I thought that I'd really like Interview With The Vampire. I mean, I really like the film, where Tom Cruise's hilarious, nihilist Lestat is the perfect foil for Brad Pitt's uptight but kind of soulful Louis, and then Antonio Banderas is also there, being all hot.
At first I thought it was just a combination of personal preferences. The language is a little bit... overdone and tries SO hard to have 'Meaning' that I think a lot of the time it falls flat. I've also come to understand that I enjoy my vampires to be ever so slightly bloodthirsty and, well, non-apologetic about who they are and what they have to do. It's why I prefer Eric Northman to Bill Compton (well, not the only reason), Dracula to, I don't know, that Edward guy (again, not the only reason. Obviously). Essentially I like my vampires to be what they are instead of being fucking tortured all the time, which is, I guess, the difference that Rice tries to set up between Louis and Lestat.
A note: I feel like, in the vampire canon, this is somewhat of a first in creating vampires that are sympathetic, rather than utterly evil creatures. I think, therefore, that it can be respected for a shifting in the vampire tide from the monstrous side of vampires to the human, and its influence can't be underestimated. No Interview With The Vampire? No Twilight. Ok, that's a bad example- no True Blood? No Angel in Buffy. No sort of nice, identifiable vampires, ever. So it's got that going for it, at least.
But getting back to its problems. I couldn't quite figure out why I wasn't enjoying the book, since all the same things as in the film were happening and, you know, Brad Pitt was basically constantly in my head! I thought it was maybe the language (SO overdone. I can't emphasise that enough) or the location of the reading (the majority of which happened on the tube on the way to and from London. Which wasn't the MOST fun I've ever had...) but somewhere in Part 3, it hit me: the book is completely and utterly humourless. I'm not even kidding (just as NO ONE in this book was, ever): As the narrator, Louis is unbelievably miserable and guilt ridden and regretful, and that's all he is. I mean, I get it- he's in a state of being where he has to kill humans to live and he feels bad about that, his maker is an unthinking moron and he accidentally causes a child to become a vampire. He's got a lot to be unhappy about, but NO ONE is that unhappy, all the time! I mean, come ON, Louis, crack a joke every once in a while, why dontcha?!
Louis' default facial expression. Miserable bastard.
To be entirely fair, if I'd read this when I was about 15, I would have been like 'oh my GOSH, it's so DEEP!' and been kind of obsessed with it. But that's ok, because teenagers are idiots. No, I'm afraid I'm going to stick to the movie with this one, which is still acceptable because, although Louis is still doing his tortured thing in it, because we're not just in his (emo) head, it's ok to see the things Lestat does as funny, and all is well and I don't want to punch anyone for not CHEERING THE FUCK UP. And as for my vampires, I'll take them blonde and naughty, thank you very much.