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INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE

From the the vampire chronicles series.

by Anne Rice ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 5, 1976

The word is that readers will be "enrapt."

Pub Date: May 5, 1976

ISBN: 0345409647

Page Count: 392

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1976

GENERAL FICTION

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by Anne Rice ; illustrated by Mark Edward Geyer

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A LITTLE LIFE

by Hanya Yanagihara ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara ( The People in the Trees , 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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TO PARADISE

by Hanya Yanagihara

THE PEOPLE IN THE TREES

PERSPECTIVES

The Year in Fiction

by Elin Hilderbrand ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 16, 2015

Once again, Hilderbrand displays her gift for making us care most about her least likable characters.

Hilderbrand’s latest cautionary tale exposes the toxic—and hilarious—impact of gossip on even the most sophisticated of islands.

Eddie and Grace Pancik are known for their beautiful Nantucket home and grounds, financed with the profits from Eddie’s thriving real estate company (thriving before the crash of 2008, that is). Grace raises pedigreed hens and, with the help of hunky landscape architect Benton Coe, has achieved a lush paradise of fowl-friendly foliage. The Panciks’ teenage girls, Allegra and Hope, suffer invidious comparisons of their looks and sex appeal, although they're identical twins. The Panciks’ friends the Llewellyns (Madeline, a blocked novelist, and her airline-pilot husband, Trevor) invested $50,000, the lion’s share of Madeline’s last advance, in Eddie’s latest development. But Madeline, hard-pressed to come up with catalog copy, much less a new novel, is living in increasingly straightened circumstances, at least by Nantucket standards: she can only afford $2,000 per month on the apartment she rents in desperate hope that “a room of her own” will prime the creative pump. Construction on Eddie’s spec houses has stalled, thanks to the aforementioned crash. Grace, who has been nursing a crush on Benton for some time, gives in and a torrid affair ensues, which she ill-advisedly confides to Madeline after too many glasses of Screaming Eagle. With her agent and publisher dropping dire hints about clawing back her advance and Eddie “temporarily” unable to return the 50K, what’s a writer to do but to appropriate Grace’s adultery as fictional fodder? When Eddie is seen entering her apartment (to ask why she rented from a rival realtor), rumors spread about him and Madeline, and after the rival realtor sneaks a look at Madeline’s rough draft (which New York is hotly anticipating as “the Playboy Channel meets HGTV”), the island threatens to implode with prurient snark. No one is spared, not even Hilderbrand herself, “that other Nantucket novelist,” nor this magazine, “the notoriously cranky Kirkus.”

Pub Date: June 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-33452-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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[Review & Discussion] Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Recommended if you like: vampires, creepy vampire children, the inherent homoeroticism of biting other men's necks, lush prose, immortal beings searching for meaning in life, toxic relationships and their fallout

I love vampires and am working on a vampire book myself, so I figured it was time to tackle a classic – in a bizarre coincidence, I just started reading the book the evening before the news about Anne Rice's passing.

I don't usually read books for their prose, but I have to say that the absolutely delicious descriptions of the vampires, their cravings and their experiences are a core selling point of this one.

When I say I like vampires, these are the type of vampires I mean. No shade on modern interpretations and creative spins on vampire myths, but this – dangerous, seductive, coffin-inhabiting, morally conflicted – is my shit.

The book also reminded me of GRRM's Fevre Dream a lot, from parts of the setting to general vibes, to the melancholy tone... not sure if the resemblance is deliberate on Martin's part, but they definitely go well together.

Claudia as a character (a five year old turned vampire, growing up mentally but remaining in a child's body) creeps me the absolute fuck out. Have you recently seen a five year old? It would have been creepy enough if she was like 10, but 5 is basically a toddler aaaaaarghg. (That's not criticism, this is very much deliberate and it works, I just kinda hate it a bit)

Simon Vance does a stellar job with the audiobook narration. I don't always love him, but I definitely loved him in this.

If there's anything I'd consider a real flaw, it's the pacing in the second half. Once the story leaves New Orleans, it lacks focus for a while (maybe partly deliberate?) and feels a bit slow as a result.

This book is such a special mix of being sensual and sexy while having no sex whatsoever. I find it fascinating on one hand, but I'm also someone who loves books that do sex well, so like... love that this exists, but also pls give me books where vampires are this sexy AND actually sexual.

I need to talk about just how gay this book is. From Louis' first descriptions of Lestat, to their (albeit toxic) relationship and them raising a child together, to Louis' falling in love with Armand... The text flat out says there's men in love with men, but because vampires are essentially asexual (physical gratification only comes from killing and drinking blood), it's in a weird space where I think some people can genuinely read this and think it's not gay? If someone asked me if this book had LGBTQ+ representation, I would not know what to answer because both "yes, all the main characters are asexual and homoromantic/biromantic" and "no, not explicitly" could be accurate answers. How do other people answer this?

I really enjoyed the themes of how vampires deal with their own nature, from Louis and Claudia searching for their own kind, to Armand's explanations of how many vampires eventually lose the will to live because the world passes them by and nothing stirs themanymore , to how Louis tells the reporter all of this and then cannot fucking believe that the boy still wants to be a vampire .... It's sad and melancholy and bittersweet and I liked it a lot.

I definitely enjoyed this a lot, am happy to have read this absolute classic. I have little desire to continue the series right away, although I know many people love books 2 and 3 just as much as the first. I'm about to tackle A Dowry of Blood by ST Gibson next for another bit of vampire literature.

What other vampire books exist that have similar vibes to this one? Ones that are explicitly gay/bi and sexy, ideally?

Thank you for reading, and find my other reviews here if you want more in this format.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

"interview with the vampire" {by anne rice} book review.

interview with the vampire book review

2 comments :

I really enjoyed reading through your wonderful review Bethany, you did an amazing job! I loved seeing the evolution of vampire fiction through your comparisons and learning more abou those zomibie vampires, interesting. Thank you for doing this review, it's perfect!

Wow...that's an amazing review. You did some indepth research. I liked your insight and conclusions. Thanks for the post!

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The Review Geek

‘Interview with the Vampire’ by Anna Rice – Book Review

interview with the vampire book review

 A sensuous, seductive and tragic tale of love, life and death

Interview with the Vampire is an important and significant book when it comes to vampire mythology. A far cry from the evil and viciously seductive Dracula, Anna Rice’s novel instead introduces the idea of a “vampire with a soul”, coming in the form of its titular character, Louis de Pointe du Lac. After the AMC series changed a lot of the story, and the 1994 movie echoes as a distant memory for many people, reading Interview with the Vampire in 2022 serves as a reminder of how far vampire stories have come.

This is the book that paved way for many of the behemoth books in this category, including Twilight and Vampire Diaries, and even inspiring characters like Angel in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

On paper, the story is actually rather simplistic and doesn’t have much in the way of exciting action or big twists. Instead, Anna Rice relies heavily on the strength of her characters, and in particular the dysfunctional and tormented trio at the heart of this – Lestat, Louis and Claudia.

The latter is, by far, the best part of this whole book and as soon as she’s introduced to the story, Interview with the Vampire steps it up a notch. Claudia’s journey is absolutely mesmerising and tragic, with the horrifying and imaginative idea of a vampire child unable to grow up physically but mentally ending up with wisdom beyond many elderly humans a brand new kind of twisted horror.

For those who have never read Interview with the Vampire, the story takes place across two timelines. The first occurs during the “present”, with Louis talking to a journalist about his endeavours as a vampire and what led him to this apartment to tell his story. The second is where the bulk of this tale takes place, beginning with Louis’ backstory and how he became a vampire at the hands of the sinister and chaotic Lestat.

Consumed by anger, hatred and lust for his creator, Louis plots a way to leave Lestat, but when the latter turns a 5 year old child into a vampire, Louis is forced into becoming the child’s guardian and reluctantly stick around for her. What follows is a story that sees the three thrust into numerous years of torment as they try to make sense of their immortality and existence.

Around the midway point of the story, the setting does change to include a more European flavour to proceedings, but I won’t spoil more than that.

Stylistically, Interview with the Vampire is not like many other books out there. There are no standard chapters or cliffhangers, instead the story plays out as one continuous interview, with brief respites to the present as Louis collects his thoughts or his human journalist companion contemplates certain parts of Louis’ tale. It works reasonably well, although at times it can bog down the narrative and make this feel much more long-winded than it actually is.

The book is helped somewhat by the fact the tale is split into four parts across the 308 pages, signifying a significant plot or setting change, but beyond that this plays out much more as one continuous stream of thought. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, and the fascination with this novel comes from the way its deeply flawed characters navigate through life.

Louis in particular is such a tormented soul and goes through a kaleidoscope of emotion across the story. He’s also a pretty unreliable narrator, which only makes things all the more interesting. However, Claudia’s character is where the real beauty and horror of this tale comes from, and without her this wouldn’t be anywhere near as gripping and enigmatic as it becomes.

The other part of Interview with the Vampire that really stands out comes in the form of its discussions around morality. There are some fascinating debates in this about what constitutes as outright good and evil, as well as religion’s part to play in the world. These debates can go on for several pages at a time and the balanced perspective is surprisingly refreshing, especially as these themes still resonate to this day.

Interview with the Vampire isn’t perfect, and its slow pacing may hold some back from picking this up. It’s certainly a product of its time but given this was the archetype for many of the “vampire with a soul” stories that followed, Anna Rice’s novel is a classic for a reason. This is a sensuous, seductive and tragic tale of love, life and death – and an absolute must-read.

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  • Verdict - 8/10 8/10

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Interview with the Vampire book review

Posted August 22, 2020 by Jordann @thebookbloglife in 3 star , book reviews / 2 Comments

Interview with the Vampire book review

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. Originally begun as a short story, the book took off as Anne wrote it, spinning the tragic and triumphant life experiences of a soul. As well as the struggles of its characters, Interview captures the political and social changes of two continents. The novel also introduces Lestat, Anne's most enduring character, a heady mixture of attraction and revulsion. The book, full of lush description, centers on the themes of immortality, change, loss, sexuality, and power.source: annerice.com

Overview of book review

Interview with the Vampire was a reread for me and I thought I was going to enjoy it way more than I actually did. I really wanted to love this one because I have previously read it and thought it was amazing but for some reason, this fell short. It took so long for me to read this and I just didn’t enjoy it, it felt like a slog to get through and I cannot even talk about how wordy some of this was. I really wanted there to be more action and for me to be more invested in the story and the characters but so much time was spent on philosophy I lost sight of everything else because I was SO bored. I definitely think there was more that could have been done and I just think this one wasn’t one that has grown with me.

Characters book review

The main characters in Interview with the Vampire are Louis, Lestat and Claudia. I suppose they make up a dysfunctional version of the perfect family. I think the characters had great potential but I think there was too much talking about things that didn’t necessarily matter or could have been handled on one page instead of 50 pages. I would have loved to see more of Claudia and have more development of her as a character and her growth as a vampire. I thought that apart from Louis CONSTANT whining the other characters were sort of sidelined and I wish there was more of focus on the others and what they were dealing with. I think this was the one downside of it being an interview rather than an actual story.

best bits of book review

The best bits for me were definitely the time they spent in New Orleans as a threesome, there was definitely more action and enjoyment within this section of the book than any others. I would have loved to see more of these interactions all the way through Interview with the Vampire, they made the storyline more bearable and a lot easier to read about. I enjoyed the superstition that surrounded the vampires at the beginning and the way it all ended up working out.

worst bits of book review

I was basically disappointed all the way through Interview with the Vampire, I felt as though I was constantly waiting for the climax or for something exciting to happen. It just felt as though I was listening to one character moan about their life for 300 pages, and there was no kind of redeeming factors throughout this. I have mentioned above that there seemed to be missing information and potential throughout the book, for example there was a lot of development missing in both Lestat and Claudia characters and growth. I would have loved to see more of the interactions and see some sort of relationship grow rather than the lax effort that was centred around whining. Plus the last 2 parts of this book went by SO fast like unbelievably so I felt kind of like I had whiplash with no real understanding.

recommend book review

I don’t think I would recommend this book, I really didn’t enjoy it and I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time on it. I think I will be unhauling it and moving on relatively quickly.

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Rereads can be disappointing. I loved Even Cowgirls Get the Blues the first time I read it, but the second time I wondered what I’d seen in it.

[…] Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice | Another reread for me, however this one took me SO long to read and it really threw me off this month it was just super boring. […]

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Book Review: Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles Book 1) by Anne Rice

Book Review: Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles Book 1) by Anne Rice

There’s nothing I can say about this book that hasn’t been said already and said far more eloquently. But I’m going to talk about it anyway because it’s special to me. This book was the book—the one that started my love for vampire books.

I read this for the first time when I was 14, and then proceeded to read the rest of the 11 or so Vampire Chronicles books (plus the New Tales ones) available at the time. When I think of high school, these are the books that come to mind. I have a lot of memories of reading these books. They mean something to me. They shaped me as a reader and, maybe in some ways, as a person.

So, 8 or so years later, I decided I wanted to revisit this book that meant so much to me as a teen and to refresh my memory before finally reading Claudia’s Story. My first attempt didn’t go well—I DNFed around 20%—but a few years after that , I found myself thinking about this book more and more until one day I came upon some fan art and was suddenly filled with this excitement and desire to reread the book immediately, and I think being in the right mood made all the difference. I really enjoyed it, to the point that I actually want to continue rereading the series—I hadn’t been expecting that.

But anyway… I’ve decided my reviews for this series aren’t going to be reviews so much as just a way for me to track and discuss my thoughts. So the likes/dislikes might be helpful for people considering the book, but the rest will be better for anyone who’s already read it or is just curious. Also, I just want to note that I’m basing these thoughts on THIS BOOK ONLY, not any of the later books.

Things I Disliked/Things I Didn’t Mind but Others Might Dislike:

– The interview style of the book was weird since technically it was 3rd person omniscient set in the present, but, since most of the book was Louis talking, it felt more like 1st person set in the past. It sounds like something that be distracting, but I still kept getting lost in the story regardless.

– There was a lot of flowery language and description. Sometimes it drew me into the story, other times it was too much.

– Descriptions of characters and random humans was… strangely sensual in a way that I sometimes found kind of unsettling. Maybe it was because, instead of noticing typical things, Louis noticed things like the plumpness of someone’s cheeks. Seriously, the word ‘plump’ was used five times which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it sure seems that way while you’re reading. It was like everyone described came from a cherubic Renaissance painting (though I feel like this might just be Anne Rice’s writing style). Although, I suppose it makes sense that a vampire would describe people with a word more often used to describe food.

– There was no goal to work toward. It was literally just a vampire explaining everything that happened in his life.

– There weren’t regular chapters , just four parts.

– Louis and Armand kept tossing around the word ‘love’ like candy almost as soon as they met. But Armand himself said he only wanted Louis because Louis would be the one to revitalize him and keep him from falling into despair from the immortality. And Louis, well, he was clearly just enamored by the way someone was finally willing to give him answers and talk with him and listen while he brooded aloud.

Things I Liked:

– I will always love this portrayal of vampires. I mean, I do like reading about sex + biting, but, for these vampires, feeding and killing IS sex, and I can appreciate that. (I still remember the first time I read a book in which the vampires had sex though, I hated it and was like, “No! That’s not how it’s supposed to be!” Lol.) The biting still has this sensual/erotic aspect to it at times. And I just like these beautiful yet deadly vampires. They’re human, yet they’re not human.

– The characterization was fantastic. None of the characters were particularly likeable, but they were so well-written, and that made me kind of like them anyway. Sometimes I feel like a lot of the characters I read about are bland or super similar to other characters, but both Louis and Lestat were so different from each other and also unique in their own rights.

– There were some unconventional relationships. I found them thought-provoking (more on this below).

– The whole book had a dark, atmospheric feel.

My Thoughts on the Characters (there might be *SPOILERS* in this section):

– Armand. I feel like I still don’t know much about Armand. He seemed pretty inhuman and emotionless. But he also seemed like someone you could talk to for a long time, and he was a great listener.

– Claudia. Everyone knows about the tragic child vampire, trapped forever in the body of a child, never able to be independent, never able to live or be treated like an adult. But what was so interesting about her was the fact that, for all intents and purposes, she didn’t have a human life before becoming a vampire. She was only five years old, so, unlike others, Claudia didn’t have a humanity to remember and to influence her. She was turned before she even understood right from wrong, before she understood the value of life. And because of that, she was… different. Cold, cruel, and vicious in her own unique ways, but also suffering.

– Louis. Ah… I’m not sure how I feel about him. He was not without his flaws, like kind of only seeing what he wanted to see (especially when it came to Armand and Claudia), but he was far more likeable to me than the others as a person (well, vampire) because he wasn’t as cruel. I would much rather have Louis as my companion than Lestat, Claudia, or Armand. Louis is an introspective, a thinker, a seeker of knowledge, an appreciator of beauty, and I can relate to all those things to some degree. I also felt for him, stuck with Lestat of all people as his maker. Lestat was a horrible mentor, so I could understand Louis being upset about that. I could also understand why Louis stayed with him (more on this below). But Louis’s brooding did eventually get to be a bit much. All he did was dwell in negatives and pain. He said he wanted to appreciate things with his new vampire life, but it didn’t seem like he ever actually did that. And then, by the end, this vampire who had been the most in tune with his humanity became numb and more detached from life than even Lestat or Armand. But who knows, any one of us might turn out the same if we were turned into monsters, hated what we were, were emotionally abused and manipulated, lost the person we loved, and were alive for centuries. So I don’t dislike him. I do feel sad for him though.

– Lestat. Oh, Lestat. He was abusive, manipulative, greedy, controlling, and temperamental, and he wouldn’t let Louis leave because he was afraid of being alone. He was terrible toward Louis and Claudia, and he was cruel to the humans and would terrorize them before killing or would make them fall in love with him so that he could add betrayal to their pain when he killed them. The one word I’d use to describe him though is ‘pathetic.’ Lestat was terrible, abusive, and cruel, and then, when those he treated terribly finally wanted nothing more to do with him, he was weak, scared, lost, lonely, and wanted them back. He might not actually be that simple, I guess I will find out when I keep reading, but that’s how I feel about him based on how he was portrayed through Louis’s POV. Don’t get me wrong, he was interesting as a character, just not likeable as a person. Ironically though, he seemed to have more humanity than any of the others in one sense of the word—he still felt emotions and passions and life in a way that the others didn’t seem to.

My Thoughts on the Relationships (there might be *SPOILERS* in this section):

– Louis and Claudia’s was the strangest because he raised her as a father, then he became her lover (minus the sex), but he still kind of thought of her as a child and treated her like a child because she looked like one. Louis himself literally described them as: “Father and Daughter. Lover and Lover.”

– Then there was Louis and Lestat who most certainly did not love each other (or if they did, it was definitely not in a healthy way) but who stayed together regardless and raised a vampire child together. They even had discussions about Claudia’s “acting out” as though she were really their child, and Lestat would storm out, telling Louis to talk to her because he couldn’t deal with her. They made their own little dysfunctional family. But this wasn’t a cute, funny thing—their relationship was abusive, and I can understand Louis’s side to an extent. Lestat was the epitome of an abusive parent/partner/friend/whatever. Lestat constantly belittled Louis, he made Louis believe that he (Louis) needed him (Lestat), he even made a child with Louis in order to manipulate him into staying because he knew Louis wanted to leave him. Anyone who’s never dealt with a person like that might think the solution is really simple—Louis should’ve just stopped whining and left—but 1) he didn’t know if there were other vampires, and he didn’t want to be alone either, 2) Lestat was his maker, which probably gave them some sort of bond, and 3) Lestat was manipulative, controlling, and physically more powerful than Louis. In abusive relationships, it’s not always as simple as just leaving. So I do believe that Louis hated Lestat, but I believe his feelings were more complex than that, which is realistic. As for Lestat’s feelings for Louis… I honestly don’t know. That’s still an enigma to me. I wanted to talk about this though because I’ve seen people talk about romance/love/batting eyes at each other/etc. in this book between Louis and Lestat, but all I could really see was how abusive and manipulative Lestat’s actions and words were.

– I’m not sure I even understand what Louis’s relationship was with Armand. They traveled the world together, but Louis had become numb already by that point, and he said something about going off on his own for long periods of time before returning to Armand.

Overall Thoughts:

Even though this book had a lot of description and a few other things that would normally put me off a book, it’s a vampire classic, it means something to me because of how much it’s influenced my reading habits, and I found myself being drawn in by the great characterization!

*I’ve read this book multiple times. This review was written after my 2nd read.*

Reread Ratings: No Rating (1st Read – mid/late 2000s) 4 Stars (2nd Read – 2017)

Recommended For:

Anyone who likes beautiful yet deadly vampires, descriptive writing, and amazingly complex characters.

You Can Also Find My Review Here:

Goodreads | Amazon

More Books in the Series:

Graphic Novel Review: Interview with the Vampire: Claudia’s Story by Anne Rice & Ashley Marie Witter

Book Review: The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles Book 2) by Anne Rice

Book Review: The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles Book 3) by Anne Rice

Book Review: The Tale of the Body Thief (The Vampire Chronicles Book 4) by Anne Rice

Book Review: Memnoch the Devil (The Vampire Chronicles Book 5) by Anne Rice

Book Author: Anne Rice Publisher: Ballantine Books Series: The Vampire Chronicles Genre: Fantasy , Historical Fantasy , LGBTQIA , Low/Paranormal/Urban Fantasy My Rating: 4 Series/Standalone: Part of a Series

More Info (Possible Spoilers)

LGBT+ Rep: Bisexual (Main Character) Non-Human Type: Vampires Relationships/Sex: M-F , M-M

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Have you read interview with the vampire by anne rice what's one book that made you fall in love with a certain genre or that shaped your reading, related posts.

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I never read the book, but I remember watching the movie at the theater when I was in high school (the 90s). Don’t remember many details, though. Claudia was only 5 when turned in the book? Wasn’t she older in the movie? And that’s just weird, about her and Louis. Glad you were able to enjoy it on your reread.

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Yeah, they made her older in the movie. It’s definitely a weird kind of relationship, but somehow it doesn’t feel out of place in the dark atmosphere of the story. Thanks!

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It wasn’t that long! 🙂

I do think this book would frustrate me. There’s no goal? At all? It’s been a long time since I’ve watched the movie, so I can’t remember how it ends. Does the book or movie just end on a thought? I feel like I would need someone to achieve something eventually.

I suppose the goal was eventually to find other vampires in the world. But I mean, it kind of does end on a thought since it’s just Louis telling his life story up to that point. Normally that would bother me, but I think the fact that I knew generally what the plot was helped since I kind of had things to look forward to and knew that some things would happen eventually, if that makes sense.

It does! I might see if my library has a copy.

I hope you’re able to find a copy 🙂

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Oh wow, this sounds like a very special series for you. I can relate. I have some titles that remind me of my childhood/teenage life. Ahh you make me want to reread them. I miss them. Anyway, awesome review. I’ll check out this series. Thanks for sharing. ?❤️

Yeah, those reads that remind us of our childhood/teen years always have a special place in our hearts <3 You should totally reread some of your old favorites!

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I’m pretty sure I read this around the same age you did. I have hopes of reading it again one day and then continuing on. However, I do love her other series. I devours The Mayfair Witches books and loved the first werewolf book she wrote, although I need to finish that series. I hate to say it but Tom Cruise sort of ruined this series for me. I thought he made an awful vampire.

I’ve never read her other series, just the vampires. I didn’t even know she had werewolf books, interesting! Idk, I saw the movie before reading the book and it was what made me want to read the book in the first place, so Tom Cruise was the version of Lestat I first saw. (The weirdest casting in that movie was definitely Antonio Banderas for Armand!)

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I read this book years and years ago now, and barely remember it, but I *do* remember an overall feeling of liking it. When I tried to read The Vampire Lestat straight after though…let’s just say, there was a bookmark half way through that novel for 10 years before I gave up and got rid of the books I’d bought (I’m an all or nothing kind of girl, I didn’t buy the whole series but it was more than 2 lol)

Anne Rice’s writing is sort of…flowery to me? There’s just…something about it I cannot get into completely. Weirdly, I’ve actually been thinking about re-reading this lately. But I’m not sure…I love the movie though.

Yep, that was how I felt before rereading. I remembered liking it but barely remembered the actual book. But I guess I must’ve enjoyed all the rest in the series as well. I’m curious to see how many more I’ll end up reading this time.

Oh, there’s definitely a lot of description and floweriness. That was my biggest issue, I think. But I think you give the reread a go anyway 😉

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I’ll give her a try at one point or another. I had this vampire phase at one point so I am surprised that I never read her. Glad you enjoyed it so much, despite the fact that the same thing that drew you to the book at certain points also did not work at others

Well if you ever find yourself in another vampire phase, maybe you’ll give this book a try 🙂 Thanks!

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I’ve actually never read the book but the movie was so epic and as a kid it made me love vampires so freaking much. I guess its one of those books I’m terrified to read because I loved the movie which is crazy because how can the book be worst, great review!

It was actually the movie that made me want to read the book in the first place! I have had occasions when the movie ended up being better, but I think they’re both good in this case. Thanks!

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Thank you for a wonderfully detailed and readable review, Kristen. I’ve never read this book and you gave me plenty of information as to whether this one is for me or not:)

Thanks, glad it was helpful!

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I’ve literally had this book sitting on my shelves for YEARS (I got it as a hand me down from a relative) but I haven’t worked up the nerve to read it because I’m scared it will be too scary for me (I get nightmares easily). I hear the movie is really excellent too!

I can’t promise it won’t give you nightmares (I mean, I’ve had random nightmares from non-horror books lol), but I can promise it’s not at all a scary or creepy book. It’s just vampires 🙂 And yes the movie is also great!

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It’s great (and sometimes not great) when you revisit an old favourite. I read this years ago, and i’d forgotten so much of what you described, but also you’ve given me a new way of looking at Louis and Claudia especially — thank you!

It’s risky rereading old favorites, so I was glad that this one went well! Thanks, glad you liked my review 🙂

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I ADORED this movie! On emy all-time favorite! and not only in the horror/vampire gene but ALL TIME. The actors??? omg [clears her throat] LOL so I always wanted to read the book. Glad to hear is good!

It’s a great movie as well! Lol yeah it doesn’t hurt that it has both Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise 😉 Although now they’re the ones I picture when I read lol.

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It’s so awesome that you got a chance to reread the book which began your love for vampires! I love books which influence you as a reader (for me, there are a whole bunch of different reasons). I’m not a massive vampire reader so I kind of know I’ll never read this series (the number of books is also offputting) but I get that it is a classic in its own way. The style of writing would totally not work for me but the characters are interesting and this is kind of the standard idea of how vampires act.

Yeah, prob not the series for you. The number of books would normally be daunting for me, but I already own like ten of them and my library has ebooks of the newer ones I don’t own, so I don’t have to worry about the money. And though I plan to continue, I’m not gonna force myself to keep going if I reach a point where I get tired of it. But yeah, this was a big influence on the modern portrayal of vampires!

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I’m kind of afraid to re-read this now. I read it almost 10 years ago maybe and I was sooooo in love with Louie and intrigued by Claudia & Armand and I don’t want it to be ruined if I feel differently.

I re-read it dozens of times back then but stopped once I started blogging and had too many other books to read.

For What It’s Worth

I get it, it’s nerve-wracking rereading old favorites since you might end up liking them less. That’s why I’m glad this one turned out well for me!

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I definitely felt the same way as you did when I first read the book back in high school. 1994! Oh man, that was eons ago, and the movie came out in the fall of that same year. Over the years I followed it up with the other books in the Vampire Chronicles, able to see more and more of Lestat’s backstory and motivations, though Louis stays the same and honestly, that got boring. I think Queen of the Damned is the best book out of that series.

Oh that’s cool that you read it before the movie! I read it after seeing the movie, so I just have Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt stuck in my head as the characters lol. I don’t remember much about the later books, but I do remember that Lestat changes a lot. I think I remember Queen of the Damned the best, or at least bits and pieces of it. I remember the climax being really intense!

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Wow – this WAS a long review! 🙂 But I liked it!

I read this book a very, very long time ago and I think there was a lot that I missed out on because of that. I think I might have to do a reread.

What did you think of the movie??

Lol it really was, but I couldn’t bring myself to remove anything! Thanks, glad you liked it 🙂

Sometimes I kind of regret that I didn’t keep any notes about my thoughts on books when I was in middle and high school. I just wonder how much I actually noticed or paid attention to, what I took from books, how I felt about them. I might’ve missed out on a lot too when I first read this, or maybe I felt the exact same way. I guess I’ll never know. But you should totally do a reread 😉

I think the movie is great too! It was actually the movie that made me interested in the book in the first place.

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I read this book after I read The Vampire Lestat and other books in the series. I think I read this when I ran out of series to read and so…I am a bit biased toward Louis. I read it and thought the whole time how Louis was a liar and such a whiny Vampire that he took his gift for granted. I read Interview with a Vampire through Lestat’s eyes because for me he was everything. My favorite bits of this book were the bits involving Claudia as she became the one subject Lestat was always reluctant to talk about. I think you summed this up very well. It is such an engrossing tale and it has so many subjects that were hard to relate to that it could really only get 4 stars from me either. Fantastic review!

*I have to admit I read your review the day it hit my email and then forgot to stop by and comment. That was stupid as the email got buried until just now for me. I did start reading The Vampire Lestat as soon as I read your review. Maybe only because I couldn’t wait to read it since the minute we talked about it. I can’t believe how much I forgot, including the fact that Armand loved Lestat first. Hopefully I will be finishing Lestat sometime next week.

Ok now your comment has me itching to get to the next book because I don’t remember any of these things and I want to what Louis lied about?! I wonder how much an impact it makes reading the series in a different order. Like, I sympathized with Louis while reading this, yet you sympathized with Lestat. I’m really curious to see if my opinion will change as I read more. But gah, I still have other books to read before getting back to this series!

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ARGH YOU DID THE THING!!!! XD

I personally did sympathise with Louis, but also found him quite whiny sometimes. Like dude, you’re a freaking vampire – maybe appreciate that once in a while!

Lestat… he’s not a good person. But I adore him. The force of his emotions (plus his drama – he’s the f**king queen honey!) always made me love him. Plus, he’s so sad! Someone can’t be that sad without me wanting to hug them, ok? 😉 <3

I just love the whole gothic-ness of these books. And Anne Rice's writing is officially the sh**! Lol.

I agree, I sympathize, but he also could do with a little less whining and a little more doing.

I am curious to see if my opinion of Lestat changes when I read more of the series. Whether I like him as a person will depend on whether he changes or not. But I can dislike a char as a person and still love them as a char if they’re interesting/complex/realistic enough.

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I have a confession to make. I haven’t fully read Interview with the Vampire. I gave up on it halfway through when I was thirteen because I thought it was SO boring, but I want to pick it back up and give it another shot. Great review!

It does have a lot of flowery description. But maybe you’ll enjoy it more if you give it another go!

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I think I saw the movie from this one, and I did like it. Once day I will read the book, I think. I remember being soooo sorry for Claudia though. Sucks for her. Forever a child.

The movie it great too! I think it’s impossible not to feel terrible for Claudia :-/

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My cousin gave me this book and it was my first vampire book. I didn’t read Dracula until last year.. Ha ha. I was used to reading SciFi and High Fantasy, so reading this book was very different for me and I loved it. I am so glad your re-read attempt was a success this time because it is wonderful being able to revisit old favorites, especially ones that have an extra special place in your heart. ☺

This was also my first vampire book, and I didn’t read Dracula until last year either, haha, so we have that in common! Thanks 🙂 It’s nerve-wracking visiting old favorites though since sometimes it doesn’t go so well!

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And there you were saying this would be the review that no one would read but I see a lot of lovely comments! I can’t say too much as I haven’t read this book before… I do love vampires though – admittedly because of Stephanie Meyer (I gather you’re not a fan… because that breaks all the vampire rules) but I should read this one because it sounds like it really deals with a classic vampire and kind of does it in a unique way? The writing style and format of the book sounds different. I realise I don’t mind flowery language as long as I am invested in a book enough before it shows up, so I don’t think I’ll mind that.

Believe it or not, I read all the Twilight books, so I must’ve liked something about them. But I read them after Anne Rice’s books, and so I felt like Meyer’s vampires were all wrong, and I think it might’ve been those books that made me stop reading about vampires for years lol. But now I like seeing how diff authors portray them, and I respect every author’s right to make vampires however they want as long as they still drink blood 🙂 (and every reader’s right to enjoy whatever books they want!)

I think it was these books that kind of set the standard for the modern vampire portrayal. If you like vampires and don’t mind flowery language, then I def suggest giving this a try!

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Remembering Anne Rice: Interview With The Vampire - Book Review

interview with the vampire book review

The Biggest Differences Between The Interview With The Vampire Books And The Series

Vampire Lestat looking straight ahead

Based on the 1976 gothic horror novel by Anne Rice, AMC's "Interview with the Vampire" is the saga of immortal lovers Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson) and Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid). In the present day, journalist Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian) interviews the vampiric Louis, gaining insight into his life in New Orleans at the turn of the 20th century, his seduction and turning at Lestat's hands, and their years raising the vampire child Claudia (Bailey Bass). Under Daniel's scrutiny, Louis is forced to confront his own devilish nature and make a shocking realization about his past.

"Interview with the Vampire" makes several changes to the source material and includes elements from later novels in Rice's long-running "Vampire Chronicles" series. In an interview with Den of Geek , show creator Rolin Jones acknowledged these differences, but also expressed his belief that fans will ultimately embrace the show's fealty to Rice's work. Indeed, while "Interview with the Vampire" is a largely faithful adaptation — every episode title, from "In Throes of Increasing Wonder" to "The Thing Lay Still," is taken from the book — it still takes plenty of creative liberties. We're here to examine some of the most major differences between Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire" novel and the AMC television series.

It's an adaptation and a sequel

One of the most ingenious aspects of AMC's "Interview with the Vampire" is that it's both an adaptation of Anne Rice's famous novel and a direct sequel. Taking place in then-contemporary 1970s San Francisco, the book begins with the journalist Daniel Molloy tape-recording his conversation with the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac. Louis' entire life story unfolds in this single interview, which takes place over the course of one very long night. The "Interview with the Vampire" novel ends with Louis violently attacking Daniel (but ultimately sparing his life) after Daniel begs to be turned into a vampire.

Episode 1  of AMC's "Interview with the Vampire," "In Throes of Increasing Wonder," establishes that the 1973 San Francisco interview happened, but picks up almost 50 years later in 2022. Louis sends tapes of the original conversation to the much-older Daniel — who still bears the scars of Louis' assault — entreating him to meet in Dubai for a second interview.

This change is an olive branch to diehard fans of Rice's "Vampire Chronicles," acknowledging the original version of the story is still intact on the bookshelf. But it's also a bold move on the part of the show's creators. By making the series a sequel to the book, they're freed from the task of directly recreating it. The show revisits and recontextualizes key events from the novel, presenting a more nuanced portrait of the characters.

Daniel's life unfolds very differently

Of all the characters on "Interview with the Vampire," Daniel Molloy is one of the most drastically changed in the leap from page to screen. In the novel, he's a reporter known only as "the boy." The third book, "The Queen of the Damned," finds him 12 years later and reveals his name is Daniel Molloy. Daniel publishes "Interview with the Vampire" in-universe as a bestselling book, and becomes entangled with the vampire Armand. The two have an intense love affair, but Armand refuses to turn Daniel into a vampire, relenting only when Daniel is dying from the effects of alcoholism. Despite getting what he always wanted, Daniel's relationship with Armand remains turbulent for the rest of the series.

AMC's "Interview with the Vampire" goes in a different direction. Daniel survives his fateful 1973 interview but does not pursue vampires again until Louis contacts him in 2022. In the mean time, he becomes a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, grows estranged from his family, and begins living with Parkinson's disease. No longer the naïve boy of the book, Daniel is cynical and abrasive, but also a more active participant in the story. The season finale, "The Thing Lay Still," ends with Daniel face-to-face with Armand. Given their history in the novels, this sets up intriguing possibilities for Season 2.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The story is updated to the 20th century

When fans of the "Vampire Chronicles" series saw the first trailer for the "Interview with the Vampire" television series, one significant change to the source material was immediately apparent: the time period. "It was 1910," Louis narrates over the footage, bringing the storyline of "Interview with the Vampire" over 100 years forward. In the novel, Louis is born in 1766, the eldest son of a French immigrant family that runs an indigo plantation in New Orleans. Though "Interview with the Vampire" features bloodthirsty monsters as the leads, vampires are fictional. Asking 2022 audiences to be sympathetic to a hero complicit in the horrors of slavery is a step too far.

"I didn't know how to tell the plantation owner story," Rolin Jones told Den of Geek , adding that moving the story to the early 20th century was a visual choice as well as a practical one. Louis' Season 1 story spans roughly 30 years, carrying the vampires through the Jazz Age and ending at the dawn of World War II. Louis is reimagined as a brothel owner in Storyville, New Orleans' red light district. Episode 3, "Is My Very Nature That of a Devil," takes inspiration from this era of Louisiana's history by incorporating the discriminatory Ordinance 4118 as a story element and featuring legendary jazz pianist Jelly Roll Morton (Kyle Roussel) in a cameo.

The series is more diverse

Anne Rice's immortal book has been on the shelves for decades. While it continues to enthrall readers, the first installment of the "Vampire Chronicles" saga centers primarily around white male characters. Departing from both the novel and the Neil Jordan film, AMC's "Interview with the Vampire" embraces the diverse reality of New Orleans in the early 20th century.

Depicted in the novels as white, Louis and Claudia (Bailey Bass) of the show are both Black Creole. Their experiences in the Jim Crow South are essential to the narrative and inform how they embrace their vampiric powers. As Jacob Anderson told The Washington Post , "Louis' race changes the trajectory slightly of that character." For example, as a vampire, Louis is empowered to kill the racist businessmen and politicians who aim to disenfranchise him.

"Interview with the Vampire" features a wide array of performers, from the series' leads to supporting characters like Bricktop Williams (Dana Gourrier) and Peg Leg Doris (Rachel Handler). Assad Zaman plays the vampire Armand, a major presence going forward, and Antoine, Lestat's musician lover and fledgling, is reimagined as Antoinette (Maura Grace Athari), a torch singer. The show's diverse casting adds another dimension to Rice's work by shining a spotlight on people not often represented in vampire fiction.

Vampires are sexually active

Same-sex desire has always been closely intertwined with vampire fiction, from the gothic heroine of Sheridan Le Fanu's 1872 horror novella "Carmilla" to the pansexual bloodsuckers of FX's "What We Do in The Shadows."  Part of the reason Anne Rice's "Vampire Chronicles" developed a devoted cult following is its complex depiction of LGBTQ characters, with Rice herself confirming in a 2015 Facebook post that beguiling antihero Lestat is bisexual.

Louis and Lestat are openly depicted as a romantic couple in later books, such as 1988's "The Queen of the Damned," but that part of their relationship is mostly subtextual in "Interview with the Vampire." Eagle-eyed readers can pick up on the significance of Lestat and Louis being parents to Claudia, but there's one major complication: Vampires can't have sex.

In Anne Rice's mythology, when a person dies and becomes a vampire, the transformation renders them unable to have physical intercourse, though shared blood-drinking operates as an intimate act. The "Interview with the Vampire" TV adaptation omits this limitation completely, with Season 1 containing multiple sex scenes between vampires and their partners. These added scenes are far from gratuitous; rather, they bring the book's LGBTQ themes out of the shadows and into the light. Lestat's dark seduction of Louis is as literal now as it is metaphorical, and an essential step in Louis embracing himself as a gay man.

Major book characters are cut

When adapting a centuries-spanning novel that finishes at over 300 pages, it's inevitable that some characters and events will end up on the cutting room floor. When Lestat first turns Louis and moves onto his indigo plantation in the "Interview with the Vampire" novel, he resentfully brings his elderly human father with him. During a slave uprising, Louis mercy-kills Lestat's father, but not before demanding that Lestat make begrudging peace with the old man. The AMC series' timeline shift to 1910 means that Lestat's father is dead. After revealing how his father mistreated him in his youth, Lestat confesses that he inherited his temper, foreshadowing the tragic relationship between Lestat and Claudia.

Also absent is Babette Freniere. In the book, Louis becomes enamored of Babette, and, after Lestat's murder of her brother, encourages her to manage her family's plantation, despite the era's deeply ingrained sexism. Babette is initially successful, but is horrified to learn that her mysterious benefactor is a vampire. Mentally tormented, she becomes a shadow of herself. Babette is a cautionary tale for Louis, driving him further away from human connections. But the shifting timeline, as well as a greater focus on Louis' relationship with his sister Grace, likely made Babette redundant in the TV series.

Lestat's past is revealed

The Lestat de Lioncourt who appears in Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire" is a mystery. Cruel and vain, he serves mostly as an antagonist to Louis and Claudia. Lestat remains tight-lipped about his origins, unwilling to relinquish any knowledge of where vampires come from or why they exist. This refusal breeds resentment in his fledglings, and is one of the reasons why Claudia conspires to kill him.

"The Vampire Lestat," the 1985 sequel to "Interview with the Vampire," reframes Lestat as the protagonist of the "Vampire Chronicles" and Anne Rice's beloved "brat prince." The show draws on that book's characterization of Lestat, making him a more romantic figure who is open about his past. In Episode 1, he confides to Louis' family about how his father pulled him out of the monastery as a boy, killing his faith. Episode 6, "Like Angels Put in Hell by God," features Lestat's pained explanation of how he was turned into a vampire against his will by his sire Magnus, who then abandoned him.

Lestat also alludes to characters introduced in "The Vampire Lestat." Specifically, he mentions his mother, and later plays a song he wrote for a young violinist. Lestat turns his mother, the enigmatic Gabrielle de Lioncourt, into a vampire and his infrequent traveling companion. The violinist, Nicolas de Lenfent, is Lestat's childhood friend and first love. More than just Easter eggs for fans, Gabrielle and Nicolas could prove to be important characters in future seasons.

Claudia's new origin

"Claudia, for me, personally, is [Anne Rice's] greatest creation," "Interview with the Vampire" creator Rolin Jones told  Den of Geek . But the character has proved thorny for live-action adaptations. Turned at the age of five, Claudia's consciousness matures even though her body doesn't, which is a source of unending torment to her. In the 1994 film, Claudia is played by a young Kirsten Dunst. But the series goes farther by aging Claudia into an eternal teenager, portrayed by Bailey Bass. While child labor laws were an admitted factor in this casting, as Jones revealed to Syfy , this change opened the door for the show to reimagine Claudia's origin.

The novel introduces Claudia as an orphan who's found crying over her mother's plague-stricken corpse. In a moment of weakness, Louis bites and drains the girl; Lestat turns her into a vampire to manipulate the guilt-ridden Louis into staying with him. Episodes 3 and 4 dramatically change her story, and her dynamic with Lestat and Louis. When white mobs raze Storyville, Louis rescues Claudia from a burning boarding house. Bringing her back to their shared home, Louis begs Lestat to turn the badly-burned girl into a vampire and promises that she will be a daughter to them both. The change makes Louis and Lestat more sympathetic, while keeping them responsible for her fate. Claudia being a teenager also allows the TV series to explore storylines that would not be possible in the novel.

Claudia is older, but not necessarily wiser

Claudia is one of the most tragic characters in the "Vampire Chronicles." But being 14 forever, rather than eternally five, gives the TV Claudia more freedom. The novel's Claudia depends on Louis and Lestat because her small size makes it impossible for her to live alone. TV Claudia is granted more independence, explores the world outside New Orleans, and even narrates multiple episodes through her diary excerpts.

Claudia falls in love with a man named Charlie in Episode 4, "The Ruthless Pursuit of Blood with All a Child's Demanding." In a moment of passion, Claudia accidentally kills him. Lestat forces her to watch him burn Charlie's corpse in the incinerator as a lesson in getting too close to humans. This cruel moment has consequences that play out in Episode 5, "A Vile Hunger for Your Hammering Heart." Claudia indulges in a secret murder spree, taking trophies from the bodies and nearly exposing the vampires to the police. She then sets out on her own, posing as a university student, and encounters another vampire who is strongly implied to sexually assault her. AMC's Claudia has more agency, but even with all the powers of a vampire, she still finds the world a harsh and uncaring place.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Louis and Lestat's fight is a darker take on a later book scene

"Interview with the Vampire" fans will likely never forget the shocking conclusion to "A Vile Hunger for Your Hammering Heart." Now living in seclusion without Claudia, Louis' depression, as well as Lestat's ongoing affair with Antoinette, drives a wedge between the pair. When Claudia returns and asks Louis to leave with her, the scene erupts into violence.

Lestat attacks Louis with the full force of his vampiric strength, demolishing their house around them. He then reveals to Louis that he has the "Cloud Gift" — the power to fly — by carrying Louis hundreds of feet into the air. When Louis begs Lestat to let him go, Lestat takes him at his word: He drops and nearly kills him.

This disturbing scene was created for the TV series; despite Louis and Lestat's tempestuous relationship in the first novel, it never reaches this level of violence. However, the show possibly takes inspiration from a late scene in "The Queen of the Damned," where Lestat reveals his Cloud Gift in a much more romantic context by taking Louis flying with him. By putting a dark spin on this scene, the AMC series shows just how twisted and toxic their romance has become.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website .

The show includes surprise cameos

Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire" introduces only a handful of the dozens of blood-drinkers who populate the "Vampire Chronicles." Spanning 13 books , the series ends with 2018's "Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat," Rice's final book before her death in 2021 . AMC's series draws upon this rich history, introducing characters in what are essentially extended cameos and Easter eggs for fans. 

"A Vile Hunger for Your Hammering Heart" features Bruce (Damon Daunno), a vampire biker who encounters Claudia while she poses as a university student. Together, they kill a racist student who harassed Claudia. She suggests that "Killer" would be a more fitting name for Bruce, and they talk about forming a "fang gang" of vampires before he turns on her. On the page, Killer appears in 1988's "The Queen of the Damned" as the leader of the Fang Gang, rebellious young vamps who are violently dispatched by Queen Akasha.

The show reaches even deeper into "Vampire Chronicles" lore in "Like Angels Put in Hell by God" when Dr. Fareed Bhansali (Gopal Divan) administers medical care to Daniel. Though he appears human on the show, Fareed is a vampire who debuts in 2014's "Prince Lestat." There, Fareed uses his scientific genius to experiment on vampires, resulting in the birth of Lestat's biological son, Viktor. This event could be a fascinating plot development in a future season.

Lestat's death is now a party to die for

Lestat being Lestat, his death can be nothing less than spectacular. Taking place approximately halfway through the book, Louis and Claudia's attempted murder of their maker is dramatically heightened in the "Interview with the Vampire" season finale. In Rice's version, Claudia plots to poison Lestat by tricking him into drinking the dead blood of twin boys drugged with absinthe and laudanum. Despite Louis' pleas, Claudia slits Lestat's throat. They dispose of his body, but permanently killing a vampire is more difficult than they anticipated.

The series' murder plot is a much more elaborate affair that unfolds during a Mardi Gras masquerade. In "The Thing Lay Still," Claudia and Louis are co-conspirators, though Louis still feels the pull of his bond with Lestat. Louis distracts Lestat with a scandalous romantic waltz before their final feast. The two are dressed as 18th century nobility, a nod to the book's original setting. Luring unsuspecting guests to their home with the promise of sharing their secret to eternal life, the three vampires kill them. Lestat, aided by his fledgling Antoinette, anticipates the trap with the twins, but Claudia tricks him into drinking the poisoned blood of a man who slighted him earlier. 

In the show, Louis is the one who finishes Lestat by cutting his throat with the sword cane that initially drew Lestat to him. The sequence is a grisly, baroque masterpiece — and the ultimate break-up.

Rashid is a new ruse

The "Interview with the Vampire" season finale, "The Thing Lay Still," ends with a shocking cliffhanger: Louis' servant Rashid is revealed to be the ancient vampire Armand. But who are Rashid and Armand? This elaborate ruse is wholly original to the television series.

Rashid is introduced as Louis' personal assistant in Dubai. A quiet but forceful presence, Rashid is dedicated to his employer and springs to his defense against Daniel's journalistic probing. While Rashid appears to be human — at several points walking in direct sunlight — Daniel becomes suspicious. A dream about his first meeting with Louis stirs Daniel's memories, and he recalls that Rashid was Louis' companion 50 years earlier. Rashid reveals himself to be a 514-year-old vampire whose strength and age make him immune to sunlight. Louis introduces him as his lover Armand.

Portrayed by Antonio Banderas in the 1994 film, Armand is a deceptively youthful-looking vampire with a dark, obsessive personality. Armand runs the Théâtre des Vampires, which was inspired by longtime rival Lestat, and becomes — for a time — Louis' lover and companion. Season 1 of "Interview with the Vampire" ends before explaining the purpose of Armand's deception. The elder vampire originally appears in the second half of the novel, where he meets Louis and Claudia in Paris, so his presence at the very beginning of the series is itself a major departure.

The series is about the odyssey of recollection

Can a vampire be trusted to tell the truth? Or is memory itself the monster? "Interview with the Vampire" positions Louis as an unreliable narrator; despite his supernatural gifts, his memory is fallible. After decades of death and trauma, what Louis tells Daniel during their interview may not necessarily be what happened, or even what Louis thinks happened. The "odyssey of recollection," a phrase taken from a line in Daniel's memoir, is a powerful theme introduced in the show.

In Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire," Louis' story is presented as a long confession of guilt with near-religious overtones. Though Lestat raises objections about Louis' story in his self-titled sequel novel — possibly making him an unreliable narrator — the show brings unique focus to the idea. Daniel challenges Louis over his inconsistencies in their recordings, asking questions when they seem performative or rehearsed. When Daniel is gifted Claudia's diaries, pages have been removed in what could be seen as Louis' editorializing — or his censorship — of her life story. 

The psychological dam breaks in the Season 1 finale. Daniel accuses Louis of saving Lestat's life, effectively choosing him over Claudia. Louis appears to face painful memories of Lestat he'd locked away. The fact that Daniel himself seems to be recovering forgotten memories of his first encounter with the vampires adds another curious wrinkle. If one thing's clear, it's that the odyssey of recollection in "Interview with the Vampire" is far from over.

The Cosmic Circus

Book Review: Anne Rice’s ‘Interview With The Vampire’

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This is the book that started it all. Nearly 50 years ago Anne Rice penned the tragic tale of Louis, Lestat, and Claudia and rekindled our love for vampires which is still going strong today. Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire was so loved by fans that it kicked off a 15-book series chronicling Louis, Lestat, and their fellow vampires. It also spawned two movies based on those books. And now an AMC+ streaming series is set to air beginning on October 2nd based on these beloved characters. And those are just the projects from Anne Rice , every Vampire Diaries and Twilight fan owes Interview With The Vampire some thanks.

[ W arning: My review of Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire contains some spoilers!]

In Interview With The Vampire, a long relationship begins

As a kid (no kidding, I was only about eleven when I read Interview With The Vampire for the first time) these books made a big impression on me. I reread them over and over. The story of Louis, a southern land owner who lived outside of New Orleans back when New Orleans still belonged to France was captivating to me. The story begins in 1791 when Louis’ brother passes away and Louis has a very hard time dealing with it. He wishes to die but is too cowardly to do it himself. Enter Lestat, a beautiful man who makes extraordinary claims to Louis.

Lestat claims he is a vampire and that he can make Louis a vampire too. He then goes to work selling him hard on the vampire life. Lestat is physically dazzling with his vampire beauty and grace. Furthermore, he promises Louis that the world will be theirs and all his problems will disappear. All he asks in return is for Louis to simply provides a place for Lestat’s aging mortal father to live on his plantation. In Louis’s fragile mental state he is easy to manipulate so Lestat moves his father into the Pointe du Lac plantation and turned Louis into a vampire.  

To say that Lestat failed as a mentor is an understatement and Louis quickly realizes that not only did he not like Lestat but he actively disliked, even despised him. He stays with Lestat for years because he believes that Lestat holds the knowledge about vampirism that he needs. Eventually, Louis concludes that Lestat knows nothing of value and decides to leave. In a desperate bid to keep Louis, Lestat turns a little girl, Claudia, and declares them a family. Louis feels compelled to stay and they pass nearly 70 years in the glory of New Orleans’ nightlife.

Eventually the relationship sours

But all good things come to an end, and devilish things too. You see Claudia’s body died the night she was turned into a vampire but her mind stayed alive and active. Eventually, she was a full-grown woman who had passed an entire lifetime as a five-year-old. This was obviously hard on her and she grew to hate the confines of her world. She also was able to clearly see the horrible way Lestat treated her and Louis and she wanted to leave. Convinced that he would never allow them to go willingly, she concluded that he had to die and devised a plan to accomplish just that.

Anne Rices's Interview with the Vampire

Claudia put her plan in motion and after he seems dead she convinces Louis, whom she loves and doesn’t blame for anything, to help her dispose of Lestat’s body in the swamp. Claudia and Louis make plans to leave America (as New Orleans has become part of America by now) to search for vampires in Europe. But vampires are called immortal for a reason and Lestat comes back before they can depart. There is a second fight that culminates in their townhouse catching fire and they are pretty positive Lestat is dead this time. However, they leave America that night just to be sure.

Claudia and Louis travel Eastern Europe for years searching for vampires. Claudia is sure that they will find them there because most Vampire folklore is centered there. But all they find can best be described as zombie vampires. Nowhere do they find vampires like themselves and they begin to despair. 

Just when you stop looking

Finally, they decide to give up the search and head to Paris. And just when they stop looking the vampires find them. Louis is followed by some of the vampires one night and they invite him and Claudia to a performance at the Théâtre des Vampires and some socializing after the show. At first, he and Claudia are overjoyed to have finally found vampires like them and are eager for any answers they may have. It quickly becomes apparent though that they do not have answers. What’s more, they are shallow and narcissistic. Louis and Claudia searched the world for vampires and when they finally find some they are disappointed, to say the least.

What’s worse, it quickly becomes apparent that they are in danger from these new vampires. Some of them suspect Louis and Claudia of killing their maker, the only crime a vampire can commit. And one, Armand, wants Louis to himself at any cost.

Another death in   Interview With The Vampire

Things come to a head when Lestat reappears and accuses Claudia of attempted vampiricide. The Théâtre vampires haul her and Louis in to be punished. Louis is locked in a lead coffin and bricked in a wall Edgar Allen Poe style. Armand comes to “save” Louis the next night but he claims it was too late for him to help Claudia. She was burned alive by the sunlight that morning.

Anne Rice's Interview With The Vampire Claudia

After Claudia’s death, something in Louis snaps. He takes his revenge on the Théâtre vampires, burning down the whole theater with them trapped inside just before sunrise the next morning. Armand is the only one to escape, having been warned by Louis the previous night. Louis and Armand leave Paris together and travel the world together but Louis is never himself again and both are unhappy. 

Finally, Louis and Armand return to New Orleans. Louis finds Lestat there and finds him a decrepit old man in vampire form. Lestat has been unable to adapt to the modern world and stays cloistered in a run-down old house being reluctantly tended to by a newborn vampire. Louis pities Lestat and if he doesn’t exactly forgive him for what happens in Paris, he at least lets go of it. After that, he leaves Armand and then decides to tell Daniel, the reporter he has been relating all this to, his story.

An odd trio in Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire

I can’t say I ever understood people’s obsession with Lestat, I always saw him as a selfish jerk and didn’t like him. Louis was a more interesting character. I initially felt so bad for him but over time and multiple rereads I began to find him whiny. He refuses to take responsibility for his own role in his unhappiness and that began to grate on me.

Hands down, my favorite character has always been Claudia. Of all the vampires she may have been the most vicious, but that’s because she was turned when she was only 4 or 5. She had no real memories of being a human and no real connections to humans to nurture her compassion. All she ever knew humans as food. Lestat provided a dismal example of how to behave and while Louis loved art and culture, there is no evidence that charity was ever thought of by him. 

A sad story for the vampire named Claudia

Still, that was not why I love Claudia so much. I love her the most because she is the most deserving of sympathy. She never asked to become a vampire and she had absolutely no say in it.

To make matters worse, she was trapped for the rest of her life by this one decision that someone else made for her. Her mind grew and expanded but because her body was incapable of change the rest of the world forever saw her as a child and treated her as such. But she never gives up. She fights to try and escape her plight and take back control of her life and that is what I really love about her. Because she could have rolled over and been this sad tragic doll but instead she becomes a powerful woman whom even the great Armand saw as a threat.

Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire Claudia Sad

Claudia is really the female existence boiled down to one tiny little story. A man liked her looks and used her how he wanted based on that and without her permission. Another man decided that because of the first man’s choice to make a second, permanent, choice about her body. And she had to spend the rest of her life trapped by the ramifications of those actions, which neither man had bothered to think through. Never able to change, move on, or better herself because everyone always judged her for something that was done to her and wasn’t her choice or fault.

Still, she fights on and does the best she can with the hand she was dealt. Claudia’s story hits especially hard in this post-Roe v. Wade world. I think a lot of people, especially women, can relate to Claudia and everything she suffers through in Interview With The Vampire .

A troubled relationship

As I said earlier, I first read Interview With The Vampire when I was eleven. Needless to say, I didn’t really have the emotional intelligence to understand everything that was going on. As I got older I began to see how messed up the relationship between Louis and Lestat was but I still didn’t really have words for it.

On this read-through, I realized that they have a rather abusive relationship and that’s probably why I grew to dislike the story over time. Lestat is a classic abuser. He met Louis when he was at a very low emotional point in his life and told Louis that only he could solve all his problems. He then used information to control Louis. Lestat constantly hinted that he knew things Louis could never learn without him. Further, he insisted that without this knowledge Louis would die.

When he sensed that Louis was pulling away he introduced a child into the relationship, another classic abuser move. And it worked and pulled Louis back in. Lestat is constantly belittling Louis. He makes fun of him for not being a good enough vampire but never tries to help him become more. He calls him names and tells him he cannot survive without him. Occasionally he even gets violent. After his outbursts, he comes back and is sweet and loving and the cycle begins again. 

It takes Louis a hundred years to escape this abusive relationship, and another hundred to completely release Lestat’s hold on him. I am very glad that he does finally escape this horrible relationship. This read-through was the first time I really recognized the dynamics of Louis and Lestat’s relationship. Interestingly, once I realized this I felt more kindly towards Louis and I didn’t find him so whiny. I think there’s a lesson there, at least for me, if you find out what’s really going on with people you can be more understanding.

Interview with the Vampire is an enjoyable read again

So as the story goes, you can never read the same story twice because you are never the same person twice. Originally I loved Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire . As I aged I began to dislike the book. Now I have more sympathy for the characters and I enjoyed it again.

I would definitely not recommend anyone read this when they’re eleven. You just need more emotional maturity to really understand and connect to the characters. Adults reading Interview With The Vampire should be able to see what’s happening with clearer eyes and enjoy a richer story for it. In short, this tale has stood the test of time.

Those who have already read Interview With The Vampire will be pleased by a reread and those who haven’t read it in the past will find a nuanced story to digest. And please, if you have seen the Interview With The Vampire movie, please read the book for an infinitely deeper story. I promise it’s worth it.

My rating for this book: 7/10  

Interview With The Vampire  by Anne Rice is currently available at most booksellers.

The newest adaption of   Interview With The Vampire begins October 2 on AMC and AMC+ . Have you read Interview With The Vampire ? What did you think of the novel? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus.

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I've always been a bookworm and fantasy is my favortie genre. I never imagined (okay, I imagined but I didn't think) that I could get those books sent to me for just my opinion. Now I am a very happy bookworm! @Lunagauthier19 on Twitter

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Anne Rice

Interview with the Vampire Hardcover – April 12, 1976

  • Book 1 of 13 Vampire Chronicles
  • Print length 352 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher Knopf
  • Publication date April 12, 1976
  • Dimensions 5.9 x 1.3 x 8.65 inches
  • ISBN-10 0394498216
  • ISBN-13 978-0394498218
  • Lexile measure 970L
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While Rice has continued to investigate history, faith, and philosophy in subsequent Vampire novels (including The Vampire Lestat , The Queen of the Damned , The Tale of the Body Thief , Memnoch the Devil , and The Vampire Armand ), Interview remains a treasured masterpiece. It is that rare work that blends a childlike fascination for the supernatural with a profound vision of the human condition. --Patrick O'Kelley

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In its unceasing flow of spellbinding storytelling, of danger and flight, of loyalty and treachery, Interview with the Vampire bears witness of a literary imagination of the first order.

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About the author, excerpt. © reprinted by permission. all rights reserved., product details.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Knopf (April 12, 1976)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0394498216
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0394498218
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 970L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.25 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.9 x 1.3 x 8.65 inches
  • #24 in Vampire Horror
  • #1,444 in Paranormal & Urban Fantasy (Books)
  • #2,210 in Literary Fiction (Books)

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About the author

Anne Rice was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, which provided the backdrop for many of her famous novels. She was the author of more than 30 books, including her first novel, Interview with the Vampire, which was published in 1976. It has since gone on to become one of the best-selling novels of all time, and was adapted into a major motion picture starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst, and Antonio Banderas. In addition to The Vampire Chronicles, Anne was the author of several other best-selling supernatural series including Mayfair Witches, Queen of the Damned, the Wolf Gift, and Ramses the Damned. Under the pen name A.N. Roquelaure, Anne was the author of the erotic (BDSM) fantasy series, The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. Under the pen name Anne Rampling she was the author of two erotic novels, Exit to Eden and Belinda. A groundbreaking artist whose work was widely beloved in popular culture, Anne had this to say of her work: "I have always written about outsiders, about outcasts, about those whom others tend to shun or persecute. And it does seem that I write a lot about their interaction with others like them and their struggle to find some community of their own. The supernatural novel is my favorite way of talking about my reality. I see vampires and witches and ghosts as metaphors for the outsider in each of us, the predator in each of us...the lonely one who must grapple day in and day out with cosmic uncertainty."

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interview with the vampire book review

Den of Geek

Interview with the Vampire Review: The Best Anne Rice Adaptation Ever Made

AMC’s adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire differs from the book, but makes for quality horror TV.

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Jacob Anderson as Louis De Pointe Du Lac - Interview with the Vampire _ Season 1

This Interview with the Vampire review contains no spoilers.

Late Vampire Chronicles author Anne Rice was never completely onboard with the 1994 film adaptation of her book: Interview with the Vampire , which starred Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. Taking issue with casting and other certain liberties, Rice ultimately endorsed it, but denounced its 2002 sequel, Queen of the Damned , with Aaliyah in the title role. Rice and her son Christopher have been involved with AMC’s Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire through its own tortured journey to series adaptation, so it seems any changes to the source material come with tacit pre-approval.

The stakes are high for AMC, about to come off its Walking Dead era (though in true zombie fashion, spinoffs will continue on), and concluding the sagas of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul . The network is entering its Anne Rice Era, turning her pages into its own next chapter, and already at work on adapting her The Lives of the Mayfair Witches book series. Most Vampire Chronicles fans want to see the novels presented accurately and epically, which is a mixed bag in Interview with the Vampire . Many others want it to fail outright. Not this reviewer, especially after seeing the first four episodes.

There are differences. Timelines shift, ages change, and ethnicities reflect a diverse world -and a new political undercurrent than the original 1976 novel. Starring Jacob Anderson as Louis de Pointe du Lac, Sam Reid as Lestat de Lioncourt, and Bailey Bass as Claudia, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire is not the same story as Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire . Writer/creator Rolin Jones updated it to a modern vampire tale, and possibly should have rethought which of Rice’s characters to bring to the small screen. That doesn’t mean it isn’t an extremely well-crafted, nuanced, and rehearsed vampire story. It is one of the best vampire series TV has had to offer, even if it is not quite what it promised.

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This schism is itself addressed in the third episode. Contradictions abound, and when Eric Bogosian’s now-aged interviewer Daniel Molloy clobbers the vampiric interviewee about revisionist history, the fangs come out and the tapes get burned. In the first part of the novel, Louis hates Lestat. In the series, Daniel plays a portion of the original 1973 tapes where Louis calls himself Lestat’s “complete superior,” and concludes he had been “sadly cheated in having him for a teacher.”

By taking the issue on, the show redeems its mixed message. It also does it with a sense of humor sadly missing from the films, and underplayed in the books. Louis and Lestat may be deadly serious and seriously deadly, but their true talents lie in lethal assessments, snide asides, and wry takedowns.

Who would have thought Anderson, who frowned on trivial things like jokes when he played Grey Worm on Game of Thrones , could hurl straight lines with such comic accuracy? The repartee between Louis and all characters is a highlight, from the bitter banter with the jaded Daniel to the indulgent insolence reserved for the troubled teen Claudia. Lestat may get the better lines, and Reid excels in underplaying his caustic wit, but he thinks of himself as the more dangerous creature. He’s not, it’s Louis.

Anderson’s Louis is in a state of flux in many ways. Not only is there new blood pumping in his veins, but revolutionary thoughts in his psyche. In life, Louis has a good reputation as a man who runs a house of ill-repute. His undead street cred is a bit more complicated. Louis is a virtual vampire vegetarian, feeding on animals, as if stray cats don’t have families to grieve for them.

As a badass living brothel owner in New Orleans’ red-light district of Storyville, Louis maintained as brutal a hold as was necessary to ensure his business thrived. As a Black man in the south, regardless of his success, he’d been eating Jim Crow laws so long he barely noticed the bitter taste of the strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees. But once he tastes blood, he bites the hand that feeds him. Anderson’s Grey Worm urged slaves to “kill the masters” on Game of Thrones . His newly turned vampire gets to savor that kill.

In the book, Louis is a white slave-owner with a sugar plantation, something his father ran to the ground before the events of the series. Slavery mildly flavors Rice’s Interview with the Vampire , where Lestat also feeds off slaves, but the aftertaste lingers. Race plays a far larger role in the series, at least in the beginning, while Louis still has ties to the human community he leaves behind in the book.

The series remains faithful to the atmosphere and the devil-may-care blasphemy of Rice’s books. Louis is making confession when taken by Lestat in the opening episode. Dead priests lay scattered in the pews. In the series, the de Point du Lacs are a holy family, very spiritual, loving of God, hateful of sin, bloody with Christ. Louis’ own mother, played by Rae Dawn Chong, calls her evolving son “the devil.” His sister Grace (Kalyne Coleman), runs out of patience, but is forced to leave her door open.

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While the viewers know Louis will ultimately out-“live” his family, there are some surprisingly premature burials, or burnings. Louis and Lestat keep an incinerator for body disposal because wakes were designed by people who live in colder climates than New Orleans.

One of the fires can’t be contained, which leads to the introduction of Claudia. In his conversation with Den of Geek , Jones called this character Rice’s “greatest creation.” The author wrote the character after the death of her six-year-old daughter, who succumbed to acute granulocytic leukemia in 1970. In the book, Claudia has fair skin, long curly hair and blue eyes. She is mourning over her mother when Louis finds her in the year 1794. Rice’s literary version of Claudia is a child-vampire, eternally five years old in body, but with a quickly developing mind and desires.

Kirsten Dunst was eleven years old when she played Claudia in the film. Bailey Bass plays her as a 14-year-old. “It was very important for us to shoot in New Orleans, where child labor laws say your actor can only work so many hours,” Jones told Den of Geek . “We decided to make her trapped in all the chemical excitements of puberty.” Claudia is not quite of the Twilight teen scene, angsty for self-discovery, but she does keep a diary.

“Rolin Jones has made some changes that I think deepen and do some very intriguing things with the basic story,” Alan Taylor, who sets the tone directing the first episode, told Den of Geek . Other episodic directors include Levan Akin and Keith Powell.

Surrounding the proceedings, the settings are beautifully rendered, whether we see the opulence of the vampire lifestyle, the ecclesiastical hue of a church, or the grit and mud of the backstreets. All of which come to life when splattered with the red vino on tap. The framings are exquisite, and the tapestry of shooting styles merge into a unified landscape, from the bayous to Dubai. The score is so exciting, Louis is moved to do a soft-shoe. Another highlight is seeing the classically-trained musician Lestat boogie-woogie his way through a jazz set.

One of the ways the series best succeeds is in telling a love story. Lestat is not the same neglectful narcissist with the cruel streak presented in the 1976 book, and the series’ 1973 tape collection which tries to keep the series honest. Reid’s Lestat is a different cruel narcissist, but Louis gives back as good as he gets, growing defiant, angry, and romantically jealous. This is a trait shared by both lead characters, and as they sneak into one coffin while Claudia pretends to rest, it is not the dysfunctional couple of the first novel. For reanimated corpses, they get pretty hot.

Anne Rice purists will have their gripes, all of which are justified, but Interview with the Vampire does the spirit of the source material justice. This is the more nuanced or rehearsed version of the story, as Louis and Daniel debate. The series takes on social, economic, and political issues which may or may not have bearing on vampires, but add layers to the characters, who will grow into themselves. Or die, again, trying. The adaptation is changed, but still sucks you in.

Interview with the Vampire premieres Oct. 2 on AMC and AMC+.

Tony Sokol

Tony Sokol | @tsokol

Culture Editor Tony Sokol is a writer, playwright and musician. He contributed to Altvariety, Chiseler, Smashpipe, and other magazines. He is the TV Editor at Entertainment…

interview with the vampire book review

‘Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire’: Old Monsters, New Blood

AMC has a lot riding on the series, which makes major changes to the original story. Will the millions of Rice fans sink their teeth into it?

Jacob Anderson, left, and Sam Reid play Louis and Lestat in “Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire” in which their characters share a more overtly sexual bond than in the book. Credit... Clement Pascal for The New York Times

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Erik Piepenburg

By Erik Piepenburg

  • Sept. 30, 2022

CHALMETTE, La. — The actors Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid had just finished filming a scene last March inside a cavernous studio here in the seat of St. Bernard Parish, about a 20-minute drive from the French Quarter of New Orleans. The evening air was steamy, and they looked exhausted from a shooting schedule that required them to keep vampire hours under hot lights.

As they spoke, they gave off a sparkle, and it wasn’t just because of the hand-painted contact lenses that made them look like tigers — or ravers.

It was also because they were in their sweet spot, having grown up as self-described outsiders with an affinity for the darker side of art — Poe’s literary demons for Reid, Portishead’s spectral soundtracks for Anderson. And here they were, years later, costumed in ragtime-era suiting to play two of popular culture’s most beloved misfits: Lestat and Louis from the Anne Rice novel “Interview With the Vampire,” a new series-length adaptation of which debuts Sunday on AMC.

“I’m a very proud nerd,” said Anderson, 32, who plays the reluctant bloodsucker Louis. “I love fantasy. I’m an emo. I’m a bit of a goth, I guess. This is a dream.” ( “Game of Thrones” fans know the actor, who is British, as Grey Worm , leader of the Unsullied.)

Reid, 35, had grown up with a similar sensibility. As a boy in Australia, he liked dressing up as a vampire for Halloween, and later devoured Rice’s sweeping blood-magic sagas. He said he felt a responsibility in playing the debonair Lestat to do right by the author, who died almost a year ago at 80.

“When you love the source material and you’re a fan yourself, you put the same pressure on yourself that other lovers of the book would do,” he said. “My own pressure is to do justice to something that I love very much.”

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'Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire' Review: A Sexy, Layered Adaptation Tailor-Made for TV

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Luke Brandon Field Dissects His "Tough" 'Interview with the Vampire' Episode

'presumed innocent' review: don't write off this twisty, seductive legal thriller, 'house of the dragon' season 2 review: a bigger, bloodier return that could overshadow 'game of thrones'.

There might be no name as ubiquitously linked to contemporary vampire fiction as the late Anne Rice — although you might be surprised to learn that the critical response to her 1976 debut novel, Interview with the Vampire , was initially mixed. Reactions varied between those who praised Rice's rich, sensual style and other equally vocal detractors of the vampire tale, but Interview was only the beginning of what would become 12 sequel novels, collectively referred to as The Vampire Chronicles , as well as a spinoff series. In 1994, Interview with the Vampire was turned into a film starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise and directed by Neil Jordan . Rice adapted the screenplay of her own work, but at the time, the author reportedly debated over several creative choices — she notoriously objected to Cruise's casting as Lestat, and Louis was almost rewritten to be a female character as a way to circumvent the book's homoerotic leanings.

Although the remainder of The Vampire Chronicles proved less successful in the adaptation process — 2002's Queen of the Damned was both a critical and box office flop — the franchise has proven to have staying power, with AMC acquiring the rights to adapt many of Rice's works in 2020. With their upcoming Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire , from creator/showrunner/executive producer Rolin Jones , the network has breathed new life into these characters without shying away from any of the original story's truest elements, while incorporating mindful changes to the source material that only make the end product on-screen thrilling, sexy, and more multifaceted.

The story of Interview with the Vampire , built around the conceit of the titular vampire relaying his lengthy and complex existence to a naive reporter, wouldn't be nearly as absorbing without an excellent performance to ground its telling — and it is through the eyes of Jacob Anderson 's Louis de Pointe du Lac that we are brought into a world of opportunity, violence, loss, and eternity. A return to this story includes the revelation that the series is also set nearly 50 years after the book's publication. Although Louis' first interview with the aging Daniel Molloy ( Eric Bogosian ) ended on a rather negative note for both of them, the vampire is reaching out again to let the reporter be the one to tell his story in the wake of many changes to their current circumstances — including a lot more in the vein of technology. There are advancements that have been made to enable Louis to remain awake during the daytime without hiding from the sun, but the vampire is still secluded in a fortress of his own making, one he invites both Molloy (and us by extension) into.

interview-with-the-vampire-jacob-anderson-amc

RELATED: 'Interview With The Vampire' and the Untapped Potential of 'The Vampire Chronicles'

This ancient version of Louis, more calculated and restrained with only the occasional outburst of heightened emotion, is juxtaposed against the younger, human Louis, hot-headed and impassioned, as well as the newly-turned Louis, who spurns all natural vampiric instincts. Through a narrative spanning two different timelines, Anderson pulls off the impressive work of playing the same character at all the varying stages of both his life and un life. By comparison, Bogosian's Molloy is no longer the credulous, probing journalist he once was; facing down the prospect of his own mortality due to a recent Parkinson's diagnosis has made him a more cynical presence, one more inclined to challenge Louis' recollections rather than accept any answer given at face value — which leads to a delightful tête-à-tête between the two actors that plays throughout the entire season.

When we initially meet the mortal Louis via his future self's anecdote, the show brings the past forward to 1900s New Orleans, where he is no longer a plantation owner as in the book but a man of alternative means through his holdings in a saloon in the city's red-light district of Storyville. Even the financial success he's accumulated, though, can only be accompanied by so much respect from the white men he sits around the poker table with. Louis' most frequent struggles lie both in desiring esteem as a Black man in his line of business and wrestling with the deeper, innermost secret of his queerness — an aspect that is explicitly and repeatedly referenced rather than merely alluded to with purple prose. There are parts to himself that Louis is either constantly masking or hiding altogether, at least until the mysterious, rakish Lestat de Lioncourt ( Sam Reid ) arrives in town.

From the moment that their characters collide on-screen, Anderson and Reid's chemistry is electric in every exchange; Lestat senses exactly what Louis is inwardly longing for, while Louis initially fights to resist the other man's magnetic pull at every turn. Their connection sparks a cat-and-mouse game with a discernible inevitability, and while it's evident where this will end up — and what Louis will ultimately consent to in terms of Lestat's "dark gift" — there's no ambiguity when it comes to the depiction of their relationship as an erotic and romantic one, albeit filled with its own complexities and complications.

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As Lestat, Reid is every bit the mercurial presence you want him to be — and his performance transcends even the eccentricity first established by Cruise in the '90s adaptation. It's half of what makes the series so compelling but also contributes to some of its tautest scenes. Reid's Lestat is just as likely to extend a devastatingly poetic word to his beloved as he is to suddenly fly into a terrifying rage, and it's never apparent which mood he'll be found in each time the story picks up with him in a new episode. One scene in particular, which devolves into the two vampires' most violent clash yet, is filmed in such a manner to lend it the disturbing energy of a domestic dispute between partners; furniture is destroyed, walls are reduced to rubble, and at the end of it all, you have the unsettling feeling that Lestat's words will be enough to smooth over any harm that's been done, no matter how vicious. But Reid's presence is so enthralling that it becomes entirely believable, maybe understandable, why Louis can't bring himself to definitively cut ties with his sire, even while Lestat's manipulative behavior travels to new depths.

In many ways, the addition of Claudia is obviously intended to be a Band-Aid on the fang wounds of Louis and Lestat's destructive nucleus, and Bailey Bass ' child vampire emerges at just the right time in the series' first season to shake up the established relationship between the two. Here, her background has also been lightly adjusted for the show, but in an approach that links her even more closely to Louis than in the book — and does a further job of illustrating that Louis' plea for Lestat to turn her is primarily an effort to atone for his own transgressions. It's also a plot divergence that, while minor overall, significantly explains why Louis is so protective of her, but those even slightly familiar with the story will recognize that this form of helicopter vampire parenting only backfires as Claudia chafes under the restraints of eternal pre-pubescence. Bass has a significant amount of heavy lifting to do in the portrayal of a character who initially considers the world with wide-eyed naivety before her perception evolves, leading to dark explorations of sex and violence that are just as heartbreaking as they are stomach-turning.

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In the span of the first five episodes screened for critics (out of the season's seven in total), there is the increasing sense that this show is only just getting started in unveiling some of its most captivating plots, but those initial arcs play an important part in laying the groundwork for what's to come, establishing character relationships and a strong sense of place before building out the vampires' world and expanding their horizons to other territories. In fact, the story of Interview with the Vampire is very well-suited to the television format; while the film version was forced to condense several plotlines, here they're given substantial breathing room, with characters not only introduced but explored much more intimately.

When it was first announced that Rice had plans to develop her story anew into a TV series back in 2016, the right landscape for them was a sentiment she undoubtedly shared, stating that "[it] is, more than ever, abundantly clear that television is where the vampires belong." The small screen has brought with it an onslaught of vampire media — from What We Do in the Shadows to Vampire Academy , all we have to do is look to past and emerging titles to find all the proof needed that these immortal beings are back in style. Then again, as Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire serves to remind us, maybe they never really left; instead, they've been waiting for the right time to reemerge and refresh our memories of why we fell under their spell in the first place. The road to a new adaptation has been a winding one, but AMC's lush and enthralling series proves that Rice's vampires are in the right hands.

Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire premieres October 2 on AMC and AMC+.

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  • Interview with the Vampire (2021)

interview with the vampire book review

Interview With the Vampire Is a Bloody Good Nightmare

Amc's new anne rice series flays itself open, making raw nerves of the characters and creating an adaptation that is sexy, visceral, and self-aware..

The main Interview With the Vampire cast

Anne Rice, as an author, is obsessed with the ways that love is a singularly horrible experience. It tears you apart, it destroys you, it eats you alive. In the newest adaptation of her work, AMC’s Interview With the Vampire , love is placed at the center of a reconstructed version of her seminal twisted fantasy , resulting in a sweeping, Southern Gothic romance where two vampires make a fool of death with their inescapable, never-ending , horrific love.

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You may think you know the story of Louis de Poni te du Lac and his immortal vampire maker, Lestat de Lioncourt , but you’ve never seen them quite like this. While the show takes plenty of inspiration from the book, key plot elements have been changed to contemporize the story and make it more palatable to the modern audience. In the book, for example, Louis is a Louisiana plantation owner who allows Lestat to feed on the enslaved people that are forced to work on the grounds. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to sympathize with the maudlin anger of this kind of character, especially if his main character tension came from his concern with becoming a good person. Considering his past sins, his immortal brooding on morality would only ever come off as annoyingly self-serving and shallow.

This show is not that version of Louis. Instead of a late 18th century slave-owner, the contemporary Louis de Pont du Lac (Jacob Anderson) is a Black man who owns a fine selection of brothels in New Orleans in the early 20th century. He supports his well-to-do family, plays at politics and poker in the local alderman’s club, and, as it so happens, is clearly, explicitely, and without any kind of dodging around the question, a gay man. Already this version of Louis is setting up a story that is narratively very different from the 200-year-old vampire of the original book, but who still retains that core tension of the character—a man who is too modern for his lifetime, but who never quite learns how to be a modern man.

After watching the first five episodes of AMC’s Interview With The Vampire , I have nothing but praise for the series. It was, I feel, made for me . Unapologetically queer, unafraid to wreck the source material while still managing to preserve its bones, and exceptionally detailed in its creative production; the show takes the original work and holds it up to the sunlight, letting the skin and flesh burn until all that’s left is something bright, polished, and undeniably gruesome.

One of the things that I admire about this series is that there are no coy glances at queerness. There is no subtext or sidelining of the queer relationship between Louis and Lestat; instead they are co-conspirators in seduction, explicitely in love and obsessed with each other. They are furious and fatal companions, and their love is nightmarish. Interview With The Vampire has created a sumptuous exploration of queerness at the turn of the century, doing away with the sweet nothings that fans had to pick out from the text and instead embracing the grandeur of the sweltering Southern Gothic setting, creating a pair of characters that are constantly tearing themselves apart as they attempt to fuck their way out of feeling hurt.

One of results of this disregard for subtlety is that the sexual subtext, which for so long was at the core of the tension between Louis and Lestat (Sam Reid), has been laid bare, like a raw nerve. AMC’s adaptation must instead find new ways to bleed. As a man becomes a monster and learns how to be human, the seductive bite of the series comes from Louis’ struggle with his religion, his desire to be the good monster, his racialized interactions with the white politicians and businessmen, and his fraying ties to his family, who grow increasingly more afraid of him as the series continues and tragedy strikes over and over. It is a spiral that winds itself tighter and tighter around Louis, who was killed and has died for love. As for Lestat, his desperation, his loneliness, his monstrosity, all of it tears at him, slowly being picked away like last season’s wardrobe. His soul is loose at the seams and he has sought out Louis, desperate for someone to affix himself to as he stares down the threat of immortality, armed against the darkness with only a needle.

Image for article titled Interview With the Vampire Is a Bloody Good Nightmare

Another part of Interview With the Vampire , and all of Anne Rice’s novels, is that it is deeply, fundamentally weird . She is constantly trying to explain herself, to dig into the origin of her lore, work, and characters. It is an admirable trait in an author to be so willing to interrogate yourself as a source of creativity, but in action, it results in some fascinatingly bonkers origin stories for vampires, witches, and even aliens. While the show isn’t quite doing all of that (yet), it is certainly embracing the off-putting strangeness of Rice’s vampires. Supernaturally strong, fast, and vicious, the vampires of the show have more than one trick up their sleeves when it comes to dealing with humanity writ large. The result is that everything is just a little bit odd. It leans into the absurd without compunction, and it is delightful.

The thing to remember is that this show has made choices . And when it came to a point, any point, where it had to make choices, it made the most choice possible. The decisions are extra, dramatic, over the top, extreme, gory, and flamboyant. While the show is still incredibly approachable, it has created an atmosphere of grandiosity that makes every part of it feel heavy, laden with meaning, and soaked in blood. It is, in short, extremely fucking campy, and it is unfraid to throw a fucking ball.

Image for article titled Interview With the Vampire Is a Bloody Good Nightmare

AMC’s Interview With the Vampire knows that it has to contend with the past iterations of its story, but instead of distancing itself from the books or the film, it is gleefully reveling in the conversation. In the book, Louis seeks out Daniel Malloy in the ‘70s, relating his story to the young reporter. In the series, Louis has done the same thing, but after the end of the interview went poorly, Louis and Daniel separated. Now, 50 years later, in the undeniably modern 2022, Louis has invited Daniel to Dubai in order to attempt to tell his story–again. This show contends with the meta of reinterpretation, and seems to enjoy wrestling with it. Eric Bogosian as Daniel brings aggressive, no-nonsense directness to the series, a fantastically human addition amid all the monsters we are otherwise surrounded by. What comes of this acknowledgement of change and adaptation is a nuanced awareness of how abuse can shred the tapestry of memory.

The relationship between Louis and Lestat is romantic, yes, but it’s also very clearly toxic, obsessive, and damaging. By giving two interviews, Louis has space to reflect, and we are given an incredibly intentional exploration of an abusive relationship. It feels like a necessary admission, and by allowing time to pass—and acknowledging that we as an audience can enjoy watching the downwards spiral of two men wrapped up in each other— Interview With the Vampire confronts its own shortcomings and, much like what it does with the queer subtext, turns implications into examinations, creating a stronger, tighter, more mature work.

AMC’s Interview With the Vampire is a sexy, edgy, weird, contemporary, and sophisticated reconstruction of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Within an artful articulation of violence, masculinity, and love, Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid bleed, clawing at New Orleans and each other. The writing understands not only the characters, but the intrinsically campy, absurd premise of the vampire itself. It sacrifices the golden calves to sate the audience and the result is a celebration of all the things that gave the series cult status to begin with. Interview With the Vampire is a predatory series, unafraid to go for the jugular, ripping at the most beloved parts of itself to get the audience to claw at their own necks, gasping and desperate for more.

Learn more about Anne Rice’s Immortal Universe here . Interview With the Vampire is available to stream on AMC+.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV , and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power .

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Interview With the Vampire Is the Best Show Almost Nobody Is Watching

There’s one thing—ok, two—preventing this drama from becoming the hit it’s meant to be..

Perhaps no channel better encapsulates what my colleague Sam Adams defined as the end of Peak TV and the start of Trough TV like AMC and its neglected streaming arm AMC+, a service that is unfamiliar to virtually everyone I know. Gone are the days of Mad Men , Breaking Bad , and even Better Call Saul , which ended two years ago with less fanfare than you would think. Now AMC mainly treats us to an ever-expanding roster—six and counting, by my estimation—of uneven spin-offs of The Walking Dead . Middling zombie IP can only take you so far; where’s the next great show from the former network titan of prestige programming? The answer is a series that has been here all along and is, in fact, well into its second season: Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire .

AMC’s adaptation of Rice’s popular 1976 gothic horror-romance novel starts with a journalist. After an encounter gone near fatally wrong half a century prior, cynical Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian) sits down for another interview with the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson), formerly a gay Black Creole human man who suffered a toxic relationship with the unstable, intemperate, manipulative yet alluringly captivating vampire Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid) some years ago. Louis, at this point almost 150 years old, seeks to tell Daniel his life story, which had long starred Lestat but instead currently centers his current paramour, the ancient vampire Armand (Assad Zaman). Daniel feels that, with Louis’ tale, he may well have his final book on his hands.

Season 1 was warmly received by critics. Although one might expect the show to be dripping in soapy melodrama, akin to that of the Brad Pitt–and–Tom Cruise–led cult classic 1994 film adaptation, today’s Interview is praised as much more well balanced . Sure, the melodrama is still there—after all, it’s a series about gay vampires who just can’t quit each other—but unlike the 1994 movie, it’s not all camp all the time. For one, the show doesn’t shy away from the expressly romantic nature of Louis and Lestat’s bond. Compellingly portraying such a relationship—one that is mired in deep emotional abuse and manipulation, that is a constant push and pull between a union of comfort and understanding vs. one of possessiveness—is no easy task. But Anderson’s and Reid’s deft performances carry the genuine love that persists between the fanged, damaged men, underneath the weight of all the things that seek to suffocate it.

When the show isn’t taking on the nuanced ins and outs of abusive couplings, it’s taking on the ins and outs of race , having made Louis’ origin story one of a Black gay man trying to become a successful entrepreneur in the Jim Crow South of 1910 New Orleans. There is nuance aplenty amid the drama, giving the audience both a morality and a mortality to consider. Existence is hard, the show declares, and any manner of making it easier comes with its own set of demons. You just have to decide which is the devil you can live with.

What elevates the entire series for me isn’t the Louis–Lestat pairing but Daniel Molloy. We all know Bogosian plays the perfect cynic—who else could deliver the famous line “You can’t make a Tomelet without breaking some Greggs” in Succession with such gravitas?—but AMC’s version of Daniel is rich and complex. He’s a no–B.S.–taking recovering addict with Parkinson’s disease; by his own account, he ruined his marriage and his kids, but he still has the fire of a legendary journalist. Daniel’s real-world pessimism and his Anthony Bourdain–esque skepticism elevate Interview , providing a much-needed foil for the self-indulgence of the vampiric tale. But he remains layered in that role, at once defiant and vulnerable, curious and terrified. He also has palpable chemistry with Louis, making you wonder what really happened between them nearly 50 years ago.

Season 2, now at its midway point, continues to shine. It follows Louis and Claudia (portrayed by Bailey Bass in Season 1 and Delainey Hayles in Season 2), a 14-year-old who was turned into a vampire by Lestat at Louis’ request. The pair are grappling with Claudia’s now-perpetual adolescence and Louis’ love-blindness, which left them both vulnerable to Lestat’s abuse. They flee New Orleans to navigate Europe, looking for other vampires to fall in with—good ones, hopefully, though an underlying theme of Interview is that you can never be sure. Louis is struggling to inhabit the father/older brother role he wants to take on for Claudia, allowing the show to tackle the idea of family: what it is and isn’t, what it should and shouldn’t be. Where Season 1 explored what it means to dive into something—sexuality, vampirism, the usual—Season 2 is about getting over something, if that is possible.

But for all of the things AMC’s Interview is—a prestige drama, a rumination on love and life, a campy fantasy romp—a hit it is not. Both seasons have received low ratings, prompting concerns, from the viewers who do care, over the show’s chances of survival. The series has a passionate fan base, but it is, to borrow a turn of phrase from culture critic Bobbi Miller , a prestige show with a CW audience. As you may be aware, the CW—the replacement network for the WB and UPN—is responsible for shows like Riverdale , The Vampire Diaries , Nancy Drew , and Gilmore Girls . A CW audience , then, is a small but mighty group of fans who fawn over romance, teen, and fantasy television. They’re the fun fans, the ones who make fan edits and Tumblr GIF sets, who write fan fiction and create “ships” between characters. These fans are often assumed to be younger, though I’m sure I’m not alone among the members of this group pushing 30. Given Interview With the Vampire ’s soapy subject matter, it’s not a shock that it has attracted a CW-like audience. The beautiful thing about that kind of following is its passion—but, as with many groups coded as young and female, it is rarely taken seriously, and is often looked down upon by the viewers, critics, and executives who are looking for so-called serious prestige creations.

Make no mistake: Interview With the Vampire is one of the best shows currently on television. The plot is easier to follow than the convoluted narrative swamp of the Game of Thrones universe, the acting is better than that of most other shows on the air, and the writing is solid. The series has something for everyone, but not everyone is tuning in, whether it’s because they’re making assumptions about the type of show it is or because it’s on freaking AMC+. People keep bemoaning the lack of good TV these days—well, the answer is right there, waiting for its big moment, under constant threat of cancellation.

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Interview With the Vampire stars break down the truth of what happened in San Francisco (exclusive)

"That's really the darkest point in Louis' story," Jacob Anderson says.

Sydney Bucksbaum is a writer at Entertainment Weekly covering all things pop culture – but TV is her one true love. She currently lives in Los Angeles but grew up in Chicago so please don't make fun of her accent when it slips out.

interview with the vampire book review

Warning: This article contains spoilers for  Interview With the Vampire  season 2, episode 5, "Don't Be Afraid, Just Start the Tape."

The truth has finally come out on Interview With the Vampire.

AMC's TV adaptation of Anne Rice's novels reached a fever pitch in Sunday's pivotal episode, as vampire Louis ( Jacob Anderson ) and human journalist Daniel Molloy ( Eric Bogosian ) worked together to uncover both of their manipulated memories of what really happened 50 years ago in San Francisco.

By the end of the emotionally brutal episode, they successfully helped each other remember that Louis had attacked Daniel and then tried to kill himself by walking into the sun, but he was stopped by a furious and frustrated Armand (Assad Zaman). While Louis painfully recovered from his near-fatal burns, Armand angrily found and spoke to Lestat ( Sam Reid ) in his mind, alerting him of Louis' tragic choice but refusing to repeat Lestat's declaration of love to Louis. And while Louis was bedridden and depressed, Armand kept Daniel in the apartment, torturing him for days and ultimately almost killing him until Louis stopped Armand and saved Daniel's life. By the end of the episode, Louis and Daniel formed a tentative alliance in the present-day Dubai storyline as they suspect Armand altered both of their memories.

Courtesy of AMC Network Entertainment LLC

"I was really excited — this was the second script that I read this season," Anderson tells Entertainment Weekly. "And [showrunner] Rolin [Jones] said to me at the beginning of this season, that is going to be the hardest bit, because we're going to shoot an action movie and a play within the space of like a month. It was a challenge."

This episode was actually the first one to be filmed this season, and Zaman was shocked to find out he was jumping into the deep end after reading the script. "Oh my God, I was blown away, but then I thought, 'I am never going to be able to do this. I can't do it,'" he tells EW. "But it's such a brilliant, brilliant episode. I had an inkling that we were going to revisit San Francisco after the mic drop at the end of season 1, and it's like a movie in its own right. And for Armand, you see every facet of him, every desperate facet, and that was really fun to play. It was the first episode I shot, so that was scary, but I'm glad I did."

Interview With the Vampire has deviated from Rice's novels many times already, but the reveal of what happens in San Francisco is perhaps the most shocking left turn from the source material yet. "The biggest change is that you've got me there, whereas the book, he's not part of that," Zaman says of Armand's impact. "That is already an enticing question as to how does that dynamic play out? The first half of the episode is more true to how it would've looked in the book, and then, what changes is, and I think cleverly, Louis' decision to attack Molloy and then Armand stepping in. That creates a whole new dynamic."

Anderson was "excited" to finally unpack the truth of what happened in San Francisco in this episode, and he says the reveal is even more shocking and powerful than what he had imagined. "I was really looking forward to dig into that more," he adds. "And the stuff he says to Armand, it's mad to say that to somebody, let alone somebody that you're in a relationship with. It is insane. It's a very dark episode, and where Louis takes himself is obviously very heavy. But there are other things that were in it that were unlike anything I've ever seen before."

The actor also loves how much there is to read between the lines. "In addition to what's in the episode, there's also just more implied because there's only so much you can do, there's only so much you're allowed to do," Anderson explains. "But Louis is essentially a heroin addict at that point. He's getting secondhand highs from people, and that's what he's seeking. That's really the darkest point in Louis' story. The thing that takes him where he goes is connected to the other darkest point in his life. The writing in that episode is just incredible. It's amazing. It's really the best."

Larry Horricks/AMC

But when it was time to bring that writing to life, Anderson wasn't prepared for how much it would take out of him, particularly Louis' suicide attempt. "It was a lot," he says with a sigh. "It was hard. Emotionally, it was quite taxing. I take a lot of Louis to heart, and that was a tough day. And I didn't really know it was going to be like that." 

Anderson pauses before continuing, "I don't know, I'm trying not to be too personal because I'm always talking too much about myself, as if we're the same person. We're not. But the writing is so good that it requires you to dig into your guts and the darkest recesses of your brain, and episode 5 was full of that — and later episodes too."

Zaman feels the same way, especially about the moments when Armand is taking care of Louis while simultaneously punishing him with the threat of Lestat. "Oh, it's so tragic," Zaman says. "You think in that moment that he might be true to himself and let Louis go. And maybe if he had let him go and was honest and said what Lestat had said to him, things might have been different. Maybe Louis might have chosen to come back to Armand. But we don't know. He robbed Louis of that choice by not saying it."

With the amount of gut-wrenching monologues Armand delivers in the episode, Zaman is grateful that he had a lot of time in between getting the script and when they began to film to properly prepare.

"If we had gone and done that a couple of days after I got the script, I think I would've crumbled," he admits with a laugh. "I would've been a mess. But I had decent time to prepare for all of those scenes and speeches. I wasn't sure really what was going to come out. I wasn't sure how my Armand was going to manifest itself. You close your eyes and hit and hope, and that's kind of what I did. I just sort of went with it, and that's what came out. I don't know how much control I had over it, really, if I'm honest."

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That's why he's hesitant to comment on whether or not Armand is intentionally messing with Louis' memory in the same way he's altered Daniel's.

"When we remember particular moments in our lives, I think we all are capable of embellishing and also omitting parts of our stories," Zaman says. "I find that my memories of things, of particular events, are really led by the emotion of it and how I felt at the time, and sometimes those emotions make the event bigger or smaller, and sometimes they play out in our heads like movies. Armand is also capable of that, capable of re-remembering things in his own way, depending on his emotions."

Zaman points out that there is also "the element of preservation of this interview itself and what that means for Armand and Louis, but also him as a vampire and the sacred way that they've been living and how it might impact if this story comes out."

"Armand is a very protective person because he's suffered a lot, so he tries to protect whatever reality he has going, whether or not that reality is good or bad for other people," Zaman adds. "I think he's incapable of seeing something that might be toxic, but he just wants to keep the reins in, so that he can survive."

But Armand's reality is falling apart, and he has no idea yet, thanks to Louis and Daniel letting down their walls and working together in this episode. "They go on such a see-saw journey — it's their old adversarial relationship coming back and this new allyship with each other which is really nice and something I always wanted to see with them," Anderson says. "I hate competition between men — I just hate it so much. I have no energy or time for it. It creates interesting drama but it's also the thing that is destroying the world, and there's something I really love in that episode between Daniel and Louis where their egos are checked at the same time and they actually meet each other and get real with each other and work together."

Anderson adds that it's "a really beautiful and rare thing to see two men confide in each other emotionally and get vulnerable with each other in a way that's not competitive or sexual. It's just vulnerable, and it's lovely. I really love that scene where they're sitting in the zen garden and I remember thinking, 'This is a really sweet, rare moment in modern storytelling. What an honor to get to do this.'"

New episodes of  Interview With the Vampire  air Sundays on AMC.

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  1. Interview with the Vampire

    November 29, 2021. Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1), Anne Rice. 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 ...

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    Interview with the Vampire is a gothic horror and vampire novel by American author Anne Rice, published in 1976.It was her debut novel.Based on a short story Rice wrote around 1968, the novel centers on vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac, who tells the story of his life to a reporter.Rice composed the novel shortly after the death of her young daughter Michelle, who served as an inspiration for ...

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    Genre: Fantasy. Summary: In the now-classic novel Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice refreshed the archetypal vampire myth for a late-20th-century audience. The story is ostensibly a simple one: having suffered a tremendous personal loss, an 18th-century Louisiana plantation owner named Louis Pointe du Lac descends into an alcoholic stupor.

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  10. Interview with the Vampire: Rice, Anne: 9780345337665: Amazon.com: Books

    Interview with the Vampire. Mass Market Paperback - September 13, 1991. "A magnificent, compulsively readable thriller . . . Rice begins where Bram Stoker and the Hollywood versions leave off and penetrates directly to the true fascination of the myth—the education of the vampire."—Chicago Tribune. Here are the confessions of a vampire.

  11. Remembering Anne Rice: Interview With The Vampire

    Interview With The Vampire (1976) This book is an incredible work. It was written in the aftermath of the death of Rice's young daughter, and that sense of depression is there throughout the book. Later books have a different tone, and she ret-conned some of the events of the first book by basically claiming Louis was an unreliable narrator.

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    This is the book that started it all. Nearly 50 years ago Anne Rice penned the tragic tale of Louis, Lestat, and Claudia and rekindled our love for vampires which is still going strong today. Anne Rice's Interview With The Vampire was so loved by fans that it kicked off a 15-book series chronicling Louis, Lestat, and their fellow vampires.

  14. Interview with the Vampire: Rice, Anne: 8601415931457: Amazon.com: Books

    Interview with the Vampire. Hardcover - April 12, 1976. by Anne Rice (Author) 4.5 8,225 ratings. Book 1 of 13: Vampire Chronicles. See all formats and editions. 40th ANNIVERSARY EDITION • From the #1 New York Times bestselling author, "a magnificent, compulsively readable thriller...Rice begins where Bram Stoker and the Hollywood versions ...

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