‘Interview with the Vampire’ is everything it could have ever been and more, but is taxing emotionally


Kaila Babyar

‘Interview with the Vampire’ by Anne Rice is difficult but worth the read.

Alisha Chhatwal, Perspective Reporter

Minor spoilers ahead.

Anne Rice’s “Interview with the Vampire” characters are very beautifully imagined. With her backgroud as a catholic, I felt so enthralled reading of the archaic churches, the grime, the dark narrow alleyways, and the old ages of the bodies with animated souls that are kept alive by the repeated murder of humans. Though her passing has caused immeasurable pain for her fans and loved ones, there is very much to be done to celebrate her life and honor her work. 

Although her book, “Interview with the Vampire,” can be very emotionally draining, it makes up for it in rich imagery and brief moments of calm. The main vampires, Louis and Lestat, are very important to the theme because they are needed to explain the difference between their dying human nature and the emergence of their new view on life that is some of both and none at the same time. 

The way the story is told is through both intimate recollection by Louis to the boy and therefore the reader as a passive presence, and third person narration depicting the changes that happen in the present while the story is being told like changes in body language and nuances in facial expression. This book has a dangerous deepening sadness that overwhelms and compels. The nameless boy is a neutral test dummy for Louis to explain his life story because Louis likes playing with his food no matter how much he says otherwise. How Louis describes his relationships with other vampires is also important to ultimately prove something to himself and not actually the boy even though Louis does not feel ill will toward every human being ever. When Louis is speaking to the boy and telling him about his life, the characters and his relationships to them are from Louis’ perspective and therefore not the most reliable, but very enjoyable.

The boy, a young journalist in New Orleans, stumbles upon Louis at a bar and ends up in an old house with Victorian era furniture. The boy listens with his youth and they are opposites sitting opposite. The story that is told by Louis’ mouth, eyes and devilishly thin limbs are not beautiful, and are not completely bone-chilling either. Rice creates this in-between that pulls to the side of each. 

One of the most precious moments of his ongoing inner-turmoil is the beginning of his withering human nature after being turned into a vampire by Lestat. Lestat, a blonde vampire that is frankly the embodiment of gluttony, goes to extraneous measures to obtain wealth and wanton havoc and is always screaming because raising his voice and being cruel are just hand in glove for him. Although most of Louis’ story is confusing and full of despair, there is truth in it and there is beauty in his unfiltered expression. His slight changes in thought and reflection of his life as time passes is unstable and always quick to change, keeping it confusing but also easier to become absorbed in. I became enchanted in his descriptions of endless nights and melancholy so bitter it was almost ostentatious.

 “It was as if this night were only one of thousands of nights, world without end, night curving into night to make a great arching line of which I couldn’t see the end, a night in which I roamed alone under cold, mindless stars.” (Rice 68,80,142)

But, I also witnessed his capacity for love, even when it shrank and became inconceivable and far away as he realized the true nature of himself, I still found it myself carelessly enjoying it. (Rice 252, 314, 335)

Despite all the evil that Louis will claim to be in his described moments of calm or rampages of death, remember to have compassion when he does not and writh in his anger with him, because he has a purpose in spitting out years of information. In that sense, my advice would be to pay attention to what he says, even more than the boy. It is ironic that the boy interviewed Louis to hear the “life” of a “man” when Louis is a vampire telling the story of multiple lifespans that never start over but always continue as less than a life to begin with, and why or how that may be true is explained by Louis indirectly because the result of his life is one that questions the human conscience and experience he is no longer a part of, and his life is granted by death and this wretched continuation of life that builds over time is something that I found the most compelling to try and understand.