Read: 26 June, 2008
Overall, I did enjoy the book. I just found it disappointing in several ways. My first complaint is that the timeline was rather fuzzy. We are told at the beginning that the story starts in the 1790s. He then says that two hundred years pass before going to Paris, which really doesn’t make all that much sense. I know that part of the whole point is that Louis survives by being so self-absorbed that he doesn’t really notice the time flying by, but it would have been nice to have some indication of how much time has been passing. I would have liked a better sense of the change in eras rather than the “and everything was the same because my life sucks, boohoo” that we ended up getting.
The book was definitely a page-turner, but I felt vaguely disappointed whenever I did turn the page – especially in the first fifty or so pages. I think it’s mostly because I enjoyed the movie so much and people have been telling me for years about how wonderful the book is. So I came to it with such high expectations that it couldn’t possibly have lived up to them.
Louis’s whining got on my nerves a bit. Most of the time, it was overshadowed by my interest in the plot so I didn’t notice it. But there were passages that just went on and on about how terrible it is to be a vampire and how damned he is and how he doesn’t know if God exists and so forth and it made me just want to smack him and tell him to get over it. I think that Lestat says it best at the end of the movie where he tells the interiewer that Louis always did whine a lot.
Speaking of the interviewer, I was very disappointed by that part of the book. Having an interviewer was a great opportunity for a dialogue between the reader (using the boy as a surrogate) and Louis – an opportunity that Rice misses. Instead, the boy is just an annoying disruption in the first portion of the story, completely non-existent for the second portion, and only came back at the very end for the punchline. It’s as if the entire set up of an interview was just so that the boy could deliver the “final lesson” to the reader or something. Don’t get me wrong, the punchline was good and I’m glad it was there, but it shouldn’t have been the only reason for the boy’s presence. There was wasted opportunity there and I can’t help but feel let down.
Other than that, though, I did enjoy it. I liked the abusive boyfriend kind of angle to it. Claudia was a great character. All in all, I’d say that it’s a great page-turner for a lazy afternoon, but not much more than that.
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Other books in the Vampire Chronicles series: