Wednesday, 10 April 2013
Interview with the Vampire
Interview with the Vampire is the first book in The Vampire Chronicles, a ten-book series by Anne Rice. It was first published in 1976, and adapted into a movie starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in 1994. The story is told in the form of an interview between a young reporter and a 200-year-old vampire named Louis.
Much of the story deals with Louis' experience with Lestat, the vampire responsible for giving him the "dark gift." Louis' autobiographical account begins in 1791, shortly after the death of his brother. It was at this moment of grief that he was approached by Lestat, who despite seeing Louis' desire for death, came offering him the very opposite: immortality.
Louis is turned into a vampire, an experience that is described as both excruciatingly painful and glorious. He slowly struggles to adapt to his newfound abilities and thirst, and refuses to give into their monstrous nature. But Lestat's waywardness eventually forces them to abandon his indigo plantation, after they are almost discovered by the plantation workers for the monsters they've become.
They escape to New Orleans together, where Louis begins to consider moving off on his own. In a bid to prevent this, Lestat transforms a dying six-year-old girl Louis had previously fed upon into a vampire, forcing Louis to stay and look after her. She is named Claudia, and the three of them live together in an apartment for more than 60 years, before Claudia grows weary of being forever trapped in a child's body.
Claudia and Louis end up hating Lestat for turning them into vampires, a fact that isn't helped by Lestat's selfish and arrogant manner. So they devise a plot to destroy him and travel abroad to Europe, where they hope to encounter more of their kind, and perhaps learn something of their vampire heritage.
The first time I read Interview with the Vampire, I was running a fever and pretty much bedridden. But I couldn't stop reading in spite of everything, which pretty much sums up how I felt about the book. While others tend to favor the subsequent additions to the series, mainly because they delved deeper into the vampire mythos, Interview with the Vampire will always occupy that special place inside of me.