2. Interview with the Vampire

by Anne Rice

This is not what I typically reach for in a novel, but it was somewhat interesting. The novel has flashes of brilliance-- discourse on the morality of the necessity and pleasure of feeding on humans-- but also tends to resemble the quality of a romance novel in parts. And although Interview with the Vampire was written in the late 70s, before the days of Grisham and King, whose books eventually stunk like screenplays, it begs for a movie to be made. And one was.

But back to the questions of morality. According to Rice, when one is transformed into a vampire, one is no longer human. Vampires are immortal but must feed on the blood of living animals. Is this immoral? Is it immoral if a vampire chooses to feed on a human as opposed to farm animals when humans are far more "nutritious"? Are vampires, in fact, evil? Why is it that we humans eat any species we like (except perhaps for those on the endangered species list and our pets), and it's seen as "natural," but our potential predators are viewed and evil or unnatural beings?

Another interesting aspect to the novel is the psychological transition the characters go through during their transformation from human to vampire. They become instantly immortal, but must reconcile with a mortal's memory, ethics, morality, sexuality, etc. It takes the main character over 100 years to come to terms with his vampire-ness, and he's still a psychological mess. But he's got time.

Oh, and there's quite a bit of rampant vampire homosexuality just for fun.

Overall, the novel reads fairly well. I was not blown away. The only crowd I'd heartily recommend it to is the teen goth crowd looking for style and the proper gait for their life of darkness and gloom. Or if, for whatever reason, you are looking for coffin design ideas.


Lantzvillager said...

I read this book ages ago and I don't remember much except the tone. I think the movie swamped any recollections I may have had. That said, good going. Anne Rice was like the Dan Brown of the 80s/

dsgran said...

I got about halfway through the book in college or high school, and didn't really dig it that much. I was told that "The Vampire Lestat" is much better. Maybe I'll give this one another crack someday, but I found that now imagining Tom Cruise in the Lestat role has lessened the likelyhood that that will indeed happen.

Olman Feelyus said...

Tom Cruise has taken the mediocre and made it the bad! I don't think I'll read this book, but I appreciate the review. It sounds like you distilled the most interesting part. I wouldn't mind reading the part about where the new vampire has to shake of his human training, that is a cool concept. Vampires are neat and I can see how you could get into them enough to want to consume all kinds of fiction about them.

Also, totally agree about the Anne Rice/Dan Brown comparison. Note same amount of symbols in name as well. Wheels within wheels.

beemused said...

IWTV was my only stab (hehe) at Anne Rice too, and I had a lot of fun reading it. Excellent escapist fiction with well thought out vampire themes.