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Out of Egypt

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Out of Egypt

Christ the Lord Series, Book 1
by Anne Rice
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Having completed the two cycles of legend to which she has devoted her career so far, Anne Rice gives us now her most ambitious and courageous book, a novel about the early years of CHRIST THE LORD,...
Having completed the two cycles of legend to which she has devoted her career so far, Anne Rice gives us now her most ambitious and courageous book, a novel about the early years of CHRIST THE LORD,...
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  • Having completed the two cycles of legend to which she has devoted her career so far, Anne Rice gives us now her most ambitious and courageous book, a novel about the early years of CHRIST THE LORD, based on the Gospels and on the most respected New Testament scholarship.

    The book's power derives from the passion its author brings to the writing and the way in which she summons up the voice, the presence, the words of Jesus who tells the story.

    From the Hardcover edition.
  • Chapter One 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."

    He fell down white in the sandy earth, and they all crowded around him. The sun was hot and my chest was heaving as I looked at him. He was so limp.

    In the snap of two fingers everyone drew back. It seemed the whole street went quiet except for the carpenters' hammers. I'd never heard such a quiet.

    "He's dead!" Little Joseph said. And then they all took it up. "He's dead, he's dead, he's dead."

    I knew it was true. He was a bundle of arms and legs in the beaten dust.

    And I was empty. The power had taken everything with it, all gone.

    His mother came out of the house, and her scream went up the walls into a howl. From everywhere the women came running.

    My mother lifted me off my feet. She carried me down the street and through the courtyard and into the dark of our house. All my cousins crowded in with us, and James, my big brother, pulled the curtain shut. He turned his back on the light. He said:

    "Jesus did it. He killed him." He was afraid.

    "Don't you say such a thing!" said my mother. She clutched me so close to her, I could scarcely breathe.

    Big Joseph woke up.

    Now Big Joseph was my father, because he was married to my mother, but I'd never called him Father. I'd been taught to call him Joseph. I didn't know why.

    He'd been asleep on the mat. We'd worked all day on a job in Philo's house, and he and the rest of the men had lain down in the heat of the afternoon to sleep. He climbed to his feet.

    "What's that shouting outside?" he asked. "What's happened?"

    He looked to James. James was his eldest son. James was the son of a wife who had died before Joseph married my mother.

    James said it again.

    "Jesus killed Eleazer. Jesus cursed him and he fell down dead."

    Joseph stared at me, his face still blank from sleep. There was more and more shouting in the street. He rose to his feet, and ran his hands back through his thick curly hair.

    My little cousins were slipping through the door one by one and crowding around us.

    My mother was trembling. "He couldn't have done it," she said. "He wouldn't do such a thing."

    "I saw it," said James. "I saw it when he made the sparrows out of clay on the Sabbath. The teacher told him he shouldn't do such things on the Sabbath. Jesus looked at the birds and they turned into real birds. They flew away. You saw it too. He killed Eleazer, Mother, I saw it."

    My cousins made a ring of white faces in the shadows: Little Joses, Judas, and Little Symeon and Salome, watching anxiously, afraid of being sent out. Salome was my age, and my dearest and closest. Salome was like my sister.

    Then in came my mother's brother Cleopas, always the talker, who was the father of these cousins, except for Big Silas who came in now, a boy older than James. He went into the corner, and then came his brother, Justus, and both wanted to see what was going on.

    "Joseph, they're all out there," said Cleopas, "Jonathan bar Zakkai, and his brothers, they're saying Jesus killed their boy. They're envious that we got that job at Philo's house, they're envious that we got the other job before that, they're envious that we're getting more and more jobs, they're so sure they do things better than we do--."

    "Is the boy dead?" Joseph said. "Or is the boy alive?"

About the Author-
  • Anne Riceis the author of twenty-six books. She lives in La Jolla, California.

  • Kirkus Reviews "A riveting, reverent imagining of the hidden years of the child Jesus . . . A triumph of tone--her prose lean, vivid--and character . . . Christ the Lord is a cross between a historical novel and an update of Tolstoy's The Gospels in Brief, it presents Jesus as nature mystic, healer, prophet and very much a real young boy . . . Essentially it's a mystery story, of the child grappling to understand his miraculous gifts and numinous birth . . . As he ponders his staggering responsibility, the boy is fully believable--and yet there's something in his supernatural empathy and blazing intelligence that conveys the wondrousness of a boy like no other . . . With this novel, Anne Rice has indeed found a convincing version of him; this is fiction that transcends story and instead qualifies as an act of faith."
  • Bernadette Murphy, The Los Angeles Times "Rice retains our rapt attention with the use of small, visceral details. We can almost taste the food Jesus would have eaten, experience the sights and sounds, the chaos and bustle of a large clan, with which he would have been familiar."
  • Bill Bell, Daily News "Rice is as serious as a Commandment, and has muscled up her story of the junior Jesus by obsessively researchig the most minute detail of family, communal and religious life in first-century Palestine. . . . Rice is just as ambitious, much more orthodox and just getting warming up . . . From Lestat the vampire to Jesus the Lord is a supernatural stretch but Rice makes it. Convincingly."
  • Natalie Danford, People "Well-researched and nicely written and Rice uses restraint in telling her tale. She believably represents Jesus' gradual understanding of his origins and fate. . . . Reverent and often moving."
  • Janet Maslin, The New York Times "[Rice] writes this book in a simpler, leaner style, giving it the slow but inexorable rhythm of an incantation. The restraint and prayerful beauty of Christ the Lord is apt to surprise her usual readers and attract new ones."
  • Library Journal "Rice brings the same passion to her colorful account of the young Jesus and his quest to understand his strange powers (turning clay pigeons into live birds, bringing a dead child back to life). . . . In her attempt to breathe life into a historical religious figure, Rice's superb storytelling skills enable her to succeed where many other writers have failed. . . . Highly recommended."
  • Lev Grossman, Time "This is, in fact, an intensely literal, historical, reverent treatment of a year in the life of Jesus, son of God, written in simple, sedate language that steers clear of both clanging anachronisms and those King Jamesian ye's and unto's and begats."
  • Frank Wilson, The Philadelphia Inquirer "In Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, Anne Rice scores a direct hit: By embracing the miraculous, she manages to give us a Jesus who is divinely human."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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Out of Egypt
Out of Egypt
Christ the Lord Series, Book 1
Anne Rice
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Christ the Lord Series, Book 1
Anne Rice
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