THE ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC BOOK REVIEW, BY JAMES MYERS
CHRIST THE LORD: THE ROAD TO CANA
By Anne Rice
Published by Borzoi, an Imprint of Alfred A. Knopf, a Division of Random House, Inc.
Publication Date: March, 2008
Four Star Rating ****
SHE HAS WRITTEN 27 BOOKS
ANNE RICE’S BOOKS HAVE SOLD OVER 100 MILLION COPIES
COMPLETED HER FIRST BOOK, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, IN 1973 AND PUBLISHED IT IN 1976. THIS BOOK WOULD BE THE FIRST IN RICE'S POPULAR VAMPIRE CHRONICLES SERIES, WHICH INCLUDES 1985'S THE VAMPIRE LESTAT AND 1988'S THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED
HER BOOKS HAVE BEEN MADE INTO FILMS INCLUDING INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, FROM RICE'S OWN SCREENPLAY. THE MOVIE STARRED TOM CRUISE AS LESTAT, BRAD PITT AS THE GUILT-RIDDEN LOUIS AND WAS A BREAKOUT ROLE FOR YOUNG KIRSTEN DUNST AS THE DECEITFUL LITTLE CLAUDIA.
A 1994 FILM TITLED EXIT TO EDEN, BASED LOOSELY ON THE BOOK RICE PUBLISHED AS ANNE RAMPLING, STARRED ROSIE O'DONNELL AND DAN AYKROYD. THE WORK TRANSFORMED FROM A LOVE STORY INTO A POLICE COMEDY, POSSIBLY DUE TO THE EXPLICIT S&M THEMES OF THE BOOK.
THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS WAS MADE INTO A MINISERIES IN 2001 BY DIRECTOR PETER MEDAK.
THE BOOK IS A BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB MAIN SELECTION
“Who is Christ the Lord? ...I am Christ the Lord. I know. Others know, but what they know they often forget. My mother hasn’t spoken a word of it for years. My foster father, Joseph, is old now, white haired, and given to dreaming.
I never forget.”
Anne Rice has written another memorable book in her life of Christ series. The Road to Cana is the second book, beginning with his last winter before his baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist, and ending with the miracle at Cana. He is surrounded by the promise of being the Christ child, complete with tales of a Virgin birth and wisdom beyond his years. Yeshua, as he is know, is carefully watch by those who attend the synagogue with him, waiting to see the path he will choose as he grows into manhood. He lives in a time of political unrest, where the Jews wait for the Messiah to free them from their Roman oppressors.
We see him in this book emerging from his baptism to embrace his destiny and confront the Devil. We see him transform water in six limestone jars into wine. He is recognized by his people as the chosen one. What Rice does better than anyone before her with these tales of Christ, is to somehow follow very closely the scholarship of the New Testament, while breathing life and prospective into the young Jesus as he develops into a man. The story is told from his point of view. His thoughts and feelings are laid bare in this book. This makes this something more that an old Sunday school tale; it is an interesting and insightful study into the mind of Christ as he becomes as man. It is a powerful ‘memoir’ that is so well written, it seems real, true and believable.
What’s more compelling is that where the Bible is silent on his middle, adolescent years, and years as a young man, Rice provides us with s portrait of a restless, isolated young man, who realizes to reach his potential, he must by definition give up the normal pursuits of men. Young women cannot be a part of his life. He is taken with a young beauty, Avigail. He wrestles with the desire to marry and mate, in contrast to his destiny. He always comes back to the same point; he cannot be like the others. Yet, like the rest of his family, he experiences all too human emotions. The tension is thick and palatable. Somehow, Jesus comes to accept his role, and the responsibility that comes with it. Rice strikes a believable balance between a being who is man and yet a being who is God. The details of his humanness make this a most unusual book. The story of Jesus is a well-known story, yet the exploration of his complex thoughts and feelings make this telling of the tale completely unique. Rice’s simple and direct prose belies her revealing discoveries. A captivating, vivid story, this is a compelling book that deserves to be read.