Friday, February 13, 2009

When I was in high school, I loved Anne Rice's novels. All the gothic vampires and thinly veiled erotica was so much out of my everyday existence that I felt so dangerous, so exotic reading her words. I read as many of the books as I could find in the Cambrian branch of the San Jose Public Library and then forgot about them. Fast forward twenty-ish years and I find new Anne Rice novels on the shelves of the library, this time the Willow Glen branch (I moved). Imagine my surprise when I started reading the first one, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, and found that Rice had chosen to follow Jesus and was now dedicating this stage of her writing career to researching and writing historical fiction about Jesus the Christ. Huh. I read "Out of Egypt" which followed Jesus as a young child, leaving his Egyptian refuge and moving back to Nazareth. Not a bad piece of fiction, engaging and made me think for a bit about the humanness of Jesus of Nazareth. I'm pretty comfortable with the whole fully God thing, but the fully man part is something we don't cover so much in the Bible. I've always wondered what Jesus was like as a person. Who the funniest disciple was and if Mary every lost her temper with him when he reached that sassy 5 year old stage. The second book, Christ the Lord: Road to Cana, finds Jesus as an adult man who is under immense pressure from his family and village to get married. It's unseemly for a man his age to remain single. The narrative follows Jesus to the Jordan River, where he is baptized by his cousin John, into the wilderness for an amazing take on what the times of temptation could have looked like and finally, onto Cana where he performs his first miracle and thus begins his public ministry. Again, I say this is an interesting piece of fiction and is worth the read, no matter your stand on Jesus as Son of God, because Rice makes Jesus the main character, pretty darn interesting.

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