Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Triple Book Review: Interview With A Vampire│The Vampire Lestat│Queen Of The Damned.

I mentioned my mass buy of Anne Rice novels 7 months ago and I've been making my way through them faster than I can review! So, I'm doing a triple review to do a bit of catching up starting with the first ever vampire novel she wrote, The Interview with the Vampire. It was better than what I could remember of the film, but then again this was because of the common reason of the book being much more detailed than the film.
As I read through, I couldn't help but put the faces of Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst and Tom Cruise to each of their characters, and was pleased at how wonderfully cast Brad Pitt as Louis and Kirsten Dunst as Claudia were for the film...it was as if they had read the book over and over and over again. However, Tom Cruise as Lestat took a lot more convincing, which is odd as he is probably the one most likely to read the book over and over again...I think I just have to watch the film again, but then again it could just be the appearance, as Lestat is supposed to be in his 20s and 6 feet tall. Also, Antonio Banderas as Armand was completely weird as Armand is supposed to be a 17 year old boy. I really wish films could keep to such simple things when casting!!!! I also felt that the book was written in such a modern way even though (as I later found out) it was published in 1976!
I was bursting to read the next novel 'The Vampire Lestat' as it would be the first one that I know nothing about... so I think I may have read the last couple of chapters in 'Interview with the Vampire' too quickly and didn't digest it as I normally would. However, I am currently on the 7th book (as I write this blog entry) and have already decided to read all the books again once I have finished! - Yes, these books are the best vampire books I have read so far but if you know of any that could match them, please let me know!
After reading 'Interview with the Vampire', which is told from Louis de Pointe du Lac's point of view, you automatically empathize with him and see Lestat as the 'bad guy'. However, in 'The Vampire Lestat' (narrated by Lestat), everything in Louis' story is contradicted in the most humorous way! Lestat makes out as though he was the victim, the innocent one, and it truly is the funniest thing to read. This second novel is exactly what you expect from it and so much more. Lestat takes you through his pre-vampire days and most interestingly - how and who turned him into a vampire. One of the other exciting things to read about was the turning of his first 'fledgling', which was his mother! This was such a great storyline and Anne Rice must be the Queen of Detail because she didn't miss anything! As I recall, there was nothing that I read that made me think how-what-why-where, because Anne Rice answered everything...and if not at that specific time, then certainly at another relevant point in the story. I was always completely satisfied with each book which is such a rarity!
I really loved Lestat as the narrator, I found him hilarious and didn't feel he was the 'bad guy' at all even though he did the most despicable things!...I also thought his personality was like a labyrinth and utterly unpredictable! Anne Rice definitely chose the best character as the lead to her Vampire Chronicles.
There is so much more in this book than I am stating (otherwise this will be a never-ending blog entry!) but I can guarantee that you will not be let down at how rich the story becomes.'The Vampire Lestat' has an amazing cliffhanger and I was extremely relieved that I had the following book to hand 'Queen of the Damned'...otherwise I'm sure I would have gone a bit crazy trying to guess what would happen next!
Now, with 'Queen of the Damned' I knew a bit about the story as I had watched the film starring Aaliyah who plays Queen Akasha and Stuart Townsend plays Lestat, and as I remember, was a much better Lestat than Tom Cruise. In 'The Vampire Lestat', Lestat decided to become a rock star, his music awakens Queen Akasha who has been sat still in a chamber for centuries. You go on to learn that she was the first vampire to be created, and most excitingly, you learn HOW...which takes you back to Ancient Egypt. I got goosebumps reading about this as I don't think I have ever read any other explanation before, and this was just so clever and convincing.
Another aspect of the book that I found mesmerising was the story about the Red-haired Twins (who are powerful witches) which is a huge part of the book but I don't remember it being included in the film at all! Again, another frustration with book-to-film translation. I assume it was left out because it was too complex for the producers to fit into a film under 2 hours long. However the story surrounding the Red-haired Twins was so exciting to read, they could easily have their own film!
This is my favourite book so far as there is so much history to it, although 'The Vampire Lestat' comes a very close second especially as it ties in very closely with 'The Queen of the Damned'.I've tried to keep my reviews as short as possible and without spoiling them, but I hope it's enough to make you want to read the books!
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