It is the 18th Century and Louis lives on a lucrative plantation near New Orleans called Pointe Du Lac. Louis is 25 years old and is much troubled by the recent death of his beloved brother, Paul. He is in a state of intense turmoil and wishes for his own annihilation. One night, having drunk himself into a stupor, he is pounced upon by Lestat, who drinks his blood. When he makes Louis drink his own blood, so begins his transformation into a vampire.

In stark contrast to Louis' sensibilities, Lestat is rude, insensitive, quite disrespectful and often cruel, and Louis can't believe his bad luck in having Lestat as a teacher. In fact, Louis is contemptuous of Lestat and sees himself as superior to him, even this early in his undead 'life'. The two vampires are bound by a symbiotic relationship in which Lestat needs Louis' business acumen to take care of his investments and Louis needs Lestat in order to teach him the ways of the vampire and keep him from danger. It turns out that Lestat's motivation for choosing Louis was mostly financial.

Whereas Lestat kills coldly and feels nothing for the plight of his victims, Louis can only bring himself to kill humans when he has no choice. He prefers to live on the blood of animals - cats, cattle and rats.

The Freniere family live on another plantation nearby and is headed by the son. Being the only man in a family of sisters and mother, the conventions of the time dictate that only he could run the family business, and so a lot is riding on his life. Louis knows the story of the Freniere's and understands their situation. Lestat, on the other hand, is typically devoid of empathy and against Louis' wishes and admonitions, he kills the son. This is yet another in a long string of events that drive a chasm between the two vampires.

Louis is drawn to one of the Freniere sisters who he calls Babette. She is strong and wise and takes her brother's place to run the plantation.

The only reason that Louis allows Lestat to remain at Pointe Du Lac is Lestat's insistance that he hadn't yet taught Louis important lessons in being a vampire. Louis believes that Lestat still holds vampire secrets yet to be passed on.

Their life at Pointe Du Lac comes to a head when their slaves on the plantation (this was the 18th Century) revolt because of their suspicions that Louis and Lestat are... a little different. After killing many of the slaves and setting fire to the house, they flee to the Freniere plantation and ask Babette to let them stay for the day.

Louis has a soft spot for Babette, and up to that point Babette welcomed his infrequent visits. However, with all the carnage at Pointe Du Lac, and the inevitable rumours spread by the fleeing slaves Babette begins to mistrust Louis and suspect that he has come from the Devil. After throwing a burning lantern at Louis, the vampires take a carriage and horses and drive all night to reach New Orleans.

In New Orleans, Louis struggles to come to terms with what he is. On the one hand he appreciates the life that mortals have, and doesn't want to kill them. On the other he has an insatiable thirst that he temporarily abates by drinking the blood of animals. It's not the same though... To add to the confusion, Louis already believes that he is damned, so why not kill humans? He is going to Hell anyway.

At a moment when he is particularly confused - and hungry - he drinks the blood of a five year old girl, but leaves her alive. Lestat witnesses this and knowing that Louis plans to leave him, Lestat contrives a plot to keep Louis around. He goes back for the girl and feeds her his own blood to transform her into a vampire herself. Because she is so young and vulnerable, Louis feels compelled to look after her, and so Lestat's plan works and Louis stays.

The girl is called Claudia and Louis teaches her the ways of the vampire - or at least as much as he knows. He is still plagued by the suspicion that Lestat still witholds some vital piece of the jigsaw puzzle though. It seems that Louis teaches her the finer points of "life" whilst Lestat teaches her the baser points, such as the kill. She spends most of her time with Louis, indeed they sleep in the same coffin, and soon she holds Lestat in the same contemptuous regard that Louis does.

The relationship between Louis and Claudia is an interesting one to see develop over the course of their time together.

Time passes - 65 years - and Claudia doesn't age at all. Such is the power of the vampire. However, the day comes when she demands of Louis how she came to be. Who made her what she is? Put on the spot, Louis comes clean and admits what he did. Claudia doesn't receive it well, but eventually peace returns - or at least as much peace as can be had with Lestat in their menage a trois.

Claudia really detests Lestat and they are in a constant state of conflict. The strength of her feelings leads her to plot to kill him.She reveals her intent to Louis, who tries to dissuade her. He fears that it's impossible to kill Lestat, but Claudia won't be swayed. She hatches a devious plot. One night, apparently to make peace with Lestat, she offers him the gift of two young boys. He devours them greedily - but something is wrong. Claudia got them to drink absinthe and laudanum and these poison Lestat. Whilst he is immobile on the floor, Claudia pounces on him and stabs him repeatedly with a knife in a frenzied attack!

When Claudia ends her vicious attack, Lestat's flesh turns to ash and his flesh deteriorates rapidly. Both Claudia and Louis are transfixed by what is happening to Lestat. Lestat is dead.

With Lestat out of the way and feeling relief in their new found freedom, Claudia and Louis plan to go to Europe in search of other vampires, to discover more about themselves. On the last night of their trip, Lestat returns from the "dead" and a terrific fight ensues. Lestat is weak and the fight ends with Claudia and Louis burning the house down with Lestat inside. Lestat must surely be finished this time.

Claudia and Louis make their way to Eastern Europe and stay at a remote village called Varna, in Bulgaria. The villagers are troubled by hideous killings in their community and are quite familiar with the "walking dead". Claudia and Louis suspect that they have found what they are looking for. They find the vampire who has been killing the inhabitants of the village, but he is a sightless and primitive creature, not at all like Louis and Claudia. The creature reacts violently on being confronted and Louis and Claudia end up killing it. They are disappointed with the vampire they found. And so it is with all the vampires they find in their travels around Europe. Pitiful, brutish creatures that don't possess the awareness or intelligence that they do, they are barely awake.

They head to Paris, and are seduced by the sophisticated hustle and bustle they find there. One night, as Louis is walking the night streets, he is aware of someone following him. Not just following, but mimicking precisely his steps in no way a mortal could. The mimicry is so precise that when Louis stumbles and falls, the following fooststeps echo his at exactly the same time. This is no ordinary being. Suddenly, Louis is confronted by a well dressed vampire (Santiago) who proceeds to push him around in a mocking fashion. The vampire is much more powerful than he is and he struggles to defend himself. From out of nowhere another vampire appears (Armand), steps in between the two and shoves Santiago away. They disappear into nowhere.

Later, Armand reappears out of the darkness and hands Louis a card inviting him and the petite beauty to the Theatre Des Vampires.

On the night of the invitation, Louis and Claudia arrive at the theatre and are excited that they are about to meet other mysterious members of their own kind. The show involves a groups of vampires, whom the mortal audience believes are actors simply dressed as vampires. There is a beautiful lost girl who is tempted and mesmerised by a particular vampire who seems to take on the personna of Death. It is Santiago, the trickster. Armand enters and seduces her with his eyes and then feeds on her. She is passed around the group of vampires who take turns feeding on her. The audience gasp and the curtains descend to loud applause.

Louis and Claudia are led into an underground cellar where they meet with the vampires. There seems to be an unspoken pecking order with Armand at the top. Santiago is distrustful of the two new vampires. He hears that they have murdered their master, an act that is taboo amongst vampires. To make matters worse, Lestat is well known by the Paris vampires. There are some female vampires in the group. Louis and Claudia find their new acquaintances vacuous and superficial. Apart from Armand who, it is obvious to them, has immense power.

Louis falls in love with Armand, whilst Claudia fears for her safety. She believes that Armand means to harm her. Louis is torn between the love he has for Claudia (along with his guilt and desire to take care of her), and the strong attraction to Armand.

Claudia has made friends with a forlorn mortal woman called Madeleine who has lost a daughter. Madeleine dotes on Claudi as she reminds her of her daughter. Claudia hates being trapped inside a five year old's body, resents Louis for making it so and begs him to transform Madeleine into a vampire so that she has someone to look after her. Reluctantly Louis agrees and Madeleine becomes a vampire. Louis' conscience is eased only slightly after doing this for Claudia and says that they are now even. He still feels guilty for condemning Claudia to a vampire's life.

In the early hours of the morning, just before dawn, as Louis, Claudia and Madeleine are blissfully dozing, the Paris coven of vampires break into their house to take Claudia. Louis fights savagely with a strength he never knew he possessed, but outnumbered, Louis is overpowered and they are taken away to the Theatre Des Vampires. At the theatre, he receives a blow more savage than any that preceded. He sees Lestat!

Lestat is insistent that Louis comes back with him to New Orleans. It seems that he has struck a deal with Santiago that involves them taking Claudia in return for allowing Louis to come home with him. However, Santiago and the other vampires have made a fool of him and Lestat doesn't get his wish.

Louis is locked in a coffin that is bricked up - the intention being that he starve to death. Claudia and Madeleine are locked in an open court to await their fate of burning to death under the sun.

After an interminable amount of time, Louis can here the bricks enclosing his coffin being broken and cleared away. It is Armand, come to save him. However, Claudi and Madeleine were not so lucky and the sight of their ashen remains sends Louis into a rage. The following night just before dawn he barracades the vampires into the Theatre Des Vampires and burns the building to the ground. As the flames roar, Santiago runs through them towards Louis, only to be beheaded by Louis' scythe. Forgot to mention the scythe he picked up in the theatre. :-)

He leaves Paris with Armand to travel Europe, but the life of love he envisioned with Armand is not to be. He grows ever more distant, and there is a reason for his: to come to terms with his vampire nature and to end the pain and suffering he feels, he has grown colder and more detached. He has succeeded in numbing the pain, but at the expense of the joyful spark that attracted Armand to him. He feels cold and lifeless. He is no longer the vampire that Armand fell in love with.

In an attempt to help Louis return to his former self and regain his spirit, Armand urges him to take him to the home he once knew in New Orleans. Eventually Louis agrees and they travel there together.

One night in New Orleans, Louis spots a vampire. Louis' skills by this point are finely honed, whereas the other vampire appears to be newly made and doesn't notice that he is being followed. Louis follows him to a decrepit house. Inside, he is shocked to see Lestat. What is more shocking is the state that Lestat is in. His hands shake and his back is bent. Louis enters and talks to Lestat. The newly made vampire leaves to allow them to talk. Lestat is overcome with emotion and hopes that Louis has come to stay for good. He weeps at the thought, but Louis is cold and hard and leaves.

Pehaps a month later, he tells Armand of his visit to Lestat. Armand is surprised that Louis felt no bitterness towards Lestat. Armand reveals then that he helped orchestrate Claudia's death and still Louis feels nothing. Louis explains to Armand that to come to terms with his vampire nature and to end the pain and suffering he used to feel, he had to become cold and detached. However, this isn't the Louis that Armand fell in love with. And Louis no longer feels the love for Armand that he once felt. With this knowledge, and knowing that Louis has no need of him, Armand leaves.

When the story ends like this, the reporter begs Louis to make him a vampire. Louis is enraged but eventually feeds on him. The reporter falls unconscious. When he awakes, he replays his tapes of the interview to get the address of the place that Lestat is staying and heads to his car.