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Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt: A Novel Paperback – February 26, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (February 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345492730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345492739
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (426 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Believer and nonbeliever alike are familiar with the story of Jesus Christ. But most tales tend to focus on his last days and eventual crucifixion. Rice explores Jesus' youth, and tells of his family's journey from Egypt to Judea and of the requisite strife they encounter along the way. The novel follows the young Jesus as he starts to learn about his divine heritage and experiments with his mysterious healing powers. Heine narrates in an earnest, youthful alto, and one might think this suitable considering that the story is a first-person account of the life of a seven-year-old Jesus; however, the story is actually told by an older Jesus, looking back on the events of his youth, so Heine's innocent and childlike performance is somewhat out of place. Though competent, Heine's reading lacks any spark or fire to it, making the overall result rather bland. Heine is also bound by the source material, which, while an honest and heartfelt attempt to explore the all-but-unknown youth of Jesus, fails to live up to its lofty ambitions.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–In crisp, straightforward prose, Rice leaves the gothic behind and explores the mysteries beneath the childhood of Jesus. At age seven, the boy and his family leave Egypt to return to their home. They find themselves caught in a revolution after the death of the first King Herod, ruler of the portion of the Roman Empire that includes Israel. Although the historical and cultural details are authentic and well done, it is the character of Jesus that drives this novel. He feels like a typical seven-year-old, but he's also suddenly discovering abilities that no one else possesses. He brings clay birds to life, makes snow fall, and even resurrects a dead playmate. Stunned by these odd happenings, he turns to Joseph and Mary for answers. When they are not forthcoming, he's forced to hunt out clues through local legends, rumors, and a strange spirit that taunts him in his dreams. The story is told from Jesus's point of view, and the strength of the book weighs heavily on Rice's ability to make him believable both as a child and as the son of God; she does a winning job. The wisdom of all things religious fills Jesus completely, but he's naive about day-to-day events: he can't understand why a young girl he used to play with prefers at age 12 to learn about weaving and rearing children. This new direction for Rice is both bold and reverent, and is bound to please fans and newcomers alike.–Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Anne Rice was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in English and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. Anne has spent more of her life in California than in New Orleans, but New Orleans is her true home and provides the back drop for many of her famous novels. The French Quarter provided the setting for her first novel, Interview with the Vampire. And her ante-bellum house in the Garden District was the fictional home of her imaginary Mayfair Witches.

She is the author of over 30 books, most recently the Toby O'Dare novels Of Love and Evil, and Angel Time; the memoir, Called Out of Darkness;and her two novels about Jesus, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana. (Anne regards Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana as her best novel.) ---- Under the pen name, A.N. Roquelaure, Anne is the author of the erotic (BDSM) fantasy series, The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. Under the pen name Anne Rampling she is the author of two erotic novels, Exit to Eden and Belinda.

Anne publicly broke with organized religion in July of 2010 on moral grounds, affirming her faith in God, but refusing any longer to be called "Christian." The story attracted surprising media attention, with Rice's remarks being quoted in stories all over the world. Anne hopes that her two novels about Jesus will be accepted on their merits by readers and transcend her personal difficulties with religion. "Both my Christ the Lord novels were written with deep conviction and a desire to write the best novels possible about Jesus that were rooted in the bible and in the Christian tradition. I think they are among the best books I've ever been able to write, and I do dream of a day when they are evaluated without any connection to me personally. I continue to get a lot of very favorable feedback on them from believers and non believers. I remain very proud of them."

Anne is very active on her FaceBook Fan Page and has well over a million followers. She answers questions every day on the page, and also posts on a variety of topics, including literature, film, music, politics, religion, and her own writings. Many indie authors follow the page, and Anne welcomes posts that include advice for indie authors. She welcomes discussion there on numerous topics. She frequently asks her readers questions about their response to her work and joins in the discussions prompted by these questions.

Her latest novel, "The Wolves of Midwinter," a sequel to "The Wolf Gift" and part of a werewolf series set in Northern California in the present time, will be published on October 15, 2013. In these books --- The Wolf Gift Chronicles -- Anne returns to the classic monsters and themes of supernatural literature, similar to those she explored in her Vampire Chronicles, and tales of the Mayfair Witches. Her new "man wolf" hero, Reuben Golding, is a talented young man in his twenties who suddenly discovers himself in possession of werewolf powers that catapult him into the life of a comic book style super hero. How Reuben learns to control what he is, how he discovers others who possess the same mysterious "wolf gift," and how he learns to live with what he has become --- is the main focus of the series. "The Wolves of Midwinter" is a big Christmas book --- a book about Christmas traditions, customs, and the old haunting rituals of Midwinter practiced in Europe and in America. It's about how the werewolves celebrate these rituals, as humans and as werewolves. But the book also carries forward the story of Reuben's interactions with his girl friend, Laura, and with his human family, with particular focus on Reuben's father, Phil, and his brother, Jim. As a big family novel with elements of the supernatural, "The Wolves of Midwinter" has much in common with Anne's earlier book, "The Witching Hour." Among the treats of "The Wolves of Midwinter" is a tragic ghost who appears in the great house at Nideck Point, and other "ageless ones" who add their mystery and history to the unfolding revelations that at times overwhelm Reuben.

In October of 2014, with the publication of "Prince Lestat," Anne will be returning to the fabled "Brat Prince" of the Vampire Chronicles, catching up with him in present time. This is the first of several books planned focusing on Lestat's new adventures with other members of the Vampire tribe. When the publication of "Prince Lestat" was announced on Christopher Rice's "The Dinner Party Show," a weekly internet radio broadcast, it made headlines in the US and around the world.

Anne's first novel, Interview with the Vampire, was published in 1976 and has gone on to become one of the best-selling novels of all time. She continued her saga of the Vampire Lestat in a series of books, collectively known as The Vampire Chronicles, which have had both great mainstream and cult followings.

Interview with the Vampire was made into a motion picture in 1994, directed by Neil Jordan, and starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas. The film became an international success. Anne's novel, Feast of All Saints about the free people of color of ante-bellum New Orleans became a Showtime mini series in 2001 and is available now on dvd. The script for the mini series by John Wilder was a faithful adaptation of the novel.

Anne Rice is also the author of other novels, including The Witching Hour, Servant of the Bones, Merrick, Blackwood Farm, Blood Canticle, Violin, and Cry to Heaven. She lives in Palm Desert, California, but misses her home in New Orleans. She hopes to obtain a pied a terre in the French Quarter there some time in the near future.

Anne has this to say of her work: "I have always written about outsiders, about outcasts, about those whom others tend to shun or persecute. And it does seem that I write a lot about their interaction with others like them and their struggle to find some community of their own. The supernatural novel is my favorite way of talking about my reality. I see vampires and witches and ghosts as metaphors for the outsider in each of us, the predator in each of us...the lonely one who must grapple day in and day out with cosmic uncertainty."

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book for anyone - Christan or not.
Christ The Lord is her latest book, and a very sympathetic account of Jesus at that.
Commentary Surveyor
I like the concept of the book and I really wanted to like the book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

163 of 173 people found the following review helpful By Rick Stilwell on November 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The latest cultural and literary news is that Anne Rice has found Jesus, that she's become a Christian, and that she now wants her writing to reflect her newfound faith and how it's impacted her life. I don't think it's a marketing scheme - she doesn't need the help, quite frankly, and it's not really the demographic her Lestat novels have traditionally been drawing. What has happened, instead, is that a storyteller has found a new story to share, and a new story in which to participate.

Her first novel of a new series is Christ the Lord - Out of Egypt and as an avid reader but not previously a fan, I was pleasantly surprised. In the past, I've tried to read the opening chapters of a few of her other novels, but found it a chore to try to become involved emotionally with characters I ultimately had no love for. This was different, because this book tells a story with which we're already very intimately involved.

The basic premise is this: Jesus and His family have been in Egypt for seven years, sent there to escape Herod's bloody pride (Matthew 2:13-18). The story opens first person, the young Messiah telling His own story of His family's return to Galilee. The Christian reader will most probably have to get over the notion that there's nothing worthwhile to a story like this since it's not in and of itself "scriptural". Rather, because of her writing style and attention to storytelling and detail, the reader can catch a glimpse of something beyond the text - there was some untold story, some unwritten adventure, that Jesus lived out during His formative years.
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115 of 125 people found the following review helpful By John Stamps on November 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The novel is quite a tour de force. Here are some initial impressions. Your mileage of course may vary.

1) Anne Rice has carefully done her homework. I read her Author's Note first (starting page 305), mostly because I wanted to know how she wrote this novel. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but there's a bunch of background information I should have known but didn't. For example, I didn't know anything -- or maybe I've forgotten, I'm nearly 50 -- about Herod Archelaus except that he was Herod's son. But being a wise technical writer, I did a Google search and found a great website that satisfied nearly every niggling historical question I could think of.


3) I liked how slowly the story of Jesus unfolded as a seven year old boy. In one sense, the entire novel is an extended meditation on St Luke's wondrous words: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man." (Luke 2:52)

Anne Rice demonstrates a certain apophatic restraint in how the young Jesus comes to understand Who He Is. Eastern Orthodox readers who can appreciate mystery ("I will not speak of Your mystery to Your enemies") will certainly appreciate how certain characters (for example, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Forerunner) only discloses certain revelations when it's appropriate to do so. Characters just don't blabber out profound mysteries. Holy mysteries are treated with respect.

Some quirks emerge in Rice's novel. Maybe it just shows how wacko I have become that I loved them. I didn't mind Elizabeth sending John to live out with the Essences after she dies. I didn't mind Joseph, the BVM, and Jesus living in Alexandria and meeting Philo the famous Jewish philosopher!
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Brad Shorr on January 19, 2007
The process of self-discovery is hard enough for any young adult. What must it have been like for the Son of the Living God? Anne Rice attempts to get inside the head of the seven year-old Jesus as he gradually learns about the circumstances of his birth and their implications on the meaning of his life.

The dual nature of Christ is the mystery of mysteries. How would Jesus, fully human and fully divine, think and act? Writing in the first person, Rice portrays a boy with questions, worries, and doubts; but also with an inner calm and wisdom just strong enough to suggest the divine. But her young Jesus speaks and thinks with the vocabulary and simplicity of a child (more like a fifteen year-old, actually). This results in a narrative that is somewhat flat and repetitive. Compounding the problem is the plot itself. The story begins with the Holy Family returning to Nazareth from Egypt, with Jesus trying to learn more about the mysteries of his birth he is vaguely aware of. Since we all know the answers, the process of discovery which consumes the whole book becomes rather tedious; I found myself thinking, "come on, tell him already!".

Still, Rice paints an extraordinarily detailed, believable and beautiful portrait of Christ. The book is incredibly well researched. (In fact, the afterword in which Rice discusses her research and her return to the Catholic Church is almost as interesting as the novel itself.) The reader sees the daily life and society of the Jews under Roman occupation in all its beauty and ugliness. One element of the novel I particulary enjoyed was how Rice rehabilitates Joseph. A often neglected or ignored figure in theology and history, Joseph stands out here as a model of fatherhood-- courageous, wise, steady, firm, loving, almost heroic.
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