Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Book I am Reading This Week



Unless you've been living under a stone for the last thirty-something odd years you can't have missed hearing about Anne Rice and her vampire revolution in some shape or form. This book, about the life story of morose, pretentious so called vampire Louis introduced Ms Rice's most famous vampire - Lestat - and catapulted her into the public imagination.
Vampires have never been the same since.
Whether you have read the book, seen the film or come in contact with the thousands of spin off clones (be it Laurell K Hamilton, Christopher Pike, Darren Shan, Stephanie Meyer or any of the thousands of vampire writers out there) you cannot have failed to notice that vampires are no longer the enemy. They have gone from demons that possess the bodies of the dead and use every trick in the book to not only suck our blood but steal our soul to a creature just like us - except stronger, faster, sexier and, er, immortal.
Vampire rights and calling for their integration into everyday society has become a strong trend in modern books and tv shows about vampires. Having a vampire boyfriend is now so common it is almost expected. The vampire has become our cuddly friend - ostracized, misunderstood and marginalised. In all respects they have become defanged, no longer a threat to our own immortality. A domesticated monster made fat and friendly by our fascination for the macabre.
As you can tell I dislike this tame kind of vampire who usually has long curly hair and wears crushed velvet suits with frilly shirts. I like my vampires to be monsters. They should be scary, lethal, unquestionably evil and attractive in the way that jumping off a cliff or sticking your fingers into an electrical socket can appear to be. I am reading this book because it is so famous and I thought it might help me to understand why the enemy has now become our best friend. I am finding it hard going however.

8 comments:

G. Coppard said...

Anne Rice is a difficult read. She writes internally with very little action. As a matter of fact, the movie was a huge challenge because some of the so-called cathartic moments of the book happen solely within the main character's mind.

While he may not be a monster (because we think his thoughts) he is most definitely monstrous. And I'm with you, vampire's are evil. Maybe a victim of a curse, such as Dracula, but evil just the same. Making them cow-sucking yaya's who get married and have kiddies... well, that's simply not for me.

Anonymous said...

Have to say it sounds a boring book!! Life is short- never waste time with stupid books!! So very more more to do- eg read Dracula again- which has never been equalled in my opinion.

Valinora Troy said...

I agree - vampires should be bad. Maybe fascinating and tempting but always evil, bad intentioned and dangerous.

I'm ready to join the campain to rehabilitate vampies (as they would see it).

Mr. Nighttime said...

I've never read Anne Rice, as vampire stories were not something that particularly interested me. What I have heard about the book however, is that there is a love/hate relationship, in that there is no middle ground. You either love or hate her style.

Of course, it will be interesting to see what she comes up with next, as she has gotten religion it seems over the past few years.

Deb said...

I have read that Anne Rice refuses to let anyone edit her books. Is that true? Or does it just seem like it when you're reading them?

G. Coppard said...

I found this, which supports your supposition:

Article about Anne Rice on libraryjournal.com:
'The author countered saying she wrote "every word of it" and has "no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut, or otherwise mutilate" her sentences. "I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me, and I will never relinquish that status," she said, adding "every word is in perfect place."'

Sure, I think she's a pain in the arse and a conceited cretin for behaving as if her words are some sort of sacred text and, unlike EVERY OTHER NOVEL EVER PUBLISHED, cannot be improved upon with an editor.

The other part of me thinks it's kinda cool that she gets away with it and has sold a gazillion novels, had a movie made and has more money than a thousand of me.

But, yeah, she needs an editor.

Inkpot said...

I'd say the movie was hard to make, G.C, for many reasons. I suppose I don't think of the vampires in the book as monsters because they have no insight into the supernatural/abnormal side of being a vampire. They are just people who live a differnt lifestyle. They are monstrous, yes I agree, but the way the book is written you are supposed to sympathise with Louis and he is an awful bore. As for vampires having children - NO!NO!NO! :)

Life is too short for boring books. I agree Anon.

Glad to hear you are on line to bring about the vampire revolution VT.

That may be so Mr Nighttime. Anne Rice writes in a very particular style and I suppose it is either something you love or hate. Reading the book I find it very hard to distance myself from all the vampires that have gone after (the romancing weakly kind of vampires) and thinking that they were heavily influenced by her work, so it does prejudice me quite a lot. I think she has distanced herself a bit from her vampire work now though. The last thing I heard about her she had written a religious novel.

Couldn't agree more Deb! From the infor G.C dug up, I see you are right about the editing.

Thanks for this G.C. You an always tell a book that hasn't been edited because it cries out for it. Even the great and the good need their work edited by someone else. I congratulate Ms Rice on her success, but it is arrogance to think you don't need to be edited.

splendid said...

Although we have differences in culture, but do not want is that this view is the same and I like that!
age of conan power leveling