If you haven’t heard the news by now, Anne Rice is bringing out a new novel in October! This article will be a teeny divergence from nineteenth century literature today, but I feel I can be forgiven as Rice’s vampires move through time and spend a decent chunk of their novel-lives in the Victorian Era. I’ll also be briefly discussing Victorian vampire texts, so I hope I can be forgiven for my slight tangent!
The idea of the “vampire novel” these days is met with groans from all sides: “Ugh, not another bloodsucker novel, they’re all the same” seems to be a lot of people’s first thought. It’s true that Twilight‘s success meant a huge increase in quickly-written novels/novellas that all had fairly similar plots that revolved around pasty teenagers, but we shouldn’t be too quick to taint every vampire novel with the same greasy brush. I don’t think there’s such a thing as a truly bad book (apologies, Wilde!) and I think every book has something to say, even if its message is buried beneath hurried writing. I recently worked at my University’s Library on their Science Festival Day, which was an event catered at children. This one kid (who was, I think, around nine or ten?) was telling me how excited he was to be old enough to read all the Twilight books, and whilst I have no personal interest in Ms Meyer’s work, it made me smile to see a child be so excited about reading. Besides, vampires are awesome, and I don’t care if I get paired with the “overgrown Goth kid” crowd because damn it’s a good crowd to be a part of. Some of my favourite discussions have been with fellow Rice fans, and I’m currently writing a longer piece on how “same-universe” literature would affect certain literary characters, one of them being Lestat. (How he would feel about Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of the Sussex Vampyre, for instance. He’d probably scoff at it. And then find Conan Doyle and throw it at him.)
Earlier this year, Ms Rice announced the return of Lestat in the upcoming “Prince Lestat” (which you can pre-order from Amazon UK here), much to everyone’s delight. Lestat is one of my favourite literary anti-heroes, and the fact that Rice herself refers to Lestat as the “Brat Prince” should immediately let you know why I love him-he’s complicated, temperamental and unpredictable. (Not to mention fabulous and just a tiny bit psychotic.) This is partly an announcement of my joy and partly a warning that the majority of my October articles will consist of my overexcited babbling. There will be caps lock, there will be squealing, and there will most certainly be blood.
I haven’t been a fan of Ms Rice as long as many of her other fans (I’ve only been on this mortal plane for eighteen years, so I hope I can be forgiven!) but her Vampire Chronicles have always been at the top of my favourite books list! (As you can tell from my tattered copy of Interview above, it’s a book that’s stuck with me.) Are any of you Anne Rice fans? If you’ve resisted her works because of the bad press the vampire genre gets, I urge you to reconsider! Lestat is a fantastic character, and her books have an amazing balance of poetic melancholy and dark humour. Post a comment below if you need more convincing, and I’ll do my best.
Until next time, ninnies~