When I was thirteen years old I bought the Interview With The Vampire novel written by Anne Rice. Curious to see the accuracy of the movie that was made in the nineties. What I most loved about the novel is the easiness the author possesses to enchant the readers about a certain place and so, here is my own personal review.
I enjoy reading Gothic novels set in rich environments like the famous State of Louisiana in the south of the United States. When the author is descriptive enough where you can visualize what the town looks like without visiting it yourself, you can learn about the seventeenth hundred in any history book, yet it can feel scientific and factual. Rice interweaves important historical facts throughout the novel.
She conveys how Louis and Lestat react to the events unfolding around them. Due to my low vision, it is difficult for me to travel internationally. Being immersed in an accurate description of the city allows me the opportunity to visit the place from the comfort of my own home.
The novel, Interview With The Vampire was written in nineteen-seventy-six, by the American author Anne Rice. In an interview with Atlas Obscura, Rice stated that while writing Interview with a Vampire, she invested a lot of time researching vampire lore. She wanted the universe she was creating to be authentic.
She was inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula and novels by Graham Hancock. In the same interview, Rice revealed that prior to finishing Interview with a Vampire, she had tried expanding a short story to aid her in grieving the loss of her daughter.
The novel is a personal account of the life of the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac, a mortal man via an interview. It seems like a strange interaction between at first when Louis decides to tell his story to a human reporter, Daniel Molloy. Instead of a predator stalking its prey, it seemed more like a casual, but still awkward, conversation between the two.
In the first chapter of the novel, Louis reminisces his tragic story of his human life in New Orleans, and that his brother had fallen victim of the black plague. On the night that Louis’ brother passes, he is attacked by a dark shadow.
The next morning, he awakens a vampire turned by Lestat de Lioncourt. Lestat’s intentions was to feed on Louis as he not only found his beauty attractive, but also turn him so that he could manipulate the young man and claim possession of the plantation Pointe du Lac.
Lestat uses his charm to feed off the slaves that runs the plantation until the slaves’ revolt and attempt to distance themselves from the owner they see as a monster. Interestingly, Louis tries to fight against his new vampire instincts and vows to feed only on mammals as Lestat previously stated that it was possible for vampires to survive off rats’ blood.
My own thoughts were that Rice was trying to help Louis retain some of his humanity by feeding only on mammals and not human blood. She even shows Louis’ thoughts of repulsion when watching Lestat feast upon the slaves like leeches.
Fearful of becoming too much like de Lioncourt, Louis sets his plantation on fire and attempts to travel on his own. On his travels, Louis stumbles across a young girl named Claudia, grown ill by the plague. However, Lestat was able to track down his progeny who then begs him to turn the little girl into a vampire in hopes of creating a family.
Unfortunately, Louis watches Claudia give into her impulse to feed without hesitation despite his’ disapproval. After years spent with Louis and Lestat, she becomes frustrated that she will never experience sexual interaction with vampires – mostly Louis that she becomes very attracted to, but his rejection as he sees her as a child, pains her.
Later on, remembering the story Louis had shared with her of her turning, tries to poison Lestat. Louis then slits Lestat’s throat and dumps him in a nearby swamp hoping that he’ll drown in the murky abyss.
When reading this section of the book, I questioned how powerful a vampire like Lestat could be as he was killed so easily, especially by a young inexperienced vampire. Only when Claudia and Louis attempt to flee to travel toward eastern Europe, does Rice reveal to the readers that Lestat survived.
I was not surprised, from reading other novels about vampires, ones like him can only be killed by being beheaded. Only with the distraction of fire, are Claudia and Louis successful in thwarting Lestat’s retaliation.
Rice uses fire periodically throughout the novel to symbolize a sense of cleansing for the protagonist. The author further uses fire to pace the narration of the story. Louis uses it to begin his journey with Lestat, a second tie to distance himself from de Lioncourt, and thirdly, in protecting himself and another highly ranked vampire from the other ones of his kind.
While traveling though Paris they meet other vampires that appear to emulate the similar type of lifestyle they crave. They encounter Armand and his coven at the Théâtre des Vampires. Louis is horrified to discover that at the theater the coven puts on a play of humans being fed on by creatures like him.
Claudia notices Louis falling for Armand and fears that he will leave her for him. Lestat arrives at the theater to prove to Louis and Claudia that they failed in their attempt to kill him: I loved this scene because I thought Lestat would come and claim Louis for himself.
Another fire swallows the theater killing all the vampires except for Louis and Armand. Lestat is believed to have escaped the fire.
Louis and Armand travel across Europe trying to live a simple life together, yet Louis can never get over the loss of Claudia. A wedge forms between them forcing them both to go their separate ways. Not much is revealed of Armand while Louis lives the remainder of his existence in isolation.
By the end of the novel, I became engrossed by Lestat’s character development and wanted to read the other books in Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. I was annoyed that Daniel as interviewing Louis requests to be turned into a vampire. Louis declines his offer and bites him before fleeing. Persistent in becoming a vampire, the reporter goes over the interview he had with Louis.
Daniel carefully combs through the details of the journey and embarked on a journey to find Lestat using what information he learns to track down the vampire in hopes of becoming one himself. I understand that he was astonished by the story Louis had shared with him and wanted to embark on a similar adventure.
It’s easy to wish that a realm parallel to our own can exist in our reality. There are many theories arguing the case of whether vampires exist. In the other novels in the Vampire Chronicles, Rice explores each character’s intentions.
Anne Rice makes the character Lestat the most intriguing. I have enjoyed reading the novel repeatedly and would happily recommend others to read these Gothic horror stories by Anne Rice.
Overall rating: 9/10