Vampires: 70’s V. 00’s

The 70’s (and 80’s) had Anne Rice, we have Stephenie Meyer – both wrote wildly famous vampire chronicles, both had movies made out of there works. So here comes the question: which decade has the better vamp story?

Twilight Series:

I must confess, for the purposes of this review, that I read the Twilight series twice over. The first time through I read with the haze of romance and action, hardly noticing the plot, characters, or questions. Yet, after I finished, I couldn’t quite recall what happened in each novel, it was as if all of the books had congealed in my mind to make a puddle of suspense, danger, and obsessive love. When I read them over again, I found that books two and three were made up entirely of the reverse plot of Wuthering Heights – in other words, they had the same conflict (one woman, two men) but Twilight doesn’t have the interest of the female lead making the unexpected choice. We all know what she will choose, what she must choose, from the beginning – so there goes the intrigue and question of that plot.

Reminds me… I watched the pilot of Roswell on a whim one evening and had a very conscious episode of déjà vu – Twilight with aliens, sans vampires. There was even an almost identical lab scene.

Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice:

I have two lasting impressions of Interview with the Vampire, the first being how intriguing it was to see Anne Rice explore what it means to be a vampire with eternal life and immoral desires. It turns out, in her world, that vampires, more often than not, do not have the will to live for eternity. Sure, they can, but Anne Rice seriously asks the question: Why would they want to? Vampires in Anne Rice’s imagination do not eternally ‘bond’ as they do in Twilight, which makes their relationships much more interesting (they get bored of each other, betray one another, and even kill their loved ones) but it also means that they don’t have any relationship to live for. Instead of holding vampires on a pedestal, as Twilight arguably does, she seems to argue for mortality in the face of eternal life.

My second impression was much less favorable. Interview with the Vampire is literally an interview. Every few pages Anne Rice returns to this set up, which is obviously just a plot device to tell the story. In this setting there are two characters, the vampire and ‘the boy’. ‘The boy’ is never given a name, so every few pages the words ‘the boy’ are repeated to refer to this (in terms of quantity of appearance) main character. Sure, he doesn’t do much, he doesn’t even really interview, but he is still, ubiquitously, ‘the boy’. If someone could promise me that Anne Rice never uses the words ‘the’ and ‘boy’ together again in her writing, I would be delighted to read more of her works, but, as it is, I think I’m satisfied with just this one.

70’s V. 00’s:

If the fluidity and movement of Twilight and the plot interest of Interview with the Vampire could be combined into a single vampire series, I would be sold. As it is, I just have to keep hoping that some decade (besides the 1890’s) will produce a vamp story with the best of both Rice’s and Meyer’s powers, without their flaws.

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