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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Does Anne Rice do a successful conversion? 
23rd-Nov-2005 12:24 am
From Brat Prince to King of Heaven. Who would've thought? (^^; But, hey, at least the face on the cover is plausible.

Well, as promised, I hunkered down with Anne Rice's latest. I can't remember the last time such a boring novel was so absolutely shocking.

Rice, Anne. Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. New York: Knopf, 2005.
Summary: Jesus, age 7--from his family's return to Nazareth from Egypt to his realization that he is actually *drumroll* Christ the Lord and that Herod had hundreds of children slaughtered in the wake of his birth.
Comments: The Jesus of this novel is supposed to be "The Jesus of the Gospels," and inasmuch as this was Rice's goal, she has succeeded admirably--because this novel is hands-down the most UN-Anne Rice-ian book I have ever read. Heck, if it weren't for her name on the cover, I wouldn't have even recognized the prose. None of the tried and true formula is in evidence (I suppose the author herself was sick and tired of it), and the style of the novel is spare and elegant, as befitting the POV of a gifted and good-hearted child. Actually, she gets major points for making Jesus both devout and likeable. I mean, that's really hard to do! (On the other hand, she gets major deductions for not making any of the female characters particularly strong-willed.) Clearly, Rice has found new life as a religious writer, and her enthusiasm for Catholicism and faith drips from the Author's Note in a most disturbing fashion, given what we know about her past *coughs* flirtations with homoeroticism and S&M. I'm so glad that she's done her research on Jewish ritual (and made it more palatable than The Far Euphrates) and Middle Eastern culture and geography and is eager to share, but, unfortunately, for us normal people, it's all painfully boring. She sees continuity with her earlier work in that Jesus, like vampires, is an outsider of sorts and a supernatural being. Thus far, though, the comparison seems a bit forced. Oh, yes, Satan or whatever she plans to call him in later installments makes a short appearance in Jesus's fever dream, and he is not, as far as I can tell, the same fallen angel of Memnoch the Devil--more's the pity--but there's still plenty of potential there. He's "comely," and he has wings. ^_^ (I don't think angels actually have wings in the Bible...or am I wrong? ^^; ) I wouldn't be surprised if his relationship with Jesus somehow involves hating him but also wanting him for himself (the whole hate/lust thing), but then I wouldn't be surprised either if nothing comes of my speculation. Rice has got this whole "born again," midlife crisis thing going, and, considering the way the Catholic Church has been angling lately, she may decide to be scrupulously correct about it all. No need to point out that the woman who inspired a generation of gay male writers is now aspiring to be the Church's right-hand woman.
Notes: hardcover, 1st edition
Rating: 5/10 - For the curious or already-converted only. It's well-written but BORING.
23rd-Nov-2005 01:43 pm (UTC)
at least the face on the cover is plausible

WHAT! But everyone knows Jesus had flowing curly blonde hair and big blue eyes!! It's blasphemy!!!


23rd-Nov-2005 01:53 pm (UTC)
Actually, in the book, Satan is the only one with stated blue eyes. Did you know that blue-eyed people are more likely to be sociopathic than brown-eyed people? So it's appropriate... XD
23rd-Nov-2005 02:46 pm (UTC)
It's well-written but BORING.

Is it more boring than her later vampire books?
23rd-Nov-2005 03:04 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Maybe about the same, but for different reasons. The vampire books got boring because they became too formulaic; Christ the Lord is boring because little of import actually happens that's worth 300 pages.
23rd-Nov-2005 04:05 pm (UTC)
The idea that a woman who wrote homoerotic fiction is now writing the life of Jesus is too bizarre for words.
23rd-Nov-2005 04:54 pm (UTC)
You never know, she might get to the homoerotic part ^_~
23rd-Nov-2005 06:13 pm (UTC)
Not likely if she's having some sort of middle age epiphany^_^
23rd-Nov-2005 06:46 pm (UTC)
She even said in her author's note that she's not going to write a "gay Jesus." I was like, "Darn!" *snaps fingers*

There're other places to go for that, though. ^_~
23rd-Nov-2005 07:12 pm (UTC)
*dies laughing*
The fact that she actually included that note is damning proof enough in the eyes of the Church. Or her fans^_^
23rd-Nov-2005 06:21 pm (UTC)
Oof, Mrs. Rice is allmost and infallibly dull read.
I grew up on her- my mother was a devout fan- to this day,if she catches me drawing yaoi manga, all I have to do is say "vampires, mom" and she leaves me to it.
On a ratehr unrealated note(yes, all I do on your comments is twist them into things utterly unrealted....sorry)
Mrs. Rices sister is, in my opiion, a better writer. ^_^
Have you read anyt6hing by Alice Brochart? (I'm not sure thats how its spelled) "The silver wolf" is a very good read.

23rd-Nov-2005 06:48 pm (UTC)
My mother gave me all the Vampire Chronicle books right after I turned nine. (She later regretted it, but it was too late.)

Have you read anyt6hing by Alice Brochart? (I'm not sure thats how its spelled) "The silver wolf" is a very good read.

No, I haven't. I was becoming wary of all the Rice-related nepotism, but perhaps I'll look into it. ^_^

23rd-Nov-2005 07:55 pm (UTC)
I'm still pissed at her about Violin. I can't believe I paid money for that book. I may never read anything by her ever again.
23rd-Nov-2005 08:16 pm (UTC)
*laughs* And I thought Violin was downright fascinating in comparison to this book!
23rd-Nov-2005 11:47 pm (UTC)
I've got it but haven't read it yet^^
29th-Nov-2005 11:23 pm (UTC)
Review archived.
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