Interview with the Vampire is the first book in Anne Rice’s adult horror fantasy Vampire Chronicles series.
When a young reporter gets a chance to interview with the enigmatic, pale man that claims to be a vampire, he takes it. Such begins the long, harrowing tale of Louis, his maker Lestat and his “child” Claudia.
Sweeping from pre-civil war Louisiana to the mists of Europe, Louis weaves his life story for the reporter from the tragic, defining moments before his transition and those bloody, unsettling moments immediately following his meeting with the vampire Lestat – and beyond.
Anyone who has seen the film starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and a young Kirsten Dunst may know many details of the turns the novel will take – as it is a fairly strong adaptation, likely due to the fact that Anne Rice herself penned it. However, here we have the original book form where Rice lends that miserable, contemplative, gloomy voice of Louis who is a reluctant vampire, to put it lightly.
Desperately trying to hang on to his humanity, Louis is a conflicted character who is torn between caring for, and being dependent on, his relationships with Lestat and Claudia, while also being horrified by their easy killing and lack of conscience. He is, quite simply, not built to be a vampire but doomed to its fate.
Without providing further plot details, I will say that Interview with the Vampire had gorgeous descriptions and an eloquent, poetic language that was both very enveloping and also, at times, probably more than necessary. I won’t deny occasionally skimming some of the more longwinded narration describing the countryside or what have you.
However, the prose was affective in creating an absorbing atmosphere, a distinct first-person voice and some occasionally powerful emotional punches – from strangely, almost involuntarily, erotic to heartbreaking, tormenting sorrow.
Though Louis’s journey through vampirism was hypnotic, and its eventual conclusion titillated me on a pure character development level, I have been assured by a friend that the next books in the Vampire Chronicles series are far more satisfying. It sounds as though Lestat becomes much more in the spotlight and creates a vibe a little less depressive and a little more fun.
Either way, though, Interview with the Vampire was definitely worth the read and was a great experience. I would strongly recommend bibliophiles with an enjoyment of gothic stories to check it out! I look forward to diving into more novels in the series as soon as I am able.