Interview With the Vampire

This is the story of Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even “settle down” for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia’s struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are.

Louis and Claudia travel Europe, eventually coming to Paris and the ragingly successful Theatre des Vampires–a theatre of vampires pretending to be mortals pretending to be vampires. Here they meet the magnetic and ethereal Armand, who brings them into a whole society of vampires. But Louis and Claudia find that finding others like themselves provides no easy answers and in fact presents dangers they scarcely imagined.

To the shock and surprise of my closest friends, I have not previously read this book. As a lover of vampire fiction and gothic fiction, it makes sense that I’d have read and loved this book way before now. However, I was always to scared to read this book.

Back in 1998, my sister and I decided to watch the film adaptation, Interview With a Vampire. I was so scared! I wanted to watch it but was so scared that I had to listen to music via headphones while reading the subtitles. I listened to Hanson’s debut album on a discman, very 90s! So Hanson will forever make me think of vampires! I did enjoy the film but I couldn’t sleep for a long time so I was very apprehensive. I’m older now and not a great deal braver but I found the book to still be scary but I knew a lot of what was going to happen, so I managed to sleep soundly without the aid of Hanson.

The entire book takes the form of an interview with flashbacks. Louis just remembering his life in New Orleans and Paris, before choosing a life of solitude. I feel like I really got to know him as a character and to feel sympathetic towards him. He worked so hard to maintain a level of humanity which was so unlike Lestat who had sired him.

Louis and Claudia had a relationship which did sometimes lean towards the ick. Mainly due to Claudia being forever in the body of a 5 year old. I found her to be the most sympathetic of the characters as she was turned at such a young age. She never really had a chance to live.

I found the sections in Paris to be so exciting and fast paced. Meeting the other vampires was just so terrifying and just felt like there was danger at every turn. My memory of the film was a bit hazy so I couldn’t remember much of the plot other than there being a lot of blood, so my enjoyment was not reduced for having seen the film.

The writing was just exquisite and I felt myself just happily consuming it.

I found this book to just be so tense and I really was kept guessing what was going to happen. I couldn’t put it down and I finished this book within a day, I regret nothing! Other than waiting so long to read this book and I will be making my way through the series as soon as I work my way through so other reading goals.

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