Book Cover
Title Interview with the Vampire
Author Anne Rice
Cover Art R. D. Scudellari
Publisher Alfred A. Knoff, Inc - 1976
First Printing 1976
Book Cover
Title The Vampire Lestat
Author Anne Rice
Cover Art ----
Publisher Ballantine Books - 1986
First Printing 1985
Book Cover
Title The Queen of the Damned
Author Anne Rice
Cover Art Carol Devine Carson
Publisher Alfred A. Knoff - 1988
First Printing 1988
Book Cover
Title The Tale of the Body Thief
Author Anne Rice
Cover Art ---
Publisher Ballantine Books - 1993
First Printing 1992
Book Cover
Title Memnoch the Devil
Author Anne Rice
Cover Art Giovanni Busi Cariani
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf - 1995
First Printing Alfred A. Knopf - 1995
Book Cover
Title Pandora
Author Anne Rice
Cover Art Carol Devine Carson
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf - 1998
First Printing Alfred A. Knopf - 1998
Book Cover
Title The Vampire Armand
Author Anne Rice
Cover Art Carol Devine Carson
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf - 1998
First Printing Alfred A. Knopf - 1998
Book Cover
Title Vittorio, the Vampire
Author Anne Rice
Cover Art Carol Devine Carson
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf - 1999
First Printing Alfred A. Knopf - 1999
Book Cover
Title Merrick
Author Anne Rice
Cover Art Henri Rousseau
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf - 2000
First Printing Alfred A. Knopf - 2000
Book Cover
Title Blood and Gold
Author Anne Rice
Cover Art Botticelli
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf - 2001
First Printing Alfred A. Knopf - 2001
Book Cover
Title Blackwood Farm
Author Anne Rice
Cover Art Geoff Spear
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf - 2002
First Printing Alfred A. Knopf - 2002
Book Cover
Title Blood Canticle
Author Anne Rice
Cover Art Domenichino
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf - 2003
First Printing Alfred A. Knopf - 2003
Book Cover
Title Claudia's Story
Author Anne Rice
Illustrator Ashley Marie Witter
Cover Art Ashley Marie Witter
Publisher Hachette Book Group - 2012
First Printing Hachette Book Group - 2012
Book Cover
Title Prince Lestat
Author Anne Rice
Cover Art Abby Weintraub
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf - 2014
First Printing Alfred A. Knopf - 2014
Book Cover
Title Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis
Author Anne Rice
Cover Art
First Printing
Book Cover
Title The Vampire Lestat: The Graphic Novel
Adapted By Fay Perozich
Artwork By Daerick Gross
Publisher Ballantine Books - 1991
First Printing Ballantine Books - 1991
Category Horror
Warnings Blood, sex (including homosexual), religion
Main Characters Lestat, Louis, Claudia, Armand, Marius, Akasha, Enkil, Mael, Pandora, Khayman, Maharet, Mekare, Jesse, Daniel, David, Sybelle, Benji, Santino, Merrick, Bianca, Avicus, Thorne, Tarquinn Blackwood, Mona, Rhoshamandes, Benedict, Viktor, Rose, Amel, Nebamum/Gregory, Seth, Sevraine, Avicus, Cyril, Teskhamen, Flavius, Zenobia, Gremt, Fareed
Main Elements Vampires, Spirits

Click to read the summaryInterview with the Vampire

Click to read the summaryThe Vampire Lestat

Click to read the summaryThe Queen of the Damned

Click to read the summaryThe Tale of the Body Thief

Click to read the summaryMemnoch the Devil

Click to read the summaryPandora

Click to read the summaryThe Vampire Armand

Click to read the summaryVittorio the Vampire

Click to read the summaryMerrick

Click to read the summaryBlood and Gold

Click to read the summaryBlackwood Farm

Click to read the summaryBlood Canticle

Click to read the summaryClaudia's Story

Click to read the summaryPrince Lestat

Click to read the summaryThe Vampire Lestat: A Graphic Novel

A vampire fan and you haven't read Interview with the Vampire yet? Where have you been, living under a rock? Not only is it one of the most famous vampire books out there, but it is rightfully so. Where Dracula paved the way for vampire-as-a-monster fiction, Interview paved the way for vampire-as-hero. No longer was the vampire simply an undead creature, no matter how cunning. No, now the vampire was a creature with feelings and some strong sense of morality. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I've probably read Interview with the Vampire three or four times now. Rice weaves an atmospheric tale like few books I'd read before or since. The novel was written from the vampire's point of view, and as such it should be alien to us, but somehow, we understand, we identify. It isn't scary but rather it is haunting. And the part that makes this story different from those that came before and many that followed, the main characters, the "good" guys, are actually evil. These are no Edward Cullens, no "vegetarian" vampires that avoid harming humans. Oh they may contemplate whether or not they are damned and if there is a way to justify their existence, but from a human reader's point of view, they kill...and they enjoy it. And yet, we cannot help but become enchanted by these creatures. We sympathize with Louis, we are fascinated by Lestat, we love sweet little Claudia, want to rescue Armand from his desperate loneliness. And without a thought, they would all gladly turn around and suck the reader dry.

We are shown how eternity for these creatures is just a long, drawn out, lonely torment with brief moments of pleasure when enjoying the fleeting life of a mortal pouring down their throats. And yet, like the reporter interviewing Louis, you can't help but want to become one, to experience what Louis experienced for yourself.

Now I could say so much more about this book, but I want to leave room for the rest of the series :)

I absolutely loved The Vampire Lestat. In the first novel, you have to be careful to keep in mind it is a first-person narrator. Louis is not omniscient, he only knows what he himself sees and feels and doesn't know what the other characters are thinking. By the end of the first book you end up wondering what the big deal about Lestat is, after all, he's nothing but a jerk. The second book turns your view of Lestat on it's head. No longer is he the unlearned son of a farmer, but rather an aristocrat who knew more than he was allowed to tell. He had the answers Louis desired, but also knew that they were not the answers Louis wanted to hear. Now, I did get a bit of a sense that Interview wasn't meant to be a series from the start, thus there are a couple things in Lestat's character in the first book that didn't quite jive with the second one, no matter how little he told Louis, how little he wanted Louis to know his true self. Probably most of those would only be noticed if you read the books back-to-back like I did.

In the second book you also find out a lot more about Armand. Now he is one messed up character! Probably the creepiest, and most evil of the bunch, and yet you feel sorry for him. The world was unfair to him, but then, a lot of that was his own fault too. I'm looking forward to reading The Vampire Armand, because once again, The Vampire Lestat is in the first-person. We see Armand through his eyes, but what is Armand truly like inside? Are we misjudging him (seeing as Lestat doesn't like him much) as we misjudged Lestat when seen through the eyes of Louis?

And Marius, now here is a fascinating character. An ancient vampire with an even more ancient secret. At this point, he'd probably be the vampire I'd most like to meet.

Again, the storytelling talent of Rice is amazing. She creates scenes of haunting beauty and once more confuses you as to the nature of good and evil.

And then comes the Queen of the Damned. Now I had been warned that the series goes downhill after the first few, and one gets and inkling of it here. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed 90% of this book, especially as we learn more about each of the ancients in turn. Each a first-person narrative, but all describing the same events from their own unique perspectives.

So what was the part I didn't like? Well two things. The Tale of the Twins was rather long and drawn out. The end of the world as you know it approaches and it takes Maharet nearly two nights to tell the story. And Akasha herself. Wow, feminism gone wild. I'm female, I like strong female characters, but I can't stand women who blame all the world's ills on men. Yeah, maybe if there were no men there would be no war, but then explain the warrior women of various ancient tribes. Just because women are not as prone to violence as men doesn't mean they never murder their spouses or drown their babies, or whisper in their husband's ear to guide him in that warring direction. And the discussions between Akasha and the others about good and evil got a little preachy and even a bit repetitive. As I discussed the book with someone else, they said that they loved the Rice's male characters, but couldn't stand any of the female ones except Gabrielle (who tended to dress and act like a guy). Rice's books are male heavy, but it's better that way. She has a knack for writing them well while doing poorly with the women.

But I consider the third book to still be good. Now, a little break before I continue with the rest of the series...

March 2010

I've now read the fourth. The concept was good, but man, did it ever take a long time to get to where it was going! Too much of Lestat pondering the meaning of life, too little actual action. Now I can usually handle a fair amount of soul searching on the part of a character, but unfortunately Rice had Lestat discuss the exact same topics with several other characters, generally without any new insight. Which is unfortunate, because some of the topics were of interest. Here Lestat is given a chance to be human again. Is it really what he wants in the end? Is he willing to trade his vampire powers just to walk in the sun? If you think about it, as a human, wouldn't it be nice never to have to use the washroom again? Of course you have to give up sex too. And we also learn more about David Talbot, and I look forward to seeing more of him in other books. While half of what happened to Talbot was completely obvious from the moment the Body Thief made his appearance, the other half caught me off guard. I'll let you read the book to find out how things turn out for the head of the Talamasca...just have patience, the plot picks up as you get near the end.

October 2010

While I was mainly disappointed with the last two books, I was mostly happy with the next two. They aren't the quality of Interview with the Vampire, but they could still hold their own. While Memnoch the Devil is not really a book about vampires, don't read it if you need your share of blood, I've always been intrigued by the concept of religion (not being particularly religious myself). It was an interesting twist of perspective, what if the Devil actually cared for us, while God, while not actually evil, was essentially uninterested in our fate? And people didn't break down crying every ten seconds. Maybe every twenty, but not every ten, which was a bit of a relief. But my favorite books in this series tend to be the ones describing the historical pasts of the various vampire characters, which is why I liked Pandora so much. Most of the tale takes place in ancient Rome and Egypt, two of my favorite settings for a book. Before I read this novel, I had no interest in the character whatsoever. But I've changed my mind, of all the female characters Rice has written about I like Pandora best. This was definitely a vampire book and I enjoyed it. Unfortunately there won't be a book dedicated to Marius, but Pandora knew him as a mortal, so it was partly his story too. And I'm sure we'll find out more about him in The Vampire Armand. Pandora was also shorter, so it meant that Rice couldn't get as long winded as she has a tendency of doing. The story moved along without long digressions into the meaning of life, which was pretty much the exact opposite of what Memnoch the Devil was. So I suppose you can chose between the tales that interest you most.

October 2011

I was looking forward to find out more about the mysterious and unstable Armand, and the wise and ancient Marius, and Rice didn't disappoint. Now, given the way Memnoch ended I found that Rice needed to do some handwaving to explain the current events. I've noticed this between Interview and The Vampire Lestat, she sets up a certain set of events, then decides she didn't like it and using a different character's POV, switches it around. Some things just don't make sense when Armand, weaker than both Marius and Lestat can heal faster and better than they. Well, enough nitpicking. There's the usual weepy vampires concerned about their souls, the usual dose of religion, but most importantly the amazing atmospheres she's able to create with words. She excels in bringing us into the past, to watch for a while these strange creatures wandering our world, and makes us, at least for a few hours, believe they might really exist. vittorio the Vampire was almost more of a novella, completely independent from the rest of the Chronicles, about a vampire aware of Lestat et al, but they don't know about him. This was again more a tale about angels than vampires (one which contradicts Memnoch, but who is to say which tale is true, if any!), but as with Memnoch, I find them just as fascinating. So once again, while not as good as the first two, I am still enjoying the series and look forward to a couple more next year.

October 2012

I was excited to read the next two installments, and I'm always a fan of crossovers. In this case it was to be the Vampire Chronicles meets the Mayfair Witches...well I was disappionted. Merrick herself didn't interest me much, and while you get to learn a bit more about David Talbot and the Talamasca, I found in the end that the story really didn't go anywhere...wel except exactly where you could predict from the beginning it would go. I was not surprised at all at the fates of Merrick, Louis and Lestat in this one. These vampires always say they aren't going to do something, promise, cross their undead hearts, and then go ahead and do it anyway, and then agonize over having done it. But then I find I'm usually let down by the books that are about the vampires in the modern day. So when I started Blood and Gold, the history of Marius, my excitement rose again. And I wasn't disappointed. While a good portion of the book was already covered by Pandora's, Armand's and Lestat's tales I found it interesting to see his reasonings, particularly when it came to Armand and why he didn't save him from the coven. I really like these historical ones, they feel more real, as if the ones in the modern day seem so much more implausible. And Rice is at her best when creating mysterious and ancient atmospheres of times gone by, describing people's dress, the art. And here Marius gets to witness the changes over a couple thousand years, of glories destroyed. and then reborn. If nothing else, an interesting perspective on the history of our world.

October 2013

Another year, another two books in the the Vampire Chronicles. When I read the blurb about Blackwood Farm I rolled my eyes at the thought of another Mayfair crossover. But it wasn't that bad, in fact I really liked Quinn and Goblin. I mean we have another sensitive male who has a tendency to cry all the time and still goes to sleep in the arms of his female employees (what??? And not in the way you think either, well, except once...) But then, this is a Mayfair crossover so you kind of have to expect bizarre sexual (or not) situations. But I must give warning, there is very little vampire content in this long novel, just a bit at the beginning, and a certain amount at the end. But I must admit it was nice to re-enter a world of Rice's. She has a way of writing that I can't put my finger on but is unique and really draws me in, something almost magical and eerie. Now I was even more worried about Blood Canticle since it brings in the core Mayfairs as key players, including Oncle Julien which actually I was looking forward to and wasn't disappointed. I was happy to find that I still liked it. And fear not, vampires take a definitely front and center position. After all, one would be surprised to find out that the Mayfairs weren't aware of the presence of a couple of vampires in New Orleans. And I spent a fair amount of time laughing at Lestat's musings and his choice of words, even if he happens to "hate his vocabulary". One thing I was very disappointed by however, is that even though the blurb said it brought together "all the brilliantly conceived principal characters" that isn't close to true. Lestat is the only core vampire that makes an appearance...I wanted to see Louis again, maybe a glimpse of Marius, Armand or even David. After all, this was, at the time, the last book in the series!!! I sort of wanted to say goodbye to the characters, to have an idea where they were headed going forward.

I should probably comment on the ending. It was actually...well...a bit of a surprise. I won't say more about it, other than when you read it, if you thought it wasn't a surprise, go back to *all* other similar situations in the previous books and see that in fact, it was refreshingly out of character. It was an interesting way to tie up the lose ends of two independent, but connected, series.

I'm just happy that Rice recently came out with another book, otherwise I don't know what I would have done next year. Imagine being deprived of our Beloved Lestat...

October 2014

This year I got to enjoy the pleasure of seeing our favorite vampires come to life in the wonderfully illustrated graphic novel Claudia's Story. I couldn't help but wonder how long it took Witter to fill all those pages, the detail was intricate, the shading beautiful, and the sepia tone was perfect for the topic.

While it is a retelling of the events in Inteview with the Vampire, just as Lestat has his chance to explain his point of view of Louis narrative, so Claudia gets her chance here. I truly enjoyed both the new insights and the artwork, it was a pleasure to read.

And just as I thought this would be the very last book, a miracle happened and Rice decided to revive the series she had once said she was done with. So the fact that I had waiting so long to read the series worked to my benefit. There was a 10 year gap between Blood Canticle and what will be the new Prince Lestat, but I'm fortunate enough to not have to wait!

October 2015

So I got to continue my tradition of reading a Vampire Chronicles book for Halloween, Rice returning to this world just in time to keep me going. I have come to the conclusion that I can read anything Anne Rice writes and still enjoy it. I found myself really enjoying this book, but when I saw the reviews online I was like, "Huh, its true, there are a LOT of flaws".

1 - The first I noticed - it was repetitive. Since each chapter is seen from the POV from a different character, a big reveal will be revisited several times (though weren't her Mayfair books exactly like that?).

2 - There are a LOT of characters. You'd think there'd be very few ancients left, but they all seem to be crawling out of the woodwork. And everyone seems to be unaware of the existence of everyone else. However, aside from no longer being impressed to hear someone has been hanging around our world for five-thousand years (it's downright boring if its only a few hundred now), it was interesting to get the brief biographies the few chapters dedicated to each one provided. On the other hand, for many it was so brief that there was really no point to their being in the story at all (Rose/Viktor come to mind, the story was so busy already this interesting twist was quite brushed over).

3 - Not all that much really happens for most of the book...but then if you've made it thus far through the series that shouldn't phase you anymore. On the other hand a few major characters are killed off, a bit shockingly so. I won't miss two but I so wanted to learn more about the third!!

4 - The ending...frankly I don't see how Lestat can be Lestat anymore, but I'll let you read about it to figure out what I mean. However there is potential there and am interested to see where it goes.

5 - If *all* the vampires started coming together, why was Mona and Quinn not mentioned even once? Half the people we thought were dead came back, but not them?? Hopefully Mona got toasted, never much cared for her. On the other hand hope Quinn is still out there though.

6 - A fair amount of questionable science. You can tell Rice is a Romantic and not a Scientific, carefully glossing over the science stuff by hearing through the ears of ones who can't understand it and it basically comes our a blah, blah, DNA, blah. But was still great to finally have a vampire doctor for a change!

7 - Frankly, half of it sounded like advertisements for the previous books, "If you wanted to know how we got here, well it was all in book X. Book Y covered all this other stuff..."

But there were a lot of things I enjoyed. Meeting up with my old favorites of Lestat, Louis, Armand and Marius. Found a couple new ones that I liked and hope to see more of. The big reveal about the Talamasca (come on, you suspected *something* by now!). And compared to the other books, this one actually has more plot, a grand mystery that needs to be resolved, and a bunch of ancients behaving strangely. And it was interesting to be in the heads of so many characters, all of which were as confused as the next. And the vampires didn't start crying every two seconds *gasp*! They were too busy fighting to survive, didn't have time to just sit and contemplate if they were damned or not.

And Rice's writing style. Like I said, I'm convinced I'll love everything and anything she writes just because of the way she wrote it not matter how terrible.

Now to see if Blood Paradise is out in time for next year! As of now it isn't out yet.

October 2016

Well, Blood Paradise is now called Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, and it only comes out at the end of next month. However, I got lucky again and can keep my tradition of reading a Vampire Chronicles book a year becaue I was able to get my hands on a used copy of The Vampire Lestat: A Graphic Novel. It was great to go back and re-read the second book without actually re-reading it. It captured a lot of what Rice put into her characters and the atmosphere she weaves with her words. I thought the artwork was great, though I didn't much care for the faces of the characters, I think vampires look much more mysterious when a more anime/manga style is used, but otherwise I enjoyed looking at the pages as much as I enjoyed reading them. Sometimes the backgrounds were just spectacular.

Posted: October 2009


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