Interview with the Vampire
Interview with the Vampire Book Cover Interview with the Vampire
The Vampire Chronicles
Anne Rice
Ballantine Books
November 17, 2010

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of its publication 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. This is the story of Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even "settle down" for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia's struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are. Louis and Claudia travel Europe, eventually coming to Paris and the ragingly successful Theatre des Vampires--a theatre of vampires pretending to be mortals pretending to be vampires. Here they meet the magnetic and ethereal Armand, who brings them into a whole society of vampires. But Louis and Claudia find that finding others like themselves provides no easy answers and in fact presents dangers they scarcely imagined. Originally begun as a short story, the book took off as Anne wrote it, spinning the tragic and triumphant life experiences of a soul. As well as the struggles of its characters, Interview captures the political and social changes of two continents. The novel also introduces Lestat, Anne's most enduring character, a heady mixture of attraction and revulsion. The book, full of lush description, centers on the themes of immortality, change, loss, sexuality, and power.

This was my introduction to Anne Rice and a different view of the vampire. Recently she tweeted:

The vampire’s soul has to face the same consequences as a human soul. Once that soul is liberated, it is no longer earthbound, and according to my books, it could remain earthbound in a bodiless form for awhile, in a state of torment or torture, or it could go on into the light, or it could go on to some accounting — we don’t know. That’s the horrible truth, and the truth that I can’t deny in the novels. We don’t really know. But I think its fate is no different from that of a human soul. It started as a human soul before it became a vampire soul, and a soul it remains.

Anne Rice

This echoes one of my own concepts of the vampire and life itself. It is not what we are, but what we do that determines our eternity. In Interview with the Vampire, we see Louis fighting with this very concept, the struggle for his soul. I loved this book. It found levels that no other vampire book ever did. Besides being an incredibly told story, Anne Rice raises her writing to a literary level.