Christ the Lord  

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Christ the Lord, by Anne Rice
2005, hardback, from the library

You should know
I’ve read a few of Rice’s vampire novels, and was not impressed. But, then, I have a strange fascination for alternate tellings of Jesus’ life.

It was not well-written. I’m going to have to be that blunt: it just wasn’t.

Now, it was an interesting take on the story; you can’t say Rice doesn’t come up with good premises. But there were continuity breaks, and as I recall (it’s been a while, and sadly it wasn’t that memorable a book) there were actually inappropriate changes in verb tense.

Also, considering this book was supposed to be largely on the Bible, it got details wrong. Most notably was the fact that Jesus got lost at the Temple at about the age of 8 – not 12, as it specifically says in the Bible.

And worst of all, in order for certain parts of the plot to work, certain characters actually have to be in two places at once. From Jesus, I can accept that. From his mortal relatives? Not so much.

Any one of these details could be forgiven, or at worst laughed off, but the sum of them just ruined the book for me.

Avoid the hype
There was a lot of publicity about this book when it first came out – the potentially controversial content, Rice’s history of writing raunchy stories, the fact that any huge name tied to religious work grabs publicity. But none of the public’s concerns really hold water, except this one: it’s bad. It’s just bad. Don’t bother.

The rest of the internet
Anne Rice’s website.
CBS News has an article about an interview with her on the Early Show.
NPR pans it.
It got somewhat better reviews at The Augustine Project.
Apparently, there’s going to be a movie. They promised to be faithful to Anne’s vision. I think Jesus wants us to forgive them if they fail.

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