Last night I finished reading “Interview With The Vampire” by Anne Rice. I had picked it up along with her new book, “Called Out of Darkness”, which is about her re-commitment to Christianity after being an atheist for her entire adult life. I’m not really into the whole vampire genre of fiction, I’m a science fiction guy, but since it was her first blockbuster novel, I wanted to experience it before I dig into her conversion story.
So I gotta say, it was riveting and I plowed through 2/3rds of the book in two sittings. The Louis character was interesting. Sort of a lost soul, not unlike a lot of people, searching for meaning in life, fighting the constant battle between his inner urges and his morality. He also struggles with the existence of God , the concepts of good and evil, the search for love, and I wondered how much of this reflected Anne’s own struggles.
A lot of this book was creepy though. And by creepy I just mean that it made me feel uncomfortable to have my mind flooded with certain types of imagery. There’s a lot of death (obviously) in this book, but there’s also a lot of excitement and pleasure associated with that death, and that aspect turned me off. There’s quite a bit of homoerotic imagery toward the end as well, and for a second I thought I had opened an Oscar Wilde novel. Don’t get me wrong, none of the gore or sexual imagery felt sensationalistic or anything, it fit with the story, but it was all very primal and dark and unsettling.
Toward the end it all just became a little too much as I started to realize that there would be no redemption, no hero of the story. Nobody to right the wrongs and make me feel good about the future. The story just ended in kind of a numb, dark place for me. It seemed to say that life is basically meaningless and we should just do what pleases us at any given time and give up trying to make something more out of it. I closed the book feeling a little depressed.
So needless to say I won’t be reading the rest of the vampire series. On the upside though, I do like Rice’s writing style and I think it was her descriptions and emotion that kept my head buried in those pages. So I’m looking forward to reading some of her newer and hopefully more uplifting work.