acclaimed in its genre, more than a good chance to get going. Yes, I missed out on Claudia and Armand, and they may have turned this around for me. Perhaps someday I will return to VAMPIRE. You will not be shot for expressing your opinion; we certainly do not all like chocolate ice cream :)


message 40: by Chris , The Hardcase (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chris  (haughtc) | 1095 comments Mod
Amy, you won't be shot for disliking Anne Rice, or even liking it a little.

At least, not until Anne Rice finds out about it. Hehe...

But in this group, you're good.


message 41: by Amy (last edited Dec 08, 2015 04:25PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy (thenikitagirl) | 32 comments Chris wrote: "Amy, you won't be shot for disliking Anne Rice, or even liking it a little.

At least, not until Anne Rice finds out about it. Hehe...

But in this group, you're good."


You made me LOL, Chris! Thanks to you and Betty for understanding. I knew I was writing a novel in itself there. *smile

I really do like her and look forward most to her Witching Hour series as I have heard that its some of her best work. I own two of them, but as with everything, like to collect the hardcovers overtime.

Her works under her pseudo names are also some of my faves. I am not into romance or BDSM, but really enjoyed her Exit to Eden and have read it more than once. No wonder people couldn't get into Fifty Shades. When you've had writers such as Anne Rice with her excellence take on the task, the simple mistakes on every page and use of a thesaurus for every fifth word in the EL James series would make most anyone a critic. My apologies to anyone who enjoyed it, as it is only my opinion.


message 42: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick Iuppa | 3941 comments Amy, thanks for all the remarks. I do like Rice's descriptions but I do find my mind wandering from time to time during the narrative and I always thought that it was just me... but that's usually not the case. Sometimes Rice (or in this case Louis) does just go on and on in morbid detail and reflection, and that's okay, I guess (so does Mr. King)... but it does discourage me from continuing with a book.


message 43: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy (thenikitagirl) | 32 comments Nick wrote: "Amy, thanks for all the remarks. I do like Rice's descriptions but I do find my mind wandering from time to time during the narrative and I always thought that it was just me... but that's usually ..."

Upon reflection, Nick, I may very well go on and on as well! LOL

xo


message 44: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (museoffire) Never apologize for liking or not liking a book Amy, that's what I always tell people in my book club when their opinion differs from the majority. We'd have pretty banal discussions if all we did was pat each other on the back and agree!

And if you want long winded go read a few of my reviews...heh heh.


message 45: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (museoffire) Never apologize for liking or not liking a book Amy, that's what I always tell people in my book club when their opinion differs from the majority. We'd have pretty banal discussions if all we did was pat each other on the back and agree!

And if you want long winded go read a few of my reviews...heh heh.


message 46: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (museoffire) My comment was so nice it posted twice!


message 47: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick Iuppa | 3941 comments Amy wrote: "Nick wrote: "Amy, thanks for all the remarks. I do like Rice's descriptions but I do find my mind wandering from time to time during the narrative and I always thought that it was just me... but th..."

I have quite a few pretty long posts as well... and my reviews....


James | 31 comments In my earlier post I wrote that I felt sorry for Claudia. It seems that some people saw her as evil. I just thought of her as a child always being the same age physically but never getting to feel to be a woman even though her thoughts might be that way. To me that's what made me think that there was an excuse for her 'evil', if that's what you want to call it.

I didn't like Lestat after thinking about it and I like how he ended up later in the book. I saw him as a very selfish character.

Louis made me feel that he was a character that had deep regrets about what he had become. He didn't like what he was but there was no way he could reverse it. I see him almost like a prisoner waiting out a sentence that will last for eternity.


message 49: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy (thenikitagirl) | 32 comments James wrote: "In my earlier post I wrote that I felt sorry for Claudia. It seems that some people saw her as evil. I just thought of her as a child always being the same age physically but never getting to feel ..."

I felt the same way, James. You could sympathize with both Claudia and Louis. I guess I should have elaborated more on how I felt about each of them. I did feel Louis was "melancholy Marvin", but that didn't change the fact that I understood him. He was a prisoner trapped in his existence. To have the morality still of a human and the will and killer instinct of a vampire would put anyone at odds with oneself.
Claudia, well how could anyone not sympathize with her and her eventual painful existence. Eventually being about 50-100 years old and yet remaining in an 5-10 year olds body. Her listlessness and eventual fear of loneliness if Louis were to leave her tugged at my heart strings. Her love for him and his for her. Her evil is only because she was raised to be, without a conscience really yet formed as that of an adult before her turning. I loved her myself as a character. She was very well written. The parts near the end when she was a woman in her thoughts, though nobody would ever see her as one, and when she was desperately trying to hang on to her life killed me. I knew Louis would never be the same. Also, it was here I didn't understand Armand. How could he NOT KNOW that it would destroy Louis beyond anything else and write their non existent future. As an all powerful vampire, I felt that was an oversight but I guess necessary for Claudia's demise. It would seal their fate based on his greediness for Louis' heart to lie only with him.


message 50: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy (thenikitagirl) | 32 comments Nick wrote: "Amy, thanks for all the remarks. I do like Rice's descriptions but I do find my mind wandering from time to time during the narrative and I always thought that it was just me... but that's usually ..."

Oh Nick...I am so sorry. I didn't realize that my comments would make one not want to finish. I was thinking that it was a thread where people had finished the book and didn't note that...I am sorry. I would not have spoiled so much. :(


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