Anne Rice

I’ve just finished reading Anne Rice’s Christ the Lord. I think it’s terrific. She captures the child Jesus in a wonderful way. Everyone who tries to tell a story knows that it is easier to create interesting villains, and very difficult to create interesting and convincing good people. 

Anne Rice captures the goodness, simplicity and healthy lives of  Jesus, his parents and their extended Jewish family. Supremely Orthodox in her vision, beautifully Catholic in her understanding, Rice has based her work on an amazing depth of research into Biblical scholarship, archeology, history, Jewish studies etc etc. 
As the Lord’s self awareness develops we see his tender heart, his strength of character, his intelligence, wit and affection coming through.
On top of the excellence of the book itself, Rice is courageous enough to tell the story, in an author’s conclusion, of her own reversion to her childhood faith. She does so with candor, simplicity and humility. How the devil must be enraged that an author who so glamorized evil in her vampire books, now so openly and publicly says that all of her life and all of her talent and all of her work is now dedicated solely and utterly to Christ the Lord.
May she prosper and be blessed and may we have many more Catholic writers like her.

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker
  • http://catholidoxy.blogspot.com Irenaeus

    I visited her site and it looks nice and all. But I had heard that she was still post-conversion somewhat pro-homosexual and such. Has that changed?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01562944653624224107 Adrienne

    Thanks for the review. Guess I better start with the first book in the series, though.Oh my, but the books are stacking up. So many books, so little time.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    I believe her views are somewhat liberal on some issues. It doesn’t mean she is necessarily campaigning on these things, or that they affect her ability to write a compelling and beautiful work.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17120108669030817877 my15minutes

    I’m so glad you reminded me about this book coming out….I’m assuming you’re talking about the second book in the series (Christ the Lord: Road to Cana), right? This is what I’ll read over spring break! I loved the first book (Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt). Did you read it as well?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    I was referring to ‘Out of Egypt. The new book is out in hardback now.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00719610017317232480 Mary Martha

    I just read the second book (The Road to Cana) during Holy Week.I know that these are pop culture books written by a pop culture author… Yet I still really enjoy them recommend them. I think sometimes people can be purists a bit and think we should all be reading the Desert Fathers or something. But if you want enjoyable pop culture presentation of religious topics (without the Evengelical bent of the ‘Left Behind’ series) then these books are a great option.

  • Anonymous

    Although I deeply respect Fr. Longenecker’s review of Anne Rice’s book on the early life of Jesus and even though there is an overwhelming blogdom approval of these books, there is something deeply disturbing to me about the author of these books. Rice avowed that she would never turn her back on God again by writing about the sinister Lestat, but she does indeed intend to write another novel involving Lestat. Furthermore, perhaps we are not meant to contemplate or meditate on the mystery of the childhood of Jesus other than what is revealed to us in the Gospels. Wouldn’t Mary have related incidents of Jesus’ early childhood to John? But the Holy Spirit did not inspire these incidents to be revealed to us. Perhaps God set aside the childhood of Jesus to be cherished only by his mother. In any event, I am not inclined to read these fictional books speculating on the early life of Jesus, especially since they are penned by an author known for volumes of blood-soaked pages and another sinister book in the planning stages.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    For goodness sake, give the poor woman the benefit of the doubt.Maybe she is going to have Lestat get saved.Two other problems with your post:1. If we only use the gospels to meditate on the life of Christ we would have to exclude all the movies about Jesus, all the extra Biblical writings of the saints who meditate on the life of Christ, all pious paintings that include details not in the Scriptures, all the works of music and literature that include details in the tradition, but not in the Bible. For that matter, we’d have to take out the Station of the Cross featuring St Veronica as she does not appear in the Bible.2, It is a basic fallacy to judge an artistic work by the piety of the artist. While a person’s life influences their art, their art can also be judged on its own merits.

  • Anonymous

    Fr. Longenecker,It’s not my desire to be argumentative with you. However, would the fact that she has endorsed Lady MacBeth for President in any way cause your accolades for her to become at least a tad bit less enthusiastic?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    I don’t wish to argue either, but you make my point: you do not have to agree with a person’s politics to enjoy and endorse their artistic creation.

  • Anonymous

    It is a basic fallacy to judge an artistic work by the piety of the artist. While a person’s life influences their art, their art can also be judged on its own merits.Father, this whole concept deserves to be fleshed out, and spelled out quite explicitly in a blog post all it’s own. Some orthodox Catholics apply a somewhat Pharisaical litmus test (“unclean! unclean!”) towards artists and their creative works to a rather ridiculous extreme…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05558623489507006790 On the side of the angels

    Oh come off it anonymous…I’ll respond at length later but for the moment I’d suggest that her works are , even inadvertently, leading people closer to God…even in the vampire chronicles and the witching hour series she writes of the spiritual side of love – sure there’s a lot to be reticent about [the erotica etc] – but look at the person and her tragic life ; and see the journey she’s made – I’m only halfway through the first Christ book – but it’s inifinitely deeper than it seems…

  • Anonymous

    Well, if Ms. Rice’s works fails to lead people closer to God, those Rosary beads she’s holding could surely pull people to Heaven! I truly have pondered whether Ms. Rice prays with that Rosary clasped so awkwardly in her hands.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00098504849466846551 Arkanabar T’verrick Ilarsadin

    However much (or little) of the distance between herself and God Ms. Rice manages to cover, I’ll be glad for every bit of it, while continuously praying that she covers more.It would be bloody difficult to write a story where somebody as self-absorbed and callous as Lestat could be saved, but there are also good lessons to be learned by demonstrating the spiritual and emotional damage one does to one’s self by living that way.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06321599173782751450 Michael

    from her web siteFROM ANNE: THERE WILL BE NO CHRISTIAN VAMPIRE NOVEL FROM ME.In spite of a flood of emails askng for a Christian Lestat novel (a novel in which Lestat is redeemed), and my own comment about this in the press, I am completely putting aside this project. After prayer, meditation, and much pondering, I do not think such a novel is possible. My present focus has to be on my novels about the life of Jesus Christ and I do not want to revisit the realm of my earlier books. I thank all of you who have written to me on this, both pro and con. You have helped me to think out the question. I can assure you; as things stand now there will be no Christian Lestat novel.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08110491371985845560 kentuckyliz

    Her pro-homosexuality comes from the fact that her son is homosexual.Perhaps her son is homosexual partly because his mother was such a publicly erotic figure? Not as in porn star, as in a highly popular author glorying in sex and violence. Perhaps something to do with that warped his healthy sexual development.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16313347342389218714 Vargas

    Wow. Quite a few judgmental folks around here. Pharisaical indeed.


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