Thursday, July 15, 2010

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice - Book Review #53

Thursday, July 15, 2010
Interview with the Vampire
by Anne Rice

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.

I don’t know when I first heard about vampires, but I know when I first fell in love with them. It was a spring of 1995. My friend told me she heard her parents talking about a movie – a movie about… *whisper* vampires and one of the vampires in that movie was… behold…Tom Cruse! At that point my friend was a determined fan of Tom Cruise. She had posters and pictures of him from magazines all over her room. I didn’t care much about Cruise, but I was interested in vampires. Somehow we knew that parents will not allow us to watch Interview with the Vampire, so one lucky day when my friend’s parents weren’t home, we snuck out the video cassette from her mother’s night stand with Interview with the Vampire and watched with wide eyes open and barely breathing out of excitement, mystery and beauty of the eternal life.

And that was a point when I fell in love with vampires. Until a couple of years ago, I never knew that the movie was based on a book, silly me, and there were the whole series by Anne Rice about vampires. I don’t really remember how I found out about the book, but as soon as I did I bought a fat volume which contained first three books from The Vampire Chronicles series. I immediately started reading it, read somewhere around one third of the book and closed it, just to find it never opened again two years later on my nightstand. I couldn’t remember why I never finished it, so I decided to give the book another try.

Bram Stoker started the vampire lore, Anne Rice reinvented it. So I thought it was my responsibility to read at least the first Anne Rice’s book - Interview with the Vampire. I finished it only by sheer determination. I was reading 10-30 pages at a time the whole time wanting to close the book, finally closing it and never wanting to open it again. I went through all the possibilities why I didn’t want to read it. Was it because of Anne Rice’s writing style? No, it was imaginative, beautifully descriptive and moving. Was it because of the story? No, it was quite entertaining. Was it because I knew the story too well from watching a movie multiple times? But it never stopped me before. And I kept pushing myself to read just a little bit more and one more paragraph and one more page. Until somewhere close to the end of the book, I decided that probably I wasn’t in the mood for Interview with the Vampire, because I ran out of reasons why I didn’t want to read it. And as soon as I came to this conclusion the realization struck me as a thunder – I couldn’t read Interview with the Vampire, because I hated Louis and his non-stop whining. Blah-blah-blah my poor brother, blah-blah-blah how beautiful everything was, blah-blah-blah how unhappy I was, blah-blah-blah how I straggled, blah-blah-blah how I hated Lestat, blah-blah-blah how I needed answers to my questions, blah-blah-blah, blah-blah-blah, blah-blah-blah… I hate people like this and I hate characters who whine all the time even more.

I read somewhere that Interview with the Vampire is a Catcher in the Rye for goths. Louis is trying to figure out who he is, what he is and why he is. However, the huge difference is that Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye is trying to find himself without whining, despite Louis whose sole purpose, as it seems, is to whine and feel sorry for himself. What struck me the most, *might be a spoiler alert* that Anne Rice made a whiner out of my favorite, ruthless Lestat *the end of might be a spoiler*. At least she didn’t do that in the movie.

My advice is – watch the movie, if you haven’t, and skip the book. Interview with the Vampire is one of those rare cases when a movie if much better than the book.


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