Interview with the Vampire
Anne Rice's classic Interview with the Vampire opened up a new path for the vampire genre with her Vampire Chronicles series. For good or for worse. Since then, the archetype of the affected romantic dandy vampire has become really popular, though it may not be to everyone's taste. But in this first book by Anne Rice the story has been developed in a fascinating way. Also because of the character of the six-year-old girl who is also a vampire and who cannot, as adult vampires can most of the time, control her "natural" impulses. Of course, the book has become famous because of the movie with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, but as a vampire novel, it definitely has its own merits. Still, the book main appeal is for people who love to read this kind of romanticized vampire tale.
In Interview with the Vampire, a journalist in a San Francisco hotel room interviews a pale young man who claims to be a vampire. The man, by the name of Louis, tells him a story about beauty and eternal life. He claims his death, immediately followed by his birth as an immortal, has taken place in the New Orleans of the 19th century. Louis explains how Lestat, his mentor, has taught him everything there is to know about his new gift, his weaknesses and the unwritten laws of the vampire society.
Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.
Praise for Interview with the Vampire
“A magnificent, compulsively readable thriller . . . Rice begins where Bram Stoker and the Hollywood versions leave off and penetrates directly to the true fascination of the myth–the education of the vampire.”—Chicago Tribune
“Unrelentingly erotic . . . sometimes beautiful, and always unforgettable.”—Washington Post
“If you surrender and go with her . . . you have surrendered to enchantment, as in a voluptuous dream.”—Boston Globe
“A chilling, thought-provoking tale, beautifully frightening, sensuous, and utterly unnerving.”—Hartford Courant
Book reviewIn the now-classic novel Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice refreshed the archetypal vampire myth for a late-20th-century audience. The story is ostensibly a simple one: having suffered a tremendous personal loss, an 18th-century Louisiana plantation owner named Louis Pointe du Lac descends into an alcoholic stupor. At his emotional nadir, he is confronted by Lestat, a charismatic and powerful vampire who chooses Louis to be his fledgling. The two prey on innocents, give their "dark gift" to a young girl, and seek out others of their kind (notably the ancient vampire Armand) in Paris. But a summary of this story bypasses the central attractions of the novel. First and foremost, the method Rice chose to tell her tale--with Louis' first-person confession to a skeptical boy--transformed the vampire from a hideous predator into a highly sympathetic, seductive, and all-too-human figure. Second, by entering the experience of an immortal character, one raised with a deep Catholic faith, Rice was able to explore profound philosophical concerns--the nature of evil, the reality of death, and the limits of human perception--in ways not possible from the perspective of a more finite narrator.
While Rice has continued to investigate history, faith, and philosophy in subsequent Vampire novels (including The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned, The Tale of the Body Thief, Memnoch the Devil, and The Vampire Armand), Interview remains a treasured masterpiece. It is that rare work that blends a childlike fascination for the supernatural with a profound vision of the human condition. --Patrick O'Kelley