Should I let my 12 year old read Interview w/ a Vampire?

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Showing 1-24 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 30, 2009 8:06:00 PM PDT
Ben says:
My kid wants to read the book. I'm worried about the sexual imagery, plus he's kind of scared of the dark. Too sexual? Too scary? I've only seen the movie, so I'm not sure. Any advice would help.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2009 8:30:28 PM PDT
L. adams says:
no, no, and nooooo! i have read this book twice and i also have a child of my own. no way would i ever let her read it until she's at least 16 or 17. maybe not even then. the vampire chronicles are shelved in the horror section of the book store for a reason. i encourage you to ask others who have read this book who also have children of their own. i doubt any parent in their right mind would allow their pre-teen child to read it.

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 9:23:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2009 9:23:56 PM PDT
I have read most of The Vampire Chronicles myself, and with the sexual tone of the books I personally would not let my children read them until they are older. Do not get me wrong I love Anne Rice's work, but it is not something that a child or preteen should read. I'd lean more towards doing so when they are around 17.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2009 10:53:02 PM PDT
primenumbers says:
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Posted on Oct 9, 2009 9:20:56 AM PDT
Anne Rice says:
As the author of this book, I find these posts very interesting. Would I let my twelve year old read this novel? Don't know. But I can tell you, based on the emails I get that many twelve year olds are reading this book and the sequels to it. If it's any consolation, the book does have a strong moral compass and talks up front about good and evil in a serious way. Considering what children are exposed to today in prime time television and in other media, I'm not sure Interview with the Vampire is the thing to fear. But then I can't be objective. I appreciate the posts here, and the concerns. The novel is strong stuff.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 7:45:09 PM PDT
C. D. Melton says:
It's a vampire book. So, knowing that it involves blood, and the violence of biting, and possibly even a stake to the heart, that's all the worse it gets. My 11 year old is reading it now. There's NO sex in it (vampires are impotent) and no more violence than you'd expect given the genre. No worse than Twilight, just a little less sickly sweet.

Posted on Nov 4, 2009 3:34:41 PM PST
Mysie Cairns says:
I read this book when I was 11 and loved it. It made me feel smart and grown-up. I am now 36 and consider reading this to be one of the most influential experiences of my life - in a good way. The only thing I found confusing were a few of the words. Claudia is an exceptional character that I related to quite easily, as she quickly became an adult in a child's body - the perfect embodiment of what life as a preteen felt like at the time. I don't think the violence or darkness comes close to touching what Hollywood is producing these days. But this is definitely a sexual book - no "sex", but plenty of sensuality and scenes that come pretty close. Anne Rice's vampires are sensual and quite often hedonistic, but quite moral in their own personal ways. So in the end, if he is a good reader, he is old enough to read and understand the book. But the only way to decide if your morality and the book's morality jive is to read it yourself and then decide.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2009 7:26:03 PM PST
I read this book when I was a year younger than your son, along with the subsequent four books. Why not?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2009 5:04:23 PM PST
J. L. Grant says:
Definitely depends on the child. Perhaps buy 2 copies, read along with him, and discuss the story with him as you go. Anne Rice is a fabulous writer - one of the all time best in her genre for sure. If you liked the movie, you'll love the book, and if your kid hasn't seen the movie yet - well we all know it's much better to read the book. Also, Interview with the Vampire is the beginning of a marvelous journey into modern American literature. If I could get my child to read the vampire chronicles, I would... Just don't let him read the Sleeping Beauty trilogy until he's at lease twenty something..

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2010 9:41:09 PM PST
Comparing Twilight to Interview with the Vampire is like comparing cartoons to HBO. Twilight is meant for children, and IWAV is meant for adults. I'm not saying a child could not handle reading the latter, only that to say they are the same gives the wrong impression.

Posted on Aug 27, 2010 6:42:43 PM PDT
Jian Lewis says:
I'm fifteen, reading it, and I seriously don't think it's that bad at all. some of the required books for my honors english class have more disturbing or adult scenes. If your kid is more mature than most, then he's probably fine.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2010 1:21:40 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 8, 2010 1:22:16 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2010 6:33:27 AM PDT
Jenickki says:
I guess that would depend on the maturity level of your 12 year old. I am a professional librarian, and I have a daughter who is 13; and I honestly believe as long as your child can handle the subject matter, and realizes that indeed this is "fiction" there should be no issue.
Currently on the market the House of Knight Series is far worse than anything Ms. Rice has written. My daughter burned thru that series when she was 11. However, there was some subject matter that concerned her, and we talked about it.
If my memory serves, I believe that the racists of all the books was Queen of the Damned. (I could be wrong), but it's not anything that these kids aren't already being bombarded with. Point is, read and discuss.

Good Luck

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2011 12:00:23 PM PDT
DMS,MD says:
You gave a non-answer.

Posted on Feb 14, 2012 9:59:18 AM PST
Interview with a Vampire is a considerably healthier book for pre-teens to read than Twilight. Bella has a histrionic type personality. She misses her ex-boyfriend therefore she throws herself of a cliff etc. Kids, especially, girls might decide this is an appropriate thing for a spurned lover to do.

There is none of that in IwtV. Nor is there near the amount of sexual tension that is pervasive in Twilight. However, the book is considerably more violent, but as the author points out the morality of the violence is constantly questioned. Would I let my 12 year old read is book? Yes, if they specifically asked and I would discuss it with them. Would I suggest that my child read this book? No, but then I hope my children would have a more profound interest in the classical, rather than popular, literature (with apologies to Ms. Rice).

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 7:32:38 PM PDT
Geneva G. says:
You have obviously never read Breaking Dawn. That stuff is NOT for children.

Posted on Sep 3, 2012 9:06:25 AM PDT
My 12 year old has read it. I actually suggested she read book 2 (The Vampire Lestat) first. I didn't find the book overtly sexual. Sensual perhaps, but I think that it was something I (as an adult) picked up on. With that said, my daughter is a very mature 12 year old and her reading skills indicate that she should be reading on "college level". Finding books that are appropriate for her can be hard. She has been picking at my "library" for ages ( those book I really don't find appropriate for kids are in a box in the garage) When she was fascinated with Egypt she read The Mummy (also by Anne Rice). She has read both of the books about the life of Jesus ( Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt
Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana) among other books. I think if you child is able to understand that this is FICTION, introducing QUALITY authors is a good thing.

( Though the books Anne Rice wrote under the pen-name A N Roquelaure is definitely for adults only)

There is so much CRAP quality books out there for pre-teens/YA as it is.

You may not agree, and that is fine. I think as a parent you have to find what you think is right for you and YOUR child. Maybe re-read the book before letting the child read it, see how you feel about it?

Posted on Nov 29, 2012 8:32:26 PM PST
Rhi says:
I started reading Anne Rice at 12 years old because my own mother knew that I was ready for them, so I think at the end of the day only you will know if your child is ready emotionally for these books.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2013 7:28:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 30, 2013 7:29:27 AM PDT
JJstarlight says:
I have read these chronicles, and having said that, I had an older sister, who gave me these to read. I believe now, i was to young. I should have been 17 or so, not 11like i was. Way over the top sexual tones, gore, violence. I survived it, but it haunted me for years.I could not shake it put of my head. I do not think a preteen should read this. These are adult novels.

Posted on Oct 5, 2013 2:31:21 AM PDT
Your mileage may vary, but if your child is afraid of the dark, I would hold off introducing IWAV. But that is me.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2014 2:20:52 PM PDT
Jay Miller says:
Ms. Rice,

What a pleasure to see your own words in reply to people pondering your literature. I first read Interview when I was probably 12 or 13. Have read it about three times since that time (many years ago). I love your imagery, descriptive detail and the depth in which we get to know the very different and intriguing personalities who live on the pages of your stories. I've never had the opportunity to tell you thank you.

Thank You,
John Miller

Posted on Sep 30, 2014 9:54:37 PM PDT
K.P says:
I got hooked on the series as a kid of about 12. But then again, I knew enough about grief from experience. And I watched horror movies with gore as a toddler. Can you say the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre? And I didn't turn into some psycho-maniac or anything. Only you and those around you know your kid. Are they mature enough to handle the darker side of human nature? Can they handle grief and desire? Sure, there's not any actual bump-n-grind, but the act of drinking blood is compared to intimacy between two "souls" (for want of a better word) and sex. From your description, your kid may have some issues. I suggest going to a library and checking out the book yourself first. Then ask your kid what they think about (x) scene. Good luck!

Posted on Nov 15, 2014 8:59:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2014 9:03:42 PM PST
Cathryn says:
Started with the Vampire Lestat at 12. I remember reading this on a family road trip & asking my mom what various words meant. The reading level was just a bit above mine at the time. But the book had me hooked on Anne Rice and within 2 years I'd read all her novels written under the name Anne Rice, including Cry to Heaven which I consider to be the raciest. My mother has since mentioned that she could tell from the words I was asking that the content was not aimed at children but trusted my maturity & was happy I was so engrossed in a novel. She also states that she saw improvement in my reading and writing skills at the time I started reading Anne Rice. Reading these novels not only greatly heightened my vocabulary, reading comprehension, and ultimately ACT reading and SAT verbal skills, they also helped me to enjoy the works of Hawthorne, the Bronte sisters, Hemingway, and Faulkner, which were sometimes too "deep" or "wordy" for my fellow students in college courses to understand or enjoy. I credit Anne and her writing style largely with my own ability to breeze through an English minor and even to elevate my verbal skills to the extent that I was able to earn a Bachelors in French language and literature. Her books are not only technically well written but are truly enjoyable and may help your child love reading. As with violent video games and graphic music and movies, it is not so much the content but the way in which a child is raised that will affect their reaction to the content. As long a child has the ability to separate true life from fiction, these novels will not only be okay but may greatly improve his or her reading level.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2014 9:33:18 AM PST
Mysie Cairns says:
Wow, I wish I had thought to include similar details in my response. You didn't mention Dickens and Shakespeare: after Anne Rice, A Tale of Two Cities was a breeze and I was the only person in my 9th Grade English class who could follow the action and appreciate the flow of words when it came to Shakespeare. Plus, there are too many words to count that were added to my vocabulary from books alone, especially Anne's. She also greatly affected my personal writing style. Anne Rice and Charles Dickens are responsible for my love of long, flowing, complicated sentences as well as my innate dislike of short sentences. If I write a sentence without including a comma, I will usually attempt to rewrite it because it just doesn't feel "balanced." Thank you, Anne Rice, and you, too, Cathryn.
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Participants:  23
Total posts:  24
Initial post:  Aug 30, 2009
Latest post:  Nov 16, 2014

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Interview with the Vampire
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (Mass Market Paperback - April 12, 1977)
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