View From The Glen

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Of Vampires

I should just say that, in general, I am not a fan of literary vampires. Dracula was of interest only because it was a classic; I find the Twilight series boring and not all that well written (in saying this, I realise I am at the mercy of a zillion fans of the books and the movie, and I beg for mercy). I did enjoy The Historian very much, finding it a compelling read - though I would probably not have picked it up if I’d realized it was about vampires (specifically the legend of Dracula and the history of Vlad the Impaler.), and I'm sure part of its appeal for me was the way it conjured up a yearning for eastern Europe and reminded me of the taste of strong black coffee with cream and sipping raucous red wine on red clay patios.

But now I'm in the middle of the first of what many believe to be the penultimate vampire novel - Anne Rice's Interview With The Vampire.

And I'm not sure what I think.

The writing is beautiful, and she portrays dark and savage imagery with luminous prose. The internal struggle of the vampire Louis as he makes his way through centuries of blood and questions is horribly captivating. The story is at once beautiful and chilling and consuming and seductive, and it's a bit like a bad addiction in that I feel the need to keep reading even as it repels.

I was talking to our librarian about this book (she hadn't read it, but knew of it) and apparently Anne Rice, after decades of writing about this evil force, has now turned to angels for her inspiration, and in converting (or reverting - not sure) to christianity, is now exorcising her literary demons with books of an altogether different nature. I have ordered a couple of them too: I might need some literary exorcism of my own after finishing these Vampire Chronicles.

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