Newest Review: ... true nature. However, he is still repulsed by Lestat's lack of compassion when choosing a victim. When leaving New Orleans Louis tries ... more
A Brilliant Introduction into the World of Vampires *** contains spoilers ***
Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice
Member Name: NUDUL
Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice
Date: 30/01/13, updated on 31/01/13 (12 review reads)
Advantages: A very good introduction to all things vampire.
Disadvantages: A very long book
This was my first Sojourn into the world of vampires and the undead when the DVD came out, I enjoyed it that much that I just had to have the book and am glad I did. It's funny, when I read the book now I often get the music from the soundtrack to the film stuck in my head.
***** The Book *****
Ann Rice is brilliant, and her series 'The Vampire Chronicles' currently contains eighteen books which follow the life of Lestat de Lioncourt through the ages. Lestat was a French nobleman who was turned into a vampire in the eighteenth century and Interview With The Vampire is all about Louis de Pointe du Lac who tells his story from beginning to end (all 200 years), to a reporter called Daniel in the 1990's.
Louis started out as a plantation owner in Louisiana but when his brother died he was so stricken with grief that he would try anything to encourage death. He welcomed death. It was at this point he is approached by Lestat. Although Louis begs for death, Lestat keeps him immortal and changes him to a vampire. Eventually the pair are forced to leave the plantation when the slaves have an uprising to kill the monsters living in their midst. After a while, Louis grows tired of eating rats and small animals and bends to Lestat's will to start drinking from humans at the same time as coming to terms with his true nature. However, he is still repulsed by Lestat's lack of compassion when choosing a victim.
When leaving New Orleans Louis tries to escape Lestat, but he finds him feeding off a young girl who has been infected by the plague. To give him a reason to stay, Lestat turns the girl into a vampire child, giving them a 'daughter' who they name Claudia. Louis dotes on Claudia but after six decades of living with the pair, she realises that she will never grow up, she will always have the body of a child even though she has the mind of an adult. She blames Lestat and hatches a plan to kill him through poison and draining him of blood.
As Claudia and Louis prepare to leave for Europe to search for vampires of the old world, Lestat appears and attacks them, but is left in a house full of flames as Claudia and Louis board the ship to Europe. After a lot of travel, they eventually run into a 400 year old vampire called Armand and his coven. As the coven put plays on pretending to be humans pretending to be vampires Claudia becomes repulsed and begs Louis to leave, but he is so drawn to Armand that he won't. The pair are suspected by the rest of the coven of killing their maker and after Claudia has demanded that Louis turn a doll maker by the name of Madeline into a vampire to look after her, they are taken in the night when Lestat arrives and accuses them of such. The penalty for killing a vampire is death. Madeline and Claudia are locked in an open courtyard and burnt to ash, but Louis is locked in a coffin, bricked into a wall and left to starve to death slowly. It is because of this that Armand can save him, but when he realises that Claudia is gone, he returns in the daytime and burns the coven to the ground.
Louis tires of the old world and returns to New Orleans in the 20th century and after one last encounter with Lestat, he meets the reporter and tells the 200 year tale. The reporter, enamoured by what immortality can bring, begs to be changed but Louis refuses, attacks him and leaves him to drive off in his car.
This book was released in 1976 as the first in the Vampire Chronicles, it was later adapted for film by Neil Jordan and David Geffen and released in 1994 with Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas and Kirsten Dunst playing the leading role.
Ann Rice stuck to the old rules created with the original myths, folk stories and legends when writing this book. The vampires can burn to death, cannot see themselves in mirrors and can be staked. There is a lot of research that has gone into the myths of vampires while this book has been written and it has paid off. A brilliant book and I would recommend it.
***** Differences Between the Film and Book *****
There are some differences between the book and film, I suppose for dramatics the start of the film focuses on the death of Louis' wife and child rather than his brother like the book.
Other differences include Lestat in Paris, this doesn't happen in the film after he is poisoned by the blood of the dead boys (in the book this is actually done with Laudenum). When Louis and Claudia go on their travels, in the book they don't meet other vampires until France but in the book there are vampires in Transylvania (but they are more like Zombies).
The end of the book is also very different to the film, as the book shows that Louis leaves Daniel (the reporter) after attacking him and in the film, once Louis has left, Lestat arrives while he is playing the tapes back with the offer of immortality.
***** The Film *****
Ann Rice wrote the script to the film and it was produced by David Geffen and Stephen Woolley. The main characters are played by Tom Cruise (Lestat), Brad Pitt (Louis), Kirsten Dunst (Claudia) and Antonio Banderas (Armand) and no matter what I do I can not imagine any other actors playing the characters I have grown to love in the books through all their flaws and imperfections. The music that has been put in is perfect to, especially 'Sympathy for the Devil' by the Rolling Stones at the end of the film.
If you have read the book and not seen the film or vice versa, I would recommend doing so.
Summary: I thoroughly enjoyed this and subsequent books.