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 editionRating
- For the curious or already-converted only. It's well-written but BORING.