KimN ~ Interview with the Vampire

7 02 2009

 Interview with the Vampire ~ Anne Rice


I just finished reading Interview with the Vampire (literally, like 5 mins ago) so I thought I should compose my thoughts and get my first book review posted on this blog right away!  I choose to read this book because, as you can see from my book list page, I’ve recently raced through the entire Twilight series.  Following that I saw the movie Twilight (BAD), then re-watched Interview with the Vampire and the Underworld series (all great movies) – so I guess you could say I have a recent fascination with vampires!  All over the internet readers of Twilight refer to Anne Rice as the best writer of vampire mythology, so I picked up her first book in The Vampire Chronicles series.

There are a few angles to approach when talking about this book – as always with movie-tie-ins, you can compare the book to the movie.  In this case, I am really glad to have watched the movie multiple times and thoroughly enjoyed it, prior to having read the book.  I find that when you see the movie first and read the book second, you are less likely to be disappointed with the movie.  As usual, there are dozens of parts of the book that were left out in the movie.  Although I know it is always the case, I am disappointed that the movie re-write left large parts of the book out, and was not able to truly convey the depth of the characters or relationships that Rice easily portrays in her novel.  If you are interested, there is a great chart comparing some aspects of the movie to the book on Wikipedia.

How does this vampire novel compare to those of the Meyer variety?  Well, first off, this is definitely an adult novel – no teen angst or young love here!  Rice is far more interested in delving in to the individual, than the relationships between the characters.  It reminds me of the break-up line people use, “Its not you, its me”, implying that there is something they need to work out internally and for themselves before they can truly become part of a relationship.  In the simplest terms, this is Louis’ struggle in Interview with the Vampire.  He cannot come to face the reality of his immortal life, and it is because of this inner turmoil that he never truly establishes a safe, loving, relationship with Lestat, Claudia, or Armand.

Rice portrays Louis as a vampire with such depth – it is a surprising inner struggle for him to accept his life as an immortal.  He is constantly wrestling with his notions of humanity, and their hold on his life.  He is fighting with himself over what it means to be a true vampire.  For Louis it is the realization that, because of his immortality, he will never experience love the way that a human soul would.  It is a struggle between the knowledge that there is love and goodness in the world but, as an inherently evil being, it will never be possible for Louis to live out these human traits in his life.

As part of our reviews, Nic & I have decided to always include a little blurb about who we would recommend this book to.  So, I guess I’d recommend Interview with the Vampire to the following… anyone who has read the Twilight series (be prepared for a slower, tougher read though!), or watched the Interview with the Vampire movie, is interested in the mythology of vampires, or likes to read horror novels (that are more about humanity and the inner struggles than they are truly horrific).