I read Interview and Lestat in pretty rapid succession. They came at an interesting time - when I was performing the part of John (William?) Polidori in Howard Brenton's Bloody Poetry. I can't recall what kind of research I did into the character at that time, or if I even read The Vampyre then or later. But it was a Gothic time.
I am sure we watched Gothic.
So, anyway, I was reading these novels over the fall and winter of 1988/89. They were sexy fun, but also put me into a deeply troubled state of mind. I mean, I was already in a deeply troubled state of mind, verging on suicidal (or at least unhappily conflicted about the value of living) and so the idea of becoming something completely else, especially something so attractive and adventurous, was distinctly appealing.
Vampires in all these stories are cute. There's a reason for that. Well, Not Dracula, at least not originally.
My memory is that I enjoyed Lestat so much more than Interview. Reading Lestat was like a dam breaking open. He's right! Louis is a f*cking whiner! And how couldn't he see what a totally amazing guy Lestat was, man - even a vampire can be shallow and short-sighted, who knew?
The graphic novel adaptation came out in the early 90s. I just picked up my copy, which I have not opened in well over ten years, to reacquaint myself with the book (I re-read Interview last month.) I almost couldn't get past the first few pages. All Lestat's praise of 1980s rock - his desire to be a rock star - is truly embarrassing.
And I never want to read the phrase "succulent little tough cookie" again.
But once the story delves into the past I am reminded of why it was originally compelling and now I am enjoying it again.
LATER: Hey, I just remembered ... I had a cassette of the audiobook of Lestat, narrated by Michael York. (Never get an abridged audiobook, by the way, they're terrible.) I can't remember what impression hearing him speak these words aloud made, but he could not have made the phrase "succulent little tough cookie" any more bearable, no matter what your affection for Tybalt might be.
Saw Mr. York last spring, at the 2009 Creative Voices Summit last May. What a nice man, and hugely modest, he kept referring to other actors he'd worked with and how he suffered in comparison to them