Review on: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Series: The Vampire Chronicles (Book 1)
Interview with a Vampire follows the story of Louis, a vampire currently living in the 20th century, who in an interview with a young journalist introduces his story of how he lived when he was a human, until he was turned into a vampire, and his life following that event.
Louis, the wealthy young master of a family who owns a plantation in New Orleans, recounts to us his life with his younger brother and sister, and how the events after the death of his younger brother drove him to the brink of alcoholism and how this eventually leads to his having encountered Lestat who turns Louis into the vampire he is. Louis continues to recount to the journalist how he learns to become a vampire under Lestat, his journey as they try to live within the society without giving away their identity. And later when Lestat turns a young girl child into a vampire to act as Louis’ companion, how they journey through the years and the realizations they encounter along the way. Later, Louis and Claudia (the girl vampire) try to escape from Lestat by attempting to kill him and they flee to Europe in the hopes of finding old-vampires who can teach them things that Lestat was never able to share with them. This leads them to meet the Théâtre des Vampires, with their coven leader Armand, who introduces them to their vampire world with vampires who are nothing like the vampires that Louis and Claudia hoped to find. Later, this is where they are again discovered by Lestat who hopes to take Louis away and to do away with Claudia who in the first place attempted to kill Lestat. Here, Claudia and Madeleine (a woman who Louis turns into a vampire to act as a companion for Claudia – upon her request) are killed by the Théâtre des Vampires, whom later Louis takes vengeance on before running off with Armand. The end of the story follows Louis who happens to meet Lestat again in New Orleans, and later on the end of the recounting of his story with the journalist who is not satisfied with the ending to such a thrilling story.
This book actually has a movie-version, which I happened upon over 10 years ago. I can remember parts of the movie, and faces of the characters, but nothing more of the story, so I guess you can say I came upon this book without any expectations.
The content of the book is exactly as the title says it is, it is an interview with a vampire. The recounting of a sad story, to an interested journalist/ reader. The start of the story is actually quite intriguing as we see and we sort of empathize with Louis who after the death of his brother has to deal with becoming a new vampire, just like a child who needs guidance. Time within the book is hard to understand though as the passing of a couple of years in the book happens over a couple of paragraphs at certain parts of the story, and other parts are more detailed. The switching of dialogues between Louis’ and the journalist, and his recounting of the story can be a bit confusing as it seems so realistic, like someone remembering a story and actually living in the memory and then suddenly finding themselves thrown back into reality. But it is just a characteristic of the story that makes it even more interesting. All the characters are given enough “screen time”, depending on how important they are to the flow of the story as they are introduced with character descriptions.
I can say that for this book I am somewhat disappointed, just like the journalist. The ending came by quickly, and maybe I had hoped for something more grand for the ending because the start of the book just sounded so amazing and interesting. But then again, the end was a little cliff hanger, leaving the reader to imagine what happened to Louis. Now that I think about it, I wish the book was a little longer and had more dialogue for Lestat, but then again this is the story of Louis, not Lestat, so I cannot fault the book for this.
Overall, this is really quite an interesting book as it tries to explain to us the story of Anne Rice’s vampires, from their beginnings (when they are newly turned) to decades and centuries later as they try to adapt to the ever-changing world. I cannot wait to read the other Anne Rice books that have Lestat as a main part of their story. It also makes me want to go back and read the Anne Rice books that I read over 5 years ago, because I’m sure that their stories will make more sense to me now.