Before getting to my review I would like say my thoughts are with those who are dealing with Sandy. Please stay safe.
After reading King’s vampire story, ‘Salem’s Lot, I decided to reread Anne Rice’s contribution to vampire novels. Her Interview with the Vampire launched the series, The Vampire Chronicles. Interview was her debut novel, and it has sold over eight million copies. Not a bad debut.
Rice began writing this novel after her daughter died of leukemia at the age of five. This event devastated Rice and her husband, Stan. Both of them started drinking to cope with their loss. Her novel deals with many of the issues that Rice has wrangled with throughout her life, including questions about her Catholic faith and the concepts of good and evil in the world. She denies that Claudia, the young girl who is turned into a vampire, is in any way connected to her daughter who died at such a young age. However, many people, including those close to her, don’t believe this denial.
Interview started off as a short story, which she wrote in the late sixties. After completing the manuscript it was rejected by many publishers. However, perseverance paid off and she finally found a publisher. I wonder if the publishers who passed on her book regret their decision.
The premise of the novel is simple; Louis is telling his life story to an ambitious reporter. What is unusual is that Louis has lived over 200 years and he’s a vampire. In 1791, the vampire named Lestat is lonely. Louis is a wealthy plantation owner who is distraught over his brother’s death. He wants to die. Lestat decides to make Louis his immortal companion. There’s one problem though. Louis, plagued by guilt over his brother’s death, doesn’t like to kill humans to survive. Lestat has no qualms about killing. In fact, he enjoys it. Louis wants to leave Lestat and to see if there are other vampires out there. Lestat doesn’t want to be alone again. What lengths will he go to keep Louis close to him?
This was my second time reading Interview with the Vampire. While I enjoyed it the first time, I think I appreciated it more the second. During my reread I relished Rice’s way with words. She has said, “I loved words. I love to sing them and to speak them and even now, I must admit, I have fallen into the joy of writing them.” Her descriptions and settings are rich. In fact, this novel and The Witching Hour encouraged me to travel to New Orleans a few years ago to discover the magical place that she describes so well in her books. I was not disappointed when I visited. Actually, I would like to go back after reading this book again. There is something special about the city.
I read this novel for R.I.P. and it’s on my 1001 books you must read before you die list.