Transcript: Episode 125 – Interview With the Vampire

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Renata  0:10

Hello, and welcome to Worst Bestsellers, where we read about the ennui of being a vampire so you don’t have to. I’m Renata


Kait  0:19

And I’m Kait!


Renata  0:24

And for this episode we read Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. Joining us to discuss this 15 hour long interview transcript is Meredith Goldstein, advice columnist and author who once derailed a college visit to see Interview with the Vampire the film on opening night. Hi, Meredith!


Meredith  0:44

Hi, thank you for having me. I’m so honored to be here. I love– and for those who don’t know I’m dressed as Claudia from Interview with the Vampire. And if you look to order a Claudia wig, it is also a Goldilocks wig, as it turns out. I don’t know how long I’ll be commit to it because I may also be allergic to this wig.


Renata  1:05

You’re lucky because Claudia doesn’t have that choice. She is stuck with that hair for ever.


Kait  1:13

I can’t remember why we picked this book. I’m sure there was a reason.


Renata  1:16

Well, I mean, cuz cuz Meredith is a known vampire aficionado, and we love to work with Meredith.


Kait  1:19



Renata  1:21

I think also it’s one of the more widely popular books that was left on our list and we were like, yeah, people probably want to hear us talk about that. And… I’m mad about that. I don’t know how– quick show of hands: how many of you have read this book before? Oh, so many.


How many of you have seen the movie? Yeah. If you– if you only raise your hand for movie, and not for book, you’re doing great! You’re doing– you’re doing it correctly. Don’t– you don’t need to read the book.


Kait  1:55

Yeah, I will say I had not read the book or seen the movie prior to this. And that was– the book part at least– was a good life choice. I don’t know how this book got published! It is literally a 15 hour long interview transcript. If you haven’t read the book, literally everything in the book is in double quotes. Because it is literally Louis telling an unnamed youth about his life story, like just speaking it out loud. That is the entire book. It is actually a 15 hour long interview transcript. I know because I listened to it on audio. And that’s how many hours of my life were devoted to it.


Meredith  2:33

I mean, as a young person who wanted to be a journalist and also wanted to marry a vampire, This book sort of spoke to me so I think I’ve read it probably like seven to eight times. But it had been– it had been a bit. So this was a– revisiting this at my age now was maybe a little bit different than… but– but it is a very long interview. And by the way, working for the Globe, I have had similar interviews where you sit down and you ask question, and you’re like, “I live here now.” Just how it goes.


Renata  3:06

The cover… the cover of this book, the copy, multiple quotes, refer to it as erotic. And I just I want to start off by disagreeing with that. We read a lot of real horny books for the show, and I didn’t find this erotic at all.


Kait  3:24



Meredith  3:28

I think that it, you know, at the time when I was young, it felt erotic. And I also think it felt like oh, we’re openly discussing men who are clearly couples, right? And so even the nature of that without having to be heavy handed about that felt erotic to me when I was younger. Now I think I’m most interested in vampire stories when vampires have been alive a really long time because there’s a great marriage metaphor, right? Of like, wh’re literally in this forever. And maybe that’s less erotic of a tale. I don’t know.


Kait  3:58

Yeah, I mean, everyone who actually listens to the show knows how I feel about any book with queer content. I’m always very happy to have that. Eh…no. It did not– It did not save this book for me. I had to force myself to finish it like two days ago because I was like, “I’ll look real dumb if I get up in front of a room full of people, and I don’t know how it ends.”


Renata  4:19

In one minute, we should started talking about the actual plot of the book, but first, I really have to get this out here.


Kait  4:26



Renata  4:26

Yes. Um, first of all, this book is so boring. I want to talk about this book for zero minutes. I want to try Anne Rice’s Wikipedia page for two hours. But we’ll get to the book soon. But one fact that I learned on Wikipedia, and that has consumed my every waking minute since I learned it is that originally, the cast that Anne Rice wanted for this movie– she kind of famously did not want Tom Cruise to play Lestat, which he does. But less famously, I don’t know why, less famously, she wanted Louis, who is played by Brad Pitt, but she wanted Louis to be played by Cher. Yes, like THE Cher.


Kait  4:45

Becuase she was concerned that with the queer content, she wouldn’t be able to get a movie made. So she was like, “Oh, I’ll just gender swap Louis, and I’ll get Cher–


Renata  5:14



Kait  5:15

–to play him.”


Meredith  5:17

And if you’re gonna cast Cher as anyone Cher is Lestat!


Kait  5:19



Renata  5:22

And that’s why I’m so furious that there’s not this Cher vampire movie for me to watch. I do agree it would have been better Lestat, but like no matter what– And and like Kait, I mean, I’m maybe less vocally excited when we read quer books, but like, yeah, I’m like, cool. Normally, I’d be very happy for two gay vampires. But if my choice is like these two gay vampires or one of them is Cher and now they’re straight vampires? Like, honestly I feel like that’s more gay?!


And that’s what I want. And anyway, that’s why Cher is on your bingo cards, because I knew I had to talk about it. And now I’ve said it. And now I guess we can talk about actually happens in this book, which doesn’t have Cher in it even once.


Kait  6:05

So what happens in this book is that we meet Louis, who has brought a youth to his decrepit room–


A boy. An unnamed boy, who gets no name for the entire 800 hours of this book. He is just called the boy and the boy wants to interview him about his life. So he reveals the fact that he is a vampire, and there is the prerequisite like, “But you were standing under light! And even though it’s like fluorescent light, I heard vampires don’t like light!”


Renata  6:13

A boy.


Kait  6:39

Which Louis then immediately is like, “That’s just a myth.” But actually, it turns out the sunlight thing isn’t a myth. So this boy was under the impression that like vampires can’t be under fluorescents. “Fluorescents” should have been a bingo word!


Meredith  6:54

I mean, fluorescents are unflattering, so maybe he just figured they wouldn’t…


Renata  6:58

And as we all know, flourescents are what makes Edward Cullen’s eyes change color, famously, in Twilight.


Kait  7:05

So after all of the vampire-unbelievingness this from this youth, Louie jumps into his story, where he talks about how he was the head of an indigo plantation in New Orleans, like, old timey times. And his brother was on the plantation with him, and he was super religious, and he decided he was a saint. And then God killed him?


Renata  7:31

Yeah. The brother decided the brother was a saint and Louis was like, “Uhh…I guess?”


Kait  7:37

Yeah. Or I don’t know. He just, like, he was– he died mysteriously and was dead and Louis was like, “Well, fuck this. Now I want to be dead, too.”


Renata  7:48

I had forgotten, like–because this really isn’t in the movie–but like how like, this is like a Catholic guilt book where like the brother– he keeps supporting the brother’s religious desires, and then the minute the brother says, “Actually, I need you to sell your entire plantation, and” –right?–“like, give the money to make me even more religious.” He says no, and then the brother like, basically falls out of the house. And then the rest of the book is basically like him feeling bad.


Yeah. Doesn’t the brother fall down the stairs and die? Isn’t that how he dies? Like, maybe God pushed him down the stairs?


Kait  8:20

Yeah. Because at first they thing maybe Louis pushed him and Louis’s like, “But I know it wasn’t me, so it must have been God because he wouldn’t have killed himself, because then he wouldn’t be able to go to heaven. So God must have killed him.” Or something.


Renata  8:33

Yeah, there’s a disproportionate amount of time spent on the religious troubles of the brother and the brother never comes back. No. Does he come–? Well–


Meredith  8:41

He’s super dead.


Kait  8:44

Right. But Louis is just devastated by the loss of his brother. So he’s like, “I’m just gonna, like, drink and gamble and whore my way around and pray for death.” And then one day, Lestat is like, “Hey, I can help you with that!” And steps in and is like, “I’m gonna kill you.” And when he’s dying, he’s like, “I could make this less…death-y, less painful by making you drink my blood. Is that cool with you? Okay, bye!” And pours blood into his mouth, and then Louis is now a vampire.


Meredith  9:18

Can I just pause? Are there are there Buffy people here? Okay, well, well done, you. I– you know, I keep thinking of Angel as also being sort of drunk and worthless and whoring as one does and being chosen, right? For this eternal life, and I just feel like if I were like a super cool vampire, I would do better in terms of who I picked. Like somebody who really worked for it, you know? Because it’s like an honor.


Renata  9:42



Kait  9:43

Except that the reason that Lestat really wants to pick Louis is because Louis’s got this big estate, and Lestat wants to move his elderly, blind father into it and also take all of Louis’s money, which he assumes will happen if he turns them into a vampire. And for reasons that aren’t very clear, does, in fact, happen.


Renata  10:02

Yeah, at its core, it’s like a real estate conflict. And it’s– and it’s like, Lestat, have you heard of crime?? Like I feel like there was an easier way for you to accomplish your goals here.


Kait  10:15

It’s– it is a big aside in the book where Lestat’s like, “Oh, I was real good at money. I was real good at investments. Like this is–” and goes on this multi-page tangent about how he kept them into the lifestyle to which they had become accustomed. Whereas Lestat’s plan is mostly like: find someone who looks rich, and then move into his house.


Renata  10:34

Yeah, I think in that sentence you said Lestat twice, but the first thing you meant Louis.


Kait  10:39

I did indeed.


Renata  10:40

Anyway. There’s also a lot in the early chapters of this book that’s not really focused on in the movie, and it gets again dropped quickly. But there’s a lot in here about like the slaves on the plantation and like comparing the slaves to like, vampires and like, how we’re all kind of like eternal slaves. Like it’s very clunky and weird and it– and not cool.


Kait  11:03

This might be shocking, but this white woman did not write that metaphor really well at all.


Renata  11:04



Kait  11:09

Or handle any of the slavery issues–


Renata  11:12



Kait  11:12

–or any of the race issues well at all.


Meredith  11:14

I think it’s also interesting, like, Louis’s telling the story to an interviewer like supposedly now, right? Whatever now is. Like 1980–


Renata  11:20

It was 1981.


Meredith  11:21

Right. And, and yet he doesn’t seem to have evolved much in terms of how he perceives other people in the world and his role in–


Kait  11:30

That’s because he’s so sad!


Meredith  11:32

Yeah, he’s just like, “Oh, it’s such a bummer.”


Kait  11:34

He’s just so sad about being a vampire. It is very hard, and he’s just out all the time, and Louis’s like, at this point in the novel, Louis’s main emotion, feeling, and plot usefulness is just moping constantly. He is very sad that he’s a vampire because he’s not really alive anymore. He’s very sad that Lestat is not interested in teaching him how to be a vampire. He is very sad that everyone he loves is dead, and now he has to kill people in order to continue to exist. He’s very excited when Lestat is like, “You can feed on animals” and he’s like, “Great, I’m just gonna do that.” And Lestat is like, “You’re crazy. Killing people’s great!” Lestat loves killing people. He’s into it.


Renata  12:18

Yeah, Louis was a vegetarian vampire before the Cullens even thought about it.


Kait  12:24

So life continues on like that, and eventually, the enslaved people at the plantation realized that something is going on with their two people who live in this house but never come out in the sunlight and make other people do all of their work in town and run all their errands for them and…


Renata  12:43

And they keep making them prepare these like Beauty and the Beast feasts for them. And this is maybe more focused on in the movie because there’s a good visual, but they bring out these feasts, the vampires eat nothing. It’s like guys, why don’t you just say you’re not hungry? Why are you making them do this every day?And then they bring away the empty plates, and they’re like, “Hmm.”


Kait  13:01

In the book it’s even weirder because they’re eating with Lestat’s father, so they have to make it sound like they’re eating. So they, like, move their silverware on their plates while they’re sitting there, which I imagine looks bonkers to anyone who comes in and just looks and says like, “Okay, this is… happening?”


Renata  13:17

Yeah, it’s all the sighted folks. The other thing I– what I remembered is that maybe the closest thing to an erotic moment in this, for me, was that when they first– when Louis’s first changed, he and Lestat have to share a coffin. And I was like, “Oooh” but then like A: nothing happens and B: it’s a coffin and then C: Louis, like, immediately gets his own coffin and, like… they move on? I don’t know. But I could see that being, like, a moment to, like, grab onto, like, ooh these, like, two men in one coffin.


Kait  13:52

So at this point, Louis’s like, “Oh, they’re onto us.” So he tells Lestat like, “Once your dying father is dead, you have to get out and– cuz we’re in big trouble.” And Lestat doesn’t care; Lestat just cares about killing people and spending Louis’s money. But surprise! There is an uprising at this plantation. The night that Lestat’s father is dying, the foreman sees that Lestat is a vampire. So Louis has to kill him, and he feels real bad about it. Because as I mentioned, Louis hates killing, and he loves being sad. So that really like nails it for him and the killing and the being sad… spot in his heart. So Louis kills Lestat’s father and does his first of many arsons in this book.


Meredith  14:37

Arson one!


Kait  14:37

Arson one. And they take off and stay the night with a local lady who was in charge of a plantation. There had been this whole subplot, where Lestat killed her brother for funsies after he won a duel?? The brother won a duel, and Lestat was like, “Not on my watch!” and killed him and left them in the swamp. And so this lady took over the plantation, and Louis felt bad about it, so he’s been secretly giving her counsel on how to run a household. And this night he shows up and he’s like, “Uhh, me and my friend need to sleep in this box in a locked room. Don’t ask any questions.” And she doesn’t at that point–


Renata  15:14

Almost literally that is the dialogue. Like it’s very little exaggeration. It’s very abrupt.


Meredith  15:20

I think all of this really depends on how hot these people are. Because if some guy was like, “I’m very hot. I need to– I need to stay with you in Jamaica Plain, but here’s the catch! My friends and I need to lie on top of each other in a locked dark room. Don’t bother us till tomorrow.” I’d be like this hot? Okay. Okay.


Renata  15:39

Or! If it’s Cher. For sure Cher can do that at my home.


Kait  15:48

But the next morning she’s– or the next night, after they sleep through all day, she’s like, “You’re devils!” and sends them on their way, and Lestat’s like, “Screw her.” But Louis’s sad cuz he maybe had feelings for her? Or maybe just… is sad, because that’s his main default emotion all the time, constantly, is that he’s sad. So they head into New Orleans and Lou– Lestat’s like, “Great! Like, people to kill and drinking and gambling and more people to kill!” And Louis is mostly sad. So he’s having a sad, mopey walk one night, in his sadness, and he hears a little girl crying. So he follows the sound of her crying while he’s on his sulk-walk, into an abandoned house where there is a woman who was dead of this unnamed plague, and the little girl’s crying, and it’s clearly her daughter, and Louis, who has not fed on a human in a very long time at this point is like, “This little girl. This is where I’m going to start. I’m going to feed on this little girl.” And he does. And then Lestat dances around with her mother’s corpse, which is a very interesting visual in the movie. And Louis is just, like, really sad that he’s succumbed to his darker side and leaves. And then, surprise! The next day when Lestat has brought him back to this little girl from the hospital and pretends to be her father and then turns her into a vampire, so that this, like, five year old can be their daughter, and now Louis will be happy and not leave. By some logic that’s not entirely clear.


Yeah. Yeah!


Meredith  17:31

It’s sort of like having a baby to fix the marriage.


It seems like a good idea, but it doesn’t really work. And I need to tell you that now the Claudia’s in the picture, I’m going to rip this wig off because it’s itching me so much.


Kait  17:41

Go for it.


Meredith  17:41

We should have had “Guest rips wig off” on the bingo card.


Renata  17:46

Two things: once Meredith is resettled, I would like some Love Letters advice for what to do if your vampire marriage is struggling and you want a baby. I feel like she’s very qualified to speak on this.


Kait  17:58

I mean, probably the most qualified of any of the other advice columnists I can think of.


Renata  18:02

Yeah. Dan Savage doesn’t know about vampires. I– for me, for real, everything with Claudia was like genuinely very upsetting and genuinely, I think– we’ve read a lot of vampire books, and I don’t want to brag, I know what a vampire is, but I think this is the first time I really understood them as like a horror creature. I mean, like, “Oh, this is scary to me?” And it’s not, for me the, like, “Oh, I’m gonna jump out and bite you!” Like, whatever. But this idea of her as a permanent child who’s like growing and getting like, increasingly horny and like increasingly blood-lusty, but she’s still stuck in this child’s body. It was sooo upsetting to me. And then, if I may return quickly to Anne Rice’s Wikipedia page, became 17 times more upsetting when I learned that the character of Claudia is based on Anne Rice’s dead daughter who died of leukemia. Yes. Yes. Your child dies of leukemia at the age of five, and you’re like, “Yeah, I’m gonna make her this horny murder vampire child. She’ll live forever that way!”


Meredith  19:12

It’s a weird thing. I mean, can I– Is this where I’m allowed to talk about Twilight?


Kait  19:16

Yeah, go for it.


Meredith  19:16

May I talk about Twilight?


Kait  19:17

This is Worst Bestsellers! You can talk about Twilight whenever you want.


Meredith  19:19

[indistinct] the exact right place. So you know, Twilight is Twilight, and whatever you think of it, you think of it. I love it. But I also acknowledge its flaws. But one of the interesting things about this book that I had not remembered is that a lot of these chara– all of these characters, for the most part, are kind of immature, despicable, uninteresting. Like, Lestat is like kind of, you know, I was saying to these two, he’s like the guy you work with at work and you’re like, “Ugh, I wish that guy would just not work with me anymore because he’s so annoying.”


Renata  19:47

He’s like both Jim and Dwight, combined, but forever and never getting to, like, grow, like, never moving past, like, season two.


Meredith 20:00

It’s kind of– so, you’re like, you’ve turned these people into immortal characters, and they’re still quite young. I mean, Lestat’s father is still alive, meaning he hasn’t been a vampire for that long. And when you think about Twilight and the Cullens, right, they would never. They would never– They. Would. Never. They would never turn a kid. They would never, like, make a mess. And you begin to think, like, what if all the most annoying people you knew in your life were turned into vampires? It’s a little bit what this book is.


Kait  20:25

Well, Twilight also has the Volturi, which is–we discussed–what Louis wants more than anything. Louis is horny for rules of vampirism. There are none that Lestat will teach him, and that is like his main goal. Well, I guess two main goals: being sad and finding out, like, all the rules of being a vampire and what being a vampire is like, and the history of being a vampire and it’s olden times, so there’s no Wikipedia.


Renata  20:50

Yeah, I was gonna say. Louis either needs the Volturi or he needs Bella Swan to pull up her favorite search engine and search for “the cold one”. And that I think would also satisfy him, but tragically, he has neither.


Kait  21:06

So back in the book, Lestat has taught Claudia how to feed and gives her the very foreshadowing-y advice that you–


Audience Member  21:18



Kait  21:23



Renata  21:23

Oh! Yaaaay, bingo!


Kait  21:23

The last time we did this, we hadn’t even finished the intro and someone got bingo, so I tried to make it a little harder.


Renata  21:28

I know! I was like, “Are people listening?” Are we like–


Wait, what’s your name?


Audience Member  21:33



Renata  21:33

Olly? Congratulations.


Kait  21:34

Thank you.


Renata  21:35

Alright. Yaaaay! They’re still a pretty sweet second prize, so keep on listening for your bingos. Please.


Kait  21:44

So where were we?


Lestat’s taught Claudia that she– how to feed, and very foreshadowing-ly is like, “But if– when the heart stops beating, you can’t drink any more blood!” and she’s like, “Okay, sure. Fine, whatever.” And she loves killing people just like Lestat, so Louis’s also sad about that, in addition to being sad about his existence, and despite all this, he does eat humans now? He’s just–


Renata  22:10



Kait  22:10

–real sad about it. So the three of them have settled into this fancy apartment and this kind of like routine and lifestyle whre they go out to the theater. Lestat loves Shakespeare for reasons that are never really explored.


Renata  22:24

Well, because they because they didn’t have internet. If they did– like you would for sure prefer Netflix, but it’s just not invented yet. And they’re also settling into this routine where Claudia is like their daughter or wife and it’s just like, getting increasingly and increasingly upsetting to me, the reader. I didn’t like it.


Kait  22:37

Claudia is also aging mentally, sort of, theoretically. The narrative is very unclear, surprise surprise. Sometimes she’s like, “I have the mind of a 30 year old woman in the body of a five year old!” and other times she very clearly does not have the mind of a 30 year old woman. Whatever really is narratively suited for her, to be one or the other, that’s what happens.


Renata  23:10

And I think whenever anything is weird or nonsensical, and Anne Rice is aware that it doesn’t quite add up, she just like has Louis throw in to the boy, like, “And if that sounds weird to you, like, vampires experience time differently. Deal with it.” Like that’s Anne Rice’s get out of jail card is like, “Oh, yeah, we experienced time differently?” So I– this could have been 30 years, it could have been like 100 years. I don’t know. It felt, as a reader, it was like 100 years of reading.


Kait  23:39

And we will– we should make it clear that every like 15 or 20 pages or so it does flashback to Lestat talking to the boy. Sometimes he asks a question, sometimes he just has to change his tape recorder, and that has to be a thing, where he’s like, “Oh, wait, stop talking. Let me change the tape recorder Okay, it’s back you can continue.” That’s almost a direct quote from this book.


Renata  23:59

Yes. And it includes all that and never includes Louis asking the boy’s name and that’s very rude.


Kait  24:07

So Claudia is, like, good at killing, she’s good at piano, she’s good at reading, she’s good at all sorts of other things that young vampire girls should be good at in olden times New Orleans.


Renata  24:18

Oh yeah, she is also good at asking questions, and she starts to… to wonder, like, “Where are the other vampires? Can I make a vampire? How did– how was–?” Like, it’s very like a small child being like, “Where do babies come from?” But she’s like, “Where did I come from, and how do I make more of me?” And like, I want some friends.” And they don’t want to tell her. Or like– does Louis even know at that point or does only Lestat know?


Kait  24:42

Oh no, Louis knows cuz he does it in front of him.


Renata  24:43

Oh, yeah.


Kait  24:44

Yeah, he kills Claudia and turns her into a vampire in front of him to, like, I guess, prove a point and also be like, “Now you can never leave me.”


Renata  24:51

Right. Yeah, cuz they– cuz now it’s a custody battle.


Kait  24:55



Renata  24:55



Kait  24:57

But Claudia has plans to end this custody battle because after many years, she starts to wonder, as Renata said, where she came from, how she was made, and finally gets it out of Lestat that he killed her and then turned her into a vampire. And she is, at this point, like very angry that she’s never going to be an adult woman, very angry at that, Lestat would do that, she still loves Louis because that is a whole other kettle of fish we’ll get to eventually. But she has decided now that she is mad at Lestat, and that Lestat is useless to them and doesn’t ever want to talk about vampire rules and only wants to kill people. So she has a plan that she will kill Lestat, she and Louis will kill Lestat and then they’ll go off and do their own thing and search for other vampires in Europe.


Renata  25:41

And one key vampire detail in– in this lore, to make a vampire, specifically the person who is going to become a vampire– Like Vampire A drinks all of the victim’s blood and then like the new future Vampire has to drink that mixed blood back out of the vampire, like, all of it. And so Lestat is very like grossly explicit to Claudia about how like, “Well, you could never make a vampire because you don’t have enough blood to, like, do this. Like cuz you don’t have an adult body’s worth of blood.” And it’s gross, but also Claudia’s really upset about this because then if she ever wants to make another vampire friend (which spoiler: she does), she is going to need an adult vampire to help her out with that.


Meredith  26:26

Sort of like needing to get somebody to buy your beer.


Kait  26:33

So Claudia, as I said, has decided that it is time to leave Lestat behind. Louis is, despite the fact that he also is like, “Lestat’s the worst. I hate him” is like. “…kill him? But why should we do that? Also, it’s impossible, even though one of the things we do know is that we have to sleep in this coffin in a dark room every night because the sunlight will damage us, it’s impossible for a vampire die! Even though there’s no one here to teach us vampire rules, and we just kind of have to guess, this will never work.” But Claudia, you know, is very– she’s gonna do it anyway. She’s very independent. So she brings these two little boys to Lestat and is like, “Hey, like I brought you a present: little boys to eat!” And Lestat’s into it. But– and here– here’s what I was confused by, very many things in this narrative. The implication seems to be that because they drink a lot of absinthe, that would kill Louis, but also one of them is already dead, and that would also kill him.


Meredith  27:43



Kait  27:44

Lestat, not Louis. Sorry. Lestat. They both have L names! Why’d you do this, Anne Rice?!


Renata  27:49

Also, laudanum made their skin stay warm, so that they didn’t seem like they were dead.


Kait  27:55



Renata  27:55

Is that what laudanum does? I don’t know.


Kait  27:58

I– there’s a good Sawbones episode about it. I’ll send it to you.


Renata  28:01

Thank you.


Kait  28:02

So yeah, so they think that Louis dead, so they bring them to a swamp and drop them in a swamp. They think that Lestat’s dead! Sorry. Lestat’s dead, so Louis and Claudia bring him to a swamp and drop him in the swamp, And Claudia’s like, “Yes! We’re going to Europe. We bought tickets. It’s going to be great!” And then the next night, guess who shows up at the house? Spoiler alert: it’s Lestat. He’s not dead until Louis does a second arson. He’s just– they’re shocked and dismayed. Lestat doesn’t want them to leave. So Louis sets him on fire, and then sets the whole house on fire, and then they just go. Don’t look back. Don’t turn back. They’re off to Europe!


Renata  28:46

Cool– Cool vampires never looked back at the arson. They just, like, set it on fire, walk away to Europe.


Kait  28:55

So there’s like very short section of the book. So the book is separated into parts. Everything we’ve said so far is Part One. The next 20 pages is Part Two. They go to Eastern Europe, and they’re looking for vampires because they assume since vampire myths start in Eastern Europe, that’s where they’ll find them. Except the only vampires they find are like feral monster-y, beast-y creatures, and they’re not— they don’t know vampire rules. It’s all Louis cares about.


Renata  29:26

They’re almost, they’re kind of more like zombies than like vampires, I would say. Also, Meredith, here’s a question for you, since you… did that ever come back in any other books?


Meredith  29:37



Renata  29:38



Meredith  29:40

I mean, from my memory– and we have another person who’s read– No, we’re getting a no from the person who’s recently read all the Anne Rice– No. And, and it’s I mean, if only they had found the Volturi, right?


Kait  29:50

Wait! I’m getting a nod over on this side though!


Renata  29:51

A nod. In which– in– in…


Kait  29:55

Were you nodding, Ret?


Ret  29:57  

They do.


Meredith  29:57

Which– I’m trying–


Ret  29:59  



Meredith  29:59

Ohhhhh. Clearly. Yeah, I mean, they they do, but this is of course, they want– I mean, this is– we talked quite a bit about What We Do in the Shadows and all of the wonderful–


Renata  30:14

Yeah, I will say one, maybe the only– no, two good things about having read this were learning about Cher, and, and I felt like it gave me a new, even greater appreciation for What We Do in the Shadows. Which, I already appreciated very deeply.


Kait  30:14



Meredith  30:14

–ways there are nods to not only the Lost Boys and all sorts of other– and Twilight, but Anne Rice and that what they basically found is who’s living in the basement in What We Do in the Shadows, and that is a disappointment.


Kait  30:42

There are a lot of jokes from What We Do in the Shadows that, like, I laughed at because they were funny in context, but now I’m like, “Oh, I get it!”


Renata  30:48

Yeah…. Let’s– we’re done with the Eastern European vampires.


Kait  30:53



Renata  30:53

Like, it was just so boring, like this whole book was but that was a real low point for me. Let’s go to Paris!


Kait  31:00

Okay, so they give up on Eastern Europe, and they decide to go to Paris. And Claudia immediately is like, “I’m not a sad little girl anymore. I’m like a sexy adult, but still five,” which is weird.


Renata  31:13

So weird!


Kait  31:14

But Louis just kind of rolls with it, because Louie is mostly just moping. He likes to take long, sad walks.


Renata  31:19



Kait  31:21

Which he also liked to do in New Orleans, and I imagine in Eastern Europe, although it didn’t come up.


Renata  31:25



Kait  31:27

So he mopes on the streets of Paris–Louis, this is–one night until he gets lost and realizes that he is being followed. And it’s another vampire. And they do this, like, really awkward pantomime were like Louis raises his hand, and the vampire raises his hand. And when we saw that in the movie, I hadn’t gotten to that part of the book yet. And I was like, “Well, this is dumb, but whatever!” And then it’s even dumber when it’s written down. Let me tell you. That goes on for several pages.


Meredith  31:57

The international language of Are You A Vampire? I’m A Vampire. It’s like mime. It’s mime.


Kait  32:03

But not only mime, like, like five year olds, “I’m not copying you” mime, where– or “stop copying me” mime, where he’ll do this and the other vampire does this and he’s like, “Stop it!” and the other vampire’s like, “Stop it!” and eventually a third vampire shows up right when Louis’s about to beat the shit out of this guy cuz he so annoying, and gives them a card to go to the Theatre des Vampires?


Meredith  32:26

Vampires with business cards.


Kait  32:28

Yes. And the new– the vampire just jumps in with the business card, signs the business card “Armand,” and tells him to come to the theater that is on the card the next night. So he gets Claudia, and they go to this theater. And this is the weirdest part of the book.


Renata  32:48

But the least boring! I would say.


Kait  32:53

Yeah. Inside this theater, which is invitation only, there’s a really bad play that’s happening where a guy dressed as Death, who is a vampire, the actor is a vampire, spends Act One of this play running away from people who are chasing him. And then at the beginning of Act Two, they bring out a live, human woman, strip her naked. She struggles to get away, and he kills her on stage, and all the other vampires come out and feed on her, and everyone in the audience thinks it’s a play.


Renata  33:26

Yeah, and just– I mean, imagine you’re just a human, you’ve gone to see a show–


Kait  33:32

Imagine you’re a human. It’s hard, I know!


Renata  33:37

It’s hard. I don’t know what it’s like. Okay, but imagine you’ve gone to see a show, you’re like, “Okay, Act One, like, kind of like some amateur humor about death, like some rhymes. Now they sure they’re going for. Oh, ok. Now it’s a graphic, nude murder. And now it’s just over and there’s no curtain call.” Like normally like a dead– you know, a character who’s died, like that actor would come out for a curtain call. No, cuz she’s for real dead, and they can’t do that. But–


Kait  34:09

So it just awkwardly ends, like that’s the end, she’s dead. Everyone leaves the stage. Then like, awkwardly, people start clapping in the audience. And then leave.


Renata  34:19

And I have so many questions about this theater that were not answered in the– like is everyone– so it’s invite only, so is everyone there invited by vampires? Presumably? Or is there, is there like a theater critic who’s there like, “Uneven pacing. Do not recommend.”


Meredith  34:41

The Cullens would never!


Kait  34:46

Why do weird avant garde theater when you could play vampire baseball?


Meredith  34:49



Kait  34:52

So afterwards, Louis is called backstage to this theater where it gets even weirder, because they’re in this like bizarre underground, Hieronymus Bosch madhouse of rooms–


Renata  35:05



Kait  35:06

Dungeon sex sleep vampire dungeon… It’s real weird! It’s described in really weird detail. Actually, the movie almost made parts of it seem classy.


Renata  35:17



Kait  35:19

But not so much in the way that it’s described in the book. And Armand takes Louis and Claudia into his like weird, private area, and offers Louis a youth to feed on, just like, you know, like a good host. “Here’s a youth that really–” The youth is very horny for being fed on. It is actually probably the horniest moment in the book. It’s very awkward. And after, after Louis has, has this sip of this youth, Armand is like, “I’m going to tell you some rules about being vampires!” Which, as we’ve established, all Louis cares about is vampire rules. This is the greatest moment of his life so far. Claudia, meanwhile, is just kind of like really dazed, and Louis notices that she’s dazed, but he’s very focused on the rules, so he doesn’t care that much.


Renata  36:15

So it turns out there’s really only one rule of being a vampire, in the Anne Rice-verse, and that rule is don’t kill other vampires.


Kait  36:25



Renata  36:25

Yeah. So it’s like his first day at vampire paperwork, and he is like, already screwed it– Has no one gotten another bingo yet?? This is wild.


Yes! Yes… Oh, I forgot that was on there, but I’m glad I said it. Well, I’m glad we put it on there.


Kait  36:53

Pick from this pile of prizes. Watch out for the wires.


Renata  36:56



Meredith  36:58

I will say, not just be– in light of bingo, I do feel like throughout this…work, Louis is really doing The Secret to find vampires who might be able to give him a purpose of existence. And in this case, The Secret did work.


Renata  37:15

The Secret brought him Armand, and Armand is also being very cagey because multiple times– because he’s so like, he just wants structure. Louis keeps being like, “Okay, so are you the leader of these vampires?” And Armand keeps being like, “Well, if there were a leader, I would be the leader, but I’m not the leader, but if there were, it would be me.”Aand it’s– it comes across as if he is, like, the leader of a cult, and he doesn’t want to go to jail for it.


Meredith  37:45

It reminds me of like in The Last Boys how you’re led to believe it’s Kiefer Sutherland, right, and he’s like the leader, but then it’s not–spoiler alert–it’s not, but like he pretend– like, I feel like Armand probably isn’t. Maybe he isn’t.


Renata  38:00

Who is it?


Yeah because they don’t actually like…. Oh, let’s move on.


Meredith  38:01

We don’t know. We never meet that guy, i think, but like Armand’s like, “It’s not me. Wink.” But like, sike, it’s not him. Like he does not behave like— I don’t know


Kait  38:13

Yeah, we’ll keep going. So Louis’s having this conversation with Armand, who– and Louis was very excited about rules at first, then he’s really sad because not only did he break the only rule, but also Armand is very clear that God and the Devil don’t exist. And Louis was real, real stuck on that being true, I guess. Because when he finds out, he’s like, “I have to go home and mope. I can’t stay here any longer.” Claudia and Armand have been having this like weird, mental conversation where Amanda has been telling Claudia to like, let Louie go. So she does not like those other vampires at all. Because Louis’s the only person she has in the world now that they killed Lestat, whoops. And she’s a child, visually, even though now she’s like, “I can dress sexy.” So she needs Louis and does not want him to leave for Armand, and she is very stuck on this point. And also, before they leave, Armand is like, “By the way, there’s this other vampire called Santiago, he’s going to ask you what happened to your other– the vampire who made you. Don’t tell him anything. You know, like, you kind of made it clear to me what happened, but like that stays between us. Don’t go around talking about it or talking about yourselves or where you came from. Okay, bye.” So they leave. Louis really wants to bang Armand, but he’s also very sad.


Renata  39:42

That’s that’s Louis’s big mood, just always. Yeah, like, not only is Armand like always talking in circles, but it– and this by the way, this is Louis’s retelling. And he is just like, “Yeah, like, I’m not a good liar, I guess? Like, I knew that I shouldn’t say that we killed Lestat, but I didn’t know what to say, so I just said, like, don’t worry about it?” Like, he just, like he has so many chances to lie, and he just like, can’t really do it. And also, we talked a little bit about the telepathy. And this was never really like in Twilight… By the way, like, I feel like I’ve heard so many like vampire enthusiasts be like, Twilight, like ruined vampires for everyone. And I was like, “Okay, like, no it didn’t.” But now I’m like, actually, I think it did, but like in the opposite way, because I’m like, this isn’t as good as Twilight. Twilight made so much more sense than this. Twilight’s so much more clear. So Twilight has that scene where Edward’s like, “Here’s my family. Here’s the boundaries of what every superpower all of them has. Like, here’s how it works. Like I have telepathy, but I can’t read your mind, and like, here’s all this.” We never get that, and I didn’t really understand and of it.


Meredith  41:01

In the Venn diagram where there’s like Twilight and the Anne Rice Interview with the Vampire, in the middle is sad. Sometimes being sad. Uhh, piano. Um, and a little bit of telepathy.


Kait  41:16

That is true. So Claudia–


Renata  41:18



Kait  41:18

We’re in Paris.


Renata  41:19

Paris. We’re in Paris. We’re being bad at lies. Claudia is about to hatch her next great scheme.


Kait  41:25

Yes. And that is that because she is so sure that Louis is going to leave her for Armand, she decides she needs her– a new companion for herself as well. So she tells Louis that she wants him to make this woman, Madeleine, who owns a doll shop, into a vampire and Louis’s like, “I don’t know. You know how I feel about killing even though I do it all the time now, because now I just eat humans like other vampires. But I’m real sad about it still.” But she convinces him to do it, mostly because Madeleine is like. “I’m ready to be a vampire. My daughter died, so I would love an immortal child.” And Louis’s like, “Well, I guess if I do this, like, I can go bang Armand. Soooo… yeah.” So he does it and he commits his half-arson, he does a half-arson, where they go to– well, first– I guess, first he goes to see Armand, and they go up to…do they go up to his special, weird tower at this point, or is that after?


Renata  42:28

No, I think it’s before– yeah, Armand gives him like vampire climbing lessons. And Armand’s like don’t like– Louis is, is nervous about it. And Armand’s like, “Um, you’re an immortal vampire, so if you fall off this tower, it’s no big deal?”


Kait  42:42

But he also warns him that there are people who live in the tower, but they just think he’s a ghost.


Renata  42:48



Kait  42:48

“So don’t talk to them if you see them. Just act like a ghost, and it’s all cool.”


Renata  42:53

I want to interject before I forget, this is spoilers for like future Vampire Chronicles books,  but Laura, in the audience, was telling me earlier that because– because I was asking some questions, and one of them was like does Claudia– well. Ugh.


Kait  43:09

We’ll get to it.


Renata  43:09



Kait  43:10

We’ll circle back.


Renata  43:11

Remind me. Remind me that I want to talk about this thing with Claudia.


Kait  43:13

Okay, So yeah, he tells him to be a ghost or whatever. And Louis’s like, “All right, I’ll make your doll lady a vampire, and then I’ll go with her and I’ll help her burn down her doll store. Cuz I’m good at that.” Being sad, doing arson, those are Louis’s main….skill.


Renata  43:30

That’s a fun business card.


Kait  43:31

Yes. But while they’re on their way back from the arson, they are kidnapped by a bunch of vampires from the theater.


Renata  43:41

By the theater vampires. Yeah.


Kait  43:44



Renata  43:46

And– and they’re, they’re all in trouble because… I just want– I’m very bored of talking about this, and I don’t care if we spit it out in the right order. Like, I just want to get there. Like Lestat is back, he’s not actually vampire dead, he’s vampire alive. Surprise, bitches! And so he’s there, and he’s mad about it. But he didn’t want them to kill Louis because he still loves Louis, but the vampires are like, “Well, you’re not, you’re not the boss of us either. And like we sentence them all to death.” And so Madeleine who was like just born, as a vampire, just reborn, Madeleine and Claudia are, like, put in a well…thing to wait for the sun to come out, and then like they’re roasted alive because the sun does kill vampires. So if Louis was, like, serious about wanting to die, he could have just like… waited…outside.


Kait  44:39

And Louis’s put in a coffin and locked in a wall, I guess, to starve?


Renata  44:43

Yeah, they like Cask of Amontillado him.


Kait  44:45



Renata  44:48

Yeah, to starve like cuz he won’t be able to get out to get blood.


Kait  44:51

Yeah. So Lestat’s very upset about this because he didn’t want them killed, but the mean vampire Santiago was like, as Renata said, “You’re not the boss of me.”


Renata  45:00

Yeah. “There’s one rule. You’re not the boss of me.”


Kait  45:02

Armand comes back eventually and pulls Louis out of the wall, but they are too late to save Claudia and Madeleine. And there is a really extended scene of him describing in a very confusing way the fact that they have burnt to ashes, but they’re still in the shape of their bodies, and they still have hair, but they’re ashes.


Renata  45:21

It’s very affecting in the movie.


Kait  45:23

Yes, in the book, it’s just very confusing.


Renata  45:25

Okay, so now I do want to circle back to Claudia. Claudia comes back as a ghost, and I don’t think that vampires should be allowed to be ghosts. I think you can be– I think you can be a vampire or you can be a ghost. I think it’s greedy to be both. And although I guess that does fit for Claudia, but it’s greedy, and also that doesn’t make sense to me. Like, I like an orderly supernatural world, and a world where vampires can come back as ghosts does not check out for me.


Kait  45:54

So Armand saves Louis. Louis is real sad cuz Claudia’s dead. I mean, he’s real sad cuz he’s Louis but also–


Renata  46:01

It’s like next level. He’s like leveled up. He’s like the Charizard of sad now. Thank you.


Kait  46:08

So Louis– Armand’s like, “I couldn’t save Claudia.” And Louis’s like, “I’m really mad, so don’t go back to the theater tonight.” And Armand’s like, “Okay, whatever.” So Louis does his third arson. Third– point– 3.5. This is his third and a half arson, he’s done the half, he’s 2.5, now he’s up to three. And sets the entire theater of the vampires on fire. Sets all their coffins on fire. Sets– destroys basically everything.


Renata  46:40

And here’s the move that makes Armand the most likable person in this book–


Kait  46:46

Not hard.


Renata  46:46

–is that he– It’s not hard. He’s still not very likable. But he did warn all the human staff of the theater like, “Call in sick today or whatever”, right? Like, “Don’t come in.” And so they didn’t, so they didn’t die.


Kait  46:58

So Armand finds him after the big arson, and they decide to leave the country together. And then do they fuck in the Louvre? I was unclear.


Meredith  47:12

There’s a lot of unclear, like, how much sex has happened to anyone at this point. I believe they– I like to believe they did.


Kait  47:21

It like, they’re just like, “Oh, I guess we’re together now.” And then they go into the Louvre and that’s the end of Part Whatever Part We’re On. Three. Five. Six hundred.


Renata  47:28

Yeah, this says three of four. We’re in the homestretch. Thank god.


Kait  47:35

So part four is Louis and Armand are traveling the world together. But Louis’s dead inside because Claudia’s dead.


Renata  47:41

Like, again, Charizard of sad. Like, even the next level. So it’s hard and they– they’re not doing the work to preserve this relationship.


Kait  47:51

Not at all. And Armand tries to kind of inspire some jealousy, try to inspire anything that might inspire jealousy within himself, by saying like, “Oh, hey, I heard Lestat wasn’t actually in the theater, and he’s in New Orleans again.” And Louis’s like, “All right, whatever. Okay.” And Armand is like, “Well, maybe we can go to New Orleans.” And Louis’s like, “All right. Okay.” So they do. And while they’re there, Louis sees another vampire, who is like, Lestat’s type.


Renata  48:26

By the way, again, like time passes differently for vampires. But how much time– like when are we now cuz now it’s, like, close to like the now of the book.


Kait  48:34

Because he says later that after this happens, like he goes, like weeks later to do the interview with the unnamed youth.


Renata  48:35

Yeah, how long were they on, like, their gap year?


Kait  48:47

Oh, Renata. You’re talking to someone who calls everything older than 1950, Olden Times. I can’t help you.


Meredith  48:53

I mean, there’s like a– yeah no, it’s really confusing, but it does, like, you know, listen. It makes perfect sense that when you see your ex, you’re like, “I need to go monologue to someone about this.” So it makes sense that it’s like close to the, you know, yeah.


Renata  49:10

But so how, how much time roughly, between final arson and the interview? Is it 100 years?


Kait  49:19

Maybe more, because it’s what, like 1790 when they meet–


Renata  49:22

When they start, but then there’s so much time before they go to France.


Kait  49:26

Cuz they– At least 30 years–


Renata  49:29

This is probably Google-able.


Kait  49:30

Yeah. It’s like at least like 30-something years that they spend, and they go to Eastern Europe and then France. They’re not in France for very long. So I can’t imagine that… It’s got to be more than 100 years that they’ve been–


Renata  49:42

Let’s talk about something else. I’m gonna Google, like, Vampire Diaries.


Kait  49:44

Okay, cool. I’ll finish the summary.


Renata  49:45

Oh no, this isn’t Vampire Diaries.


Meredith  49:46

If only it were! If only it were. I mean, yeah.


Kait  49:56

So Louis sees this other vampire, he’s like, “Well, that’s Lestat’s type.” So he follows him and finds that Lestat is in fact living in New Orleans and is like– he’s gone full Old Vampire Yells at Cloud at this point.


Meredith  50:12

He has.


Kait  50:13

He hates everything. He hates every noise. He hates every like loud– bright light that he sees, every car he sees driving by. Everything’s the worst.


Renata  50:25

Guys, I’m– I pulled up this Vampire Chronicles timeline, and it starts at 12,000 BC. So this is gonna take some more minutes.


Kait  50:35

So he’s very… just cranky.


Meredith  50:43

But he has his younger boyfriend who’s super possessive and clearly into it.


Kait  50:46

Yes. But he still wants Louis to stay. But Louis’s like, “No, I don’t care. I’m dead inside. Because Claudia has died and I’m sad.”


Meredith  50:54

“I’m dead inside, and I’m over you.”


Kait  50:56



Meredith  50:56

That’s basically what he says.


Kait  50:58

And Louis leaves, and Lestat is very upset about that. And Louis goes back to Armand and like a couple days later, it’s just like offhandedly while they’re, like, sitting outside like, “Oh, by the way, I saw Lestat the other day.” And Armand’s like, “Oh, really? Like, how– what– hmm. How’d that go?” And Louis’s like, “I didn’t care. Nothing. I feel nothing. I’m dead inside. And I’ve been dead since Claudia died. And I’m just sad all the time.” And Armand is like, “Uhh, I– What if– What’d you do if I told you that I put Claudia out in the sunlight?” And Louis really doesn’t even react to that.


Meredith  51:34

He’s so miserable. He’s just like, “Whatever, somebody did it, it might as well been you.” He’s so bummed and boring.


Kait  51:42

And then, I would say Armand ghosts Louis, but I feel like you have to care about someone in order for you to be truly ghosted.


Meredith  51:50

I mean, I have many thoughts about this breakup, but we can get there during Dramatic Readings.


Kait  51:57

But literally, Armand’s like “Okay, bye.”


Meredith  52:00

He’s like, “I’m gonna go.”


Kait  52:01

And Louis’s like, “All right.” And then like a week later, it’s like, “Oh, I guess he meant forever.” And after that, he makes his way to wherever the hell this interview takes place.


Meredith  52:14

Like he’s definitely like an Eat Pray Love moment at this point in all of his breakups, where he’s like, “It’s just me now. I can do what I want.” Right?


Kait  52:21

So he ends up with this youth and he’s like, “All right, and now it’s the end of the interview, that’s my life. That was like last week, and now we’re at today.” And Renata knows how much time has passed.


Renata  52:34

Do I! Okay, so first of all, that first timeline I was on that started at 12,000 BC, like skipped all of this, it was like “1860: Claudia tries to kill Lestat. 1973: like, this interview.” And I was like, “Well, you skipped the whole book! What is this?!” And there’s so much in the past, and now I’m on one that’s on, and it’s like SparkNotes, implying that like someone is in school, like learning this book, which…is upsetting. So here we go. 1860: Claudia tries to kill Lestat. Several weeks later, Louis kills the village vampire, shortly after Louis and Claudia arrive in Paris A few weeks later, Louis turns– So this apparently is all within 1860. A few weeks later, Louis turns Madeleine. A week later, Santiago kills Claudia. The next night, Louis burns the theater. Almost 100 years later, Armand and Louis return to New Orleans. A month later, Armand leaves Louis. Late 20th century: the boy interviews Louis. End of timeline.


Kait  53:44

So the boy is very skeptical at the end of this tale, that Louis could be so sad about being a vampire, and Louis’s like, “Literally if you listen to me for the past 15 hours, being a vampire is the worst. And the boy’s like, “Well, make me into a vampire.” And Louis’s like literally is like, “Ugh! Another person begging to be a vampire. I should have known better. No one cares about my moping. No one listens to me” and leaves. Well, first he feeds on the boy like a little bit, but not enough to kill him. But the implication of like, “Ugh, no one, no one reacts the way I want them to” makes me wonder how many interviews he has given at this point where people are like, “Oh, that sounds great. Sign me up.” And he’s like, “Ugh! Another one!” So but he does feed on the boy like a little and then leave, and the boy passes out. And the book ends with the boy waking up in the morning and rewinding the tape to figure out where Lestat is living and writes down that address. And then that’s the end of the book. Finally.


Renata  54:44

And this is yet another thing that the movie did better even though the movie doesn’t have Cher in it. But I don’t know if you’ve watched the movie recently, the movie does end with Lestat, like, jumping into the boys convertible. And…does he bite him or is it just implied that he will?


Meredith  55:01

I think it’s implied that he will, and my memory of this–and somebody may need to Google it–but when I was much younger and still grieving the death of River Phoenix was that River Phoenix was supposed to play the interviewer, died, and they cast Christian Slater, and I was very much grieving River Phoenix but also had a super horny feeling about Christian Slater. And I will tell you that watching this movie with these two the other night, the horny feeling returned.


Renata  55:27

Another thing I learned from Wikipedia is that–and this is so strange to put in there: Christian Slater, like, took the role after River Phoenix died, and then it said that he donated his salary from the movie to “River Phoenix’s favorite charities” but then it didn’t say what those those charities were. And I was really curious, but not curious enough to Google it again, I guess.


Kait  55:52

The best part, though, about that ending in the movie is that once Lestat jumps into the car, he’s like, “Isn’t he the fucking mopiest bastard?”


Renata  56:00



Kait  56:02

“He’s the worst!” And he is. And I felt that, at that moment, I was like, “I– you know, Lestat, I– you’re winning me over. I’m on your side here. He’s the worst!”


Renata  56:11

Yeah, he’s– he’s giving the movie that flair of drama that it really needed again. And he still is dressed like in old timey like ratted– ratty clothes. It’s very like Mrs. Havisham as a vampire.


Meredith  56:25

I mean, when I originally read this book, I don’t know who I would have pictured and– but I will say that there was like, there’s a few moments where Tom Cruise does win me over. Brad Pitt is…


Renata  56:40

Here’s a– when we’re watching the movie, I think it was Meredith who was like, “Hey, um, just wondering, has Brad Pitt been a good actor in anything?” I was like, “Uhhhh….”


Kait  56:55

We went through his IMDB page. We pulled it up.


Renata  56:55

Cuz I was like, “I don’t know. Fight Club, maybe?” But then I was like, maybe he wasn’t good in Fight Club, and it was just that like, Fight Club blew my mind like as a high schooler.


Kait  57:03

I came up with Se7en. But again, I don’t know if it’s–


Meredith  57:06

[indistinct] in some things, like Burn After Reading, right? Is that the name of that movie? Like there were a few things where I was like, “Oh, later, like, he was good.” But in this he sort of plays it like I feel like I would–I would play it.


Kait  57:20

I mean–


Renata  57:20

You would be great, you and Cher would be my new dream cast.


Kait  57:24

It’s hard– I mean, not that I’m saying that Brad Pitt is a good or bad actor, because I honestly don’t have any opinion on that whatsoever. But like Louis, he has like two emotions, well, he has–I think I broke it down, he has four emotions: sad, sad and vaguely horny, sad and vaguely paternal, and arson. And that’s it. That’s all of the feelings that he has in the entire 15 hour book. It is 15 hours long, and I mentioned that several times. 15 hours of my life.


Renata  57:52

I do think it goes back to the very good point Meredith made that like this behavior, like the hotter you are, the more acceptable the behavior is. And like, I mean, if you’re into dudes, like Brad Pitt, especially like, you know, early 90s Brad Pitt, like that’s pretty good.


Kait  58:06

I’ll take your word for it.


Renata  58:07

I’d let early 90s Brad Pitt, like, do a lot of real estate crime.


Meredith  58:14

I want to add one thing to the Venn diagram of Twilight and this book, which is the wig that Antonio Banderas wears as Armand, which could also be the wig worn by Taylor Lautner as Jacob. It is a, you know, sort of a wig that looks like it is very much being a wig.


Kait  58:34

It is very clearly a wig. It is– it is a similar level of being a wig as  the wig that Meredith was previously wearing.


Renata  58:42

Yeah, so that’s the story. Let’s, let’s move on to Dramatic Readings. I just have a short dramatic reading from the end, and there’s really just like one line that I want to focus on. But I’m going to read around it because that’s how reading works. So, so this is the end. This is Louis talking to the boy. [Renata’s Dramatic Reading] And that’s why I hate this book.


Kait  1:00:04  

I do– I do have mine, which is from the beginning. Which is right after Lestat turns Louis into a vampire. And Louis gets, essentially, vampire high. [Kait’s Dramatic Reading] Which is pretty much a summary of their dynamic.


Meredith  1:03:21

It also remember– reminds me of the first time my sister did mushrooms in high school, and then came home and told me all about it. Is it my turn?


Renata  1:03:30



Meredith  1:03:31

Okay, so the scene that really hit me, as an advice columnist, is– there are a lot of breakups in this book, and there are a lot of bad marriages in this book. And there’s a lot of like new love, like, excitement in this book. There’s also a lot of sleeping together in coffins in this book. That letter has not come in yet to my advice column. But my favorite breakup is Armand and Louis, because now we know they were together for 100 years, which is more than he was with Claudia. So they have toured the world together. They’ve spent a lot of time together. And and Armand is desperately trying to get Louis to be a cool, happy, final companion, and Louis’s like, “No, I will brood. And that is all I will do.” And so Louis basically says one day as they’re, like, casually lounging, “What do you want from me? What do you want from me?” And Armand has a long monologue in London where he says, “I thought you would feel passion for the world again.” And Louis says, “I’m just not going to be that guy.” And I have heard that from people before. So this is a moment where Armand says, “If you’re not going to be that guy, basically, I can’t really be your boyfriend anymore.” But that’s not what he does. What he does is he is a vampire who does become a ghost. He ghosts.


Renata  1:04:48

I will allow that.


Meredith  1:04:49

You will allow that, you will allow for relationship ghosting by a vampire. So basically, they have this argument. No official break up. [Meredith’s Dramatic Reading]


The next time I break up with someone I’m just gonna say, “Is there anything else you require of me?” And then I’m just gonna back the fuck up.


Renata  1:06:41

You heard it from Love Letters advice columnist. That is how you should end your next relationship.


Kait  1:06:49  

And I think it’s time for us to move on to Would You Rather?


Renata  1:06:53

Okay, would you rather attend a Theatre des Vampires with Louis or watch Edward Cullen perform Clair de Lune? I mean, let’s all like– 1, 2, 3! Edward, right? I’m not even like horny for Edward Cullen, but like, like I said the theater sounds like a terrible performance and, and gross and at least Edward is like just a piano piece, it’s like chill, like the Cullens have manners.


Meredith  1:07:27

I mean, I am horny for Edward, and I feel like I prefer just a nice performance to murder.


Kait  1:07:34  

I don’t care about Edward at all, but at least that’s quick, probably I’m not going to be killed, and the Cullens do, it appears, bring in food and things for their human guests. I’m not as clumsy as Bella. I’m not gonna fall over onto a pile of plates and then make Edward’s vampire brother try to kill me, and then be exiled from the house forever and make the Edward run away to Alaska or whatever the hell happens in that book.


Renata  1:07:59

That’s– That’s hubris, Kait. Okay, how about would you rather have to look like a child forever with eternal bangs like Claudia or have to attend high school forever, over and over again, like the Cullens?


Meredith  1:08:18

High school, for sure. I would win class president– well, actually, see, it’d be difficult for me because I wouldn’t be able to run for class president. I’d have to blend in. But yeah, I would be difficul– like I couldn’t even like work on the yearbook. But I still– I would still prefer. I can’t commit to bangs for that long.


Kait  1:08:36  

I’d do the bangs. I’d be a child forever. You wouldn’t have to work! You wouldn’t have to go to high school. You would go to high school forever?? You kidding me?


Renata  1:08:44



Kait  1:08:44  

That’s the most unbelievable thing about Twilight! That you would choose to go to high school forever!


Renata  1:08:50

No, I know, and I mean, theoretically, like they could advance and go to community college or do like online high school. And I would prefer that to the high school experience, but no! Like, to be a child forever and like stuck in that b– like, that was so upsetting. Really? Like you want to be in a child body forever?


Kait  1:09:09  

If my other choice is going to high school forever, yes.


Renata  1:09:13

…yikes! I respect your choice.


Kait  1:09:19  

Do you, though?


Renata  1:09:20

No. I think after like three years you’d be like, “Fuck.” Speaking of which, let’s play a quick round of Fucking, Marrying, Killing, which of course is a tribute to Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Whoever books, so we must– our answers must be in the form of gerund, and so we’re fucking, marrying, and killing with Louis, Lestat, and Armand. I feel like it’s not that hard.


Kait  1:09:28  

Well, yeah, actually, I got– I– straight up, I knew what it was when I typed that into that document.


Renata  1:09:53

You go.


Kait  1:09:54  

Fucking Lestat, because you know, whatever. He’s probably okay at it.


Renata  1:09:59

Cuz– Yeah, okay.


See my thing is like, yes, clearly marrying Armand, but then I was– it’s hard because I really want to kill both Louis and Lestat.


Kait  1:10:00  

Marrying Armand cuz he seems like a conscientious boyfriend. If I had been with someone for a year who didn’t give a shit about me, I also would, like, walk backwards into the night and never look at him again. And killing Louis because I hate him, and he’s so sad.


Well, yeah, but you gotta choose one. That’s how the game works.


Renata  1:10:23

I understand the game, but I’m saying that’s the difficulty of this choice. I think– yeah, I think you’re right, I think killing Louis and fucking Lestat, because at least there’s like, some drama, some like life there. He’s also probably not gonna set my house on fire.


Kait  1:10:44  

That is a plus.


Meredith  1:10:45

See, I’m– I’m killing Lestat. I’m fuck– I’m fucking Armand, and I’m marrying Louis because I make bad choices.


Renata  1:10:56

Well, he is rich, though.


Meredith  1:10:58

He is rich.


Renata  1:10:59

Well, is he now? I don’t know. He maybe burned through all that.


Meredith  1:11:02

The thing is, like, for the same reason I– I’m horny for Edward and his brooding, I feel like I would get sucked in by Louis and I’d be like, “He’s just really deep.” And then like, 400 years later, I’d be like, “Oh, wait, it was never about that. He’s just super bummed.”


Kait  1:11:14  

Uhh, get fire insurance. That’s important.


Renata  1:11:20

Alright, let’s move on to Reader’s Advisory, where we suggest some books to read instead of or in addition to this.


Meredith  1:11:26

Instead of.


Renata  1:11:27

Instead– the movie’s entertaining. The movie’s on Amazon Prime. If you’re like looking for some, some bangs, some fires, you could do worse. I mean, if I haven’t said it 100 times, Twilight is way better than this. And like I don’t even like Twilight that much. But compared– compared. Compared.


Kait  1:11:48  

I’m gonna shout out, like, all of me and Renata’s book club is sitting in the back and also right here. The first book that we ever read was my favorite book about vampires, train timetables, cross referencing, and friendship, which is Dracula by Bram Stoker, which was very good and about all those things, which you wouldn’t necessarily think, to hear that.


Meredith  1:12:13

I would say, and this is not– I– this is just occurring to me, but I love Only Lovers Left Alive, the movie, because that’s super marriage metaphor. And just like if you’re going to be with somebody forever, you take breaks, I think.


Renata  1:12:28

Also, Meredith has written some books, and one of them is called Can’t Help Myself, and she talks about vampires in it. And it’s also very good, generally, but so– you know what? So is Chemistry Lessons. It’s also very good, and I’m not just saying this, because she’s right here. There’s no vampires in Chemistry Lessons unless that’s my new fan theory. That there’s secret vampires, and it’s never revealed textually. But anyway, if you want to read about the allure of vampires, a little bit of that in Can’t Help Myself.


Meredith  1:12:58

In Can’t Help Myself, I knew I needed a chapter about porn and the letters I get about porn. And the closest thing I’m like, super interested in as far as porn goes is all of my vampire people. So it’s really– there’s a chapter called Fangs, where I talk about all the vampires from my love life.


Kait  1:13:14  

If you want to watch another movie, that’s not this one, but has sort of vampires and lesbians, The Moth Diaries is okay. It’s not, like, the greatest, but it was entertaining to me as a fan of those things. I think it’s also on Amazon Prime.


Renata  1:13:29

We already said What We Do in the Shadows, but it’s worth repeating.


Kait  1:13:34  

That’s good. I– Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter is another one that we’ve done before on the podcast that we really liked.


Renata  1:13:40

Yeah, also– also better than…. I feel like we have read so many vampire books, and it’s such a, like, well that we’ve returned to that if you have listened to the podcast, you’ve probably heard us recommend vampire books, like, many times, and they are all on our website if you want some more vampire books. Does anybody have anything else they particularly want to shout out before we move away.


Kait  1:14:02  



Renata  1:14:04

Alright, cool. So yeah, visit website for more vampire books. Let’s talk about our Candy Pairings, which are available on the table, and there’s still a lot of candy left, so if you are here, and you haven’t got a bingo yet still take some candy at the end of the night cuz…


Kait  1:14:20  

Cuz I think I– the last time, I had candy jewelry in my backpack for like two years after the last live show, so please take it home with you. So my candy pairing, which is on there and no one took cuz they’re gross, for this book is black jelly beans. Because they are black like Louis’s tortured soul. They are black like the French vampires aesthetic, which is something we didn’t get into, but they’re very judgmental that Claudia and Louis dress in colors.


Renata  1:14:46



Kait  1:14:47  

Because vampires should dress only in black.


Renata  1:14:49

Although in the movie Armand has like a red cloak though, like these ones that we are wearing. So that’s inconsistent. I will be writing about this on IMDB forums.


Kait  1:15:00  

And they’re also back like my feelings and heart after reading this book.


Renata  1:15:05

My candy pairing is Atomic Fireballs for the arson.


Meredith  1:15:11

Does that mean I got Lifesavers?


Renata  1:15:13

We grabbed a couple extra candies because we hadn’t–spoiler–we hadn’t finalized this before. The  other one is the Hugs.


Meredith  1:15:21

Oh, the Hugs. Oh, which, yes, is for coffin spooning and hugging, as as a couple does.


Renata  1:15:29

Yeah, and then we also bought some peppermint Lifesavers, A: for just a palate cleanser that we all need right now, and also becoming a vampire is one way of having your life saved. If you think about it.


Kait  1:15:43  



Renata  1:15:46

Think about it. But let’s move on. We’ve thought about it enough. And now it’s time for the Rock, Paper, Snickt where of course, Kait will say who Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would be if he were in this book and I’ll say who Wolverine would be he were in this book. They’re–


Kait  1:16:03  

Oh, but they’re opposite though. That’s okay.


Renata  1:16:05

That’s visually confusing for this audio podcast. And Meredith will choose which most enhances the book or can choose paper which is to leave it as is.


Kait  1:16:17  

All right. If Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were in this book, he would be a random, handsome man in Olden Times New Orleans, and he would hear Claudia crying one night while he’s out doing old timey jogging. I don’t know if people jogged in Olden Times. But he’s The Rock, and you know, he’s got to do his cardio. So he’s out there. And it’s a couple nights before Louis finds her, and he would see her with her dead mom and feel really bad. So he’d take her away from like this creepy empty house with a dead mom in it and nurse her back to health, and then he’d adopt her and they’d go on all sorts of fun adventures. And meanwhile, Louis would not make Claudia into a vampire, obviously, or Lestat would not make Claudia into a vampire, obviously. And he/d just like continue to mope with Lestat and probably do like 2.5 less arsons than he did in the actual book. So the bulk of the book would actually then be about The Rock’s adventures with Claudia, his new adopted daughter. Does he find love? Is it with Wolverine? Yes.


Renata  1:17:26

If Wolverine were in this book, he’d be at the bar, and in the present day of the book where the boy first meets Louis before they go back to the room. And you know, given Wolverine’s supernatural senses he would kind of overhear what was happening and be concerned for the boy slightly, and also just, just ready for a fight. So I think Wolverine would fight Louis. Of course, he wouldn’t actually kill Louis despite Louis’s death wish, but it would be bad enough to send Louis back to his coffin to kind of regroup for the day. And so the boy would instead decide to interview Wolverine. Wolverine, famously much less chatty of a character, so this whole book– and he’s, he’s got like 150 years of a life story, but I think Wolverine will be able to get that out in about two pages. And now we’ve got a short story instead of this.


Meredith  1:18:24

I have to go with Wolverine because as someone who’s been stuck in long interviews, like, it was a fantasy of mine that someone would like break through the door like Wolverine and be like, “This interview’s done. Your time is up. The monologue is over.”


Kait  1:18:41  

It’s all right. No one loses in Rock, Paper, Snikt except Paper. Thankfully.


Renata  1:18:45

Yes, this paper is done, and I think there still is, of course, room for Wolverine to hook up with The Rock later.


Kait  1:18:52  

It’s true. That could be part of his life story. We don’t know.


Renata  1:18:54

Yeah, it’s probably a few sentences in there.


Kait  1:18:57  



Renata  1:18:58

All right. What d we humans think the Moral of the Story is?


Kait  1:19:02  

The moral of the story is clearly if all else fails, set it on fire and skip town.


Renata  1:19:08

My moral is replace men with Cher.


Meredith  1:19:13

My moral is commitment is hard.


Renata  1:19:18

Okay, now it’s time for what’s normally Duarte’s Corner, where my cat Duarte shares his opinions. Duarte is not actually able to enter restaurants. He hasn’t been invited.


Kait  1:19:32  

We did bring his sister Goose.


Renata  1:19:33

Yeah, so we do have a celebrity cat, which is Goose. And Goose from Captain Marvel, if you haven’t seen it, honestly, you should leave right now and go see it. We’re wrapping up here, and that movie is really good. But I don’t know how this is gonna work audio-wise. We didn’t actually test this part. We’ll see what Goose has to say.


Goose  1:19:56  



Renata  1:19:56

I don’t think this is loud enough.


Goose  1:20:01  



Renata  1:20:01

Alright, thanks, Goose. Really thoughtful of you to take time off from all your adventures with Nick Fury to join us here.


Kait  1:20:11  

And I agree this is one of the few books that wouldn’t be improved by a cat because if there was a cat, Louis would probably just–


Renata  1:20:17

There was a cat in this book and Lestat ate it, and I didn’t like it.


Kait  1:20:19  

I didn’t notice that part. I’m not surprised. I’m not surprised that now after all the vampire books we’ve read, you’re like, “No, vampires are horror creatures.”


Renata  1:20:30

Yeah, between the cat eating– I guess the Cullens are eating, like, big cats. But this is different. Yeah in his like, mope crypt mostly Lestat was eating rats, but there were also cats.


Kait  1:20:42  



Renata  1:20:43

Goose didn’t like it. Goose would eat Lestat.


Kait  1:20:49  

I mean, I’d be into that. Goose could eat pretty much anyone in this book, and I’d be into it.


Renata  1:20:54

Totally fine.


All right, do any humans have any closing thoughts?


Kait  1:20:59  

This 15 hours of my life I’ll never get back.


Meredith  1:21:03

I– it just really made me have strong feelings about Twilight. Twilight. I mean, I I feel like some books work when you’re younger. And I was speaking about this earlier but Anne Rice has done a lot of recent books that revisit Lestat and two books ago– is it Prince Lestat? Something like that. There’s a really sad passage where she imagines Lestat like in the now, and he just can’t work his cell phone. And if you want to feel old and deeply depressed, I highly recommend it. But he’s just– he’s just really frustrated with technology like–


Kait  1:21:42  

Old Vampire Yells at Cloud.


Meredith  1:21:45

Old Vampire Yells at Cloud.


Renata  1:21:46

You can google it because Meredith reviewed that for the Boston Globe, and she quoted that part in her review, and it’s really– the review is funny. The segment is sad. Of the book. Yeah, I just I– the movie. I don’t love the movie. But the movie’s kind of campy. Like, I wish the movie were campier, I obviously wish Cher were in the movie. But the movie, I think, is sort of more entertaining than this. And this is like not really campy enough and not really…. I didn’t enjoy this book at all, if that’s not clear. I just– like a lot of times I read something like, “Oh no this is [indistinct]” like Twilight. Like, “I had fun with this.” I didn’t have fun with this.


Kait  1:22:26  

The interesting thing about the movie, too, is that the movies, like, what? Like 90 minutes long, maybe?


Renata  1:22:31

The movie made a lot of smart choices about what to cut out, but–


Kait  1:22:35  

But it still covers almost everything that happens in this book. There is very little actual action and plot that’s cut out except for maybe Eastern Europe. But it manages to trim it down to such a size that it’s actually palatable.


Meredith  1:22:52

Have people seen What We Do in the Shadows? Yeah?


Kait  1:22:55  



Meredith  1:22:55

So there’s that scene where they’re watching porn, but it’s actually just sunrises. And there’s a great scene at the end of the movie of this book where Brad Pitt is in a movie theater like basically looking a little bit orgasmic as he watches film become invented, and he can suddenly see a color sunrise, and it once again made me appreciate that film.


Renata  1:23:02

The film really harps on how he can’t remember what the color blue looks like. But like you had paintings. I don’t know, like, even if he can’t go out in the daytime, you can still see the color blue, my dude.


Kait  1:23:34  

I feel like we did not get into so much about Anne Rice, which we probably shouldn’t because we’d be here for another two hours. There’s so much about Anne Rice we didn’t get into. Read her Wikipedia page.


Renata  1:23:45

Yeah, bonus episode where the book that we read as just Anne Rice’s Wikipedia page. I mean that page has a narrative arc that is more compelling than this book.


Kait  1:23:59  

Yeah, we should have spite-recommended fanfiction during the Reader’s Advisory. I forgot to do that.


Meredith  1:24:05

I do just want to say though, like this was such a cultural like phenomenon, this book and even the other day I was listening to Sting at the gym. Okay, just bear with me. And that song “Moon over Bourbon Street” came on, and he like in a live version he basically says like, “This is about like vampires,” and it’s clearly about Anne Rice.


Kait  1:24:27  

I think– I think that–


Renata  1:24:29

Yeah, I think we’ve arrived. We’ve arrived. We can send all the boys home from this interview. To all the boys who’ve interviewed me.


Kait  1:24:44  

Thanks to Meredith for doing this with us, buying a wig.


Renata  1:24:49

Yes, providing your own wig. What a pro.


Kait  1:24:54  

Her books are available. There’s more somewhere. There’s another stack of Chemistry Lessons over here, so we have more than just that.


Renata  1:25:01

Yes, you can buy books, you can buy our Rock Paper Snikt pin from us up here.


Kait  1:25:06  

Candy pairings, free for the taking.


Renata  1:25:08

Yes, lotta candy.


Kait  1:25:10  

Thanks to Trident for having us here again. This is great.


Renata  1:25:17



Kait  1:25:17  

Thanks to all of you for coming, and if there are any strangers still here, thanks for sticking around. I imagine you all probably left by now.


Renata  1:25:18



Kait  1:25:25  

But you know.


Renata  1:25:27

Yeah, I think that’s all our thank yous and if not just a general thank you to the universe for allowing this series of events to occur.


Meredith  1:25:37

Are you doing The Secret?


Renata  1:25:40

I did The Secret, and that’s how this happened.


Kait  1:25:44  

You can’t do The Secret right now! You need those eight weeks for it to work!


Renata  1:25:47

Yeah. Eight weeks from now some people will feel very appreciated, and they won’t know why. Because I put that out there now. …We have a Facebook. Unlike the vampire Lestat, we more or less understand technology. If you– if you’re here you probably are in here but if you’re listening to this podcast, you also probably already know but On Twitter. We’re @worstbestseller with no s because the s was burned in a fire! And it was Louis, but I can’t prove it, and we didn’t insure it. It’s a whole situation. Our website is


Kait  1:26:31  

You can subscribe to us on Stitcher, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify. Basically wherever podcasts are, you can find our podcast. If you do subscribe to us, please take a moment to rate and review us. When you rate and review us, it moves us up a little bit on the charts and makes it easier for people to find us. If you don’t rate and review us, we’re gonna have to send Louis to do an arson at your house. Sorry, those are the rules. I don’t make them up. They teach them in podcast school.


Renata  1:26:55

Yeah, he’s ready. He is desperately looking for meaning in his life and it could be– it could be setting your house on fire. Won’t be that hard.


Kait  1:27:04  

We have a Patreon at If you are unfamiliar, Patreon is a platform where you pledge a small monthly recurring donation that goes to us to do things like pay our editor and buy cloaks to wear to live shows. It’s a very good investment and you get perks, too, I guess, like a newsletter, postcards, all sorts of other stuff you can check it out there. We have merch available if you go to and click on Merch, and we have our Rock Paper Snickt pins here tonight to sell for $10 apiece.


Renata  1:27:41

If you want to follow me personally, I’m @renatasnacks on Twitter and on Instagram, and I do post pictures of Duarte not infrequently.


Kait  1:27:51  

If you want to follow me on social media I’m @fourteenacross, and Meredith, where can people find you?


Meredith  1:27:56

All my social things are at, and you can find the Love Letters advice column and podcast at


Renata  1:28:04

And and you should do that if you– if, if you’re not already familiar with Meredith’s work, get on that. It’s great. What are you doing?


Kait  1:28:12  

This season of the Love Letters podcast is particularly good. I was tweeting about it this week, but…yes.


Renata  1:28:18

Yeah, it’ll cure what ails you, emotionally. Or set a fire.


Kait  1:28:26  

If you’re here in this room, this episode’s not going up until June… 3rd? Or something like that?


Renata  1:28:32

Yeah, you’re getting a sneak peek so thanks for coming out on a weeknight. That’s your reward.


Kait  1:28:36  

But if you’re listening to it, in two weeks, we will be back with the start of Flashback Summer.


Renata  1:28:44

Yeah, that’s a vampire that I do like.


Kait  1:28:44  

And I believe our first selection this summer is thematically appropriate, and it is Bunnicula. That was a crowd pleaser!


Renata  1:28:44



Kait  1:29:03  

So thanks for coming out. Thanks for listening if you’re listening, and…


Renata  1:29:08

If you’re not listening, how did you receive this message? If you’re not listening, fuck you.


Kait  1:29:15  

Uhh, so, bye!


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