Review: Interview With The Vampire – Anne Rice

interview-with-vampire cover

The Vampire Chronicles #1

SYNOPSIS: 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. – via Goodreads

GRADE 6I must admit, I liked this far more when I was younger. Maybe it was typically because as a teen we are all trying to find ourselves and a place to fit it, we are all so angsty. However, reading it again did not thrill me so much, but this was one of the books that was a little more difficult to get into because of how it is told. It was annoying for me to read it as this long ongoing monologue basically, every now and then flipping back to the fact that the story is being told to some reporter. In a sense I suppose it all comes full circle by the end. Also, there are a lot of flawed aspects to it, like the relationship between Louis and Lestat never really means anything. At all. The book had plenty to make you damn uncomfortable though. I mean, when Claudia was killed, she was a child. Itty bitty. That’s something, but not the pinnacle of the nastiness at all. To refer to her, Claudia, a child, as sensuous before she was even turned or lived for so many years, and later as a lover was highly disturbing. Maybe after those sixty five years it starts to make more sense, but from where it was, not so good. Not so great. I understand that this was written shortly after the death of her own young daughter, and some of this was understandable, such as Claudia’s issues with never aging and always being “a doll”, but there were other places where it was downright disturbing. I was incredibly excited when Armand was brought in, as he always was my favourite vampire. Something that also never made sense to me with this book (it was not the first that I read) was the total misrepresentation of Lestat. He is not at all in any of the other books as he was described here. I also got annoyed by how Louis would drift away into pointless soliloquy of the beauty around him. There were strong undertones of homo-eroticism throughout the novel, and Louis was such a negative, depressed Nelly ever. I am not a real fan of emos, and this was just one of those “over the line” instances for me. Ugh. But at least nothing sparkled here, and things are a little darker in here, which is why I enjoyed these books so much when I was younger. Apparently I do need to reread these, seeing as this was a total shock to my system upon re-examining it. The book is not particularly gripping (again I state most likely because I have found myself in between all these years) and it’s really slow. It just doesn’t flow perfectly and pull you in. This does not mean it is a terrible book, it’s an alright read, just nothing to write home about. I am so scared I get to the rest of the books and they all disappoint me like this again… ugh, I will have to sell them all, though it took me years to collect :/

Anne Rice Collection

Today I am just posting about my Anne Rice collection, or, more accurately, my Vampire Chronicles collection.

This was one of the most intense collections that I had to build up. It took me years, and a lot of time, patience and money, and I finally have it. I want to buy all the covers like the matte black ones, as I love that cover edition that was released. I have the Vampire Chronicles as they are, and one book from The New Tales of the Vampires, being Pandora

I was brutally disappointed with Pandora, and I am very fortunate that it was not the first book of hers that I ever read. Had it been, I think I would have given all of the books a skip, and I would have missed out. I also did not buy Vittorio, the Vampire. I borrowed that from the library and I was glad that I had not bought it. The New Tales of the Vampires are very disappointing. They seriously lack in rich writing style, succulent details or any of the old elegance.

I would not recommend The Vampire Chronicles for light reading, per se, as they are extremely well written, the language is amazing, and the sentence construction is great. It reads as though written by a language purist; that is to say, traditional English. However, they are very engrossing, with stunning stories and complicated characters. They are worth the read, in my opinion.

I have grown rather fond of Lestat, the Vampire, but only because he tends to be the central character of Anne Rice’s works. I would far prefer to read of many of the other characters, such as Armand, my favourite, Quinn, Marius and the rest of them. I feel that when breaking away from Lestat as a core character, she successfully wrote of others only in the original Vampire Chronicles. We read of Marius’s story in Blood and Gold, of Merrick in Merrick, of Armand in The Vampire Armand, Louis in Interview with the Vampire and Quinn in Blackwood Farm. The others are more exclusively dedicated to Lestat, although he has major roles in almost all the other vampires’ novels.

So there we go, my Anne Rice collection shared! Have you got any collections that took you awhile to build on, or that you are currently cultivating?

A few excellent authors

Authors… you get excellent ones, and you get disappointing ones, and you get mediocre ones. Here are some authors that I enjoyed reading, and will not turn down the opportunity to read.

Karin Slaughter… wow. That is all I can say. And so few people here where I am actually knows who she is, so I don’t really have anyone to discuss the books with. I accidentally found Blindsighted in the back of a closet, gearing up to be chucked out. The book was old and tatty, but its sequel, Kisscut, was also there, and I had nothing else to read. It was crime thriller fiction something or other, that is all I recall thinking when I picked it up and read that she was compared to Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell, both who write decently, although not too consistently, for my taste.

So I bagged them, saving them from certainly being thrown out with the dusty stacks of newspapers piled everywhere. The books could not go, they are not in the same category as the shabby newspapers were. I had no other books to occupy me, and I started with Karin Slaughter’s debut novel. I have one word for her writing style: respect. By the end of the Grant County series I had forgotten they were fictitious characters, and lived on a steady diet of chocolate when I had finished with Skin Privilege.

I have been inexorably drawn to her work since Blindsighted, experienced a spectrum f emotions throughout Kisscut, and that was only the beginning for me. After that there was the Atlanta series, and the two merged together for the Georgia series. I was skeptical about how she would bring two totally different story lines together, yet she does so effortlessly. She is one of my top favourite writers, hands down.

Then there is Stephen King. I will not hear a bad word about him! I know that there are so many that dislike his movies (even though it is apparently forgotten that the Green Mile and the Shawshank Redemption are both King creations), and I know that he writes with excruciating detail, and that some might find this to be a bit of a cliché, but Stephen King is a master. I love him!

I cannot remember precisely what my first taste was, but I think it was either Dreamcatcher or Carrie. Either way, I was in love with how this man brought horror and life to the pages of his book. I have read so many of his works and they are rich in detail, description, action, thoughts, everything. You can follow what is happening, the feelings and everything is brought into stark light within the covers of his stories. When you pick up a book by Stephen King, even if the cover was missing, you would know it to be his work!

I started reading his books when I was about eleven years old. I had already whipped through everything in the children’s section and dominated the young adult’s section. The library was nice enough to allow me a card and permission into the adult section. I was stunned. There were gigantic tomes of books with their faraway stories waiting to unfold. I had to know more, and there were horrors, bona fide, true horror books, not the childish ones I had become accustomed to. Naturally, the King shelves dominated the horror section, the closest secondary rival by for space being Dean Koontz. I have started building on my Stephen King collection, but I have a suspicion that it will take a long time to get where I want it to, seeing as it is such a vast compilation.

I spoke of Stieg Larsson in a previous blog that I wrote, and explained my deep seated infatuation with the man and his genius. I maintain that everyone should read his Millennium Trilogy. The story unfurls effortlessly, it keeps you hooked, and nothing can waver your anticipation. You experience the journey as though a part of it. The writing style is smooth and neat, and very well structured. I have been looking for a nice box set, and have as of yet not found anything in my region, which is rather daunting, as I believe these books belong on anyone’s shelf, and I would love to have it as a collected works.

J.K. Rowling is another classic to this list. I wrote a blog on Harry Potter, here, too. But about the author, and how I stumbled upon her books? Wow. Really. I think it one of the best things that I had ever had the fortune of coming across (not that it would have been easy to miss a few years later when it got super popular). I was reading them pretty much since release. My aunt loaned me The Philosopher’s Stone when she heard that I couldn’t get to the library until the weekend. I read the book 4 times before I returned it to her. I was in love. There was this beautiful world, with great people, with crazy adventures, and real lessons. It was amazing.

Obviously, as a child, you read it and you know it is fiction. That did not prevent me from waiting for my very own letter from Hogwarts for years. Alas, it never came, and I was sorely disappointed. I think the Potter series was also great because it gave children something to believe in, to hope for. He had it tough, and he survived it. Things are not always what they seem, and anything can be overcome, and evil does not triumph against those who will fight for the greater good.

I truly enjoy Anne Rice. I loved her Vampire Chronicles, and painstakingly and extremely expensively built that entire collection up from scratch. I love her writing style, but her work is very deep, dark and thought evoking, not light reading to just pass time. The way the characters are introduced and their development is amazing, but I really wish she would have focused a bit more on Armand. He was my favourite character of anyone she had ever written about. He was the strangest one, the most demented, dark and tortured soul ever.

I obviously watched the movies, (Interview With A Vampire and Queen Of The Damned)  but they really are nothing compared to the books. Sad, because if done right the movies could bear so much potential. The first book that I ever read from Anne Rice was The Vampire Armand. I was totally drawn in and besotted with his character. He was perfect… perfectly broken, that is. She really is the Queen of dark, romantic and gothic writing. One thing that she nailed perfectly is realism for vampires, not this twinkly rubbish that we have been submitted to recently. I hope to start on the Lives of the Mayfair Witches soon, as they were rather intriguing to me when they come up in the later novels in the Vampire Chronicles.

This calls for the Distance Book Club again! I would love any author/book suggestions, so throw them along!

Who are some of your favourite authors, and what drew you to them?