Just finished Anne Rice’s new book about the year of Jesus’ life just prior to his ministry as a Rabbi. Overall, it was a great book. Albeit a work of fiction, there are great glimpses into what may have been the personality, and even the inner monologue of Jesus…as He attempts to reconcile what people have been saying about Him, with who He is becoming, etc.
I really enjoy the focus she gives His character on wanting to spend time in quiet. Away from the bustle of the village, away from the voices of expectation, just in reflection. Also, the characteristic of justice. Even with His love for “getting away”, when confronted with an unjust situation, he reacts without much hesitation, and without regard for what people may think. A reminder that “righteousness” has a lot more to do with righting an unjust thing, than simply “being good”.
Compliments being said, I really think that she should’ve stopped before chapter 22. There are some things better left unsaid. Some situations better left in the imagination.
Jesus has been wandering in the wilderness for 40 days after His baptism. Some of the internal monologue of chapter 21 is quite good. But all of a sudden, she jumps into a completely different literary work it seems. We see a weak, hungry, frail, and alone Jesus all of a sudden involved in a quick-witted bantering session with satan. Now I’m all about creative license, but to have Jesus saying things like:
“Careful….if you become too angry you may dissolve in a puff of smoke. “
Anne Rice….having flashbacks of your vampire-fiction days maybe?
She then flies through the first few miracles of Jesus with the same amount of thought, it seems. My recommendation – read the book….stop after 21, and just read the Bible if you really need to know how it all turns out.