Recently, due to the Twilight fandom encroaching on the vampire literary genre, I was inspired to pick up my old Vampire Chronicle books and started re-reading them.
Previously, I've felt slightly betrayed by Anne Rice. I didn't enjoy the last several books, from Merrick onwards, and I believe her writing style suffered since the death of her husband. The characters evolve drastically from the first several books, and I felt Blood Canticle was a big step away from who I thought Lestat was. It was hard to let of the whole thing, as I'd been reading the Chronicles since Junior High, and Blood Canticle came out when I was in college.
As of now I've re-read Interview with a Vampire and The Vampire Lestat, and surprisingly, they're more enjoyable now as I'm older, or maybe they're just that much better than her recent literature. I felt that after reading Merrick, Anne Rice was building to a dramatic confrontation between the Talamasca and the Vampires, but after Blackwood Farm that idea was dropped completely, and that leaves the Chronicles a somewhat messy, unfinished business. The cross over with the Mayfair Saga was strange, and the romance between Lestat and Rowan far too fast.
So I was doubtful about rereading the older books. Why bother when the story and the characters seem to dissolve? But both Interview and Lestat are wonderful reads. Maybe the existential angst reverberates more with me than the endearing faith that prevailes in the later books?
I have enjoyed several other Anne Rice novels, including the Mayfair saga, the Sleeping Beauty trilogy, and Violin. Although I could never really get into her Christ the Lord series, I find myself really looking forward to her new Songs of the Seraphim project. I'm trying not to be too optimistic, but I'm sure I'll buy the book when it comes out, if I can wade my way through the Twilighters I've seen mobbing Borders lately.