Staked Through the Heart and You’re Too Late: Anne Rice Gives Jesus a Bad Name

Dec 20th, 2005 | By | Category: Prose


Anne Rice found Jesus.

I thought I had him securely locked up in my kitchen cupboard, but I guess he got out.

He and Anne took off and went to the Holy Land.

Yeah, Utah.

He and Anne found a Starbucks and over some Pumpkin Lattes, which tasted like bread from the Eucharist (translation: cardboard) He told Anne He really liked her writing and she should write a book about Him.

And she did.

And it wasn’t very good.

In fact, Christ The Lord is perhaps the worst book Anne Rice has written, and yes I don’t need to be wearing black nail polish to admit I have actually read all of Anne Rice’s books.

What can I say, it was a tough adolescence. With black eyeliner.

Fans were shocked when Rice announced her plan to write a book about Jesus. For me, it was simply the next evolutionary step. Why, she had started writing about immortals drinking blood, and now she would write about an immortal who wanted others to drink His blood. Really, the parallels were outstanding! put it as such, “Rice paints a picture of a young Christ who is both fully human and fully divine.” That’s right folks: Jesus puts his pants on one leg at a time, but his pants can fly!

“As for her fans who are more accustomed to reading about immortal vampires, Rice believes her newest character might not be so different. “Is Christ our Lord not the ultimate supernatural hero,” she asks rhetorically in the author’s note, “the ultimate outsider, the ultimate immortal of them all?” (

See? Parallels! Lestat  was a hero! That’s why he killed all those people and sucked their blood and pretty much drove Louis insane in Interview With The Vampire. Because he’s a hero! And that’s what heroes do! They murder and pillage. Mao Tse Tung must be stoked!

Needless to say I expected a car crash of a book. A delightful car crash. Specifically a car crash involving a clown car and midgets. Instead I was stuck with reading what can only be comparative to sitting in an unheated church on a splintering pew for three hours. Oh yeah, it was that great, especially when I learned Rice decided to have a seven-year old Jesus narrate the novel.

“I was seven years old. What do you know when you’re seven years old?” (1)

Well, lets ponder. When you were seven, you knew:

    A) Jesus was awesome.
    B) Bill Cosby seduced children with Jello.
    C) Anne Rice would end her career by writing a eulogy in the form of a boring book about the adolescent Jesus.

However, the first few passages prove interesting as Jesus smites a bully named Eleazer. This is a great way to start as many readers can connect with Jesus. Who hasn’t been bullied and wished for the power to inflict pain of death?

Also to make a sandwich, with your mind.

Also to make a sandwich, with your mind.

“Late afternoon. We were playing, my gang against his, and when he ran at me again, bully that he was, bigger than me, and catching me off balance, I felt the power go out of me as I shouted: “You’ll never get where you’re going (1).”

Yes, that’s right. Young Egypt Jesus said “You’ll never get where you’re going.” Perhaps he had just listened to “You Can’t Always Get What you Want” by the Rolling Stones. It’s possible. They’re just as old. Older maybe.

After Jesus realizes his power is just as dangerous as Charlie from Stephen King’s Firestarter, he runs as fast as his Holy feet can carry him. Maybe if Young Egypt Jesus had a handy coloring book he would have learned to always trust God when you’re in trouble. Also, lions are sooooo cute!

By page six Jesus caves into social pressure and brings the bully back to life. Wimp.

“I reached out and laid my hand on his forehead. The power went out. My eyes closed. I was dizzy. But I heard him draw breath.” (6)

As the story plods on, Rice manages to suck as much life from it as Lestat does to the plantation overseer on page 16 of Interview With The Vampire. Even the actual pages of the novel are dry and rough to the touch, perhaps as some sort of connection to Jesus’ Land of Egypt Where All Imagination and Creativity Dies. Mary, Jesus’ mother spends most of the time wringing her hands in darkened corners, bemoaning Jesus’ deep dark secret that everyone knows. Including the local deaf mule. Joseph is not just a carpenter, he’s a preacher and Rice ineffectually uses him as her mouthpiece of God, pressing out of him the words of the Lord like Kenny G eeks out uncomfortable music from his tenor sax.

“And what did Jonah? Why, he told them he feared the Lord God of All Creation, and that they should cast him into the sea because he had run from the Lord and the Lord was angry…and they prayed unto the Lord…and the men feared the Lord…O Lord my God…All the people believed in the Lord!

    Jesus rolled his eyes. “I’m right here you know (154-155).”

Sorry, that last line was me.

Jesus also has a bevy of brothers and sisters who are as character driven as a blank deck of cards. Rice could interject some sexy incest action a la The Witching Hour, but shows she’s really not interested in all that Cain and Abel/Twin Sisters/Have To Get It On To Populate The World/And What About Noah and His Randy Ark Section of the Bible.  Really, Rice is just using this book as a device to show how smart she’s become after she read a bunch of books that smell like mold.

“No more the rich house with its marble floors. No more the library of parchment scrolls. Smell of ink. Greek is the language of the Empire…There is Rome, here is Alexandria, here is Jerusalem. See, there Anticoh, Damscus, Corinth, Epehsus, all great cities, and in all these cities the Jews live and speak Greek and have Torah in Greek. But there is no city outside of Rome as great as Alexandria where we are now.” (31)

Congratulations Anne, you can read an ancient map. But do ye know where be the pirate’s treasure?!

Seriously, why would I want to see the world of Ancient Egypt through the eyes of a seven year old when I can read about The Mummy or Ramses The Damned getting his freak on with Cleopatra? What Christian wants to read about the thoughts of a child who certainly can’t help smite the infidels or expel any great quotes the 700 Club can misuse?

Anne, Christians are a lot like your old audience. No, not that gallery of creepy dolls you might still have. I’m talking about the Goths. Sure the clothes might be different—but they’re both very fond of one thing (crosses)—sexy violence! Listen, there’s a reason Mel Gibson’s Passion of The Christ did so well. Not because Mel is dreamy like my mother says, but because everyone loves a bloodfest! And if you take some notes from Da Vinci Code people also like a mystery! A mystery bloodfest! A mystery bloodfest that might someday involve Tom Hanks as your bankable star!

Mrs. Rice, I do believe you’ve soaked up a little too much California sun. It’s true, Jesus is your boyfriend, and all of us are happy with your new relationship. But sometimes it’s best to keep your love a little quiet. Why don’t you ask how we’re doing for once instead of nattering on about The Big Christ? We liked you just the way you were before you were searching for acceptance from the literati. Bring back the old Anne Rice with her lace and her flowery prose and anti-heroes. Jesus is a great guy. It might just be a hunch, but I’ve got a feeling he’s very forgiving.

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