Anne Rice: Her Forthcoming Book

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I have not been a fan of Ms. Rice. I enjoyed the novelty of Interview with a Vampire. But I must admit to being put off of Ms. Rice by both her own writing and (more frequently) her most avid fans. The writing can be florid to the point of rococco, ripe to the point of decay. I recall picking up Ramses and wondering when we were going to cut through the fashion show of the prose to get the story moving.

But I have to admit that rumors of Ms. Rice's new book have me tremendously excited. The prospects of Christ the Lord:Out of Egypt have me excited and thrilled in a way that I haven't felt since hearing rumor of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.

Now, please understand, I don't expect from Ms. Rice what I had come to expect from The Passion of the Christ. But if this book comes anywhere near its potential, it will tell a story of a personal battle and conversion that will help millions of people struggling in darkness. That Ms. Rice has the courage to commit her career to this path (admittedly, it isn't a tremendous risk considering the success of her other work, nevertheless, it is a risk) is a great sign.

I will compare this to something everyone else will probably laugh at, but you have to remember the time. When Shirley McClain came out with Out on a Limb, I remember being thrilled that someone in Hollywood was taking spiritual matters seriously. It little mattered to me that the orientation was wrong--the fact was that the spiritual, supernatural side of life was being promoted as something important. Admittedly, it became merely another fad, but it was heartening at the time to see a sector of society that seemed to have no heart develop one.

With Ms. Rice, I have heard from others that recent novels have often been permeated with Catholic themes and concerns. Indeed, for a long time it seems that Ms. Rice may have been struggling with the truths of the faith. This work may be a result of that struggle. As such, I'm sure that it will prove interesting. But more interesting is her willingness to speak of Jesus in any way whatsoever. There is some fear of possible heterodoxy--and I suppose that is a possibility--but I haven't read the book yet and so such judgments would be premature. But I hope, I hope with great longing, that this really is what many would make it out to be. And it is my ardent prayer that it becomes another vehicle to tow those who are struggling against the current toward God. Of course, that is a huge expectation to heap upon so minor a thing as a novel, nevertheless, I pray that it is successful in supporting the faith of those who alrady believe and bringing to believe a great many who are struggling with God themselves.

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I'm with you, Steven. I own a few Rice paperbacks, given to me as gifts, but I've never gotten through the overly descriptive language to reach the story.

Give me Elmore Leonard, anytime... but we'll see how she does writing about Christ.

I think "decay" is the mot juste for her vampire series. I found Interview interesting enough to keep reading, but by Queen of the Damned I'd had quite enough. There comes a point where decay is simply decomposition.

Interestingly, where the series went (and the fans it attracted) left me with a lower opinion of -- or at least less of an inclination to admit to liking -- the first book than I'd had before.

Dear Tom,

This is an excellent summary because I sometimes forget the real innovations and interest of Interview in the light of what followed. I remember upon reading Interview thinking that it was a truly interesting innovation and twist on the classic vampire tale.


In the reviews I've read, the reviewers are critical of the simplistic and simple language of Christ as a seven-year-old narrator. This suggests good possibilities for me. What I don't need is the all new interior decorator/fashion designer Jesus. But everything suggests that she's done some real work in research and in crafting the prose for this. We'll see.





I've always loved Anne Rice -- I'm one of her most avid fans, in fact. ;) I do have to say, though, that I don't like some of her books. Ramses the Damned is one of them. Violin is another. I liked The Vampire Chronicles and loved The Lives of the Mayfair Witches. The latter series is, in my opinion, her best work -- but it gets neglected in favor of the former series.

I think she'll do well with Out of Egypt, but I also think it will anger just about everyone. She likes to think outside of everyone's boxes.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 27, 2005 9:11 AM.

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