This is one of those horror paperbacks that began my obsession with, well, horror paperbacks. Another one of my recent finds from the used bookstore in South Jersey (a choice find too as I lost my copy of this edition many years ago), this May 1977 first mass market paperback of Anne Rice's influential Interview with the Vampire is luckily in excellent condition... and I think I paid $1.25 for it!
First time I saw it I must've been 9 or 10, wandering around in the library, when I saw the word "vampire" featured on its spine in the paperback racks. Upon picking it up I was nonplussed to find the elegant cover photo with everything in... white. That's not right, my monster-kid brain told me, Vampires always wear black! Little did I know that Rice was doing away with decades of Draculean lore. But it was obvious even then that the cover design was such so that it appealed to non-horror fans. I love it now: the three characters figured prominently, dressed to the nines (even if Lestat and Louis didn't exactly wear early 20th century dinner tuxes in the novel), beside their beloved Claudia, who's looking childlike and ancient at once. An immortal family portrait. Creep-ee.
Claudia and Lestat might hunt and seduce, stay long in the company of the doomed victim, enjoying the splendid humor in his unwitting friendship with death...
And... how about this pre-publication edition? Looking as she did then, how could Anne Rice have ever done anything but write something called Interview with the Vampire?