Thursday, November 18, 2010

Guest Review: Interview With The Vampire

This guest review is from Dany Stormborn from 100 Book Challenge ( She is the Featured Blogger for this week. Go HERE to take the shortcut of signing up!

Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire isn't your typical teenage vampire romance.  I feel that Interview With the Vampire is what helped novelists such as Charlaine Harris and Stephenie Meyer fall in love with the idea that vampires aren't the horrid creatures depicted in Bram Stoker's Dracula, but are outcasts trying to survive in a world that doesn't understand them and doesn't want to understand them.  Interview With the Vampire set the staple for other authors out there to bring that same quality to their vampiric characters.

Interview With the Vampire is in every way completely different from both Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series and Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.  Instead of budding romances between the main character and a sexy (almost always shirtless) vampire, Interview is about showing what vampires are like, from the vampire's point of view.  She shows how they are created, how they think, see, feel, and how they interact with the world that despises and fears them.  Vampires are supposed to be monsters that everyone is afraid of, they aren't supposed to be humanized to the point that they sparkle in sunlight, instead of burst into flame and die a fiery death (for example).  Vampires are just monsters with human qualities (perhaps because they were at one point human themselves).  Anne Rice does a wonderful job of staying true to Bram Stoker's creation while adding in those human qualities I have come to love so much.

The main character and narrator of the book, Louis, is the son of a wealthy plantation owner in the Americas.  At one point the book he comes across Lestat, pronounced "less-stAHt" not "less-stat", c'mon people it's French!  Anyway, Lestat is a vampire and it is revealed that Lestat is one of the view vampires left in the world that has the knowledge to create another vampire.  Lestat basically forces Louis into becoming a vampire, just like he was forced by his "father."  Louis and Lestat, throughout the novel, have a love/hate relationship for one another.  On the one hand, Louis knows that Lestat is a monster and needs to be disposed of, but on the other, he is the only one of his kind that he has ever met and seen.  The internal struggle in Louis is one of my favourite aspects of the novel.

My other favourite part is something that most vampires novels (in this day-in-age) touch on is vampire children.  Sure Stephenie Meyer has Bella get pregnant and give birth to a vampire, but what happens when the baby starts to grow older?  That doesn't make any sense.  Vampires are supposed to be immortal in the sense that they never age from the moment they are "turned," so to speak.  Claudia, my favourite character in the book, is a young girl, maybe eight or nine years old, who is turned into a vampire by both Louis and Lestat.  She is taken in and shown the ropes, just like Louis was when he first started out.  The problem that Claudia has is that she is to remain a child forever, even forty years later when she should be an old woman, married with children.  She resents her "fathers" for creating her and harbors that hatred until one day it explodes in a rage unbecoming of a person her stature.  How would you feel if you were 30 years old in the body of an eight year old?  You would never know love, sex, everyone would treat you as a child, and no one would take you seriously.  That doesn't sound pleasurable at all.  I would explode, too.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is tired of the same old vampire romance and is looking for something more true to the vampires we heard about as children.  The scary ones we had nightmares about and ran to our parents crying about.  Those are "real" vampires and I think that more people should know more about them.

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