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Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice will without doubt be one of the most memorable pieces of fiction in its genre this century. I originally read this book in the eighties, long before it became famous with the making of the film starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, subsequently, I have read this many times. For those of you who don?t know the story, a brief synopsis:
"It is more than a mere horror tale. This is the account of a man gifted with immortality who has lived 200 years as a vampire. In a darkened room, he tells the story of his life to a young journalist, for whom it is the story of a lifetime. He recounts how he departed from human existence and became a vampire, but reluctant to take human life, he sustained himself on the blood of animals.
As the years pass, however, he embraces the habits of the vampire-the detachment, the hardened will, the sensual pleasure. He embarks on a perilous journey across Europe to search for others like himself, more desperate to find out why he has become what he is.
At last he comes into intimacy with the most decadent society of vampires-an intimacy which becomes terror as he is compelled to confront what he fears most."
This is a beautifully crafted tale set in different periods of history as we are taken through Louis's initiation into vampirism by the charismatic Lestat, right up until present day. The description of Louis making the transition from human to vampire is other-worldly, as it is intended to be. Right from the beginning, these creatures are portrayed as romantically different and tortured souls. Louis especially is a sensitive soul whom Lestat tortures and goads. This is a book packed with atmosphere. Beginning in eighteenth century Louisiana and New Orleans, Anne Rice describes plantation life and a historical period perfectly through her character's mannerisms, reminisces and lifestyles, of them and their victims. The ordeal of Claudia, the child vampire killed by Louis and 'made' by Lestat is heart-wrenching as her mind matures into womenhood trapped within a childs form. Claudia is strong and Louis is weak and when she exacts her revenge on Lestat, Louis cannot resist, but it is eventually her undoing and then Louis must take his own revenge. The seductive tenderness with which some of the vampires interact is alurring and for a book described as horror, instils a curious sentimentality for them.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good writing. Anne Rice's writing pulls you into the story and you are very reluctant to put this book down. This book is enough to make you wish these horrible yet glorious creatures really exist and what?s more, makes you want to become one. This was the first book in the vampire chronicles, so you can reacquaint yourself with these wonderful characters and new, older beings, time and time again.