Friday, January 8, 2016

#FlashbackFriday Interview with the Vampire

OK, so, this was supposed to be a #ThrowbackThursday blog post. But I was at a hockey game last night, and things got away from me, so I wasn't able to get to it. So, instead, you get a #FlashbackFriday post! I'm doing well with reading this week, and am right on track to post my first review tomorrow, but until then, I want to take a step back...

And that brings me to my first "#ThrowbackThursday" post of 2016. For this one, we’re heading all the way back to elementary school, to a book that greatly contributed to my love affair with reading…and my weird love for the undead: Anne Rice’s  Interview with the Vampire.

By the time I entered the 6th grade, I was already enamored with books. I would go to the library and check out piles and piles of children’s and young adult books, and read them at a pace that seems impossible now. The Fairfax County Public Library had a limit of 50 books checked out at one time…I know this, because I used to barter with my father as to why I needed that 47th book, and why he couldn’t check out his 4th. And I would read them all. Or, well, it was more of a devouring, really. But I was in love with ripping through that pile of books.

During this voracious spell, I discovered a series of books called The Vampire Diaries (stay tuned, a later #ThrowbackThursday will revolve around these books). I loved those books. I read all four through…and then I read them again. Unbeknownst to me then, I had begun a love affair with vampires that would stay with me through much of my life, and has yet to go away.

Around 12-years-old was also when I discovered adult books. I had read a few in school; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn counted, I figured, and there were a few others. Literary novels. Thick, educational books. But those “adult books” were nothing like the ones my parents read.

See, my mother was an Anne Rice fan. On our bookshelves sat titles like Lasher and Memnoch the Devil. She didn’t share much about the plots with me, but I knew they were about vampires and witches. As a 12-year-old already fascinated with the vampire world, I knew I was in.

My parents have never been the type to censor books. If I was interested, I was allowed to read it, provided I didn’t keep them secret and discussed things I was unsure about. So, at the ripe age of 12, I went to the library and selected Interview with the Vampire as one of my 45 books, ready to enter the world of Anne Rice.

To say I was hooked was an understatement. I spent the better part of two weeks slowly making my way through that 370-page book, completely lost in the world of Louis and Lestat. As soon as I finished, I was back in the library finding the second book of the series.

I don’t want to get too deep into the plot of Interview. One, because most people have at least seen the movie. And two, because there isn’t much to it at face value. The story begins with Louis, a 250-year-old vampire, sitting down with a reporter, who is only referred to as “the boy”, in order to tell the story of his life. Louis’s story begins in 18th century Louisiana, where he, distraught and drowning himself in alcohol after the death of his brother, is approached by the dashing, charismatic Lestat. Lestat gives Louis a dangerous choice: death or eternal life.

The book is, for lack of better word, captivating. The writing is beautiful and poetic, the characters rich and developed. Plus, if you end up liking the book as much as I do, there are 10 other titles in The Vampire Chronicles to sink your teeth in to. (Get it?! I crack myself up).

Regardless of your interest in vampires, this is a good read. By discovering it at a young age, it shaped a lot of my interests and taste-love. But even if it’s nothing more than a quick beach book, I think you’ll enjoy it.

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