The Vampire's been Interviewed (Book #4)

I've recently killed two birds with one stone:  reading Interview with the Vampire for both my A-Z Reading Challenge and for my scattered Edinburgh book club.  This was pretty much a decided factor as the four of us were sitting around a table at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans last month enjoying cafe au laits and beignets (delicious).  I have to say that the book pleasantly surprised me.  Though written and published by Anne Rice in 1976, I had never read the book.  Of course I'd seen the movie adaptation and, though I loved it at the time, since reading the novel I am completely disappointed in the movie.  There is so much that happens in the novel that is not included in the film and vice versa.  Yes, the movie is good, but the book is so much better.

The novel starts with Louis consenting to an interview with a reporter who is only ever referred to as "the boy."  It is through this medium that Louis tells the story of how he became what he is.  He takes us back to the streets of his youth and recounts what his life was like before he was bitten.  He takes us through his meeting with Lestat, his encounter with a mortal Claudia, the relationship between the three of them after Claudia is turned, two attempted murders, travels through Eastern Europe, Parisian opulence and the introduction of Armand, and back to New Orleans.  In a sense, the novel comes full circle.

Rice's way with words and descriptions immediately draws the reader into the nightly realm of Louis and the "people" he surrounds himself with, or doesn't.  We are constantly feeling everything that he feels, which seems to go against every other vampire that is introduced to the reader.  Unlike Lestat, Claudia, Santiago, and Armand, Louis still embraces his human characteristics and feels that hunting people is sickening and wrong.  He is in constant turmoil over the inner struggle he goes through every night.  At times he can come across as a little "woe is me", but for the most part the reader can really empathize with him.

Louis's interview is separated into four parts, each representing a different time and location throughout his existence.  I have to say that parts one and three were probably the most compelling.  They suck you in and keep you reading until the sun starts to rise, at which point you are forced to put the book down and hibernate in a coffin of your making.  Bring on the night!!


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