I first heard of Anne Rice's work a long time ago, from a friend who loved her books, but I wasn't really ready to read them then. Since I've more recently started reading quite a few books about the fae and vampires, I've been thinking that it's time to start reading Anne Rices books, after all she's known as the Queen of the Vampire writers.
"Interview with a Vampire" was Anne Rice's first novel, and it is also the first in series "The Vampire Chronicles." Have you ever wondered what the transformation from a man or a woman to a vampire is like? What do they feel physically? Emotionally? What changes? What's it like trying to adjust to your new life and immortality?
In this book we receive answers to all of those questions, and more, as a young boy interviews a vampire and we follow that vampires life from his initial transformation on. One of the things that we learn is that, while the actual transformation process is pretty standard, the initial reaction to the change can be very different depending on how well the "creator" guides fledgling vampire. Louis (the main character) reflects often about things he would have done differently as he relates the tale of his own change. Different ways he would have guided his fledgling self.
Many things change when you become a vampire, but there are some things that remain the same. You still retain your memories (although you may interpret them differently), your knowledge, and (if no one realizes your dead) your property. In many cases, vampires discover themselves having some of the same interests and inclinations that they had before the change.
Louis struggled with many internal questions after his change. In many ways it was made harder because Lestat, his master, and he would not have been compatible personalities in life, and are even less so in death. Because of this, Lestat not only wouldn't know how to usher Louis through his struggles, he doesn't have any desire to. His only aim with Louis is to keep him subjugated, and to use him for his money and property.
Eventually their little group grows, and a young girl becomes a part of their vampire family. Now we are faced with a whole new set of questions. Vampires never age physically, they are forever stuck at the age they were transformed, so what happens when a vampire is transformed as a child? As a woman's consciousness develops in a child's body?
One of the things I really appreciated about "Interview with a Vampire" is that not only do you have a story that keeps you captivated, Anne Rice thinks through all the different angles, and feeds you the information almost before you have a chance to wonder. So many authors focus too much on the plot and don't fill in any of the details, or spend too much time on the details and the story never moves. Anne Rice has found a wonderful balance between these two pressures.