I decided to try a modern classic vampire story by reading “Interview With The Vampire.” The gothic tale was absolutely compelling and much more than I expected! Rice’s descriptive writing had me waiting for blood to ooze from the pages. This graphic novel portrays the death and carnage that surrounds the vampires but has a surprisingly philosophical plot. I was surprised with the amount of focus of this them especially since this aspect is virtually absent from the movie. The plot is that Louis, a Southern gentleman, is turned into a vampire by Lestat. Once turned, Louis wonders how his new status fits in line with God, the Devil, and any other supernatural being. Thus begins his quest to find answers concerning his soul.
However, the relationship between Louis and Lestat is tenuous due to their different outlooks on the value of the humans living around them. The book does an excellent job of portraying Louis as a compassionate victim, while Lestat is undoubtably nothing more than a cold-blooded killer. Louis was a sympathetic, yet frustrating character because he lives in almost constant fear of Lestat and lacks the courage to go out on his own. This was something I never quite understood. To entice Louis to remain tethered to Lestat, he creates a child vampire, Claudia. In the novel, Claudia is no more than five years old, but she is a teen in the movie. I thought the age of Claudia in the movie was actually a more realistic approach to her character, but the essence of her calculating mind cloaked in sweetness is nevertheless still present in the book. Claudia becomes an instinctive killer who exhibits the courage to handle Lestat in a way Louis could never dare. The theological thoughts of Louis that are present throughout much of the novel are deeply philosophic. The position of vampires in the dichotomy of good and evil is certainly a complex issue for though.
To anyone who liked the movie, you are truly missing out on the real story of Louis and Lestat if you don’t read this novel. Rice is a master storyteller and this novel was no exception.