March 15, 2009

SLICE OF PIE: Anne Rice – From Bloodsuckers to the Blood of the Lamb

I confess: I never read vampire novels. I never read DRACULA (I went to see the play…and I read FRANKENSTEIN: THE NEW PROMETHEUS). Vampires just don’t interest me. TWILIGHT makes me yawn (though I enjoyed this puppet version of TWILIGHT immensely: So maybe I’m not the expert you should be going to about the books and the movie.

But someone who made her living writing about “the undead”, who became one of the “most widely read authors in modern history”, who started the current vampire craze with her novel INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE in 1976 – and then found faith in Christ once again? This is something that interests me! Maybe it should interest all of us.

Working in a Barnes & Noble, I saw Anne Rice’s first “religious book” in 2005 and pretty much dismissed it. Again in 2008, another “religious book”. I figured her career had lapsed in the vampire business and she was taking a stab (pun intended) at the religious market the way Bob Dylan did during his “born-again period” ( ) at the end of the 70s. I ignored her books.

Later in 2008, CALLED OUT OF DARKNESS: A SPIRITUAL CONFESSION was released and while passing the display table on which it rested, I read the back cover, then the inside flap. I mentioned to my daughter, Mary that I wanted to read it. She bought it for me and on Christmas Day, I started it.

In the back of my journal, I keep a list of fascinating phrases gleaned from my reading. The one that struck me first: “…I wanted to stop this soft, endless drift toward ruin…” (CALLED OUT OF DARKNESS, p 80).

How often have I experienced this? Frequently. Not in the way Anne Rice did, but in the regular routine of daily life where nothing REALLY exciting happens. I get up, go to work, do my job, come home, eat, watch a bit of TV, check my email…then do the same thing the following day. I fail to do devotions in the morning; fail to pray when someone takes the Lord’s name in vain at work; listen to salacious gossip…without realizing that I too, am drifting toward ruin.

Herein lies the reason I recommend this autobiography of a faith journey to you – because not only does it tie together all the areas I try to hit with this blog: “Thoughts on Christianity, faith, science fiction [in this case fantasy!] and writing”; it does it well. You don’t have to read The Vampire Chronicles or see any of the three movies, two TV shows or the musical that came from her books to understand her struggles or connect with Rice’s journey back into faith in Christ.

We are all, always on a journey back into faith in Christ.

I have no plans to read the books. But this autobiography will take a place on a short shelf of books I need to re-read. I need to be reminded that even when the biggest stars drift, God can touch them to bring them Home again and with them come the smaller stars like me. I continue to pray, too that those who followed Lestat the Vampire will come to follow the Lord of the Universe!

Care to join me?

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