Review: Interview with the Vampire

Interview with the Vampire
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

DNF at 63%

I tried so hard to finish this book but it’s been nearly 6 month now and I just can’t tackle how painstakingly dull I find it. Perhaps I read it at the wrong time but I really don’t see what the fuss is over this book and why it is considered such a classic – I really tried to enjoy it just for that reason alone but it just wasn’t enough to stick with it. For what it’s worth, I watched the film and was bored rigid by that as well so it could just be my dislike for the gothic/poetic genre (partly why I’ve given it two stars).

My main irk with the book is that it relies far too much on the idea of vampires alone to sustain the reader’s interest – I just don’t find that enough. It’s this curiousity that it expects the reader to have which lets it down because without it, there’s little to carry the plot as the entire drawn-out interview style becomes boring very quickly.
On a similar note, though the interview style was an initially interesting approach to writing, it didn’t do any favours to help the pacing of the plot. I found I was increasingly irritated by being thrown back to the interview scenes just when Louis’ past was starting to get my attention again.
Another big problem I had with the book was the characters – I found them all either distinctly dislikeable or I just didn’t care for them whatsoever. It made all of the focus on their pasts and all the implied mysteries about their actions just mind-numbing.
All of the above I probably could have put up with for the sake of not leaving a book (especially one with a reputation as high as this one!) unfinished. However, Louis’ constant whingeing about his feelings and his struggle was plain unbearable. If I wanted to read about a stroppy emotional teenager having an crisis over the human condition then I would’ve hunted out some low-rated YA fiction about first-love breakups or whatever. This was not what I expected from the book at all and I was so disappointed by it that it really ruined any enjoyment I could have otherwise pulled from it. I understand that this is quite a common feature of gothic fiction which gave me a little more patience for it but taking it to this extent just seemed unnecessary and as though the author was desperate to meet her word count.

The sole positive aspect the book had for me was the use of description and imagery; they really helped liven up the otherwise incredibly dull progress I made through the novel and there were some truly great phrases hidden in there. There is no doubt that Anne Rice is very talented with words but my initial impression from what I’ve read of this book alone is that this talent is wasted on awful plots and poor pacing.
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