Anne Rice Gives Her Opinion of Twilight

Well first we had Stephen King giving his opinion, and now we have Anne Rice in an interview with New Jersey’s The Star Ledger. We’re assuming she’s equally opposed to The Vampire Diaries given the main crux of her dismay.

“Q. It is complicated, which is why I have such mixed feelings about “Twilight.” It’s so sanitized.

A. It’s based on a really silly premise: that immortals would go to high school. It’s a failure of imagination, but at the same time, that silly premise has provided Stephenie Meyer with huge success. It’s almost like a stroke of genius to put vampires in high school. They just graduate over and over again.

Q. I hated high school.

A. Doesn’t everyone? The idea that if you are immortal you would go to high school instead of Katmandu or Paris or Venice, it’s the vampire dumbed down for kids. But it’s worked. It’s successful. It makes kids really happy.

Q. It seems those books are sanitized whereas in the rest of pop culture, you’ll see very young girls dressed in an overtly sexual manner. The vampires are wholesome compared with the rest of what’s out there.

A. I don’t think vampires are very wholesome. They’re fantasy characters, and we have to keep reminding ourselves of this. They don’t exist. I get e-mails from people who are outraged that I watch “True Blood.” They say, “How can you condone the evil of ‘True Blood.’” I say, “Are you kidding? Vampires aren’t real. Keep that in mind.”

Read the entire interview on



  1. It sounds like a case of washed-up, jealous writer to me. Ms. Meyer has never insulted Anne Rice, whose tales I found a bit clichéd and frankly sub par, and the only press Rice gets now is for taking a swing at all Twilight fans? I’d bet she hasn’t even read the novels or watched the whole movies. In any event, disrespecting all of the fans of this franchise is in poor taste and not to mention her major problem (their being in high school) is not really relevant after the first book, where Edward and Bella meet. Ms. Rice needs to settle into oblivion and realize there is a new queen on the vampire throne who has managed more success and touched on more audiences that she has. BTW, I respect if anyone doesn’t like The Vampire Diaries or True Blood, but I like them both, in addition to Twilight, and they all have their own attractions and deserve not to be brushed aside.

    • Washed-up writer? Jealousy? Sub-par?
      I’m sorry, but I think I’m going to have to disagree on all 3 counts. Anne Rice is an amazing author who has written books that have touched millions, and whilst I acknowledge the Twilight saga is very popular right now, it’s hardly at the same level. Really.
      Anne Rice has no reason to be jealous. She is a very talented author in her own right, some would say more talented than Stephenie Meyer, and her writing has made her far more successful than Meyer could ever hope to be. The writing is simply of a better standard, and with a lot more substance. For instance, she actually uses the strangely popular story-telling device known as a “plot”. Seems odd, but it does actually improve the story.

  2. It’s pretty much just a back-handed compliment. :/

    I like reading the comments section here. It’s refreshing to not have to filter out all the “twilight sucks!” commentary and such. Maybe I’ll hang around here more often.

    I also agree with most posters here. She can say what she wants, but that doesn’t make her right.

  3. Interesting interview; however, the part that irritates me is when she says, “…that immortals would go to high school. It’s a failure of imagination.” On the contrary, SM is a fricken genius & her imagination rocks! Seriously, reading the Twilight Saga has altered my life. I hadn’t picked up a book since college but since I read the Saga, I read all the time, about all kinds of stuff. It has given me something to look forward to instead of work, paying bills or taking care of my family. I finally have something that’s all mine to enjoy, something that doesn’t involve responsibility. It’s fun, and I so needed that:)

  4. Well, I was never a big fan of Anne Rice, so this doesn’t affect me much. I always found her vampires to be sort of cliche and boring. Meh.

  5. Jennifer L. says:

    I like Anne Rice. She’s a very wholesome person and straight to the point. With regards to vampires, she’s truly cynical. And I like the way she has subtle double standards.

  6. Everyone has their own opinion on what they like and what they dislike, but Anne Rice’s comments on The Twilight Saga are beyond ridiculous.
    She has neither watched the movies or read the books, so how can she make such negative comments on the Saga.

    Ive read a few of Anne Rices books, and the ones I have read felt repetative, like every other Vampire book out there. Blood drinkers, evil, souless demons, blah blah blah.

    How can she critise something that is so well thought out and for once original. Im fed up of reading the same old story, just with a bunch of different names thrown in.

    Vampires are fictional creatures and like all things fictional no view or take on them can be wrong. Like for example mermaids are supposed to be beautiful creatures who sit on rocks all day combing their hair right, well in Harry Potter JK rowling gave them a rough edge… and that wasnt wrong, so how can Stephanies creation of Twilight Vampires be?

    I think Anne Rice is just a sour b*tch, who needs to learn that Its someone else’s turn to be in the spotlight… Twilight is more creational than all of her books put together, she needs to accept that.

    Twilight is a book everyone can enjoy, and thats the best part about it, it has no age limit and it gives us Twilight fans something to discuss and to enjoy together – its brought alot of people together and Ive even met a few of my best friends through Twilight! Can you say that with Anne Rice’s books?

    Thankyou Stephanie Meyer <3

  7. Joshua Roberts says:

    Again, I think most people are reading too much into what Anne Rice stated. She isn’t trying to be condensending to SM. She’s simply stating how she feels. The reality is, most writers are critical of other writers. That is how it goes, folks. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were always griping about each other’s works, and yet they were best friends. Lewis often thought Tolkien’s works were too complex for the readers he was presenting it to, and Tolkien though Lewis was too minimalist with his stories, and yet they were best friends. As a screenwriter, I’m also more critical with other movies and scripts. Then again, I also grade scripts, so that could be part of it as well. It’s hard for me to sit through a movie with a badly written script… and that is that. I have other writer friends, and we are always critiquing each other.

    So in that regards, I don’t see why my fellow Twi-hards get so upset and offended when somebody states their opinion. Anne Rice didn’t call SM a trashy writer nor say anything that I found condesending. She thought that it was silly to have vampires in high school, and yet she realized that it was almost genius… Meaning she would have never believed it would have worked, but here it is, not only did it work, but it thrived. SM was able to touch people in ways she wasn’t.

    Again folks, as long as comments and opinions are decent, you shouldn’t be offended by somebody’s verbage just because they aren’t saying, that “SM is a goddess and the Twilight Saga is the greatest thing Eva!” Just saying…

    • What Rice says about Meyer is merely opinion(albeit with a somewhat bitter edge to it, from my perspective). But what IS offensive, and I don’t think this point can be argued, is that calling her work “dumbed down” goes beyond criticizing Meyer, and into the realm of now criticizing fans for reading her work. There is no mistaking the tone in that comment. I’m no genius, but I don’t consider myself dumb nor is the large majority of the Twilight fandom.

      I am a fan of CS Lewis and although I don’t know to what extent he and Tolkein criticized each other, I highly doubt either of them would have deemed fans of each other’s works dumb or said anything to that affect. Their criticism and their friendship(at least what I know of it) was respectful. I suppose it’s just different perspectives, but I din’t perceive Rice’s tone to be respectful at all.

      • Joshua L. Roberts says:

        I think your misinterpreting what she means by “Dumbed” down… Reading the context for which she stated it, it can mean simply “Toned Down and Simplified”. Meyer’s works would feel dumbed down when compared to Rice’s exhaustive histories for her vampires, just as Lewis’ Narnia vs. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth.

        I don’t think she is implying that the books are for dumb people, or that only dumb people read Twilight Saga books. She is simply comparing her world with Stephenie’s, that is all.

        I still hold to the point that people are putting too much thought into every word Rice says, versus the context of her entire article.

        Again folks, the Twilight Saga is not a religion, the characters aren’t real. As a work of fiction, people both with celeb status and not, have the right to compare, critique, and argue for or against it. To be angry at somebody because they just didn’t “get it” is, as Edward would put it, “Obtuse”.

        • I can appreciate what you’re arguing, Joshua. I can’t speak for everyone here, but I know I was put off by these comments because AR has publicly stated she’s never read the books. She only saw the first movie. So how can you really give an informed critique of something you’ve never read?

          I’ve never read AR’s books, therefore I can’t comment on how they differ from SM’s books. But stating something you’ve never read is toned down and simplified, as you’ve suggested, suggests a pretty high level of arrogance. Like the world she’s created for vampires is so much better than SM’s because it’s more complex (in her opinion).

          I think it’s pretty interesting too that she says vampires aren’t real, yet she criticizes SM’s take on them. If you’re following that argument, shouldn’t it be okay for each author to make up their own rules? She doesn’t like it when people criticize her for watching True Blood, but she can criticize SM? It’s just not adding up for me.

          • Joshua L. Roberts says:

            Anne Rice’s vampire stories are much more complex than Stephenie Meyers’. As I’ve stated before, Anne Rice did for vampires what J.R.R. Tolkien did for Elves. She gets down to the nitty-gritty and gets very tedious. That isn’t for everybody, just as some people don’t like “Lord of the Rings”. C.S. Lewis, Tolkien’s friend, was a minimalist, and much of his work could be considered toned down, just like Steph’s. It doesn’t detract from readability, just style.

            As for her reading or not reading the entire series, I don’t think that would have mattered to Twi-hards, some of whom despise any sort of critical analysis that doesn’t make the series out to be the greatest thing since sunlight.

            Stephen King read the first book and said it was atrocious, and Twi-hards still cried foul.

            Anne Rice didn’t say anything bashingly towards Meyers. She said she thought the concept of the Twilight Saga (in her opinion folks) was silly (vampires in high school), and she thought it was over simplified and toned down (dummed down), and yet kids love it, and it is hughly successful. It’s almost sheer genius. In my thinking, she is actually giving Meyers a compliment.

            Here again folks, if you only allow opinions that jive with your mindset towards the Saga, then intellectually your shooting yourself in the foot. Not everybody is going to be a fan of the series, and that is that.

  8. RockinRobbin says:

    Well, I am 53, maybe the oldest poster on here, not sure, anyway, I read the Anne Rice novels up until they seemed like she was just phoning it in to make money. I read Stephen King too when he wrote the good stuff, not the watered down stuff he wrote after his accident. I love the Twilight stuff, it’s a fresh approach to the vampire myth. Having said that, IF Twilight portrayed vamps like Anne Rice did, she would be crying foul that someone copied her writing style and basic premise now wouldn’t she? The lawsuits would be flying left, right and center, religious or not, trust me.

  9. Here goes…for young people it works? I’m proud to be 51 and love these are most of my friends who also love these books. Why not vampires who go to H.S.? I believe it was very imaginative, no one has done that before. Ms Rice just followed the previous vamp protocol with hers (although I loved them too) so how is that ‘more imaginative’? Just regular people are all different (vegetarians run the gammet) so why not vampires? Steph, I think (know) you are bloody brilliant!

  10. Who the heck is Anne Rice?

  11. I think Stephenie Meyer takes this type of criticism from other authors because of her stance on abstinence before marriage. In my opinion I think that taking this moral high road makes a lot of people uncomfortable and they lash out against it in all sorts of ways calling books or articles without illicit sex in it, childish or immature. When in actuality it takes a lot more guts and maturity to say ‘no’ to sex before marriage. I’d think Anne Rice being a born again christian would commend Stephenie on her stand for good values, and encourage her to continue on standing up for what is or should be a common belief among christians. I think if Anne would actually read the books and see the movies and if she truly is a christian she would find that she and Stephenie share a lot of common ground and there would be no need for the rivalry that Anne seems to want to induce.

  12. I wouldn’t read an AR novel now if – well – Hell froze over.

  13. Has she even read the books, and I agree with her, it’s is fantasy, but hers is fiction and so is stephenie, why is she calling it silly?!
    I agree with juliet, she turned that into porn, who is she to judge.

  14. edwardlover says:

    All these authors “weighing in” negatively on Stephenie Meyer’s novels sound like egotistical whiners. Twilight is different, and creative. If she had written a regular vampire novel, would we still be discussing it today? No. It attracted a whole new audience that Anne Rice or Stephen King never did. Why? Because it spoke to people in a way that that regular horror writers never could. She made stay at home moms in their 30’s and 40’s remember what it felt like to fall in love–through a vampire relationship. It is crazy! Say what you want about the technical elements of her writing, but her success speaks for itself. The phenomenon of Twilight has been responsible for a huge boost in sales of horror and science fiction sales across the board. I know many people who had never read anything from this genre, myself included, before Twilight and now are huge horror and sci-fi fans. Stephen King and Anne Rice should swallow their sour grapes and thank Stephenie Meyer.

  15. She should read them before judging. Carlise did go around the world to the places of learning.

    He was miserable due the blood lust other vampires displayed. So he started his family and encourages them to live in a way that allows him to remain near humans (and heal them) and regain and retain his humanity. This makes perfect sense in the context of who and what Meyer’s vampires are. This is hardly a, “failure of imagination” but is in reality a total reinvention of what a vampire is and what their motives are.

    I am shocked and disturbed that a writer would comment on another authors work without reading it.

  16. Anne Rice does have a point. Stephenie Meyer might as well have just called Edward and the Cullen clan FARIES. I don’t think Anne Rice was that negative in the interview, let us remind ourselves people that the media will DO ANYTHING TO start anything between people. Anne Rice’s “The Vampire Chronicles” bring out the true point and meaning within the Vampire. Stephenie Meyer’s “The Twilight Saga” isn’t original and not purely based on Vampires so I don’t know why people consider Edward and the Cullen’s as vampires. If you guys read Anne Rice’s 10 novel Vampire Chronicles you would know where she is coming from. Vampires ARE NOT MEANT to be out within the open or revealed to the outer limits of their mind and world, FICTION WISE! They are meant to be kept in the dark, the shadows, behind the scenes. I think the Twilight Saga was a brilliant storyline because the formula behind a human falling in love with a Vampire has always been out there…READ DRACULA and you would know. Anne Rice and Stephenie Meyer’s Vampires are far different from eachother. Anne’s Vampires struggle with being evil regardless of any innocence they posses. Stephenie Meyer’s Vampires are extremely over joyful about being immortal. I do not see any negative within Anne’s interview…she was basically saying that the fact that Vampires would be out in the open within a story was silly and it is in the Twilight Saga. The least meyer could have done was alter that lifestyle with her characters a bit and put them a little more in the dark.

  17. Personally, I think it’s a failure of imagination for a female author to indulge the media’s desire for catty comments against another female author, not to mention the most blatant sour grapes cliche I ever heard. And Anne Rice, though certainly an influential force in the genre, is someone whose prime is past. JR Ward, who is red-hot, has nothing but nice things to say about SMeyer.

  18. To all those who said a fault of Anne Rice’s was that she can’t relate to all age groups like Stephenie Meyer does: that is not a fault. The Iliad, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, and Kate Chopin are all great writes of literature, but you cannot ask and 8 and 80 year old to read them and get the same feelings. That’s not to say YA fiction cannot be great literature, but there is no point in comparing literary merit based on what age group can read it.

    AND, as far as Anne Rice saying this to get press: Anne Rice’s books were HUGE 20 years ago. She is still an amazingly successful author today. Besides Bran Stoker at the turn of the century, Anne Rice is the authority of vampire fiction. There could be no Twilight, TrueBlood, or any of the other recent vampire novels without Anne Rice’s contribution. If you don’t believe me, do some research.

    And for the record, and this I feel is the most important part of this comment, Anne Rice’s vampires are not evil or sadistic. All of the main characters struggle with good, evil, God, the Devil, what it means to be human, and what is the meaning of life. There is a reason her books are hugely successful and that is because people can relate to them, not because it is gore fest. Anne Rice’s book actually make you THINK! That’s what good literature does. She does not set up an unrealistic romance so wanting women can get their dose of fantasy, but plays out the human struggle in something beyond mortality. THE POINT OF ALL GREAT LITERATURE IS TO MAKE YOU THINK, QUESTION, AND BEING ABLE TO RELATE TO THE CHARACTERS. It is not to create an alternate world where we can escape to an improbable romance just because we can’t have own.

    Anne Rice never really bashed Stephenie Meyer. She is a huge figure in the literary world, so for her to give her opinion on a extremely famous series that is in part related to her own is not odd or driven out of jealously. That’s what author’s do.

    I’m not saying that Twilight should have never been written, but beyond the idea of an impossible romance, there is no comparison between it and Anne Rice’s work.

    Even if you hate everything I just said, please read the books and try to understand. I’m not saying you actually need to enjoy them, but in general it is nice to know what you are talking about before you argue against it.

    On a final note: I have read all the Twilight books and, yes, they are addicting, but most of the music on the radio is addicting, but that does not make it good music. Obsession does not equal merit.

    • I must disagree with you here. Twilight may not be “great literature” as you put it (and you can’t know that yet, in thirty years maybe it will) but it makes you think! As I said in my earlier comment, there are interesting themes in Twilight, and it makes you reflect upon the meaning of life. Perhaps a bit differently than Rice’s work. But it does not mean Meyer is wrong.

      No, Twilight is definitely not “dumbed down”.

      Yes, Anne Rice is considered to be an “authority” on the subject of vampires, but I find this expression a bit pompous. And it does not mean other vampire stories aren’t as good or don’t make people think.

      I’m saying it again : Twilight made me think.

  19. Well, she’s right : the idea of a vampire going to school IS silly, in a way. You have to admit that. But I like this “silly” idea because as Rice said he or she has to graduate over and over again. And that’s what is interesting in Twilight. The vampires are “frozen” in time, if I may say so. They will remain the same forever. They will do the same things, every day, over and over again. They have no future, no “future prospect” as Rosalie said in Eclipse.

    “They’re fantasy characters, and we have to keep reminding ourselves of this. They don’t exist.”
    I completely agree with that! In my opinion a lot of people have a problem with Twilight (and/or other vampire stories) because they can’t seem to understand that there are no “real vampires”. Either they drink human blood or animal blood, go to school or not, etc, it does not matter because they don’t exist. What truly matters is that it can make people happy. If it does not make you happy, well, find something else that will! It’s all I have to say.

    However, I’m not so sure about the “dumbed down for kids” part. I think she meant the vampires in Twilight are “simplified” because it’s supposed to be written for teenagers, but the word “dumb” is very pejorative.

    AND I am not a kid lol

  20. Bravo to Anne Rice for getting it right. Every Twilight fan whining about this post has the same problem every rabid Twilight fan seems to have: the inability to accept opinions that don’t match their own. And then you try and discredit Anne Rice just like you tried to to to Stephen King. No, sorry, Anne Rice and Stephen King will be more popular and well known than Stephenie Meyer ever will.

    Turn off the computer and go outside. Stop making idiots of yourselves.

  21. It’s funny that so many people are complaining about her criticizing Twilight that many of you forget she was being interviewed. The “she’s just jealous” comments are pretty stupid because the subject came up in the interview and she simply expressed her opinion. Can’t someone hate/dislike Twilight without people claiming they’re jealous or haven’t read it?

    I get that you’re all fans but you need to accept that people have different opinions to you.

  22. Leaving a bad taste in your mouth says:

    I love how people think that characters are real and get angry about their precious story being ‘attacked’ by someone’s opinion about it. I mean, it’s words on paper. It doesn’t need to be defended.

    If you like it, that doesn’t change anything. That’s like me saying that a two year old kid’s scribbles are better than the Mona Lisa. That’s what I’d equate Twilight to, since, after all, it’s literally the work of an amateur. S.M. wasn’t published before it, and clearly her work isn’t up to par, so the term ‘amateur’ fits.

    All in all, when will people stop being so obsessive over mindless shit like this? If people focused this much on the environment, maybe a few hundred species that went extinct due to humanity would still be alive today.

    But no, people just have to focus on entertainment more than what matters. It’s no wonder we’re all doomed. People are fighting over their opinions on Twilight rather than going out and doing something about real issues like the economy or their adding a bit of meaning to their meaningless lives.

    Oh well. When the Apocalypse comes, Raptor-Jesus will feast on all your flesh.

  23. Anne Rice’s use of “Dumbed down” seems to have hit a few nerves here. Perhaps it would have been better if she used the word simplified? I don’t see what is wrong with that. It just means Twilight can appeal to a wider range of audience without alienating a lot of people with a complex use of the English language.

    The fact Twilight is also written around high school enables teenagers to find a commonality with the characters. It is a clever piece of market writing. Also for older people it can remind them of their youth and get to imagine living all those years in a young body.

    Of course I am a little disturbed by older readers who drool over the likes of Jacob who is still a teenager in the book. Even more disturbing is the older ladies drooling over the actors playing the roles in the movies.

    Rice’s opinions are not necessarily wrong or right. But she does have the extensive experience of writing and in the vampire genre. And from reading her books, I can tell she has a good grasp of the vampire origins. To say she is jealous or hasn’t read the books is the height of ignorance and denial.

    On an aside, popularity means nothing. The greater an audience the greater the bias. It doesn’t matter if Anne wrote a book a long time ago. So to say she is a has been is just plain rude. I have also read comments deriding Stephen King. He HAS written some good books recently. Just because you read one author exclusively does not mean that other writers are inferior. You need to get out more if you think that.

    And one last thing to those who say they have a good educational standard and think Twilight is a well written book. Personal tastes can blind you to quality.

  24. MariposaAlice says:

    What I don’t understand is that not only Anne Rice turn her back on her own vampire series..but now she’s watching a vampire series that actually contradicts her own? Yes, vampires aren’t, um, Anne, it isn’t silly that they’re in high school in the stories. Because, once again, they aren’t real. I really find The Vampire Diaries truly annoying, but I don’t go around calling them ‘silly’. I love everything vampire-y. I always have. I don’t get why Anne has become so cynical.

  25. I give the Twilight Saga credit for it is. An “effective” story, now there’s a difference between an “effective” story and a “good” story. Twilight is a good fluff story that makes readers feel good when they read it, which makes it very effective to a larger audience. I have read all the Vampire Chronicles, and all the Twilight books, but I like them for different aspects. If I want a good feel good, fluff story, I’ll read Twilight. And if I want a story with a deep plot, I’ll read Anne Rice. If you read any of the Anne Rice novels, Lestat was a rockstar and that was something the brat prince would do. Anne Rice’s books are all about the details she puts into them, and that’s why I love them. Plus, they were groundbreaking because it was one of the few vampire books written at that time from the vampires’ point of view.


  1. […] Anne Rice Gives Her Opinion of Twilight | Twilight LexiconNov 1, 2010 … Well first we had Stephen King giving his opinion, and now we have Anne Rice in an interview with New Jersey’s The Star Ledger. We’re … […]

Leave a Comment