Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice

Title: Interview With the Vampire
Author: Anne Rice
Narrator: Frank Muller
Publication Date: 1976
Length: 14:28 (audiobook)

I've read this book twice before, but this was my first time listening to the audiobook. I'll start with a review of the book itself, and then review the audiobook in terms of the narrator, the atmosphere, etc.

In case you're not familiar with the book or the movie (which is pretty true to the book), here's a quick summary. A boy who regularly interviews people about their life stories interviews a vampire named Louis. This is the frame for the story, which Louis tells the boy, starting with his life before becoming a vampire in the late 18th century, going on to describe his time with Lestat, the vampire who made him, and Claudia, the child vampire that joins them later. It's a very angsty story indeed.

A lot of people don't like Louis in this book, saying that he's whiny, but I've always considered him a great protagonist. He's wonderfully tragic. In fact, I've often found myself not caring for Lestat in this book, even though I love him in the books that he narrates. I guess I really tend to buy into Louis' perhaps unreliable narration. This time, though, I liked everyone (except, of course, for Santiago, whom I will hate forever).

Overall, it's just a great story, and one that must be read by anyone who likes vampire fiction, as Anne Rice is truly the master of this sub-genre. I love her vampire mythology (though, really, I love all vampire mythologies; Anne Rice, Joss Whedon, Stephenie Meyer... they all have different mythologies, and I adore them all). One thing I like about this mythology is that there are specific ways a vampire can die, but if a vampire gets strong enough, these ways might not work. That's something you don't see quite so much in Buffy or Twilight, and I think it adds a certain something.

As for the audiobook qualities: In general I really liked the narrator. Frank Muller has a great voice, and I loved the way he changed his voice in a subtle way for each character, managing to make it clear that he's voicing a little girl without doing a stupid falsetto. This is something I really respect in a narrator and I can't stress it enough! The main complaint I have is that the narrator was American, and therefore made the pronunciation error that Americans tend to make: he pronounced Louis like Lewis. Ok, I know that's not a huge deal, and I did get used to it pretty quickly, but it just irked me. [Aside to Americans: You have Lewis already. Why do you take Louis and turn it into Lewis too?!] Anyway. Also, Armand's voice was too deep for a pubescent boy. But other than that! The narration was excellent. I'm just very picky.

5 stars to both the book and the audio format!

This book counts for the 2012 A-Z Book Challenge and the 2012 Anne Rice Challenge.

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