The first vampire novel I remember reading was a pretty obvious choice, at least for my generation: Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice. I was twenty-something, living in Chicago and Anne Rice’s words and imagery were exactly the elixirs I needed and didn’t even know I’d been looking for my whole life.
I’d heard of her before then, of course, but I had never read any of her books. A friend lent me her copy and I completely fell in love with Louis (which I didn’t realize was pronounced the French way until I heard someone talking about him and wondered who Louie was. What can I say, I’m from the north, I didn’t know much about the culture and influences in New Orleans at that point in my life). And the story…the adventures they went on. How every interaction seemed somehow more meaningful than any encounters I was having. How everything they did seemed to be more valuable and full. I wanted time to learn to play piano and read everything and learn new languages and study philosophy and have hours-long debates about whatever took my fancy on any given night.
I was hooked.
As intended, I hated Lestat (then). He seemed so petulant and overbearing, and unnecessarily so. Louis and Claudia would’ve loved him more if he’d smothered them less, I’m sure of it. Ah, but maybe nostalgia and years have affected my memory of the story. Regardless, I fell head over heels and haven’t looked back since.
What was your first?