The Eyeore of Vampires - Interview with the Vampire, the novel - AC02
Joel: The Articulate Coveen is the original unofficial podcast and fan community for An Rice's interview with the Vampire and An Rice's Immortal Universe from AMC and AMC Plus.
Joel: Welcome back to Articulate Cove in the unofficial podcast and fan community for Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and the Vampire List Act. Including the forthcoming TV show, we are your host I'm Joel Sharpton. I'm Ashley Wright Eiler. And we are here today to discuss interview with the vampire, the book that started this whole thing. We've got some news to get to and we're going to discuss the book at length, both a spoiler free and spoiler filled section. So stay tuned for that. But how are you doing? Ashley, it's been a while since we recorded.
Ashley: I'm fantastic. It was it's been really fun to to go back and and reread. I'm excited to now that we're I'm finished interview actually last night, so I'm excited to get rolling with with L'Estat next. So yeah. But I'm doing good. Everything's everything's groovy. I've been busy busy busy.
Joel: So let's talk about what it was like hearing yourself on a podcast. This is the first time. Right? This is your first show?
Ashley: It's the first one that I've actually listened to after I participated in it, if that makes any sense.
Joel: Yes. I've
Ashley: done a couple about I do improv comedy I've done we've done a couple of podcasts about about that. And I never listened to them because it horrified me. So I definitely It was it was really exciting to pull it up on Stitcher, which is where I listen to most of my podcasts. And and it's the same pop same place I listen to, like, my favorite murder and things like that. So it was really weird to to listen to myself through a medium that I've enjoyed a lot of other people's work on, you know.
Joel: That's It's like seeing yourself on TV or something. Yeah. Yeah. You know?
Ashley: I don't I don't generally like to watch myself do my work, and generally speaking even, you know, with watching videos of my improv performances and things like that. It just makes me horribly uncomfortable, but this did not make me throw up in my mouth, so I'm very pleased.
Joel: Well, that is that is a high bar indeed. We'll try not to make you throw up again today as well. Thanks to everybody who's checked out the show by the way. Subscribed, shared it with your friends, you can continue to do that. Find us at Articulate Coveen, where in iTunes, we're on Stitcher, as Ashley said, We're also on the Google Play Music app if you're an Android user and prefer that one you could check us out there. And wherever you find us, share us with your friends, especially your Android loving friends. We got a lot of fun stuff. Lined up for you, and it's always more fun if there's more people along for the party. Ashley, why don't you why don't we get to the news? What do you say about that?
Ashley: Okay. Excellent. Let's go.
Joel: So and we knew that something was coming, Anne and Christopher both Christopher Rice, her son had both been hinting that they had a secret project to announce sometime soon unrelated to the Vampire Chronicles. And Christopher in particular had dropped some hints on Twitter months back. That led me to believe it might have something to do with the mummy. Ramsay's the damned, a book that Anne wrote quite a long time ago and had never returned to even though the book specifically set itself up for a sequel. And I think there's even a a quota at the end that says, you know, the Ramzi's will return sort of thing almost. So the announcement finally came about March fourteenth or fifteenth. They posted it together in a live video to Facebook, and then Entertainment Weekly on the sixteenth had an exclusive of not only the details of the project, but an excerpt as a matter of fact. It is Ramsey's the dam back in sequel novel entitled Ramzi's The Damped, The Passion of Cleopatra, and it's gonna be out this fall. Ashley, what do you think about Ramzi's? Are you a mummy fan?
Ashley: I I have never read it. Really? Really? I know. It's shocking. I have never read it, so I'm super excited. I have to be really honest. I'm not into mummies. It's not really my thing. You know? Like, I just like, the old mommy movies have never really appealed to me. Now, I will say I did love the mummy series with Brendan Fraser. I thought that was super fun. But I just it it never had that much appeal to me. Until until recently, actually. So that's definitely what I'm gonna I have a copy of it. I'm gonna dust off and and and go through. So I'm super excited, and I'm also excited selfishly that I hadn't read it yet, so I didn't have to wait that long for the sequel.
Joel: Yes. Yeah. Absolutely. It's it's be good for you because you'll get them both sort of back to back right into the brain.
Ashley: Yeah. We
Joel: will absolutely cover Ramzi's the damned the the mummy, the original novel at some point on an upcoming episode before this book comes out, we'll hope for anyway. Because it it is it's one of my favorites. I am also not a huge mommy fan. I am a big fan of the universal studios monster films, you know, all of those classic films.
Joel: like that era of filmmaking in general, and there was a part of this book I think that is very much Anne's homage to that. It definitely has that adventurous style that it even has in common with the Brendan Fraser Mummy films. Now it's not as Comedy comedic is that -- Right. -- it's not as, you know, laugh a minute and there aren't really gags in the mummy book. What there is in the mummy book in my recollection recollection anyway is a lot of sex. It's a very very sensual book.
Ashley: Sixty's Sixty's sixties.
Joel: Yeah. Absolute well, I mean, so the the basic story line is that you have Ramsey's an ancient ancient man who in his own lifetime stumbled across an elixir that gave him immortal life. And I think if I'm if I'm not getting this incorrect, I believe it's almost the exact opposite of the vampires and that he is actually fueled by the sun. So one of the ways that you can sort of but little him or take his power away as to lock him away in a crib for instance, like a mummy, wrap him up, cover him up, put him under the ground, and then he sort of withers away over time. He is discovered in not modern day, but I think it is like the twenties or the thirties by a British archaeologist and then eventually becomes once he's back to his full powers, he arrives in in London of that day. And, you know, it's like nineteen twenties London. He has a love affair with the archaeologists' daughter, you know, that sort of thing. And as Cliapatra, who is his nemesis in many ways, also returns to quote unquote modern day London, and and there is a a chase afoot. At the end of the
Joel: book, you sort of believe that Cleopatra has gone, but clearly here, that is not the case as she is the title character for the sequel. I'll I'll read you the
Joel: the little blurb here, not the excerpt. I'm not gonna give anything big away there, but this debut novel from the duo. Christopher and and I well, I we've lost that over. They're gonna be writing this together.
Ashley: Yeah. I'm so excited about that. Your
Joel: first published project. Well, the really exciting thing for us, Ashley, is that this will give us some glimpse of how their writing is gonna work potentially for the series since they are working on the bible at least of that. Together. This will give us an idea of what their combined voice might be. Yeah.
Ashley: What it's gonna kinda feel like and sound like. I'm excited because they're very both of them are very distinct writers, you know. And so I'm I'm I'm excited to see what it's like when they they mesh and meld.
Joel: So I I was wrong about the twenties and This is even the early teens. London nineteen fourteen London is when the sequel is set, and it's apparently right after the original book Reginald he's living as doctor Reginald Ramsay in nineteen fourteen London unbeknownst to him his former love and current nemesis Cleopatra is still alive and also searching for the secret of the elixir of life. Their search brings both immortals across a mysterious queen who is not only both older and more powerful than either of them, but also in possession of knowledge of a wider variety of magical potions, including the one that's responsible for their prolonged lives. Really interesting stuff. And for those of you, and I'm not gonna give any spoilers here, but for those of you who have read the most recent Vampire Chronicles, sort of some echoes of tying both future in the past of her characters together. I think that's kinda interesting.
Ashley: I love it. I love I I like to think that all of these characters, all of these universes she's created, all exist together. You know, like, I like to think it's all one big world, you know, kind of like with with Stephen King with, like, dairy Dairy Main, all the stories that take place in that same town. I sort of feel like like in my mind, I like I like to think of Anne Rice's works being that sort of similar thing.
Joel: So I I think given the the last couple of VC books, I think she sort of stepped away from this idea, but she very much tied the Mayfair book and the vampire chronicles together and They have characters that crossover and and those clearly exist in the same world. But Ramzi's actually is hinted at a couple of times by some of the more ancient vampires, the idea is that they saw another immortal that didn't work like they did. And so there is a possibility, I think, that those worlds crossover as well. In the modern day when you think about franchises like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe where, you know, your very mainstream quote unquote normal consumer of entertainment is accustomed to these overarching franchises and universes that contain multiple storylines I think I mean, even something as simple as NCIS in law and order. Right? Those characters crossed over, and I think people get that.
Ashley: Yeah. Absolutely. I think that I think it's something that lets people connect with with, like, the full the full gosh, what's the right word? A catalog of someone's work. You know what I mean? And that way, even if you're not super into into x, you like y and z, and it sort of allows you to kind of dance in and out of those worlds.
Joel: Yeah. You've you've put a little bit of that delicious peanut butter in my chocolate and vice versa. Exactly. Yeah. So that book is out on November twenty first. Ramsay's the damned, the passion of Cleopatra. And here's something cool that Anne and Christopher mentioned, you can go check this out on their Facebook page for the full link. But if you preorder the book and you email them a an image of your receipt for the preorder, they will send you a signed copy of one page of the manuscript. So how cool is that? That's
Ashley: awesome. I love it.
Joel: Right? Yeah. I think that was a really neat idea. And, I mean, I don't I don't I've never seen any other authors do something like that for free for their entire fan base. No. She's so good.
Ashley: Yeah. She's really good to us. I have to say that. I really I feel like someone who's who's been a of her for so long. I feel like she's so good to her fans. Well,
Joel: and it's it's not like we're owed it. But, I mean, you know, look at even even somebody like Steven King who at least is public you know, he he posts on Twitter, he writes blogs and and articles and magazines and things like that on a regular basis. But he doesn't you know, he doesn't put his face out there. Let's be honest. He doesn't do interviews. He doesn't do live videos. He doesn't talk to the fans directly very often in in that many ways. Not that he again, not that he needs to, but Anne really does. She engages with her fans directly. It's clear that she cares what they think. About the product. Not in a way, like I mean, obviously, she has her stories that she wants to tell, but she also is aware that these are not just her stories. There are stories now too.
Ashley: Right. And I love that she directly you know, she had a post on on Facebook the other day. Like, how would you react if someone came to you and told you that they thought vampires were real? Like, what would you -- Okay. -- how would you react to that? What would your reaction to that be. And it's and and she legitimately wants to know what people think, you know, what how how you would react if somebody like, that's the most absurd thing ever. And you would probably think the person's been totally ill, you know. And and so it was just it was it struck up a really interesting conversation in the comments about, like, that sort of thing So, alright, that is
Joel: our news for today. Why don't we go ahead and get to the the crux of this episode? And let's start talking about the book that indeed started this all interview with the Vampire franchise. Ashley, were you aware that this was a short story first?
Ashley: I was not. I think maybe I did know that at some point, but I totally have forgotten it. But yeah. No.
Joel: It it was published in Playboy, but it started even before that. You know, she she finished the short story version in nineteen seventy three, August of nineteen seventy three. That was about one year after her daughter, Michelle, had passed away of leukemia. Michelle was five years old at the time and clearly anyone who's read this book can immediately see a parallel there. You you can see that she wrote the character of Claudia in many ways. To reflect and to grieve the loss of her child and and to work through some of those ideas about what it is to to bury a child young. But even before that inciting incident, I had always had it in my mind that it was that loss that spurned her to go and write the short story. That's not the case. She started it in the sixties. And the original version was quite different than even the final short story and then the short story was quite different than the eventual novel that we got. The character, the vampire that is the interviewee, in the short story is very unlike Louie. He is quite cavalier with his immortality and not worried about his moral well-being at all. And is in fact in this room which does not belong to him awaiting the return of the owner of the room so that he can kill and and drain him. And he's toying with the interviewer for, you know, with this whole idea of his cold calculating, you know, killer in nature. And clearly, Louis does that at times in the book. He toys with Daniel, the reporter, but that is not Louis nature. And it comes through even in the first few pages of their interaction. But in the original short story, it was sort of she describes him, Anise has described him as a an Oliver Wild type almost. And so it is interesting to see the origins and perhaps how that original character might have been, like, the rough draft in some ways of Lastat. Right. To eventually, you know, rear his head in the second book. But so that was the origins of it. Now when she turned it into the longer work, it is clearly about the loss of her daughter, Michelle, that sort of everything springs off. But the basic story is if you've never read the book and if you haven't what are you doing here? If he if the but the basic story is is this, Louis, a vampire of an undetermined age, is engaging with a reporter who has a, you know, a bag full of tape. And he's got his little mini tape recorder there in front of him. And Louis wants to share his story. The reporter doesn't believe that Louis is actually a vampire when this begins, he's just there for a good story. And in the short story in particular, it's clear that he's on a deadline and he's he's trying to get something on local radio. I think in the book it's a little unclear exactly, you know, what Daniel is gonna do with it. But that is the basic. Idea of the thing. And then over the course of the novel, we discover what Louis life is like, both as a mortal, the end of his life, at least as a mortal, and then in particular what his life has been like as an immortal of empire living in New Orleans and all over Europe and then returning to the states in what was at the time modern day United States. So we're talking
Joel: you know, the the late seventies, the early eighties. When was the first time that you read interview? And you started with interview properly?
Ashley: I did. I did your first book. Mhmm. I I read it in I got it. How to I was in junior high. It was in junior high for sure. I think I mentioned in the last episode, I was really I was really interested in starting with the witching hour a copy of the witching hour at my house, but my mom kind of steered me over to interview. I don't really know why, but that's where we went. And yeah, I tore through that book in like a day and a half. Like, did not sleep as I'm frequently I want to do, like, with books. I it's the only thing I am OCD about. I will one more chat for myself into the next day. And that's I mean, I tore through that book. And it wasn't I feel like it wasn't too too long after that that the rumblings of the movie had started because I feel like I just became real obsessed and very rapid succession with the whole thing. But I just immediately like, when I've gone through this time reading it, highlighting a lot of it just prescriptions, especially in at the beginning of the book, when when he's kind of laying out all the all the pictures of of of his plantation and his family's life, and all of that. Like, she just paints such beautiful pictures for us. And I think that's initially what sort of hooked me in, you know, I was really into I was really into, like, classic classic literature, you know, reading reading class six stuff. And I I, you know, we had been reading Shakespeare since I was like ten. So this kind of just I don't know. It's exciting for me to read a modern author that wrote in this style that I thought was so entrancing.
Joel: So to show my fan Bonafide's here. I am holding my copy of the vampire companion, the official guide to An Rice's vampire chronicles by Katherine Ramsland. Who also wrote which I also own, the witch's companion about the Mayfair books. And and a lot of times, I'll I'll refer to to things from this book. If you'd never seen this, there's a couple of editions out of it at least. I have the second edition, which is the the big paper back, and it includes revised and updated entries for MIMNOC, the devil. That shows you how old
Ashley: this thing is also going
Joel: back to right after the release of MIMNOC. But Anne has said in lots of places, and and I'm I'm quoting her here from Katherine Ramsey, and she says, I was Louis when I wrote it. The theme of Louis story, a fruitless quest for redemption through empty religious concepts, held great personal significance for me. I mean, it it is clearly a book that is weighed down by someone who is not sure whether they want to live. Who is not a positive about the nature of the universe. God, what is good, what is right, what is the nature of suffering, you know, all of these sorts of things. Clearly, the sorts of things that you roll around in when you lose a child at five years old. I mean, that it it's always struck me as what a powerful moment that is, and thank God, In Anne's case, we didn't get an ended life or a a lifetime of depression. We got an entire universe of creation. That sprung forth from this moment for her.
Ashley: Absolutely. I think that's I I mean, I can't even imagine. I can't even imagine what that what that would be like and what that had to be like for her. I think that there's I I do like I was not really raised with much religion, organized religion, as as we know it here in the south, particularly. So a lot of a lot of Louise questions are questions that I had. Do you know what I mean? Musings and things that I wondered the nature of evil, I think, is something that he really struggles with. What's evil? Am I evil? How do am I becoming evil? How do I keep from being evil? Am I just intrinsically? Is there something intrinsically in me that is that is bad, that is wrong? You know, is it something I can fight I I don't know. I love I love all the moral questions in in this book in particular. Louis Louis so I love him as a character. I I have more I love him more than Lastat Lastat, I think, like deep down as far as, like, feeling empathy for him and and and being able to see parts of myself and Louis as well.
Joel: So okay. So let's let's take that right there. Before we get into the spoilers specifically, somebody who's listened to this or or and who has never read the book. Maybe they've seen the movie. They've read some of the other books. They are excited about this upcoming TV series or maybe they're listing in the future and they found the TV series and they're working their way backwards. You make your pitch. Why should you go and read? It's the only book of the Vampire Chronicles that has Louis as the main character. We talked about in the last episode, there are lots of details here that are directly refuted by L'Estat when he gets his turn to tell tell the story. Why is it worth going back and spending this time with Louis who everyone will admit is the Eora vampires?
Ashley: really is. Maybe that's why I feel so sorry for him. I think what's really great is that because the majority of the rest of the stories are told from Lestat's perspective. It's interesting, I feel like, to get to see how others view him. And
Joel: and And
Ashley: it is a bit of a trick when you if you read from the beginning and and then and went on, like, you think I thought it was gonna all be about Louis. Like, I thought this whole series was probably gonna be more about Louis than than than L'Estat, who seems like this, you know, asshole, we don't really like that much. That we're eventually gonna absolutely fall in love with, but
Ashley: don't know. I love I love how vulnerable Louis is. He's very, very different from from our other vampires. And you really do get to see L'Estat through someone else's eyes, someone who is not necessarily a hundred percent enamored of him all the time. I think that's another thing is so, you know, the start is so easy to fall in love with, and we see that throughout the vamp hour chronicles, you know, everyone's in love with L'Estat. And he's And you know what you know what I think is
Joel: interesting there, and and the other relationships, especially the ones that are, you know, more close to fifty fifty antagonistic and love, like Louis and L'Estat. The other relationships tend to literally be pendulum swings, either they are in love with list out at the moment, or they are so enraged by his actions or his attitude toward them that they're sort of, you know, on the outs with him.
Ashley: Well, and I think
Joel: Louis, Louis holds both those thoughts at the same time. He adores L'Estat in a way that, you know, a few other characters in the books do, and yet he is always fully aware of what Listat is and who Listat is and that Listat always comes first in his mind no matter how much he love you back.
Ashley: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think that that's part of that is he's I think that Louie is still taking it back by start selfishness. And I think that because Claudia was involved and we have this childlike presence that's involved with with with most of what's the important meat of their relationship, you know, that time that they spent in New Orleans with with Lisbate. I think is the the meat of Louis and Lisbate's relationship. It's so it's filtered through so much through so much fear and sadness in in a lot of ways. And and and I think that because there was a child involved, Louis sees a start in a little bit of a different way than everyone else does too. I think that he got I think he feels like he got to see a side of L'Lestat's selfishness that isn't impish or isn't the brat prints, but is, like, genuinely, like, sophiopathic. You know what I mean?
Joel: Yeah. Yeah. No. Absolutely. Alright. Let's let's dive into spoilers now. Let's talk specifics. So if you haven't read the book, if you haven't seen the movie, or or one of the above, stop now, go and do so, and then come join us for the rest of this. I I wanna start with the big things that pop out. And these are not unique to this reading, which by the way, I listened actually to the book. I listened to the audiobook version. Which is a really, really good version. They've got the same narrator now for all of the vampire chronicles, and he's
Ashley: correct. He is very truthfully
Joel: great. I don't I didn't care for his fondant accent at first, but it has grown on me over time. And I understand now because he has so many and so many of them are are are unique or, like, really subtle in their differences from one another, these characters from different, you know, ancient civilizations or whatever. It's gotta find the middle ground, and his lasagna is pretty good if you're gonna listen to the bulk of the book and that one voice. So it it works. Here's the thing that jumps out to me first. I always forget the level of disdain that Louis has for L'Estat. You never see in any of the rest of the books, you never see from his perspective again. And you never get into his mind as far as the the, you know, the the actual storyteller. Maybe he still fills that. Maybe this was something that has sort of mellowed with time. But in this book in particular, he put Slastat off as you said it last year or last episode dumb. You you know, it was not just not only evil or or or cruel. He's a dillard.
Ashley: Yeah. He's so simple.
Joel: yeah. And and it's that that is hard for me. Again, coming from, you know, my favorite character, Isla Stott, by a country mile. I I love him so intensely. He's probably my favorite fictional character period. So you open up this book, you go back to the series for the first time in a while or something, and you're just confronted with page after page after page of, I hate this Jackass with the blonde hair, you know. Yeah. It's hard. That that part of it is really really hard for me. Yeah.
Ashley: I think it's made a little easier because I've read the other book so I know I know that it's you're just seeing it through Louis' eyes, so it's gonna change. But I had forgotten he is really harsh. Like, he is he is he's very harsh about L'Estat. Like, when he's he just
Joel: I'm gonna I'm gonna put a clip in here from one of Anne's recent Facebook live videos. But right after, she announced the new that that she had returned the rights to the series and and potentially that we were gonna get a TV show out of this and everything. She held a great Facebook live, she answered a bunch of questions from fans. And one of the questions was specifically about Louis and how she feels about Louis. I'm gonna put that clip in here. Kim Ulrik is asking, what what are your thoughts on Louis? How do you really feel about him?
Ashley: Ambivalent. In Bivalent, Louis was me when I wrote an interview with the vampire. I was Louis, and that's a dark book. And in Louis quest ends in darkness, And eight years later, after I wrote that book, I wrote the vampire was taught, and I somehow became was taught, and Lestat's quest has not ended in darkness and is still going. So there'll always be this ambivalence in me. Toward Louie because Louie was a former self of me, a former self.
Joel: Yeah. Exactly. I
Ashley: loved Louie. And and I loved having him in the realms of Atlantis very, very much. But it's it's a character I have trouble going back and embracing because I'm not him anymore. But
Joel: the the crux there is she feels a lot like about Louis like I do. She feels very ambivalent about him. Because it is a time in her life that is almost impossible for her to return to. And there's so much of herself at that time wrapped up in Louis. That time was a sad time for her. That time was a dark time. That time's the time she's glad she climbed out of. It's hard to have much fondness. For a fictional character that embodies such a dark period of your life. I can absolutely see that. The interesting thing for me is and we will get to this when we finally get to the most recent L'Estat book. But, you know, Louie's prominence in the most recent couple of books is actually pretty large again. He he figures, you know, very majorly into Lestat's life even in the modern day. And so I I do think it's interesting that she's going to be confronting herself with that character theoretically a lot over the next few books as she continues to write.
Ashley: Well, and I think I don't think we like to, most people anyway, don't enjoy especially people who are strong and opinionated and and and consider themselves in control of their of their sphere. You know, nobody likes to wallow in their weakness and revel in their weakness. And I think that especially considering how Louis was a foil for her during that dark time that it's not really the most pleasant place to go and revisit, pleasant place to go sit, and maybe parts of Louis that she sees when she goes back to revisit interview are parts of her that she would rather not, you know, remember, rather not re experience that sort of thing. I'm excited. I haven't read the most recent books I'm way behind. So this is really great for me, but I'm excited that he's gonna that we'll have more of him because I do like Louis, and I don't know if it's just because I'm very I I tend to be a very empathetic person. I just this whole Claudia storyline to me is so insane and heartbreaking and and, like, a psychological, you know, explosion in my head for what's for what happens to these people, what happens to these characters. So it's I got really sucked into to Louis and his and his perspective.
Joel: So the two other big things that stick out to me or at least stuck out to me this time, I forget about Lestat's father being in interviews. Yeah. Get him entirely. He's he's not in the film. And and because of that, it's one of those things that you sort of rewrite it in your mind. You you work the memories together, but he's he's a major figure in the beginning of that. As a matter of fact, according to Louis, he's the only reason why L'Estat ever, you know, came to him in the first place. Louie had a plantation. L'Estat needed a place to put his father up so that he wouldn't be such a burden to him during the day. That's what it comes down to. He caring for his father in the states in New Orleans specifically or were led to believe somewhere around New Orleans, and it was troublesome. It was expensive and troublesome. And so he needed a place. To keep this old dying man. And so that's why he gets the plantation. And the few sparks of kindness that Louis sees and shares with the readers come from his interaction L'Estat's interaction with his father. You know, there's intense moments of cruelty where L'Estat erates the old man and, you know, tells him, why aren't you thankful for these things that I provide, etcetera, etcetera. But then there are also moments of real genuineness and kindness and warmth where it's clear that Lestat cares for the for his father. And it's it's just that whole relationship is interesting to me and it's something I forget. On Louis' side, same thing, right around the same time in the book. I forget about the Feneer family, both the sister and the brother. You know, L'Estat ends up causing the brother's death early on. And then the sister guards the two of them hides them as they escape from the plantation to New Orleans, when the when the slaves revolt. I forget about all of that stuff. And Louie's relationship with her, in particular, with the Feneer's sister, is so interesting. You know, he plays the angel to her. He plays the devil a little bit and then sends her off on this path as an independent woman that whole thing is very, very interesting to me.
Ashley: Yeah. I completely forgot how long we spend at the plantation too. I forgot Yeah. They're
Joel: there for a long time. It's like it's it's a it's a significant portion of the book. True.
Ashley: Absolutely. And I don't know if it's because the movie kinda clouds my memories of the book a little bit because it's much more about Living in New Orleans and and Louis and L'Estat and Claudia and less about, you know, what happens, how they get there. But man, it's a huge portion of the book that we learn you know, I kind of forgotten about I mean, I remember, but I didn't really remember about his brother. What happens with Louis brother? And I forgot that Louis had a sister completely. Like, I've completely forgot he had a sister at all. You know, I just I could I I did not remember much about the first the first section of this book at all.
Joel: So I I I also forget his sister. The brother is easy for me to remember for some reason because the image of the brother being pushed down the stairs by the, you know, ghostly apparition or whatever, that image always stuck with me as a kid. And for some reason, you know, the story of the haunted holy brother really made sense to me. That one that one was sort of like and and and then Louie's regret that he chastised his brother for you know, these these visions and everything, and and he called him crazy, and he wouldn't indulge him with the expensive, you know, get rid of all of the family's wealth, etcetera, etcetera. On the flip side, like, I don't know. It just seems such a small thing for him to dwell on in the vastness of the rest of his life and all of the lives that he has directly well for ending, for instance. You know, it's interesting the things we do. But
Ashley: that's totally Louie. He he is he's I mean, he lives in a place of regret. I feel like, you know, he just he he he just stays there mentally. I mean, so much of so much in his voice is is regret. And and missed opportunities and what ifs. And I I but I think that's why I feel so I feel so sorry for him. And maybe that's why I like him so much because, like, it's sort of like, oh, I like Ringo the best of the Beatles because nobody else does. You know? So I don't know if it's like sort of that sort of thing why I have so much sympathy for him, but I just feel like I I feel like that's really freaking tragic. Like, you've got this beautiful breath of existence that you've had and what you fixate on are missed opportunities and mistakes you made when you were immortal. Like, in the seventeen hundreds, that was so long ago, Yeah. Yeah. So here here's the thing that that always gives me about Louie, and
Joel: it's and it's strange. You know, our friend Richard Bennett. He and I were discussing the new Star Wars movie the other day, and he was telling me that his son loves Darth Vader. He is fascinated by Darth Vader, but he literally cannot stand to be in the room even for a few moments of actual film footage with Darth Vader doing anything. He's just he's overwhelming
Ashley: to him.
Joel: So and I feel like the the I am a guy who does not believe in the death penalty. Okay? I am not for capital punishment in any way. And yet, the thing that makes me not like Louie the most is his insistence for long periods of his life on not drinking from humans. I hate that he's a rat eater. It bothers me so much. And and and I just I feel like and L'Estat shows him, like, there are ways to you can drain the evildoer. You can take the little drink. You don't even have to kill your prey if you don't want to. Like, there are ways to be a vampire and try to live by some moral code other than just being a wreck. Catcher. And it bothers me for his periods of of rat catching. It bothers me. It's one of the reasons why I think at the end of interview when you have the whole section where he goes and finds L'Estat, you know, in disrepair, and he sort of lost his mind. He's living like a hoarder or whatever. It's an example of how far he's fallen, right, that he's eating
Ashley: -- Right. -- at
Joel: that point. Because he's And and I think I don't know. It's just those that image is always just and from the film too, like, it did it in the movie. I was like, yeah, how disgusting and how lowly. Like, it has always made me look down on Louis for some reason for that. Well,
Ashley: at least if you're gonna eat animals, eat something bigger. Do you know how many freaking rats you'd have to eat to, like
Ashley: don't know. Like, I'm thinking logistically, that's just not smart. Like, you're smart. You're better than that, Louis. You're better than that.
Joel: You get a cow. You can't get gators in Louisiana. Right? Just go to the smart ones. There's
Ashley: like chicken at it. You're
Joel: So there is this beautiful little section of prose in chapter fourteen. It's right at the beginning. Louis is they've just arrived in Paris. I'm sort of skipping ahead a little bit in time, but I I saw this and I wanted to make sure and share it. Because it is so beautiful and it gives a glimpse to me of how Anne's love of New Orleans comes through in all the books. And if you have any connection directly to New Orleans, the books grow that much richer because of
Ashley: Absolutely. Here's
Joel: what Louis says. He says New Orleans, but New Orleans, though beautiful and desperately alive, was desperately fragile. There was something forever savage and primitive there, something that threatened the exotic and sophisticated life both from within and without. Not an inch of those wooden streets nor a brick of the crowded Spanish houses had not been bought from the fierce wilderness that forever surrounded the city ready to engulf it. Hurricanes, floods, fevers, the plague, and the damp of the Louisiana climate itself worked tirelessly on every hoon hewn plank or stone facade so that New Orleans seemed at all times like a dream in the imagination of her striving populace. A dream held intact at every second by a tenacious, though unconscious, collective will. Now, they're in Paris. They're talking about how Paris is not that. Paris on the other hand is a fortified city and it is this ancient thing that is, you know, never going to fall, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. But harkening back. And even when you're somewhere else, even when you're in maybe the greatest city in the world at the time, he's dreaming of and fond of and preaching for the beauties of New Orleans. I think that's such a apt description of the city itself. And again, If you have any connection to the city, you cannot help but love these books I think as they paint such a beautiful picture. Oh,
Ashley: a hundred percent. I think that I think I mentioned in the last last podcast we were talking about how I I started reading these books around the same time. We started taking family vacations to New Orleans at least once a year. My dad was a huge fan of New Orleans loved it, loved it. And and I would literally try to figure out places, you know, like landmarks, places they talked about. And I honestly think that's one of the reasons why to this day New Orleans is my favorite city that I have ever been to. I have such a huge huge place in my heart for it. It's I just There's a special energy there. There's a special it's just it's an amazing amazing city. And I guarantee to you. Part of that is reading these books when I was that age. At the same time, I was going down there, it just really created this mythos of this beautiful city for me. I've absolutely love it. It's it's so fragile and so and so powerful and so untamed It's just Oh.
Ashley: even get me started. I freaking love New Orleans.
Joel: So, fragile and powerful and untamed. That's a pretty apt description of the female lead of this book, Claudia -- Uh-huh. -- let's let's talk
Ashley: about Excellent segue shoes.
Joel: Yeah. I thought so too. I saw the window, so I jumped at it. Yeah. She's she's six years old and probably dying of the plague when Louis and L'Estat find her. Louis has been in one of his phases as a rat catcher. He starved himself to a degree, and L'Estat in particular has been toying with him and tormenting him both because of his current attitudes and actions, but also because of his own, you know, moral struggle. L'Estat, at least in this book, sees this as a weakness and is attacking him for it. The idea being he's trying to purge himself I think of this or purge Louis of this last remnants of humanity or something. You know, that's what it feels like anyway in the books. And he pushes him to a place where he literally brings him to this girl, this dying girl, and her mother who may already be dead beside the girl even as they find them, I think. And Louis drinks and would have killed Claudia did, in fact, accept that L'Estat skirts her away, gets her nervous, and then takes the girl back from the humans that had patched her up a little bit and brings her back to Louis the next night to convert her into a vampire, a child for the two of them. First of all, the story of having a baby to try to fix your
Ashley: messy relationship
Joel: is pretty common in the human world. Right? Like, I've I mean, let's let's make a baby is never the answer to your communication problems, friends. And it is
Joel: definitely not the case here, especially when you wrap that baby in into the body of a six year old as she ages into a very very capable woman. But
Joel: the character of Claudia, even from those first few incidents, you can tell that she is tenacious, that she is In many ways, it mirrors to me the childhood of L'Estat, not that he he obviously wasn't raised in the slums. He didn't suffer from you know, the plague, but he was put upon. He suffered hardships in one way or another, and he had this innate desire to survive, to climb above his fellow man in some way so that he at least would make it out of the rabble. And Claudia, I think, even in those first few incidents shows that exact same tenacity. Clearly, if the vampires had never happened on her, I think she her story would have ended right there. But it seems like whether it was through this means or some other, perhaps, she would have found a way to make a way for herself. I don't know. I always just had that impression of her. And maybe that maybe that has more to do with what I bring to the story or what I don't know. Kirsten dunn's
Joel: portrayal in the film brings to the story, but I I see her as,
Joel: you know, Queen Elizabeth famously said, if I were dropped in my underpants anywhere in Christendom, I would not only survive but thrive, and I feel that way about clogging.
Ashley: Well, I think too, she provides she is and does what L'Estat is trying to drag out of Louis. You know, she likes killing. You know, she's not messed up about taking down a victim. Like, she plays like, she even plays with her food a little, you know, that I don't know. I think that I think that she delights L'Estat in so many ways because so much of what disappoints him about Louis and what he wishes Louie, were not? She is.
Joel: Well, it's an interesting experiment too in that I mean, effectively, she has no human memories. You know, because of her young age, the the the stress and turmoil in which she was brought over, etcetera, all of her personality really is developed after she turns to a vampire. And so you've got this creature very unlike Louie or L'Estat or Armand even who was a little bit older and sort of trained for it before he was brought over into vampirism. Claudia, all she knows is this life. This life, that means that if I go on as this powerful preternatural creature then you must die. Somebody's gotta die every night. Maybe a bunch of people.
Ashley: Yeah. A good night.
Joel: And and yeah. And and and the fact that she starts with that as the fundamental basis of her universe. You know? And then she tries to build herself, I think, still a moral structure or an ethical structure on top of that. But her she has no fundamental humanity really to then bolt on, you know, the new circumstances that she faces as a vampire. It's really, really interesting and especially once you see her, you know, they spend sixty five years together in New Orleans, theoretically happy before everything falls apart. Once you see her, though, on her own, as this a senior woman really in the the prime of her life, but in this tiny body, you see her own plans. I mean, she's looking first of all, she's looking for answers. So, like, she pushes Louis even more. So he also pondered what about other vampires. But he never would have left on his own volition. He never would have forced the issue with L'Estat on his own doing. It took Claudia to set everything into motion. And so they do. They travel to Europe and they find these which, again, I forget about this from the film. They find other vampires mindless sort of zombie like you know, Nosferatu, almost vampires. And then it's never really even explained. There's it's sort of hand waved by our mind that these are creatures that were, you know, they're they're created and and locked in their coffins too long. And they they sort of go mad because they don't have any blood early on, and then you've got a basically a mindless hungry beast.
Ashley: I've always wondered if, like, we were ever going to meet that style of vampire again in the books, I think she just must find them boring because we sure don't. We never go back to that. We never revisit. Well,
Joel: and No. Not at all. Like, the and again, it's very, very hand waving armament goes, yeah, don't worry about them. I mean, and that's pretty much
Ashley: all. Attention to the man behind him.
Joel: Yeah. Pretty much. And I'm I'm like, but I would but how did that happen? Like, I there's no other circumstance in the books that seems to tell you that if that had happened to Louis or L'Estat, let's say that shortly after they'd been turned into a vampire, they had been locked in their coffin for what years decades, how long would it take for them to come back insane whenever they were finally roused with with blood and a little room to to run. I don't know. Anyway, that's such an interesting moment. So they they go looking for answers. And then when she doesn't find them there, she says, okay. Let's set ourselves up a very nice life. I wanna go to Paris. I wanna stay in the finest hotels and I want you to make me a a girlfriend. You know, like, that's I'm I'm, like, real quick, she's got her shopping list out. Yeah. And you you listen to the passages in there where Luis is sort of alarmed at the way in which she spends money. She feels about, you know, resources money and time the same way that she feels about blood. I think in that it is made to be spent. It's made to be spilled. It is made to be taken in to me. And in that nature, she is very, very much less dots. Oh,
Ashley: yeah. She's living Kardashian style over there. It's pretty you know, I think so much of of what drives Louis to is fear for her. And and and a way that and I don't know It'd be interesting. Bless her. We'll never know because we won't ever get it from her perspective. But if she's does it on purpose, to manipulate Louis because she knows he still sees her as a child, and she knows that she can that she can't manipulate him by playing on that. You know what I mean? And so so much of the choices he makes down to them attacking Listat, down to dealing with the vampires in Paris, it's all based off of fear for Claudia.
Ashley: I think is really interesting and fear is never a good driving motivator for anyone. You'll make bad choices. No.
Joel: No. No. You make very rash decisions like burning the whole theater down. Although, I don't know, those were some pretty bastard vampires.
Ashley: Oh, yes. They're dead. That
Joel: that Tay Atra, Dave Vampir, Santiago, I think --
Ashley: What about yourself? -- among
Joel: the assholes.
Ashley: God, I hate my guy.
Joel: The introduction of Santiago, I think, is very, very cool the way that he mirrors Louis in the alleyway and then, you know, sort of attacks him physically shows shows that force and the strength that he possesses. I always like that. But then why? Why the antagonistic nature? And I it still doesn't really make sense to me. If you look at the over all arc of the story, like, I don't see any tie for him directly to L'Estat. I don't see any reason why he would so badly want to serve justice or revenge there. And while okay. Clearly, making a child vampire would be against the rules, and I can understand that, killing your maker would be against the rules and I can understand that. The haste with which he rushes to judge the two of them or the three of them, I should say. And then the, I don't know, the level of animosity that he shows was never really okay. Well, maybe you're just a jerk, I guess. Alright. And in that case, I'm glad you're dead now. And in particular, the film does a great job of choking casing this. I love when Brad, you know, cuts his
Ashley: head off and
Joel: flips around into the fire.
Ashley: So satisfying.
Joel: So what though what was your impression of of the Toyota of vampires? The idea of, you know, these vampires living out in the open, claiming what they are, and it not being believed. I thought that was a really interesting
Ashley: thing. It feels a little cultish, you know. Yeah. Absolutely. They won't either hair black they all they all dress head to toe in black. And when I think too, going back to what we were saying earlier about what Anne asked, of her fans,
Ashley: one's gonna believe a vampire is real. You know, they they set up this illusion and they even do it within under an umbrella of an an illusion with it being they put on theatrical reductions where they literally kill someone on stage and no one in the audience seems to realize that's really what's happening. So they they create all of this vast illusion and everything's based on on tricks and even with with Santiago, like, and and and with Armand and their dealings with Louis, so much things so many things seem like little sidegags, little little magic tricks almost. You know, like, when he puts the card in Louis pocket inviting him to the theater and how it's the way he moves, but it's almost like his arm is moving with separate from his body, you know. So I think a lot of it is just these insane illusions they've created, and then people, just in general, were so into ourselves and we don't pay attention to what's going on around us for the most part, would never even notice that it's anything other than that.
Joel: and it's interesting when you look back in hindsight, you go and read the vampire L'Estat, and you see But that's the one that set all of that up, you know. I mean, he he basically gave them the suggestion. Like, you could live among the mortals. So you could continue to do this just fine. Nobody would ever believe you. And they went, oh, well, okay. Then and they did. This is the leftovers of, you know, the the coven that lived under the streets of of Paris and tormented L'Estat when he first became a vampire after Magnus created him. And so it was really interesting sort of seeing that flipped around from the other direction. And it is very interesting, and it's always painted my opinion of Arman to see how he manipulates Louie's knowledge, you know, or lack
Ashley: their life, I
Joel: should say. Louis doesn't know. Louis doesn't know that L'Estat and Armand have any history Louie doesn't know that Lestat is in any way connected to this theater. Louie doesn't know that there are vampires, many vampires older than our mind, and maybe theoretically, maybe Arman doesn't know that at this moment either. And so when he tells Louie that he's the oldest living the empire at four hundred years, maybe Arman believes that to be true. But knowing what we know now about the mind gift and the way that these vampires can connect to one another, you can't imagine that that would act actually be true. Surely, Arman would have known that there were some others. Maybe he doesn't know exactly who they are, where they came from, or where they are now. But, like, I don't know. It's clear to me anyway that he is manipulating Louis acting as if I am the only possible found of information for you. And so therefore, come and do what I want.
Ashley: It's the same thing was dotted to Louis. Figure out. Absolute
Joel: Absolute to the same thing. Which
Ashley: For Louis, he could so manipulated because he just doesn't freaking know and he's scared. It's so bad. I hate it.
Joel: Well, the and the the only upside to that to me anyway, is that eventually Louis Tires of him. You know, I mean, that's what it comes down to as Louis gets bored with our mind. He spins this time from him he learns a lot from from our mind. They are good companions, and yet in the end, he goes off on his own. Why? Arman does not have the connection, the the the magnetism for Louis, that even L'Estat did even as cruel as he was, even as messed up as their relationship was, they don't have Armand and Louis do not have the longevity that Louis and L'Estat and I always felt like that was sort of a vindication. Yeah. But then they go and showed me rat Catcher list at and totally ruining into the book. Anyway, So, like, I I didn't wanna see my my guy there suffering. But but you know that first time through, I do remember because you as I said in the first episode of this, I read the prologue to the tale of the body thief. So I basically got introduced to L'Estat as a God effectively, and then you go back and you see him at the end of this book. In shambles, like, literally nothing. He's he's he's a hobo, you know. And you're like, how does he get from here to there? And so it was a very exciting to me to jump off from the end of this book into the next book and see how L'Estat sort of recovered himself. Well And that was sort of the compelling you know, push at the end of
Ashley: And coming from the perspective of this is the first book I read, I have to say, that asshole deserves it. Like, I Like, there's a part of me that's like, yeah, I'm excited to see you brought low because, man, you play all sides, you are a master manipulator, I think it's alright that you sit here and eat some rats for a few minutes and have companions leave you constantly. I think it's okay that you get what you gave. You know?
Joel: Well, and that is one thing that that struck me. I wonder now where did all of those fledgling --
Ashley: Yeah. Right. -- like
Joel: where all of Lestat's children from that time you know, when he was when he was a Hobo. When he was making vampires love the rights to stay with him. Yeah. Yeah. Hobo aesthetics. I want that action figure out.
Ashley: Yeah. We need need a I wanna pop Funko of that. So so
Joel: in our next episode, when we get together to record again, we're gonna talk about interview with the vampire of the film starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, and we'll talk about some of the specific differences and and the good parts of those performances that we did enjoy, some of the things that they left out. But overall, if that is your experience or that's your primary experience with this book, it really would behoove you as a fan of her work to go back and read the novel. Just a crazy amount of differences between incidents. The movie truncates a lot of things. Of course, you know, it has to. There's sixty five years worth of time there in New Orleans, you can't put all of that into the film. But other moments seem very, very stretched out to me. For instance, I think they do a really good job of showing the passage of time or or of hinting at the passage of time between Armand and Louis at the end of the thing. That sort of wrap up after the vampire after the t hatchet of empires, there there's that feels very significant, that time period to get to them. And so when you read it in the book, it doesn't seem like you lost a lot there.
Ashley: Right. Right. And I have I tend to be I would say, I only know of one instance personally where I do not feel like the book is better. And that would be lost with Mohikans. But this is one this is one of those cases like, I think, like, I for instance started watching Game of Thrones before I read it. And then I went back and started reading it because I wanted to get caught up. And there's just so much more richness to the story when you when you hit the book. And I will say this a difference between picking up its home like that first game of Thrones book and versus this. This is a good read y'all. It's an easy read not like hacking through, you know, all the histories of the families of the seven kingdoms. You don't need a freaking like not yet. You don't need like a family tree chart yet, you know, to to figure out relationships and to understand what's happening with these characters. And it's a very despite it being about supernatural having supernatural elements and and being about vampires, it's a very human story.
Joel: Yes. Absolutely. While I did mention my vampire companion book earlier, the vampire companion is not nearly as useful or necessary as the Maeur because the
Ashley: world's like Yeah.
Joel: If you get into the Mayfair series, that it really is a massive time lines and historical connections and names and dates to to sort of sort out for yourself. Interview with the vampire in particular. Just starting this series out. You read that one even when you get into the vampire lookout, which of course includes a lot of history and time. Still the narrative itself is pretty straightforward. And and as you say, this one is much more about the personalities and the relationships than it is. About the supernatural nature of the characters themselves.
Joel: Alright. Well, that is our discussion of interview with a vampire. We'd love to hear what you think about the book and how you first came to the series. You can email us articulate coven at gmail dot com. That's an easy way to get in touch. You can find us on Facebook. We've got a Facebook group there, facebook dot com slash groups slash articulate coven. It is a closed group in case you're a spammer, but If you send us a request, we'll put you in there. And as long as you don't try to sell us Ray bans or some prescription drugs, we'll make sure and leave you there. As well. Good conversations going on in the Facebook group all the time. Ashley, you got anything to share before we wrap
Ashley: up? No. Just just excited. I'm gonna I'm gonna download the movie and burn through that here in the next couple of days and kinda compare notes. I'm excited to haven't watched interview as a vampire in a hot minute either. I've definitely seen it more recently than I've read it. And I I have to say, reading reading this book again just got me so jacked and excited about reading the rest of them again. You know? So I'm just
Joel: You're right. Yeah.
Ashley: I'm I'm gonna get done with this and then, you know, go pick up a book and take a hot bath. It's gonna be great.
Joel: So this will be the first I I watch Brad Pitt on a regular basis. Brad Pitt's one of my favorite actors period, but Tom Cruise, I truthfully don't care for most of his modest films. So this will be this will be the first Tom Cruise movie. I've watched him quite some
Ashley: time. I
Joel: I don't know exactly how long it'll be. But you gotta go back away is to to get the old Tommy Boy. I'll I will say this too before we get there next episode. I really enjoy Tom Cruises,
Ashley: which I do. And I was
Ashley: I was a man. I was not on board with that casting. At first, I was like
Joel: No. No. But he won me over. Yeah. He really
Ashley: did. He I think that that's and I don't like him either. Sorry, Tom, if you're listening. I'm I don't mean to offend. Yeah. I don't I don't care for him either, but I did really like him in this role.
Joel: Well, we will discuss him and Brad and Kirsten and all the rest of them, Antonio Banderos. We will also
Ashley: discuss him with
Joel: Link. I'm sure. In next episode of Articulate Covenant. Until then, we've been your hosts. I'm Joel.
Ashley: I'm Ashley. And
Joel: this has been Articulate Covenant.
Joel: Thanks for listening to the Articulate Coveen. You can join our community on Facebook by following the links in the show notes or searching for articulate Kevin on Facebook. You can subscribe to the show in Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or at articulatecoven dot com. And share us with your An Rice loving friends.