Monday, August 31, 2009

Anne Rice's book reviews at Amazon

Anne Rice is a fascinating person, and I say that as someone who is not a fan of her writing. It is not at all the case that I dislike her writing - it's just that it has never really "grabbed" me. In fact, the only vampire novel that I have ever read is the cult-classic I, Vampire by the amazing Jody Scott (1923-2007) - one of the most under-appreciated masterpieces of modern popular fiction.

The reason I mention Anne Rice is that while poking around trying to find reviews and other responses to Jan Assmann's works on monotheism I stumbled upon Ms. Rice's review of his Moses the Egyptian at Amazon. At first I was (highly) skeptical that this was really Anne Rice, but since her wikipedia entry states that these reviews are actually written by her, well, it must be true! Rice loved Assmann's book, btw; she gives it five stars and titles her review "Brilliant and crystal clear historical analysis".

Most of Rice's 90 reviews at Amazon at least mention (or, more often, primarily focus on) Christianity. Rice's Christianity is not without subtlety and surprises (depending, of course, on one's own preconceived notions of that religion). For examples, although she is a Catholic she supports the ordination of women and gay marriage, while strongly criticizing the Church's opposition to contraception. She even goes so far as to question the Church's position on abortion. These views are only hinted at in her reviews at Amazon, but she was much more explicit in a 2005 interview with Anne-Marie O'Connor of the Los Angeles Times. At the same time, Rice appears to be theologically conservative when it comes to what she views as purely theological issues. Perhaps she is one of those who agree with Joseph Campbell that the Church should have retained the Latin Mass and accepted the ordination of women, rather than the other way around.

The beautiful drawing of Anne Rice is by Craig Hamilton, it was dowloaded from

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