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Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt (2005)
by Anne Rice
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It was an interesting look at what Jesus' younger years might have been like and how he may have reacted to realizing his true identity as God's son. I think it may have held more meaning if I came from a Catholic background or read more para-biblical literature, but it was still enjoyable, and portrayed a deep faith. It also contains the first believable explanation I've come across of how Mary could have remained a virgin and stay married to Joseph after giving birth to Jesus. ( )
Anne Rice has stated she wants book reviewers to be required to post with their full, real name. In response, I am removing all my reviews of her novels as I am unable and unwilling to do this. I am no longer comfortable reading or reviewing her work. Thank you.
I expected more from Anne Rice.
It was all right, and I'll probably read the next one, but Orson Scott Card does bible character fiction (Women of Genesis) better.
I really gave this book a chance but I had to stop reading it about half way through the book. It just did not catch my attention.
It doesn't really matter about accuracy - a novelist should be free to play with the facts to get nearer to the truth. What's wrong is the lack of skill in imagining and then depicting a time, a place and a person. In Christ the Lord, Anne Rice has conscientiously taken all the drama, elegance and urgency of the Gospels and the Apocrypha, and flattened them into a tedious and mediocre potboiler. Which is a pity, because it's still a hell of a good idea for a novel.
As for the plot, it's a year in the life of a rather plodding 7-year-old boy. As for suspense, he discovers that several mysterious events attended his birth, but we already know that, and so do all the other characters, who are made entirely of cardboard. Mary is innocent; Joseph steadfast; Mary's brother Cleopas laughs so continuously that he might as well be at a vaudeville show; and James, the savior's older brother, glowers throughout the book with big-time sibling rivalry.
Rice's Christ reads like a bland young-adult novel, written in language that's supposed to be unadorned and poignantly simple but is instead as flat and leeched of poetry as the Good News Bible.
The book's steady attention to such details slows its progress. It stops frequently for scenery, not all of it the kind that a young boy might notice. "It seemed that the women of this place used a loom with one pole to it," he says of Sepphoris, a town near Nazareth, "and one crosspiece at which they had to stand. But we had brought back from Alexandria bigger looms, with two sliding crosspieces, at which the woman could sit, and the women of the village all came to see this." This gives the book a hint of museum diorama.
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Having completed the two cycles of legend to which she has devoted her career so far, Anne Rice gives us now her most ambitious and courageous book, a novel about the early years of CHRIST THE LORD, based on the Gospels and on the most respected New Testament scholarship. The book's power derives from the passion its author brings to the writing and the way in which she summons up the voice, the presence, the words of Jesus who tells the story.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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