Lestat awakens after many decades under the earth. He’s greeted with a new world, a world of music and freedom and excitement and infinite possibilities
And a world where Louis has had a book written. One that could use some… corrections. Or elaborations
But far more important than that is to seek the opportunity this new world presents and produce a grand spectacle – one that breaks all the rules and will shake vampire society to its core. The presentation of Lestat’s history. All of it – to a world stage
The Vampire Lestat
is definitely an improvement to Interview With a Vampire
, bringing far more action, far more exploration of the world and far more revelation of the nature of vampires than ever Louis’ interminable naval gazing and angst ever brought us. This was definitely a step up.
But first let’s hit some problems I had.
Firstly, wordiness. This book was over 500 pages long and could easily be half that. These books are painfully, horrendously over-written, repetitive, prone to long monologues and incapable of leaving anything to inference. No matter what the good points are with this book, I ultimately still struggle because of this morass of excess verbiage I have to struggle through to actually reach the story. Yes, it’s wonderful to be transported to the scene with excellent, evocative language use – but that is done and then some. And then it is repeated. And no-one can feel emotion without it being described in incredible length – nothing is left to inference. There are times when it is clear Lestat is happy or angry or sad and we don’t really need several paragraphs of elaborate text telling us it.
This is especially a problem here because what Louis was to angsty whining, Lestat is to hyperbolic melodrama. Louis is whiney. Lestat is moody. Both of which require pages and pages and pages to describe.
I also didn’t particularly like the endless philosophy leveraged in – not because it couldn’t have been interesting but because, again, it’s long winded and repetitive with the same tired points repeated over and over again without any real depth or development beyond further repetition. This only gets worse if you’ve read Interview with a Vampire because it’s the same points, the same philosophy that was already repeated ad nauseum there.
Now, let’s hit some good. One of the main things I loved was the presentation of Louis as an unreliable narrator. So often books are presented as showing what was in a story, despite the fact they are often narrated from a very skewed point of view. I loved the idea that, for all we’ve read in the first book, there was a decent chance that Louis was lying about some of it. And if not lying, he was clearly misinterpreting or misunderstanding a great deal. And through that lens of misunderstanding we learned far more about Louis than we did from his own words alone.
Reading this, we can see Louis’s arrogance, the snap assumptions he makes. Someone isn’t interested in what he is? They must be ignorant, or uneducated or shallow. Someone isn’t finding rapture in what he is – it’s their limited viewpoint, not because they may have already experienced it. Someone isn’t interested in the questions? Such shallow thinking! It couldn’t be because they already have the answers. Louis, previously the deep and meaningful vampire in a sea of shallow misunderstanding is exposed as being isolated by his own arrogant assumptions and self-centredness – his own ignorance and refusal to consider that he could be ignorant.
Almost as dramatic is the transformation of Armand. Far from the enlightened trailblazer, we see the consummate follower, the man – the eternal child – always looking for someone to show him the way. Even his seeking Louis for a connection to the modern world isn’t his own thinking – it’s the last advice Gabrielle gave him