Interview with the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles Series #1)

Interview with the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles Series #1)

by Anne Rice

Hardcover(1st Reprint edition (April 1976))

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#1 New York Times Bestselling author - The spellbinding classic that started it all - Book I of the Vampire Chronicles

Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.

Praise for Interview with the Vampire
“A magnificent, compulsively readable thriller . . . Rice begins where Bram Stoker and the Hollywood versions leave off and penetrates directly to the true fascination of the myth–the education of the vampire.”Chicago Tribune
“Unrelentingly erotic . . . sometimes beautiful, and always unforgettable.”Washington Post
“If you surrender and go with her . . . you have surrendered to enchantment, as in a voluptuous dream.”Boston Globe
“A chilling, thought-provoking tale, beautifully frightening, sensuous, and utterly unnerving.”Hartford Courant

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780394498218
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/28/1976
Series: The Vampire Chronicles Series , #1
Edition description: 1st Reprint edition (April 1976)
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 342,401
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Anne Rice is the author of thirty-two books. She lives in Palm Desert, California.


Rancho Mirage, California

Date of Birth:

October 4, 1941

Place of Birth:

Rancho Mirage, California


B.A., San Francisco State University, 1964; M.A., 1971

Read an Excerpt

"I see—" said the vampire thoughtfully, and slowly he walked across the room towards the window. For a long time he stood there against the dim light from Divisadero Street and the passing beams of traffic. The boy could see the furnishings of the room more clearly now, the round oak table, the chairs. A wash basin hung on one wall with a mirror. He set his briefcase on the table and waited. 

"But how much tape do you have with you?" asked the vampire, turning now so the boy could see his profile. "Enough for the story of a life?"

"Sure, if it's a good life. Sometimes I interview as many as three or four good people a night if I'm lucky. But it has to be a good story. That's only fair, isn't it?"

"Admirably fair," the vampire answered. "I would like to tell you the story of my life, then. I would like to do that very much."

"Great," said the boy. And quickly he removed a small tape recorder from his brief case, making a check of the cassette and batteries. "I'm really anxious to hear why you believe this, why you—"

"No," said the vampire abruptly. "We can't begin that way. Is your equipment ready?"

"Yes," said the boy.

"Then sit down. I'm going to turn on the overhead light."

"But I thought vampires didn't like the light," said the boy. "If you think the dark adds atmosphere—" But then he stopped. The vampire was watching him with his back to the window. The boy could make out nothing of his face now, and something about the still figure there distracted him. He started to say something again but he said nothing. And then he sighed with relief when the vampire moved towards the table and reached for the overhead cord. 

At once the room was flooded with a harsh yellow light. And the boy, staring up at the vampire, could not repress a gasp. His fingers danced backwards on the table to grasp the edge. "Dear God!" he whispered, and then he gazed, speechless, at the vampire.

The vampire was utterly white and smooth, as if he were sculpted from bleached bone, and his face was as seemingly inanimate as a statue, except for two brilliant green eyes that looked down at the boy intently like flames in a skull. But then the vampire smiled almost wistfully, and the smooth white substance of his face moved with the infinitely flexible but minimal lines of a cartoon. "Do you see?" he asked softly?

The boy shuddered, lifting his hand as if to shield himself from a powerful light. His eyes moved slowly over the finely tailored black coat he'd only glimpsed in the bar, the long folds of the cape, the black silk tie knotted at the throat, and the gleam of the white collar that was as white as the vampire's flesh. He stared at the vampire's full black hair, the waves that were combed back over the tips of the ears, the curls that barely touched the edge of the white collar.

"Now, do you still want the interview?" the vampire asked.

The boy's mouth was open before the sound came out. He was nodding. Then he said, "Yes."

The vampire sat down slowly opposite him and, leaning forward, said gently, confidentially, "Don't be afraid. Just start the tape."

And then he reached out over the length of the table. The boy recoiled, sweat running down the sides of his face. The vampire clamped a hand on the boy's shoulder and said, "Believe me, I won't hurt you. I want this opportunity. It's more important to me than you can realize now. I want you to begin." And he withdrew his hand and sat collected, waiting.

It took a moment for the boy to wipe his forehead and his lips with a handkerchief, to stammer that the microphone was in the machine, to press the button, to say that the machine was on.

"You weren't always a vampire, were you?" he began.

"No," answered the vampire. "I was a twenty-five-year-old man when I became a vampire, and the year was seventeen ninety-one."

The boy was startled by the preciseness of the date and he repeated it before he asked, "How did it come about?"

"There's a simple answer to that. I don't believe I want to give simple answers," said the vampire. "I think I want to tell the real story—."

"Yes," the boy said quickly. He was folding his handkerchief over and over and wiping his lips now with it again.

"There was a tragedy—" the vampire started. "It was my younger brother—. He died." And then he stopped, so that the boy could clear his throat and wipe at his face again before stuffing the handkerchief almost impatiently into his pocket.

"It's not painful, is it?" he asked timidly.

"Does it seem so?" asked the vampire. "No." He shook his head. "It's simply that I've only told this story to one other person. And that was so long ago. No, it's not painful—.

"We were living in Louisiana then. We'd received a land grant and settled two indigo plantations on the Mississippi very near New Orleans—."

"Ah, that's the accent—" the boy said softly.

For a moment the vampire stared blankly. "I have an accent?" He began to laugh.

And the boy, flustered, answered quickly. "I noticed it in the bar when I asked you what you did for a living. It's just a slight sharpness to the consonants, that's all. I never guessed it was French."

"It's all right," the vampire assured him. "I'm not as shocked as I pretend to be. It's only that I forget it from time to time. But let me go on—."

"Please—" said the boy.

"I was talking about the plantations. They had a great deal to do with it, really, my becoming a vampire. But I'll come to that. Our life there was both luxurious and primitive. And we ourselves found it extremely attractive. You see, we lived far better there than we could have ever lived in France. Perhaps the sheer wilderness of Louisiana only made it seem so, but seeming so, it was. I remember the imported furniture that cluttered the house." The vampire smiled. "And the harpsichord; that was lovely. My sister used to play it. On summer evenings, she would sit at the keys with her back to the open French windows. And I can still remember that thin, rapid music and the vision of the swamp rising beyond her, the moss-hung cypresses floating against the sky. And there were the sounds of the swamp, a chorus of creatures, the cry of the birds. I think we loved it. It made the rosewood furniture all the more precious, the music more delicate and desirable. Even when the wisteria tore the shutters off the attic windows and worked its tendrils right into the whitewashed brick in less that a year— Yes, we loved it. All except my brother. I don't think I ever heard him complain of anything, but I knew how he felt. My father was dead then, and I was head of the family and I had to defend him constantly from my mother and sister. They wanted to take him visiting, and to New Orleans for parties, but he hated these things. I think he stopped going altogether before he was twelve. Prayer was what mattered to him, prayer and his leatherbound lives of the saints.

"Finally, I built him an oratory removed from the house, and he began to spend most of every day there and often the early evening. It was ironic, really. He was so different from us, so different from everyone, and I was so regular! There was nothing extraordinary about me whatsoever." The vampire smiled.

"Sometimes in the evening I would go out to him and find him in the garden near the oratory, sitting absolutely composed on a stone bench there, and I'd tell him my troubles, the difficulties I had with the slaves, how I distrusted the overseer or the weather or my brokers— all the problems that made up the length and breadth of my existence. And he would always listen, making only a few comments, always sympathetic, so that when I left him I had the distinct impression he had solved everything for me. I didn't think I could deny him anything, and I vowed that no matter how it would break my heart to lose him, he could enter the priesthood when the time came. Of course, I was wrong." The vampire stopped.

For a moment the boy only gazed at him and then he started as if awakened from a deep thought, and he floundered, as if he could not find the right words. "Ah— he didn't want to be a priest?" the boy asked. The vampire studied him as if trying to discern to meaning of his expression. Then he said: 

"I meant that I was wrong about myself, about my not denying him anything." His eyes moved over the far wall and fixed on the panes of the window. "He began to see visions."

"Real visions?" the boy asked, but again there was hesitation, as if he were thinking of something else.

"I don't think so," the vampire answered. "It happened when he was fifteen. He was very handsome then. He had the smoothest skin and the largest blue eyes. He was robust, not thin as I am now and was then— but his eyes— it was as if when I looked into his eyes I was standing alone on the edge of the world— on a windswept ocean beach. There was nothing but the soft roar of the waves. 

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“A magnificent, compulsively readable thriller . . . Rice begins where Bram Stoker and the Hollywood versions leave off and penetrates directly to the true fascination of the myth–the education of the vampire.”—Chicago Tribune

“Unrelentingly erotic . . . sometimes beautiful, and always unforgettable.”—Washington Post

“If you surrender and go with her . . . you have surrendered to enchantment, as in a voluptuous dream.”—Boston Globe

“A chilling, thought-provoking tale, beautifully frightening, sensuous, and utterly unnerving.”—Hartford Courant

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Interview with the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 994 reviews.
deaf_dumb_blind More than 1 year ago
Interview With The Vampire, the first of many books in the Vampire Chronicles, introduces the reader to Louis de Pointe du Lac and the life he lived, stretching over 200 years. Narrated by Louis himself, he allows himself to be interviewed by an unsuspecting Daniel Malloy and he tells of his heart break, his "birth into darkness", his adventures as a creature of the night, and the moral battle he has within himself between his human conscience and the thirst of a vampire. He also sheds light on his volatile relationship with his maker, Lestat de Lioncourt (whose origins are explained in the next book of The Vampire Chronicles). Anne Rice describes her scenes to almost every detail, allowing the reader to vividly see and almost feel the sadness and despair within Louis life. Incredible piece of work and a great beginning to a fantastic vampire series. I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a fix of horror, passion, drama, and blood. And I would definitely suggest this book to those who want to avoid the juvenile, mediocre quality of Twilight. The Vampire Chronicles is one of the best vampire series out there, easily a classic. Also, if you enjoy the book, I very well suggest watching the film. It stays close to the book, but also has Anne Rice herself as an adviser for the film.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am very partial to vampire novels. As soon as I had the book in my hands, I plopped down on my bed to read it. I was soon caught in Louis' world. The eccentric, sensual, and absolutely heartwrenching story of a vampire, whose long existence brings up all the human emotions he never had. The hurt, love and desperate desire to his prey and his profound kindness and sympathy. It is a tragedy because it does not have a happy ending, but neverthelss, it is beautiful as it is. I devoured the book in one day, then waking up the next morning with it in my hands yet again, reading some parts I didn't understand. The book is very descriptive, but you really feel like you undestand the protagonist, and his agony. I thought the ending to be a great close, but again overshadows the beginning of a new story. The story of the boy who interview him in the first place! I thought it was ironic, and very foolish that the boy wanted to become a vampire after all that Louis told him. Like Louis says: "This... after all I told you... is what you ask for?"
I feel what Louis felt then; the desperation and the anger that even after all the wrongs of his life he told him, after all the death and all the sadness his existence had brought upon him, that he still wanted it. It is ironic because the boy will search for Lestat, and the story will most likely repeat itslef. Obviously not in the same way, but he will somewhat experience what Louis went through.
This is a beautifully written book. Anne Rice is truly a remarkable author. I greatly recommend it.
CourtneyChaos More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with Anne Rice after I read this book. I instantly fell in love with her characters and became so ingrossed in the plot of the vampire chronicles that I had to have all the books at once. For those who wish to banish the dimmed vampires of Twilight from their mind, this book gets back to the roots: blood, lust, and an immortal with a mortal's compassion.
Star_Dreamer More than 1 year ago
This book is a beginning to a tantalizing sereies that you will find hard to put down. Do not confuse this with the movie it is so much better and opens the door to the books that follow. If you have never read Ann Rice before, you will want to read more of her after you have read this book. Not your teeny bopper vampire tale.
Tawnee More than 1 year ago
Along with Stoker's Dracula, Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire is one of the greatest vampire books of all time. The characters are engaging and complex, and the plot is interesting and original. This is a must read for any vampire lover.
Madeline_Francisco More than 1 year ago
Far more thrilling and better written,Interview with the vampire knocks Twilight off the shelves.The love in the book is complex, along with it's characters, whether it be the emotional affair between Louis and Lestat or thier daughter claudia's search for acceptance It's easy to get bitten.
jessikacan2 More than 1 year ago
Loved the movie, but the book was much better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book. Great story, plot, easy to connect with the character's emotions, feelings and ideas. It's definitely a book you won't forget. It's also one of those books that you almost have to express your feelings about on certain topics, characters, etc. Very symbolic. You won't be able to put this book down and you will NOT be disappointed. Awesome is the perfect word to describe it, awesome as in inspiring awe.
Danii More than 1 year ago
Next to Dracula, Anne Rice's novels are some of the best vampire books of all time. The characters are complex, the plot is deep and thought provoking, Rice weaved a memorable tale. Many authors have tried to follow her style, but no one has come close to recreating this cult classic novel. Anyone with a lust for the creatures of the night must give Interview With the Vampire a try.
gravity More than 1 year ago
Definetly not your average vampire story. This plot is unique and original as they come. Ann Rice created the best - in my opinion - take on immortality from the vampire point of view. In virtually every other story or movie regarding blood-suckers they always seem to love their affairs and live without any moral or ethical consequences. Interview with the Vampire breaks it down into a depressing look from Louis's perspective. His "fall from grace" makes it much harder than the average vampire to accept death and killing as an ordinary way of life; and he resents his actions for it. It's like every choice he makes is automatically doomed because he knows he can't die and must take life in order to stay alive. Other characters make this an exciting read too. The infamous Lestat, a selfish and dominant vampire, tortures Louis with his complete disregard for human life and unfortunately does not teach Louis anything about eternity of the undead. However, if one is looking for horror scenarios and great suspense, you may be disappointed. This book read mostly as an documentary of the depressed life of a depressed vampire. Filled with dramatic scenes of moral reasoning, Interview with the Vampire still stands out as the most mesmorizing of vampire tales.
Star_Gazer More than 1 year ago
This has become a classic vampire novel. The descriptive quality of Anne Rice's words takes you to another time and place and brings the characters to life. Any person that likes vampire novels should add this to their list of must reads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I grew up loving the movie interview with the vampire. I just for the first time decided to read the book and i have to say honestly i like the movie better. The book wasn't bad or anything, it was ok. I just think the changes in the story that were made for the movie were better. I'm sorry anne rice. If you saw the movie and liked it i think you should read this book and form your own opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gets pretty boring towards the middle. I liked the movie but the book couldn't hold my interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is better and more intense than the movie. Highly recommend this book.
Chulita0606 More than 1 year ago
Great Writing.
Lorna_CR More than 1 year ago
It was a really good book, am from Costa Rica and I cant find this type of book in here. Thanks Barnes and Nobles
KaykayKD More than 1 year ago
this is my all time fav. vampire series i love it. it is a lot more complicated then twilight and i understand if some twilighters don't like it but this book has actually meaning the characters were well developed the movie was good as well u could watch the movie and know what this book is about but i would deffinatley recomend the book to anyone who loves vampire just anne rice is the queen of vampires nobody can take it away from her not even stephenie meyer
Rynny More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Anne Rice is one of the best writers out there!
My fav person in the book was Lestat!
5 stars
Guest More than 1 year ago
originality, a chilling plot, and realistic characters makes this a perfect book. this is one of the precious few books i have ever read that truly moved me and has forever changed my outlook on immorality and vampires. btw the movie's not bad either, but i would recommend reading the book first!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes,a vampire story, but probably the first notable one written after Dracula itself. All other vampire stories, including the following ones by the same author, pale in comparison with this book. Ann Rice wrote this book during the time she was mouring the loss of a child due to cancer. The emotion that she wrote into this book is absolutely palatable. I picked this up on a newstand as a paperback back in the 1980s, and passed it around to friends til I got it back haggard, torn and missing its cover. It is an amazing story, written with amazing depth, taking you along for the ride alongside the characters as if you were there. The movie is lame compared to the book, so if you've only seen the movie, you're going to be stunned by the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My mom was a fan of Anne Rice because of the Mayfair Witches Trilogy which I have never read but I always heard alot more about her Vampire novels. I dont know what convinced me to buy the Interview With The Vampire book but Im extremly glad I did. Shes such a sensual writer and delves deep into details to the point where your trapped in a prison of words, emotions, and action. I saw the hours fly by as I immersed myself deeper into the lore she has created. Im currently reading the second book called The Vampire Lestat and so far it is also a great book. Anne Rice has succeeded in bringing one of the worlds most infamous creatures into the 21st century with a new and dark mythology to go with them. These vampires are more tragic and damned then anything Ive ever read in literature. I wish I could give more then 5 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Interview With the Vampire' is a glorious acheivement by Anne Rice. It surprised me that it was written in the late 1970s. Ms. Rice was ahead of her time. I have never been to New Orleans, but after reading 'Interview,' I felt that I had been there, and in a time long ago. Lestat is made to seem more wicked than Louis, who tries to be kind, even though he knows he must drink blood, and at first lives off of animals. Five-year-old Claudia becomes their daughter, breaking the rule of never create a child vampire, which is given in more detail in 'The Vampire Lestat.' I have read this once and I would read it again. The story was stylish, decadent, and fantastic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I may be to young to be reading adult novels(I'm 13), but I really don't care. In this book, you are able to fall in love with the characters. I can't wait to read the next book in this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You must be under the age of 18. I hate to see, well, hate on this book just because the reader is too young to understand or be patient with it. I also hate to see the hate that this book is getting beause of the sequals. The sequals have a different writing style than this one. BUT if you don't like the sequals then go rate the sequals, don't rate the series as a whole in just this one book. Grr.
Mistress_Nyte More than 1 year ago
It's been a few years since I read this book, and I decided to read it again recently. I had forgotten what a fantastic novel this was. I will admit to only having see the movie one time, years ago, and I don't really remember it. So I don't have that to compare to, which is probably good. The characters in the book are so well developed. You really feel for all of them. The descriptions are fantastic -- I can completely see the places that Rice describes in this book. The descriptions of the appearance of the characters are just enough - it lets you create them in your own mind. I would definitely recommend this book if you are interested at all in vampires, or quite simply a page turning, good read.