Before Twilight, there was Anne Rice fucking up Vampires.
Long before vampires sparkled, they brooded and could not shut up about it. I should probably point out, I was never an Anne Rice fan. I read Servant of the Bone, since she was recommended to me, because I liked Stephen King when I was a child and hated it. That was 20 years ago, so I decided, hey, why not give it another shot. Oh boy, was that the wrong way to think. This review is going to give a subjective opinion, but with an objective star rating.
Young, possibly gay or bisexual, introverted male, gets turned into a vampire by extroverted bisexual vampire, who then live a weird life of pedophilia together and bitch like a married couple, whilst nothing else of merit happens. Oh and a holocaust so easy to cause, that it would make Hitler blush.
Let me start by saying that Anne Rice is very good at making her characters developed with very little. What would make other character’s shallow by other writers, she can get away with. So I’m very pleased that the characters are evenly built and seem like real people, when they are not just melodramatic and throwing tantrums. The main character is an analogy for herself, because homosexuality makes great subtext for your wishy-washy feelings about god. Lestat is a boyfriend, apparently similar to her husband and then there is the sexually abused girl.
This is something I have often overlooked in reviews, mostly because it takes a hell of a lot of effort to write really bad dialogue, but I’m going to start including it here. Dialogue is mostly decent, given one or two weird spots. Not much to complain about.
You can tell Anne didn’t know if she wanted this to be third person or first person, so she settled for both, but wrote 99% of it in first person. The book is annoying in third person, with great lines such as “The vampire looked at the interviewer.” How the hell does anyone know he’s a vampire yet and if God is telling the story, why the fuck do we have to deal with a whiny emo bitch? Once she finally picks a fuckin’ narrative, business picks up. Spoiler alert, she picks first person, presumably because she realized what an “Interview” was and that it did not allow for third person, but I might be giving her too much credit here.
She is descriptive enough to make the world seem plausible. She does not overdo it with too much description, but it isn’t lackluster either. That said, this woman doesn’t know what the fuck a chapter is, nor what a scene break is and the writing is dense as fuck. To be fair, by the end of this book, she finally got scene breaks right, but far too late as reading this is a nightmare.
Other than those technical aspects, the only flaw would be the waxing philosophical about nonsense topics. Pseudo intellectualism has never been more fun with such shallow topics. Interview with the Vampire is like doing your Philosophical PhD thesis on the Insane Clown Posse, but instead of being laughed at and ejected by the college, people willingly paid you hard earned money to read your work. It wants to be literary and in some cases, it has merit, but like I said, it isn’t decent enough to be called such.
While Anne is on record saying the main character is an analogy for herself, which always makes for horrible writing, at least I could understand why this was fresh in 1976. Up until that point, most vampires were vicious and here is one that is different from all the rest. The homosexual aspect was not needed. I’m on record as stating that vampires being dead, do not need a sexuality. I’m not saying you cannot see them as analogies to feeling like an oppressed minority, but straight up making them that way is dumb. One of the things that makes classics is the ability for multiple people to pick up different aspects of subtext, which could have worked to make this a classic like Dracula, but falls way short of that. Vampires are predators, first and foremost. Sexuality is a sirens call, at best and an easy way to trap prey. I noticed that Anne and others like pointing out the vampire’s fetid breath, normally to showcase dead people do not bush their teeth. Logic states that if vampires don’t eat or brush their teeth, they don’t have enough time to suck cock either, just saying. Regardless of that gripe, she at least cut out a lot of stupid shit, like garlic and crosses, so that was a plus. She was the progenitor of the near sparkling vampire though. Also, it could of removed the weird pedophilia shit as well. So is this book something to be thankful for? Nope, it is like giving a small pox blanket to a Native American.
3 out of 5.