Thursday, January 8, 2015

[Book Review] Interview with the Vampire

Interview with the Vampire [Anne Rice]
Rating: 3.5/5
I was really excited to start this book. It's been sitting on my shelf for four years or so, and I finally decided it was time to sink my teeth into it. (See what I did there? HA!)*

Overall, I enjoyed it. That is to say, I enjoyed the plot and the things that Rice focuses on through the lens of the narrator and protagonist, Louis. Perhaps my favorite theme throughout  the story is that of perspective. Like any good story from a vampire's perspective, there is a relatively high regard for mortal life and a displeasure towards the necessary evil of his dietary habits. Beyond that, however, Rice uses Louis to comment on the value of humanity (despite our frequent failure to see it), the nature of change, and how the two work hand in hand. It is through his immortality that he begins to appreciate life, and he "condemn[ed] all fruitless guilt and passion that would let it slip through the fingers like sand". He also comes to realize that the only thing that is constant is change. There is a conversation near the end of the book that really hones in on this: the desire for immortality comes from a desire to remain forever in the time that is known--not taking into consideration the inevitable changes that come.
I also really enjoy Rice's writing style. There were times that she phrased things in really cool ways. There were awesome little tidbits scattered throughout the novel, and they made me pause and think for a while, which I enjoyed. The downside of that was the novel didn't move nearly as quickly as I had anticipated it to.  

Unfortunately, I was generally disappointed in the characters. There were none that I was overly fond of, either good or bad. I appreciated Louis and his perspective on things, particularly in contrast to Lestat, his companion. Lestat is the summation of the stereotypical vampire, and there isn't much depth to him, particularly in the light that Louis paints him. I really think that both Louis and Lestat could have been significantly more dynamic. Claudia was by far my favorite character. She possesses some of the insight that Louis exudes, while being simultaneously the ruthless predator that Lestat is. Her struggles are of a different nature than Louis', and they aren't developed near to the extent that his are, yet I found myself more intrigued by her than either Louis or Lestat. I felt that she possesses a depth that the other characters didn't.

As a reader, I care more about the depth and development of the characters than I do about the plot. I think I would have enjoyed this book far more if I were the other way around. The story was excellent, but I didn't relate to the characters on the level I would have liked. That being said, I would still  highly recommend Interview with the Vampire.

*Okay. I should apologize. That really was terrible.

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