In 1994 my friend took me to see Interview with the Vampire in the theater. I was 14 and all I knew was that I was mesmerized. I’d never heard of Anne Rice or Lestat or the books. For me, it was just a movie. (And it’s crazy to think that the movie is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year!)
At the time, I wasn’t concerned with symbolism or imagery. I just liked the movie. As a history lover (later I would graduate college with a double major, with one being History), I fell in love with the idea of watching a character move through so many time periods. I never overlooked the part about what a vampire must do to survive; I liked that Anne Rice’s characters didn’t forget that either. I thought it was a smart way to portray their eternal predilection: some vampires relished it, some abhorred it, some tolerated it, and some managed to survive by doing the least amount of damage possible. The same can be said of conscience: some vampires are directed by an eternal crisis of conscience, while others choose to embrace the spirit of carpe diem.
A few weeks later my family went to the mountains for Christmas, and we stopped in a little market on the way to buy snacks. There on the book rack was a copy of Interview with the Vampire. I bought it, and I spent the rest of the trip enveloped in the world of Anne Rice and her vampires. We returned home five days later, I rushed to the bookstore and bought the sequels: The Vampire Lestat, Queen of the Damned, and Tale of the Body Thief. I read those in a matter of days. I couldn’t get enough.
Memnoch the Devil was the first book that came out while I was a fan. That was 1995 and I was 15, and while I found the book to be entertaining, I have to admit that it didn’t resonate with me.
Years have passed and now I’m 33. A new book in the Vampire Chronicles is being released in October and it features the Vampire Lestat. You might recall that Anne Rice said she would never bring Lestat back after his exodus in The Blood Canticle. Interestingly, that was released back in 2003 when Anne Rice had been embracing Christianity. In 2010 she famously split from Christianity and returned to her supernatural roots with The Wolf Gift. That said, it will be interesting to see if Lestat is still pursuing sainthood.
I’ve decided to embark on a journey. I’m going to re-read The Vampire Chronicles before the new book comes out, and I’m going to post my thoughts, reflections and comments on my blog. I’m hoping to find things that I missed before. I’m really looking forward to this little journey. I hope you’ll join me along the way, and I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you!