Thursday, March 24, 2016

Throwback Thursday: The Vampire Chronicles

In which I share vague recollections of books I read long ago that have stuck with me.

Before Twilight, before True Blood, before all of the recent plague of vampires in pop culture, there was Anne Rice. There are six books in The Vampire Chronicles, but I think I read only the first 3: Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and Queen of the Damned.

It seemed like everyone was reading these books when I was in high school, and I loved them. The story began with a boy interviewing a vampire (as the title suggests) and the bulk of the novel is the vampire's story. Louis is from New Orleans and in the late 1700s a vampire named Lestat turns him into a vampire as well and they continue to live together on Louis's plantation. They are joined by a 5-year-old girl named Claudia who, once she becomes a vampire, grows into a woman who is trapped in a child's body. That part of the story was always particularly horrifying to me. Louis and Lestat have many differences over the year and I think Louis ends up trying to kill him a number of times.

The second book, The Vampire Lestat, is obviously about Lestat. He becomes a rock star in the 1980s and to me at that time, there was nothing more thrilling than a sexy vampire rock star. I remember nothing of the third book, Queen of the Damned, but the title character is Akasha, the mother of all vampires. I recall liking the first two books the most.

The whole idea of characters who lived so long they lived in many different eras was very appealing to me, and I remember liking Louis's 1700s style and sensibilities, which were somehow very classy to me. Plus, it was all very sexy. I don't think that Louis and Lestat officially had a romantic relationship, but the process of turning someone into a vampire was pretty intimate, and they definitely had a close bond even though their relationship became quite stormy. Not so different from many romantic relationships.

Would I like these books if I read them now? I have no idea, and no plans to find out because I prefer to remember them as high school favorites.

Have you read them recently? How were they? Or do you remember them from decades ago as I do?

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