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Book Review: Anne Rice: Christ the Lord Out of Egypt
This review is based on the paperback edition of Anne Rice's novel, 'Christ the Lord Out of Egypt'.
I must admit that as a past reader of Anne Rice vampire novels, I was prepared for a different experience than what I encountered by reading this book. My son gave me my first Anne Rice novel at Christmas a few years ago, and he followed up with more of her paperbacks on subsequent birthdays, Mothers' Days, and Christmases.
Many of Anne Rice's previous novels are dark, yet strongly compelling, reading. You might find your mind wandering as you wade through paragraph after paragraph of descriptive details that, while setting the scene, sometimes distract you from the storyline. However, her stories always seize your interest. You might skim over the flowery descriptions, but you are always entranced by the characters in their search for something bigger than themselves.
In this book Anne talks about something bigger than all of us - and succeeds in eliciting strong emotions accompanied by occasional tears. This is a simply written account, narrated from the point of view of a young Jesus.
Unlike earlier novels, she restricts the descriptive language to a level which accurately depicts the time, customs, and surroundings - without distracting from the story's progression. The book has been carefully researched. Historical facts are intertwined with dialogue and narrative in a way that makes them come alive to the reader.
Young Jesus surprisingly commits a huge sin in the third paragraph of the first page. This startled me! My perspective of Jesus has always been one of God personified in the flesh - and God would never sin! That first page raised my hackles and I almost put the novel down in disgust.
However, it was a Christmas present from my son, and I felt compelled to read it for his sake. I certainly didn't think that Anne Rice was going to tell a story about the Jesus Christ I knew from reading Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Without a doubt, I am overjoyed that I read the book right to the end. It cleared up a mystery that has plagued me for years: Why did Jesus have to die to save me? This answer had been given to me many times in sermons and in the Bible itself. However, I never completely understood it until I read this book.
Whatever you do - don't skip to the end of the novel to discover the answer. Without absorbing the narrative, chapter by chapter, you will not comprehend the last two pages.
Anne has wavered from Roman Catholicism to atheism, and back to Roman Catholicism. She relates in the paperback edition why she made a promise to dedicate her life to God.
The introductory pages of the novel include a map showing the northern part of Egypt and the areas of the Holy Land that are mentioned in the story. The back of the book includes an 'Author's Note' and 'Note to the Paperback Edition'. Here, Anne describes a bit of her background, her research techniques, and her conversion back to Christianity.
No matter what your religious beliefs, you will find this novel an interesting read. I intend to buy several to give away to friends and relatives.
Christ the Lord Out of Egypt - by Anne Rice
Paperback Edition ISBN: 0-7704-3013-9
Hardcover Edition ISBN: 0-6769-7768-5
*Anne Rice has kindly provided the following thoughts on this review:
'I do personally believe that Jesus was sinless, and in my novel the intention is to present Him as absolutely sinless. In the opening scenes He does not kill anyone. He 'feels the power go out of Him'. Rather like the similar passage of the Gospel of Mark when the hemorrhaging woman is healed by touching His robe.
'Take care and have a good year,
About the Author: Kathy writes German-English short stories and poetry in parallel translation at A-Language-Guide - and is one of the webmasters for 1st Rate Articles%1
NFa>, started in November of 2006.