Tue, Nov. 16th, 2004, 07:40 pm
This book definitely belongs in the Gay/Lesbian section in the b ook
store if not in with the horror books. For one thing there are
hardly any female characters. Except for Claudia, who is trapped
in the body of a small child, the other female characters are two
dimensional and have bit parts. That being said, just because
there were more men then women in the book doesn't make it a "gay"
book, it's the way the men in the novel interact with one another that
gives it that "gay" vibe. How Armand talks of his love for Louis
and how they can spend eternity together loving and teaching each other
things. Plus right off the bat, Lestat turns Louis into a vampire
and they live with one another, then here comes Claudia, the child
vampire to be with them, pretty much making it so that she has her two
Don't get me wrong, I loved this book, and I don't really care that it
sends out more gay vibes than Justin Timberlake. I think it is a
good story with just a hint of the macabre, but just because it's about
vampires to me doesn't classify it as horror in my eyes. There
wasn't any point in the story that was truly frightening. But oh
well, if I wanted a scary vampire novel I'd reread "Salem's Lot "
and "One For The Road" (Short story in the Night Shift
collection) both by the man, the myth, the legend, Stephen King.
So there we have it, the firs book in the Vampire Chronicles down and
now eleven to go. We don't have to read them here but eventually
I'd like to read the entire series so I'll probably start the second
book, The Vampire Lestat, soon enough.
Tue, Nov. 30th, 2004 03:05 pm (UTC)
I caught the homosexual implications, as well, but I didn't find them as distracting as you did. I thought of them as "well, better find someone to hang out with for all eternity or what's the point" rather than as "I want to get down with this other guy because I love men". I saw the Louis-Armand thing as an intellectual love between mostly-kindred spirits, not a love affair based on lust. That said, you are right - there were very few females, and the one character who was developed was rendered impotent by being trapped in the body of a small child.
This is the first time I have read this novel, and I was impressed with Rice's language and story-telling choices. I found her very effective, and while the "horror" was not graphic, the images she wove of death and fire and cruelty and moral struggle were quite horrific, I thought. More subtle than blood and guts everywhere, but quite effective, especially given the fact that it was written almost 30 years ago. I found the interview style of the book a little distracting - with all the quotation marks flying about, I sometimes lost track of who was speaking - but the device of narrating the story to a listener was powerful. The ending was depressing, as the whole point of Louis' story was to relate the terrible nature of being a vampire, the loss of the soul, the despair that comes with realizing there can be no joy in that sort of life, and yet the result of the telling was the opposite of the intended effect. The listener, the boy conducting the interview, now desperately wanted to join the vampire society, and Louis appreciated the irony there. Such is human nature. The grass is always greener on the other side. I was actually quite surprised that Louis didn't kill the boy to keep him from becoming one of them, but I guess that makes sense, as he had lost all feelings of responsibility to humankind and to his own sense of what is right by that point.
I wonder what happened to these characters after this. I am curious about where they all went from here. Louis has obviously become a loner and a cynic, Lestat has gone mad, Armand has lost his reason for living, and the boy has presumably gone to join Lestat in the hopes of becoming immortal. But what of the details, and what of the other vampires who are roaming about the world? I suppose I ought to read the rest of the series...
Tue, Nov. 30th, 2004 03:10 pm (UTC)
The next book is the Vampire Lestat and, as you can tell from the title, it's all about Lestat. It's pretty good, but very long.
I think it had to end the way it did. Of course the boy would want to become a vampire because most of the readers of vampire novels, secretly, deep down, desire to be one themselves. This was Anne Rice's way of speaking directly with her audience. She knew that they would want to live throughout eternity as one of her characters and she needed to address that by reminding the reader that the vampire life is a curse one even if we desire it.
Tue, Nov. 30th, 2004 03:16 pm (UTC)
Ah, good point. I'm not sure I wouldn't react the same way as the boy, to see for myself, and then end up as jaded as Louis, and the cycle continues... Again, depressing. But I think this ending also points out a fundamental human trait - the concept that I could do better in the same circumstances, that I need to experience it for myself for it to be real, that I don't need to learn from someone else's choices and mistakes, that I am better than the failed vampire, and I would not end up in despair like he did. That's the twist that I like, this acknowledgement that wisdom can only go so far before experience must be had to further knowledge. Good stuff.
Tue, Nov. 30th, 2004 03:25 pm (UTC)
I've had many day dreams about what I'd do if I were granted the life of a vampire but usually those are just power fantasies. I came up with a vampire store idea that I'd like to explore. It's about a man (yeah, probably me) that turns into a vampire in the present day, but he doesn't want to make his loved ones suffer because of him. SO he has to come up with a way to leave with only their grief and not unanswered questions. Pretty much, it's a sort of suicide story except the main character isn't really committing suicide, he jsut has to make everyone believe he died, but not by suicide. It ends with him watching his funeral from afar.
Tue, Nov. 30th, 2004 04:05 pm (UTC)
Interesting concept - and what does he do after the funeral? Is he then "free"? I like the idea of your story; sounds like a good read.
Tue, Nov. 30th, 2004 04:11 pm (UTC)
I guess it'll end like the old westerns with the hero walking off into the sunset (except mine couldn't be out during the day). I thought it would be a sort of anology for someone really dying of a terminal disease. They must make arrangements before they go, they need to set everyone's mind at ease and comfort their loved ones. I guess after the funeral it'll be like he really did die, for everyone else, but he must go on, sort of like what really happens, I think.