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Just shy of 4. Afterword is VERY interesting

  • Jan 2, 2006
  • by
Anne Rice's latest is an interesting if slow book concerning the early days of Christ's Childhood to about the age of 8.

The book starts strong in Egypt, the interplay between young Jesus and his step-Brother James is interesting and at some points comic, but the story drags during the painfully slow trek from Egypt to the Holy Land and finally to Nazereth itself where it seems to find itself again.

The basic plot line revolves in Jesus trying to find out what everyone in the family seems to know about his past but he doesn't. That tension builds later in the book and makes it stronger near the end. The device of the story being told by Jesus is very interesting.

The theology is pretty good as is the history, however for long periods the story just drags.

I did find the story of their work and how it was done pretty cool and the idea that as skilled workers the family might live better made a lot on sense.

The most interesting part of the book however is past then ending and the afterword as the author describes her full circle from and back to the Catholic faith and her discovery that a lot of the scholarship of doubt is high on doubt and short on scholarship.

All and all this book is a worthwhile if slow read. I presume there will be further volumes which might improve as it goes along. This however marks a break with the author's core audiance and thus has a zero precent chance of seeing the silver screen unless Mel Gibson buys the rights, so if you want the story, I guess you need to buy the book.

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Peter Ingemi ()
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   I am a blogger who hosts a Saturday evening Radio show on WCRN 830 AM out of Worcester Mass. I blog about politics, religion, baseball and doctor who at datechguy.wordpress.com I also cover … more
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Rice departs from her usual subject matter to pen this curious portrait of a seven-year-old Jesus, who departs Egypt with his family to return home to Nazareth. Rice's painstaking historical research is obvious throughout, whether she's showing the differences among first-century Jewish groups (Pharisees, Essenes and Sadducees all play a part), imagining a Passover pilgrimage to Jerusalem or depicting the regular but violent rebellions by Jews chafing under Roman rule. The book succeeds in capturing Jesus' profound Jewishness, with some of the best scenes reflecting his Torah education and immersion in the oral traditions of the Hebrew Bible. As fiction, though, the book's first half is slow going. Since it is told from Jesus' perspective, the childlike language can be simplistic, though as readers persevere they will discover the riches of the sparse prose Rice adopts. The emotional heart of the story—Jesus' gradual discovery of the miraculous birth his parents have never discussed with him—picks up steam as well, as he begins to understand why he can heal the sick and raise the dead. Rice provides a moving afterword, in which she describes her recent return to the Catholic faith and evaluates, often in an amusingly strident fashion, the state of biblical studies today.(Nov. 7)
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ISBN-10: 0375412018
ISBN-13: 978-0375412011
Author: Anne Rice
Genre: Religion & Spirituality
Publisher: Knopf
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