Interview with the Vampire  - Anne Rice “The world changes, we do not, therein lies the irony that kills us.”

Louis approaches a young reporter and begins to tell the boy his tale - how he became a vampire, back in the 18th century by the hands of Lestat, his growing love for Claudia, a vampire woman stuck in a 5 year old body, and his desire to learn more about the beast he had become.

This is one of those modern classic vampire tales, one that I've been meaning to read ever since I got interested in vampires back with "Twilight". But after reading the Anita Blake series and finding that I really didn't care for most of them, I was honestly afraid with this book. I tried to read a paperback version - and I just couldn't get into it. I tried to listen to an audiobook version - but I had an abridged copy. So I made one final effort to get into this series. And boy, I'm glad I made that one final effort! This book was freaking amazing! I adored it!

I really liked the time and effort Rice put into her characters. Louis, Lestat, Claudia, Armand, even minor ones like Babette and Madeleine were well-developed. My favorites were Lestat and Claudia. Lestat was completely manic, the vampire who absolutely adores what he does and doesn't spend a moment considering the consequences. I just really liked how cavalier he was; he made jokes with corpses that were just disturbing - and yet I found myself laughing! (May I just add that Tom Cruise, not necessarily my favorite actor of all time, did a supreme job at playing Lestat in the movie?) And Claudia! I had seen the movie, in which Kirsten Dunst does a great job portraying a 100 year old vampire stuck in a child's body, so I kinda knew what to expect, but the book expands on that, really gives it depth. You feel sorrow, knowing that this grown woman will never have the body that she is on the inside. That she will always be seen as a child, a little girl. The complicated relationship she and Louis have - part lover (don't worry, there is no sex, but there is eroticism), part father-daughter, part creator-creation - just accents this conundrum.

I'll be honest; Louis, our main character, really got to be annoying and whiny. But you know, I've always said that I don't have to like a main character to get behind him and be interested in his story, and Louis is definitely that sort of character for me. Sure, I think he's a whiner and a loser and under-motivated, but I was always interested in his story and eager to hear more.

The story itself is more of a biography than your typical "beginning-middle-end". There is Louis' desire to understand what he is, his love for Claudia, his guilt for killing so many to feed his body, but mostly, the story is just watching him through time. His interactions with Lestat. His love for Claudia. His journey to Europe to discover what he is. Exploring Transylvania and finally meeting others of his kind in Armand.

The writing kinda stumped me when I tried to read the paperback, but the audiobook made it easy to breeze past the rough introduction. It's a bit hard to read a book that's basically one character telling another character a story, but honestly, I've encountered worse. Rice does a good job; the audiobook made it easier for me to imagine that Louis was telling me this story - and I think that is what REALLY helped me "get" this book.

There is no doubt I will be checking out "The Vampire Lestat". I absolutely have to get more of Lestat and find out more about this creative world. I can see why this is considered "must read" for lovers of vampire fiction.