I’m going to start this off by saying that I love Anne Rice. I love her writing, all of it, and have since I was in junior high school. Admittedly, I started off with the Mayfair Witch trilogy (I had a huge thing for witches when I was 13 or so), but once I moved on to The Vampire Chronicles, I was hooked.
Interview with the Vampire is Anne Rice’s debut novel, and came out in 1976. When first published, it wasn’t the smash success that it later became, but with the publication of the many sequels, it has gained a very large cult following. I am among the many who call this book a classic favourite, and it will always have a place on my bookshelf.
The story focuses on Louis de Pointe du Lac, a 200 year old vampire who decides to tell his life story to a young reporter, the boy (later revealed to be named Daniel Malloy in Queen of the Damned). He talks about his life in New Orleans, how he met his maker, Lestat, and how they later went on to create the child vampire, Claudia. Lestat, in this book, is seen as a sinister and malicious character, while Louis portrays himself as more of a mournful victim. Their story is definitely skewed by Louis’ perspective of things, and I think Rice does a wonderful job of creating tension between Louis and Lestat, as well as a feeling of eternal bonding.
Anyone who is familiar with The Vampire Chronicles knows that Lestat is not the villain Louis first makes him out to be, and he becomes the focus of many later books. To say he’s a colourful and deep character would be a massive understatement.
I think the reason that this book is so gripping is the stark mixture of darkness and sexuality in the characters, and this theme persists throughout the books. It’s one that I always recommend: a well written, modern-yet-traditional vampire story that doesn’t include glitter or being able to walk in sunlight (I’m sorry, I had to. Twilight vampires need to cease existing.)
If you haven’t read it yet, you’re missing out on a darkly beautiful world that will pull you back again and again.