An Evocative Passage--Anne Rice


Anne Rice has published the second book in her extended novelistic meditation on the Life of Christ. The first, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt was an unalloyed success at conveying some of the complexities of the childhood of a man who "was like us in all things but sin." The second promises to be more of the same. I haven't read much of it, wishing to savor it in between passages of Gothic Americana (The Sound and the Fury). But I wanted to share a short excerpt from very early on that exemplifies the style that Ms. Rice has chosen for these works.

from Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana
Anne Rice

I looked at them, the two, lying there as if they were children asleep, amid the heap of stones, and not enough blood between them, really, not enough blood for the Angel of Death even to stop and turn and take notice of them.

Rolling, spare, simple, evocative, lush, and lovely. Trimmed down, to the point and carefully crafted. The story rolls on in sentence after sentence that exhibit this same quality.

I think one of the things that astounds me is this Anderson-like simplicity after the baroque excesses of the Witches novels, the Lestat sequence, and the Ramses book. Ms. Rice has taken care here to produce prose that seeks to evoke its inspiration--straightforward and still poetic, like many of the parables Jesus told.

While it isn't the Passion narrative (one is to hope that that is at least two books away) this will make for fine end-of-Lent reading.

I have said before, and will say again, undoubtedly, in a world full of Sam Harrises , Richard Dawkinses, and Philip Pullmans, it is a pleasure and a relief to come across a novelist who is trying to write something worthwhile and powerful for the reader seeking substance. This series is a departure from all of her previous material and as such, it represents a risk to her. Not much of one, as her other books remain in print and sell well and will support her for some time to come, but she risks her huge fan base and her continued profitability and ability to hand on to a publisher. Like Mel Gibson, she is fashioning a work that is demanded by heart and soul, and it is up to readers like us to support this work. I ardently pray that Ms. Rice's work affects the hearts and minds of some of the fans of the previous books and moves them to explore the beauty of Jesus Christ, Lord, Savior, Friend and Companion. If it is possible for you to do so, you might think of buying this book and sharing it with the next person you see reading Kim Harrison, Anne's previous novels, or other books which, while occasionally fun and entertaining, have as an end escape into unreality. What Ms. Rice is trying to create is an escape into ultimate reality.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on March 13, 2008 6:29 AM.

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