This choice took me all of two seconds to make. When I was in my mid-teens I saw the film version of ‘Queen of the Damned’. I liked it enough to read some of the Vampire Chronicles – mainly from ‘Interview with the Vampire’ to ‘Memnoch the Devil’. I really liked the first three. Being a teenage girl I developed a bit of a crush on the character Armand, so after the first three books I purchased ‘The Vampire Armand’ thinking that I’d love it despite the negative reviews.
Anne Rice is a talented writer. I still love the way she is able to describe things in such great detail. She makes places come to life. The plotting in the Vampire Chronicles starts to drag after ‘Queen of the Damned’ which is a real shame. There is an abundance of fan criticism over ‘Memnoch the Devil’ because of how it basically is a tour of heaven and hell… I got about one hundred and eighty pages in before I gave up. Therefore, when it came time for me to read ‘The Vampire Armand’ I was already out of love with the series.
Okay, so why does ‘The Vampire Armand’ make me sick? It is perverted. It is the story of Armand, his ‘Interview’ if you will. It is also an expansion on the story of his life that he told Lestat in ‘The Vampire Lestat’. I think I found it sickening for several reasons. I was growing older because I didn’t read all the books in one go – over two-year period. I was becoming more and more aware of the sub-plots and things that were not quite being said. And quite frankly it is just perverted book. I ended up skimming through it, because Armand was very young (twelve or thirteen) when he began his ‘love affair’ with Marius (who had been a vampire for a long time by that point, and was older when he was made anyways). Eww!
From what I read Armand was okay with it all, even though he was clearly the most damaged of the whole lot of characters in the books. No one stopped talking to Marius, not even the more modern vampires. Sure, the story dressed itself up in the idea that this had all happened when it was normal, but Armand was telling it is the Nineties. There was no change in attitude. And as a reader, I just still remember the graphicness of the ‘sex’ scenes. Technically, the vampires can’t have sex, but that really doesn’t stop them doing very sexual stuff. If I’m honest it actually makes it weirder and squicker.
‘The Vampire Armand’ turned me off the Vampire Chronicles forever. Sorry I just had to say that.