There aren't going to be any spoilers, so read away. :D
And be forewarned that I'm failing with words today like nobody's business.
The fact that I started this book December twenty-first waiting for my step-dad to pick me up from my dorm for Christmas break and didn't finish it until... last night reflects more on my insistence upon writing over reading than on the book itself.
It was interesting, but not entirely unexpected, that I experienced a similar phenomenon with Interview that came about with It by Stephen King: I anticipated pulp fiction gore, thinking sex and violence would be the sell, but, as it turned out, these guys can actually write.
The subtlety, and the artistry, are admirable and extraordinary. With the locations in particular, Rice outdoes herself: the characters travel all over the place, where and why I'd hate to spoil, and the descriptions of the feel of the places, the ambiance, and, often, the flora, are nothing short of wonderful. The plot is gasp-worthy at times, and even in the lulls, the pages fly by. Rice has a gift, here at least, for drawing you into the vampires' world, letting you settle, and then jerking you around until your head spins. It's extremely impressive and even more extremely enjoyable.
It also stands as a tribute to Rice's skill that I, as a character person, found hers enthralling, the protagonist Louis especially. He was fantasmic -- sympathetic and layered to a degree that I wouldn't have predicted and which was brilliant.
I'm a vampires-and-werewolves person, too, like everyone else and their mother, and Rice's take on the vampire mythology was deep, detailed, rich, and satisfying. Good stuff, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that its echoes are clearly audible in the nature of my character Vincent Duval, whom some of us may remember. ;)
An excerpt, for your previewing pleasure:
"Now we slipped in the courtyard doors of the hotel and went up to the lavish parlor of our suite. Champagne glistened in a frosted bucket. Two glasses stood on the silver tray. I knew Lestat would fill one glass and sit there staring at the pale yellow color. And I, a man in a trance, lay on the settee staring at him as if nothing he could do mattered. I have to leave him or die, I thought. It would be sweet to die, I thought. Yes, die. I wanted to die before. Now I wish to die. I saw it with such sweet clarity, such dead calm.
"'You're being morbid!' Lestat said suddenly. 'It's almost dawn.' He pulled the lace curtains back, and I could see the rooftops under the dark blue sky, and above, the great constellation Orion. 'Go kill!' said Lestat, sliding up the glass. He stepped out of the sill, and I heard his feet land softly on the rooftop beside the hotel..."
You'd like it. Let's put it that way, before words fail me completely.
I've got to see the movie sometime, though it seems to me that it was woefully miscast...
Five (?) years ago, Tierfal and her brother, staying up late, saw an episode of the TV show on SciFi. We went straight to the video store, but they didn't have the movie in stock, and we, mostly I, have been pining to see it ever since. My mom taped it (yes -- shockingly, VHS technology still exists, in such archaic places as my living room) just the other day, so we watched it last night.
Again, this is a piece of work that is extraordinarily atmospheric. There's a vein of futuristic, apocalyptic feeling to it, though it's never quite established whether that's entirely the case. The entire thing is drastically dark, such that we had to turn off progressively more lights to be able to follow it.
It struck me in particular what a precedent this movie must have set -- The Matrix took the trenchcoats; Spider-Man stole the requisite discovery-of-powers sequence; and Kill Bill borrowed heavily from the plotline. I was kind of disappointed when I realized early on that this was just a cut-and-dry revenge movie, but somehow I never got bored of it. It's really a tragedy that Brandon Lee, the lead, was killed in by a stunt bullet accident during filming -- first, because they had to cobble the rest of the movie together; and second, because he was fantastic. As the first goes, I was surprised to find, as it went on, that I absolutely didn't notice. If I hadn't known in advance, I don't think I would have had even the slightest inkling of it, though I'm a bit slow at the best of times. ;) On the second topic, I was consistently impressed. It was scripted that the other characters gave Eric Draven a lot of crap about the silly makeup, but Lee pulled it off -- and somehow made it... dare I say it?... sexy. And he has GORGEOUS hair. I'm a sucker for gorgeous hair.
At an, ahem, slightly less superficial level, so much of this movie would have been pathetically silly if not for Lee's ability and assurance. He made you buy it, and he made you believe it, and the film would have been sunk without him. To me, this is the precursor to Heath Ledger -- what might he have done with the rest of a vastly promising career, judging by the tantalizing work he'd already shown us?
This, children, is one of many reasons why mortality is a right bitch.
I'd really like to see this movie again when I'm not multitasking, and when it hasn't been censored for network television. In any case, you might be pleasantly surprised if you check it out.
Why is it that once I see a single movie, I then line up like eighteen others...?