Interview with the Vampire

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Interview with the Vampire is a vampire novel by Anne Rice written in 1973 and published in 1976. It was the first novel to feature the enigmatic vampire Lestat, and was followed by several sequels, collectively known as The Vampire Chronicles. A film version, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, was released in 1994 starring Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater and Tom Cruise.

To date, the novel has sold some 8 million copies worldwide.[1]

Contents

Plot summary

A vampire named Louis tells his 200-year-long life story to reporter Daniel Molloy (who is only referred to as "the boy" in the novel).

In 1790, Louis was a young indigo plantation owner living south of New Orleans, Louisiana. Distraught with his brother's death, he seeks death in any way possible. Louis is approached by a vampire named Lestat, who desires Louis' company. Lestat turns Louis into a vampire (although initially Louis merely begs to be killed) and the two become immortal companions. Lestat spends some time feeding off the local plantation slaves while Louis, who finds it morally impossible for him to murder humans to survive, feeds from animals.

Louis and Lestat are forced to leave when Louis' slaves begin to fear the monsters with which they live and instigate an uprising. Louis sets his own plantation aflame; he and Lestat exterminate the plantation slaves to keep word from spreading about vampires living in Louisiana. Gradually, Louis bends under Lestat's influence and begins feeding from humans. He slowly comes to terms with his vampire nature but also becomes increasingly repulsed by what he perceives as Lestat's total lack of compassion for the humans he preys upon.

Escaping to New Orleans proper, Louis feeds off a plague-ridden young girl one night, no more than four or five years old, whom he finds next to the corpse of her mother. Louis begins to think of leaving Lestat and going his own way. Fearing that, Lestat then turns the girl into a vampire "daughter" for them, to give Louis a reason to stay. She is then given the name "Claudia".

Initially, Louis is horrified that Lestat has turned a child into a vampire, but instantly cares for Claudia tenderly and dotingly. Claudia takes to killing people easily, but over time begins to hate Lestat as she realizes she can never grow up; although her mind matures into that of an intelligent, assertive woman, her body remains that of a five-year-old girl. After 60 years of living together, Claudia hatches a plot to dispose of Lestat by poisoning him and cutting his throat. Claudia and Louis then dump his body into a nearby swamp. After realizing that they seem to now be the only vampires living in America, Claudia desires to travel to Europe with Louis and seek out "Old World" vampires.

As Louis and Claudia prepare to flee to Europe, Lestat appears, having survived and recovered from Claudia's attack, and attacks them in turn. Louis sets fire to their home and barely escapes with Claudia, leaving a furious Lestat to be consumed by the flames.

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