Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Interview with the Vampire: Review


I may b
e making some enemies with my review here--I know how popular this book is...but I'm always going to be honest. So, here we go......

From the Goodreads synopsis for Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice:

We are in a small room with the vampire, face to face, as he speaks, as he pours out the hypnotic, shocking, moving, and erotically charged confessions of his first two hundred years as one of the living dead. . .

Ooooooookay. If the story Louis tells is supposed to be erotic, then I have a completely different idea about what erotic is than whoever wrote this synopsis. Just sayin'. You want an erotic vampire? My vote goes to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Saint-Germain. Now there's a vampire I wouldn't mind offering my neck to....

There for a while (oh, say, the first hundred pages or so), I was thinking Hey, I'm not into vampires--but Anne Rice can tell a story. And then I lost that feeling. Never got it back. Quite frankly I just don't see what all the fuss has been about (for over 30 years--can it really be true that this thing was published in 1976???). Louis is a big whiny-pants--200 years worth. Geez. Get over the whole depression thing already. You're a vampire. Maybe you didn't wanna be, but you are. Suck it up (ha!) and get on with your non-life.

It started out interesting. The idea of the vampire giving an interview to tell his "life" story was a novel one. And I realize this was kind of a ground-breaking book in the whole vampire thing. But seriously, when I lost interest, I really lost interest. Didn't care about Louis. Didn't care if he and Claudia ever found more vampires and discovered what was really going on with the whole vampire life. Didn't care if Lestat was really dead or not. Just did not care. And that, in my opinion, is one of the jobs of the author of good fiction. I should be interested in what happens to these people that have been invented. But I've finished the book and all I can say is Good. Glad that's done. And I can guarantee that I won't be picking up any more of the Vampire Chronicles. Don't even have a rating for this one. Can't decide how low I want to go.

10 comments:

Shelley said...

Sometimes I think publishers like to throw words like "sexy" and "erotic" in to just about anything to get people to read it. I'm planning to read this very soon--I have a copy from the library. I'm glad I read your review, and then I won't have too high of expectations. Maybe I'll like it better if they are low.

Bev Hankins said...

@Shelley: Hope you enjoy it. I seem to be in the minority on this one....

Ryan said...

Sorry, I actually love this one. It's one of the few books were the vammpire is the hero that I like. Normally I like my vampirs blood thirty and evil.

Carol said...

Unfortunately I saw the dreadful movie with Pitt and Cruise. After that, I could never bring myself to read the book.

Carol said...

Unfortunately I saw the dreadful movie with Pitt and Cruise. After that, I could never bring myself to read the book.

John said...

Admittedly I read this when it first came out and I was about to graduate high school and I liked it. I saw the movie and was fairly repulsed by some of it. Of course, by then twenty some years had passed. But did see that the screenplay by Rice herself highlighted the gay allegory stuff. The book is really about loneliness and trying to find others like yourself to make you feel less like a freak, about creating a family by choosing them. You might be more sympathetic to a "whiner" if you yourself have been ostracized and labeled a freak and an outsider by everyone you encounter. For that reason these books were a big hit with misfits, the Goth crowd, gay teens and young adults, etc. I understand what Rice was doing here, but I think she got carried away when she wrote all the sequels.

SO much of Rice's personal life, her religious views, that she was raised Catholic and abandoned the Church in her teens, suffered numerous life threatening illnesses, re-discovered the Church are all wrapped up in her novels. I think the most interesting thing is that she completely stopped writing about supernatural creatures and Gothic imbued novels and started writing about first, the life of Jesus and now, angels.

Bev Hankins said...

@John: Granted I was never ostracized when I was growing up...but I certainly never fit in either. I was a book-loving, academic-minded nerd (and perceived as a bit of a goody-two-shoes...just because I didn't join in the "in-crowd" and go to the under-age drinking parties that were prevalent in my high school).

I understand that Louis was looking for family--others like himself. But he really didn't want them when he had them around (except Claudia and his fascination with Armand). Other vampires repulsed him. He didn't like the way they gave themselves over to killing.

I guess I'm more practical. I play the hand that's been dealt me. I don't always like it--but I don't spend a great deal of time bemoaning things I've lost and rejecting what I've got. Which is how I view what Louis does. It's what I call being a "dweller"--my husband is like that. I have way more patience with him than I did earlier in our marriage--but I still don't get that whole dwelling on the negative and not moving on thing. One of my weaknesses in dealing with people (and characters) and I've tried to get better about being patient even if I don't understand.

I just think Rice could have done a lot more with this. She went a long way towards humanizing vampires--I grant that--but 200 years (and 200 pages) of Louis being stuck in the same rut was a bit much. Claudia--who came to vampirism as a five-year-old and had no adult experiences at all--grew emotionally way more in that time than he did.

Kailana said...

I started this book a few years ago and never managed to finish it. I was actually thinking about trying again just to refresh my memory and see if I like it this time around... We will see...

Amanda said...

I definitely found it to be erotic when I read it, but erotic in a disturbing way. You have to remember to view the vampire bite as sexual, and then the book takes on a whole nother level. Part of the reason the book is seen as "a big deal" is because there is a grown woman trapped in a child's body having adult romantic/sexual feelings.

Leslie said...

I'll admit, I liked the book. My favorite vampire was always Lestat and to keep it that way I never watched the movie, which got horrible reviews. My favorite of her vampire books is Tale of the Body Thief. Mostly about Lestat, who gets to be human for a while, and without the distracting cast of characters from her previous vampire books.

I read all of Ann Rice's vampire books but got totally turned off on her when she started writing about angels and religion.