Premise: A vampire discovers, too late, what it means to be human.
About: Published 1976. I think most readers of Fantasy would consider this book a classic of the genre, particularly of vampire fiction. It is set in Louisiana and extends through two centuries, though it also drops in on 19th century Europe. I read it before touring New Orleans, this summer.
What I Liked: (1) The story surprised me with its intensity. It wouldn’t let me go. I was completely drawn in, which is an experience I struggle to find in adult fiction. My experience of it was comparable to the frenzy of reading that took place withAtlas Shrugged, Gone With the Wind, Never Let Me Go and Anne Tyler’s Breathing Lessons. The setting and characters ofInterview were a great source of tension. (2) Good flowing style. Held the tension well. (3) Louis’s ponderings reveal some insights into human nature, particularly the modern man’s spiritual burden. The ultimate story tension comes from Louis’s existential crisis. I think he symbolizes the modern despair and loss of innocence that Armand (another much older vampire) seeks to understand. (4) I really adored poor, melancholy Louis. Conversely, I didn’t like Lestat at all, although friends have told me, time and again, “That’s because, Christy, YOU NEED TO READ THE VAMPIRE LESTAT!!!!!” Which may be true. I don’t know, yet. Everybody I talk to about these books seems to love Lestat and dislike Louis (“He’s so whiny all the time!” they say. Well, yes. His life is one long existential crisis. He’s rather glum about, well, everything.)
Other Stuff: A lot of readers complained about the plot and pace (“it was slow”), and if they didn’t connect with Louis, they just didn’t like the book very much. Neither Louis’s whining nor the slow plotting hindered my enjoyment of the book, but these complaints seemed almost like common consensus, on Goodreads.
Overall: Glad I read it.
Continue W/Series?: I may read one of the next books, with Lestat, since they’re so popular…but I have a feeling they won’t live up to this one.
Recommended: Older teens who are good readers and enjoy gothic horror elements will probably enjoy this. But I don’t think Twihards will find what they’re looking for, here. (I would know. I loved Twilight as a teen; but I don’t think I would have found this book very interesting or satisfying at the time. I’m still not really “into” vampires, but I wanted to start familiarizing myself with the mythology.)
Film Adaption: I didn’t like it. All the good parts of Louis’s brooding personality were missing. The only part I liked about the movie was the end, which was different than the book, and I think reflects the future of the Lestat books better than the book’s ending (although I can’t say that for certain, since I haven’t read any of them beyond Interview). I liked both endings for different reasons.