Interview with the Vampire
February 28, 2018 1:25 PM - by Anne Rice - Subscribe

“You are the night, and the night alone understands you and enfolds you in its arms.”
posted by roger ackroyd (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You should re-name this "books that were simply inescapable at one point club."
posted by Chrysostom at 2:04 PM on February 28, 2018 [5 favorites]

That "year of horrible reading" is pretty good on what makes the book appealing despite its obvious flaws. I expect that for a lot of teenagers it was their first introduction to a alternative, queer form of household. Who knew what severe ridiculousness lay ahead in the series.
posted by praemunire at 2:47 PM on February 28, 2018 [6 favorites]

yeah, Anne Rice (and Mercedes Lackey) will always be linked in my mind to upper-middle/high school me, desperate for queer content, no matter how problematic (*cough* Vampire Armand *coughcough* Cry to Heaven *coughcoughcough*).
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 4:08 PM on February 28, 2018 [3 favorites]

I've heard (and believe) this novel was a meditation on grief, written after Rice's daughter Michelle died aged 6. I grew up in a family touched by the death of a young child, and Louis's decades-long depression and withdrawal from society is familiar to me.

Instead of the simple wish fulfillment of having a recovered child who does not die, Interview posits a child who dies but then comes back to life, with all the wonder and horror that event would entail, and how the child's family would splinter and shatter in that wake anyway.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:19 PM on February 28, 2018 [7 favorites]

Yep, +1 on the Year of Horrible Reading which I found a surprisingly fair take on the novel. (Surprising to me as someone unfamiliar with the website, perhaps less surprising to others.)
And of course it's indeed true that Rice quickly descended into over the top ridiculousness but thankfully most of that was absent in the first book, of which I still have fond memories.

The genealogy of and thus blame for the paranormal romance genre goes Anne Rice ---> Laurell K. Hamilton --> Charlaine Harris ---> Stephenie Meyer. That's a lot to answer for, but I still like IwtV.
posted by Justinian at 4:34 PM on February 28, 2018 [3 favorites]

I mean. I'm not gonna knock it when we have a Brian Fuller adaptation on the way.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:57 PM on February 28, 2018

Who knew what severe ridiculousness lay ahead in the series.

dear sweet god not me but did you read the witches oh god the witches.
posted by corb at 12:01 AM on March 1, 2018 [6 favorites]

I started to write "I stopped when she gave birth to her reincarnated demon lover and thought about how she was going to fuck him later" but then I thought "that couldn't possibly have happened, right?"
posted by praemunire at 6:59 AM on March 1, 2018 [4 favorites]

"...but then I thought "that couldn't possibly have happened, right?""


But back on the IwtV tip, that book was hugely influential on me as a young teen, starving for queer content in 1991 or so, and the original trilogy is still a nostalgic fave, in spite of all.
posted by merriment at 8:03 AM on March 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

Even for straight kids like me who just felt suffocated by the expectations of conservative heteronormative domesticity, it was like a secret message that that wasn't the only way.
posted by praemunire at 9:09 AM on March 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

I really enjoyed this book, I read it when I was maybe 18 or 19 and a Catholic education set me up perfectly for the meditation on the nature of good and evil, faith and loyalty, grief and love. I read it quite a few times and Louis is a great character. Then I read a few more of her books and wow.

That reviewer should watch the movie now, which was also way better than I thought it would be.
posted by fshgrl at 11:46 PM on March 2, 2018

On the plus side, it spawned Vampire the Masquerade, which in turn spawned Minds Eye Theatre which popularized LARPing. Which brought women into the forefront of rpging like nothing else, and introduced a lot of gamers, including myself, to the Goth lifestyle...

....And crap. I could have made that an FPP, couldn't I?
posted by happyroach at 1:51 AM on March 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

happyroach, please do!
posted by roger ackroyd at 1:44 PM on March 4, 2018

This book set me up for a lifetime of always preferring the blonde vampires. They're way more fun than the moody gloomy brunettes.

I first read these in high school - the last two weeks of the school year, we'd already done our exams and we had a "May Program" where teachers could teach fun seminars. One did a two week reading class where we read a couple of Anne Rice novels. After that I read a bunch of the others, including Memnoch the Devil, which was frankly mind-blowing to me as I was still sorting through my "do I believe in religion/God/etc" beliefs. There is plenty of cheese in these books, but also some really fascinating stuff.

It all also nicely played into the yaoi fixation I'd already developed through anime fandom.
posted by olinerd at 4:24 PM on March 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

I devoured these due to a more precocious friend having read the first three by the time I met her (in 6th grade!!). I believe The Vampire Lestat was her favorite (a snob from the beginning) but I loved the first one best. I can't ever read it because I'm sure I'd hate it now but I think at the time it was just perfect. I got pretty into Anne Rice for a little while. Bless the Pre Taste Era of youth. I can't imagine reading Belinda now without throwing it across the room, but I sure did think it was hot when I read it as a teen.

Anyway, I think Interview with the Vampire was pretty clever and innovative - among the best smart and edible page turners. But who knows, I had no taste when I read it.
posted by latkes at 10:14 PM on March 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Mummy was dumb though.
posted by latkes at 10:14 PM on March 7, 2018

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