Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt
By: Anne Rice
Paige’s Rating: (3) of 5 Stars
Recommended for: History, Fiction Readers
A novel about the childhood of Christ the Lord based on the gospels and on the most respected New Testament scholarship.
When a friend handed me this book, I thought, “Whoa. Finally something worth reading.” I couldn’t believe that I was holding was a novel by Anne Rice attempting to explain the early years of Jesus’ life. Needless to say, she had taken on a daunting task and I admired that. While some people have criticized the book for being historically or Biblically inaccurate, I am going to put all that aside and focus on what it is I normally focus on: characters and plot. With that said…
Jesus was kinda boring. The journey Jesus and his family takes from Egypt to Nazareth is what starts the novel and keeps it rather monotonous. The questions that Jesus asks during this time are never answered and he is course, much like a confused and innocent child unable to understand the power that is within him. Ok, I buy that but Jesus as a child is dull and Rice’s writing is definitely not up to standard. In fact, her writing is completely flat.
Half-way through the book, when I was on the verge of giving up, Jesus’ life becomes more interesting as Rice paints the image of Nazareth once the family arrives there. The history of the time, after the death of Herod the Great, weaves together Jewish life at the time of Roman rule. The images are well enough that I can conjure in my mind the daily sights and sounds of Nazareth. In addition, I give Rice a lot of credit for describing some of the old Jewish laws and festival of the time, which was definitely much more interesting than the previous dialogue. The book hits its’ climax when Jesus goes to Jerusalem for Passover and discovers the truth, from two people, about who he is and what his role on Earth must be.
While slow in the beginning, the book does reap some benefits if the reader sticks with it. I know that Rice has written a follow-up to this book, focusing on Jesus’ life preaching. And while I am sure that would be much more interesting, at this time I am unimpressed, yes, unimpressed with Rice’s writing (in this context) and don’t necessarily feel the desire to take up the sequel anytime soon.