04 October 1941 – 11 December 2021 (80)
How was I first acquainted with Anne Rice? I found a copy of The Body Thief, the fourth book in The Vampire Chronicles way back in 9th grade of high school. It was the only book at the bottom of a crooked, old book shelf of my Spanish class. I opened The Body Thief, liked what I was reading, and decided to do some research. It turned out that it was the fourth book in a series, and, since I liked the prose, I decided to start from the beginning with Interview with the Vampire. That was the start of a long reader’s journey for me with Anne Rice that completely enriched my understanding of so many genres: horror, goth, paranormal.
We breathe the light, we breathe the music, we breathe the moment as it passes through us.
Like so many of the characters in The Vampire Chronicles, readers cannot help but to love to love and hate Lestat, The Brat Prince as they call him. Louis, the vampire that Lestat creates in Interview with the Vampire, retells his story to a reporter, Daniel, in San Francisco during modern times. He takes us back to the colonial days of New Orleans, and before the readers know it, we’re too deep into the story to stop reading. Let’s just say that it gets dicey when Lestat creates an immortal child vampire, Claudia. This might not be the place to say it, but I’m gonna spill a little of the tea and note that Stephanie Mayer totally ripped that plot line of the forbidden vampire child from Anne Rice. Rice was an original OG of the writer’s world; she completely revamped (pun intended) the vampire mythology and gave it an incomparable richness and sensuousness. She never did specifically call out Stephanie Meyer on that plot theft, but rumor has it she was very critical of Meyer’s work. To be honest, I would have at least taken it to Twitter post level.
Good night sweet Prince, may flights of devils wing you to your rest.
Interview with the Vampire was such a hit that it was adapted into a film. And, it starred so many talented actors that went on to be super Hollywood famous: Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, Kirsten Dunst. The film was really well adapted from the book. I have to say that the vampires’ long nails in the film adaptation give them a tad too monstrous look. And, they are really really pale. They do have to be able to blend in with the general population rather well. Anyway, that whole plot idea gets updated in The Queen of the Damned and the following books. One central theme is how the vampires deal with the juxtapositions of living forever and having amassed a lot of wisdom with not really fitting into a time beyond their own. And, the theme of wanting to die and not being able to because their age actually makes them stronger. It’s difficult for many vampires to maintain a sense of vivacity and energy which is why Lestat is such a favorite and also a bane; he’s the eternal rebel.
Evil is a point of view.
To make an already long review a little shorter, read these books. You really don’t have a clue about vampires and their modern popularity until you read Anne Rice. She’s gone now, but I will always cherish the days I would get comfortable on my bed to read the next few chapters with a bag of Doritos and a Dr. Pepper during my high school years. I will miss her posts on Facebook and Instagram. She was one of the few writers that had a genuine following. Her wittiness and authorial gifts will be missed. It looks like next year, 2022, there may be a memorial service for her in New Orleans according to her son. So, if you are a fan and decide to attend, I may see you there, along with a vampire or two!
Rice, Anne. The Vampire Chronicles: Interview with the Vampire, Vampire Lestat, and The Queen of the Damned. Knopf, Alfred A, 1 January 2009.
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