Interview completed

Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1) by Anne Rice

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It’s been a long time since I read this, as a teenager and in German. Mid 80s or so and several times in the years after… Loved it, loved it, loved it. Got me started on my path of life-long love of vampire stories. Shortly after I read Bram Stoker‘s Dracula and a bunch of other classic vampire books and loved those as well. 

I think the German translation dragged a bit. Although about 30% into my current re-read it was not exactly speedy either. A lot of exposition, very little direct speech—not my favourite. Luckily the book eventuality got more involving and lively.

As a teenager I considered this the best of the Vampire Chronicles and the one with the best story-line. The sequels got more and more commercial. I read four of them and then stopped, while I still liked them. In retrospect I probably remember the most of The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the Damned. Boy, that was a horrible movie! If I should re-read the other books as well, I would probably prefer the „more commercial“ ones by now. We will see. I read another of Anne Rice‘s books recently, The Passion of Cleopatra and thought it was pretty meh.

Anyway, Interview with The Vampire. Probably THE book that sailed a massive fantasy subgenre and lead to two movies, one of them sporting a horribly miscast Tom Cruise and a beautifully moody Brad Pitt. 

A young reporter and a vampire sit in a bare room with a tape recorder. The vampire tells the story of his 200 years of life, err, un-death, from his early days on a plantation near New Orleans to Europe and all the way back to the Garden District of New Orleans in the mid-1970s, when the book was written. 

The book is a bit of a declaration of love for that city, which has been nicely captured in this review here: https://gonola.com/things-to-do-in-ne…

A lot of things happen that I didn‘t remember at all. Everything that hasn‘t appeared in the movie seems to have fallen away. Lestat is also a lot more hateful than I remember. And Claudia and Armand a lot more seductive.

The story moved pretty slowly and with a lot of exposition at first. Is it possible that later books were more dynamic? I was not impressed and skimmed some more boring passages early on. By the time the narrative moved to New Orleans and then on to Eastern Europe, I had become comfortable with the slightly old-fashioned feel of the language and the narrative had picked up some momentum. The high point of the book for me is Paris and the Theatre of the Vampires. 

Bottomline this has a lot more to offer than the movie. It is mostly slow paced and rich in detail. Very contemplative, pretty sad, with some shocking moments.

PS: there is an interesting article here about Anne Rice and fanfiction:
A Deep Dive Into the Anne Rice Fanfiction Debacle