The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

I decided to try some vampire reading.

This is not my thing.

But who knows? Maybe I’ve been missing out on a whole genre I might love. Maybe vampire novels will be a whole new shelf of reading escapism.

So I downloaded an Anne Rice novel on my Kindle and jumped in. She’s the queen of vampire novels. Seems like the right place to start.

She’s very atmospheric. There is a lot of world-building, in the sense of emotional and environmental layering. We’re in New Orleans, mostly, and by the time Rice is done you can feel the humid air condensing on your skin and feel the Spanish moss in your hair, or something like that.

Listen to the call of the bayouuuuuuuuu / It wants to suck your bloooooood

So she’s got the atmospheric broth rolling and boiling, and then she randomly drops in little carrot chunks of observation:

“In fact, all the violence that he had always sensed simmering around him—in his father, his grandfather, all the men he knew—might rise, like chaos, and drag him down into it.”

Wait, when was this written?

‘…. and they really said things like “Isn’t that the one we’re boycotting this week?” and “Aren’t we supposed to be against that?”’


Unfortunately (or fortunately), a steaming atmospheric soup full of pithy psychological observations is not enough to win me to the vampiric novel club.

I gave up halfway through.

Though as I’m looking at my notes, the book I read (tried to read) is The Witching Hour, which is not about vampires at all… just humid Louisiana and witches and complex family histories and spirits and not a single vampire. Maybe that’s the problem.

Guess we’ll never know.