“Interview With the Vampire” by Anne Rice

“Interview With the Vampire” by Anne RiceInterview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Series: The Vampire Chronicles #1
Published: 1991 by Ballantine
Genres: Horror/Gothic
Pages: 342
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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Disclaimer:  Normally, I’m not into vampire novels.  Sometimes they’re okay (if you are Robin McKinley or Elizabeth Kostova).  Sparkly vampires bother me.  This book was really big when I was in high school, but I never got around to reading it because I was too busy reading Nietzsche and various social contract theories.  When a friend recommended that I see the movie, I decided to read the book first.  It also helped that I found a copy for 50 cents.

Now, to the review… the title of this book is rather self-explanatory; the novel is an interview between an unnamed reporter and a vampire named Louis.  Louis tells his story, from when another vampire named Lestat turned him into a vampire in pre-Civil War New Orleans up until the present day.  This includes a trip to France, where he encounters a theater troupe of vampires pretending to be humans who pretend to be vampires.  The book is basically Louis coming to terms with the fact that he is a vampire, and all that it implies.

Anne Rice is a good writer, but I’m still unsure whether or not I really liked the book, as the vampires were very emo.  There was a lot of “Oh, I’m depressed because I have to feed on humans to live, which makes me evil, but how can God let me exist when I’m so evil, but I don’t wanna be evil, where the hell is Satan so I can just be damned, oh noes, there is no evidence of Satan, does that make me the highest evil in the universe?  Shit, I’m depressed!”  I can definitely understand the appeal that the novels would have had in high school, where one goes through a new existential crisis every week.  If the vampires weren’t quite so emo, I’d probably finish the series.

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14 comments

  1. Hi Grace. I enjoyed Interview, but it was not my favorite Rice novel. I prefer the Witching Hour. What I found interesting about Interview was the inclusion of Claudia. A while back I watched a documentary about Rice and it explained that before she wrote Interview she and her husband had a little girl who died at a young age. Rice denies that her character Claudia who becomes a vampire while still a child, hence she will always remain a child, has anything to do with the death of her daughter. This may be the case, but many people have wondered about this. Could it be her subconscious?

  2. Claudia was actually my favorite character in the novel, because she was the only major character who, for most of the book, seemed like she was okay with who she was. Of course that changes at the end, but even so, she was pretty cool. I think it could definitely be her subconscious at work, and it makes a lot of sense.

    I’ll have to check out The Witching Hour. I read one other Anne Rice novel before, the first of her Sleeping Beauty trilogy, and loved her writing, but needed a bit more plot than princesses being spanked. Witches sound interesting. =D

  3. You might like the witches in The Witching Hour. Most of them are strong female characters that you shouldn’t mess with. If you start the series, I have to warn you that the second work is not that great. The third and final in the series is an improvement, but not as good as the first.

  4. I loved The Vampire Lestat when I was in high school, but I never did like Interview very much. (The movie, now, that’s another story.) Lestat, at least in that first book, is much less emo, much more hedonistic, and when he does meet Armand the Emo Graveyard-Dwelling Vampire, Lestat spends plenty of time making fun of him.

  5. I really love this whole series, but your summary still make me laugh 😛 I first discovered Anne Rice at 14, which I guess explains a lot. I do recommend the sort-of-sequel, The Vampire Lestat. Lestat is far less whiny than Louis, and therefore a much better narrator. The Witching Hour series is also excellent.

    1. Lol, I think Lestat would make a far better narrator. At the very beginning of the novel I liked Louis and was meh on Lestat, but then I came to respect Lestat a great deal more as Louis became increasingly whiny. The whining makes Louis a bit of an unreliable narrator to me–I don’t trust his judgments on people.

    1. I read the first of those by mistake; my sister had liked the vampire novels and recommended that I try one of her others since I’m not into vampires. I didn’t realize that the Sleeping Beauty novels weren’t her normal novels, but rather erotica originally written under a pseudonym. Very well-written, but more sex than story. Interview With the Vampire didn’t have any sex in it at all; vampires are above that sort of thing, apparently.

  6. I loved The Witching Hour but think Interview is excellent. Emo didn’t exist when she wrote it and I think what she hd i mind to really emphasise the darkest of the Human Existence, the islation, the loneliness, the fear, the angst. It was ahige succes in gay circles as it can be read as a synonym for HIV.

  7. Hi, Grace, I just saw this! Funny, I thought IWTV was all about sex! To me, all that bloodsucking with people of every age, race and gender was a metaphor for the swinging 70s. Some parts of the book I liked more than others. The lush descriptions, the settings, Louis’s unending sorrow, really appealed to me. There’s a passage in the beginning where he falls in love with a mortal girl. He hasn’t accepted his vampire nature yet. He finds excuses to spend time with her by helping her with her finances. By night, he stands outside her window, yearning, understanding he has nothing to offer her but darkness and death. A real inspiration to my writing!

    1. That’s an interesting way of looking at it, and it makes a lot of sense.

      I love Anne Rice’s writing, but I felt like Louis was so concerned with analyzing the morality of his condition that there were times that he forgot to really live. I’m thinking that I’ll probably give the series another try eventually. 🙂