Published: April 12, 1976
Series: The Vampire Chronicles #1
Pages: 343 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 2.0/5.0
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.
Occasionally I like to check out books that seem to be central or a game changer to a particular part of the SFF genres. In this case I picked up Interview with a Vampire, which was iconic enough to spawn a movie featuring none other than Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in the leading roles. This may have been a game changer, taking vampires and turning them into a creature you could perhaps sympathize with rather than merely fear but I can’t say I loved it.
As a matter of fact I kind of hated it.
Anne Rice is definitely a talented writer with elegant turns of phrase, but I found this book to be pedantic in content. It’s definitely character driven and when your main character likes to spend great deals of his eternal life staring at the night sky or contemplating death it gets a little dull. Louis thought very highly of himself and tried so hard to be moral (or at least more so than Lestat) but good grief I would have preferred anything other than his moral grandstanding! Louis was absolutely the most boring choice for main character here.
I liked that this was done in such a way that Louis is telling his life story to a reporter, so we get these brief asides where this fellow is just looking astounded. It added a nice layer, sort of a mini story within the story, especially at the end. The story has interesting settings – time periods, locations, etc. and they’re typically described vividly. I think Louis’ was just terribly boring overall and that kind of killed my enjoyment of the story. It started out well enough and I thought I would like it, but I just couldn’t wait to get it over with and once again I ended up skipping thought the later chapters.
Overall, I’m glad I read this and I can definitely see how it impacted vampire fiction. Prior to this (as far as I can tell) vampires were these evil bloodsucking monsters that tended to lack true personality. Interview with a Vampire gave readers a front row seat of what was going on in the mind of the night-dwelling predators. They gained depth and further traction as popular fiction elements and then we got things like Twilight. The vampires stopped being totally evil and became crushes for awkwardly pretty teenage girls who like pale bad boys that may or may not have supernatural affiliations. If audiobooks are your jam, then you’d probably like that format for this book as Simon Vance does the narration. He’s quite talented and I’ve enjoyed many other books he’s done.