Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire
Vampires are my favorite paranormal creatures, and after the delight I experienced while reading Dracula, I was desperate for something to give me that same captivation. I had avoided Anne Rice’s vampire classic for the same reason I avoided any “classic”, the fear that I’d be bored or just not really “get it”. I love reading, but classic books are always a challenge for me. The prose tends to be very dense.
I finally picked up Interview With The Vampire and I’m really glad I did. I meant to just peruse the first page while standing in the kitchen before cooking dinner, but the story hooked me immediately (as good stories should) and I stood there against the stove flipping page after page.
“His speech commenced without the slightest warning. ‘This is the only real evil left,’ he said to the flames.”
This novel is not so much an “interview” as it is a vampire’s retelling of his immortal life since the 18th century to the 1980’s, with little to no interruption from the mortal “interviewer”. The vampire, Louis has trouble ridding his humanity and is determined to search the world for an answer to why is he what he is.
People always tell you, to become a writer, you must write and read a lot. I struggle with the reading part, but every time I read something new that I enjoy, I always take away a valuable lesson from it. I pay special attention to the words on the page—the way they’re written, the pacing, etc… Craft things, you know. It’s like a practicing actor who can’t watch a film without judging the actors’ performance.
Rice has taught me a lesson in being patient with prose, to read every detail, and not skim the description to get to the dialogue. In writing, I tend to do this. I’m a sucker for dialogue, and I struggle to write descriptive sentences that aren’t littered with cliche metaphors and similes. I’ll tell you, it’s hard. Rice does it well.
P.S. The 1994 film adaptation tweaks a few things (unfortunately), but I will say that Kirsten Dunst’s portrayal of Claudia is spectacular!