Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession. Anne Rice
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Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession. Anne Rice

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  1,422 ratings  ·  305 reviews
An intimate memoir of Anne Rice's Catholic girlhood, her unmaking as a devout believer, and her return to the Church - what she calls a decision of the heart.
Moving from her New Orleans childhood in the 1940s and '50s, with all its religious devotions, through how she slowly lost her belief in God, Called Out of Darkness also recounts Anne's years in radical Berkeley, whe...more
Hardcover, 245 pages
Published 2008 by Chatto & Windus
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Skylar Burris
I've never read a book by Anne Rice, and nor do I have any particular interest in her, but I picked this book up because I always enjoy a good spiritual autobiography, and I hoped this would be one. Only about 100 of the 245 pages held much interest or made much of an impact on me, but they held such interest and made such an impact that I give the book a 4 star rating (3.5 if I could).

The first third (or perhaps half) of the story recounts her Catholic childhood in excessive sensory detail and...more
Jamieson
In 2005, I witnessed one of the greatest changes in literary history.

Anne Rice, the woman known for writing about vampires, witches, mummies and spirits announced she was going to write books about the life of Jesus Christ.

I remember thinking that this was someone’s really great idea of a joke. But the joke was on me. The first book, Christ the Lord - Out of Egypt, was released shortly after the incredible announcement.

At the time, I worked in a bookstore. I had seen the book on the shelf and ig...more
David
Memoir of the author's growing up in a devout Catholic family in New Orleans, then drifting away from the church as a young adult in the 60's over her social views at odds with the church's teachings, then dramatically returning ("converting" as she says) to Catholicism after a 38-year hiatus.

The U-shaped trajectory of engagement with organized religion over the lifespan is not at all uncommon, but the length of time she was away and the intensity of her involvement now are. Also, she didn't re...more
Jimmy
I'm proudly 52-- indeed, almost 53-- and am happy to realize that my life experience amounts to something: after all these long years, I know to give things a chance. My favorite earlier works by Ms. Rice were "Cry to Heaven" and the books about the Mayfair witches; I found the latter series evocative and spooky and just very engrossing! I could disappear into the atmosphere that swirled around those books, and hated to see them end.
Being a practicing Catholic (which means that, hopefully, I'l...more
Sherrey
Our library has the most charming annex, The Pond House, where used books and an assortment of other used library materials are sold at ridiculously low prices. After visiting the annual book sale, I suggested we drop in to see what was on hand at The Pond House.

That day there was a plethora of memoirs for $1-$2, and I picked up several. Among them was Anne Rice's memoir, Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession.

Rice's story chronicles her life in and out of the Catholic church from her c...more
Ann
I finished this wonderful memoir by Anne Rice on our trip home from Christmas in Virginia with our son and his new wife. This book touched me so deeply ... Anne Rice grew up in New Orleans in a family with deep roots in orthodox Christian Catholic traditions. I loved how she tells how her first understanding of God came from the auditory liturgies and the richly visual iconic rituals of the Roman Catholic Church ... not from the written pages of Scripture. In fact she struggled for years to mast...more
Patty
Anne Rice recalls the sights and sounds of the Catholicism of her youth with such vivid images that I was singing "Tan tum ergo, sacramentum..." along with her. Warning: If you aren't a 50 something Catholic, (or recovering Catholic) you might not "get it".

I completed the book in a weekend and was fascinated by how Anne Rice describes her inner landscape and how her conversion experience has changed everything for her. She makes a strong case for the power of art and music and truth. She surrend...more
Jennifer
I couldn't bare to finish this book...it was a total lack of organized thoughts...



UGH!!!! WHAT A BORE!!!!! I am only finishing this book out of principle. I've never read Anne Rice's novels because they are my style but I have heard from so many she's fantastic. I was really interested in getting into her head but once I started reading this overbearing book it turned me sour to her writing style! You are so inundates with details you loose site of what she's trying to have her readers see. I ca...more
Karen L.
I would have given this a 5 star, had it a better ending. She had to include her personal agenda at the end, which was a bit more progressive than I expected from a Roman Catholic. Anyhow, the beginning and middle of the book were fabulous. She told it in a wonderful writers voice full of vivid description. I loved hearing about her childhood and her adult conversion experience of her return to Christ and her Catholic faith. I thought it good that she has read Roman Catholic writers, as well as...more
Bill
I can imagine many fans of the novels of Anne Rice were surprised that her first memoir, Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession, is not about her life as a writer; rather, it is about her life as a Catholic and the role of faith in her life.

Rice beautifully describes her life as a child being enveloped in Catholicism---the masses, the sacraments, her experiences as a student in Catholic school, the religious holidays (Nativity scenes set up at churches in New Orleans at the beginning of...more
Lisa
I was given this book in 2010, and read it then, as well as in 2011. I enjoyed this book, and in true Anne Rice style, it is evocative and splendidly rich in imagery. I was struck by Anne's description of growing up in New Orleans and its distinct, multifaceted culture, as well as her illustrative, powerfully tangible recollections of Catholic mass and Catholic school. She naturally writes in such detail that I could easily imagine Anne's mother Katherine reading poetry to and telling stories to...more
Leah
Wow, Anne Rice, who would have thought. This book is a spiritual memoir of Anne's journey. She is a devout Catholic who is so intensely focused on the traditions in the Catholic church. I found the book quite illuminating because it gives insight into how Catholics view other Christians and why they believe so fervently in Mary and focus on all the icons so heavily. The story was interesting and honest. I can't wait to read her vampire books since she describes how all the characters represent h...more
Deb
I was curious about this book when I heard that Anne Rice, an atheist for 40 years, had returned to the Catholic faith of her childhood.

You Catholics or former Catholics out there might really enjoy her descriptions of growing up Catholic in New Orleans (or maybe your mothers would enjoy it even more!). Her writing is lush and evocative. By chance, I came across the audio version of this book just as we were setting off on a long road trip, so I listened to it instead of reading it. And I think...more
Vonetta
I would have given this book at least 4 stars, but Rice is so scattered and leaves out so many details, I got kind of lost in some places. BUT she captures with the most magnitude the emotion that results from receiving the love given by the Creator of the universe. I'm super Protestant, so I wasn't familiar with a lot of the Catholic references (I learned a lot) and I had a lot of opposing views, but just as in life and in this book, it didn't matter. Only Jesus matters. I like that she include...more
Dustin
A “spiritual confession” is something of a cross between theological reflection and memoir. Theologically, I was disappointed she couldn’t offer a more robust description of how the aesthetics and ritual of her youth informed and developed her person. She seemed content to fondly muse on the chants and prayers of old. Literarily, the sentimentality is just as evident, leaving whole sentences so syrupy one couldn’t digest them even if they wanted. As a reformed protestant, the book reminded me of...more
Laura Ponticello
Bestselling author Anne Rice pens an extraordinary memoir with vivid scenery that captivates the reader and serves as the backdrop to her personal tale of spiritual transformation in Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession.

Typically associated with a stigma as the Vampire Queen, given her multiple novels about vampires, Rice buries her atheist ties and proclaims herself a “Catholic”. Pivotal moments in Anne’s life redefine fervor for Catholicism and belief in God. This read serves as a pr...more
Marti Martinson
Lush in nouns, elegant in punctuation, with a conversational tone that is never condescending. It really is as if she is sitting across from you in a Nawlins restaurant over a bowl of crawfish etoufee and a glass of sweet tea, just telling you this as she thinks it.

My "return" to belief (I still am not strong enough to call it Faith with a capital F) involved Independent Catholicism with a little mysticism from Alan Watts, but has diverted to the intellectually deconstructed analyses of Bart Ehr...more
Ashley Todd
I was curious about Anne Rice's faith, or lack thereof. I forced myself to read four chapters before I finally gave up. I hope her usual writing style is better than what was in this book. Her attention to such minute detail (like the sidewalks in New Orleans) made for painfully slow reading and added nothing to the story she was trying to tell. This was when I set my new 50-page rule: if I'm not hooked by then, I give it up. There are too many great books out there waiting to be read.
Dawn
A wonderful book to read for anyone who has ever struggled with their faith. Anne Rice talks about her childhood and growing up a devout Catholic. She struggles with her faith in later years but finds her way back. She explains the reasons for coming back to her faith amid disappointments in the church and in life. Anyone who has ever struggled with their relationship with God or their religion will relate and she gives good points to think about.
Julie Reed
I give this book three stars for the spiritual bits which only come after about 1/2 way through the book. The 1st half was pretty boring to me and I found myself skimming. It was all about New Orleans, Catholicism, and sort of boring scenery that Anne goes to great length to describe. So, the first 1/2 of the book only would get 2 stars but I'll give it 3 for the spiritual insight which I really enjoyed.
Sigrid Jacobsen
I loved, loved this book. Not for everyone but Anne Rice surprised me. Her beautiful descriptions of her faith life "pre-reading age" were fascinating. She shares her own story of conversion back to Catholicism in an honest, complete and adult way. To a catholic like me who never experienced pre-vatican II life (in new orleans no less) Rice shares a world that was rich, full and faith-filled.
Holly
Couldn't even finish this book. Seemed very scattered.
Becky
Rice describes her devout Catholic youth,how she became an atheist at 18, and then returned to the church at 58. How she reconciles her books, and struggles with some of the standings of the church on women and gays was what made this a great read for me.

I loved the deep description of the church and New Orleans of her youth, but some of the repetitious and empty phrasing probably put this as a 3.5 for me.

Definitely not for everybody - but I find people who struggle with their spirituality help...more
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
This is a book written by one of my all time favourite authors, Anne Rice. In this non-fiction publication, Anne recounts her life and her relationship with God. Beginning in her youth, Anne Rice takes us through her religious upbringing as a devout Catholic in New Orleans.

I was amazed at the extent of her devotion and worship and was able to catch a glimpse of what growing up in the Catholic faith was like in America at that time. I was also able to gain a clearer understanding of her admiratio...more
Callie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Pessolano
Anne Rice is best known for her vampire books. "Interview with a Vampire", "The Feast of All Saints", "The Vampire Lestat", to name but a few. She did 20 books in this genre.

"Called Out of Darkness" is her personal spiritual journey.

Anne was born in New Orleans and was brought up in the Cathlic religion. She came from a very devout family and followed the dictates of Catholicism faithfully. She attended Catholic Grade School and High School.

She began to question Catholicism and religion in gener...more
Heather
finally finished Anne Rice's newest book 'Called Out of Darkness.' I've never read Anne Rice before, in fact, I always thought she was kind of a weirdo. But a few years ago, when she came out with Jesus: Out of Egypt, for some reason, to me it just made sense that she would write it...but I didn't really know why. 'Called Out of Darkness' explains why she did, and the struggle to walk down a road she had long turned her back on.
As I said, I've never read her books before. Philip liked the 'Inte...more
Suzy
Dec 17, 2011 Suzy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Meagan
I just finished reading this book for the second time. This is the first time in my life that I have ever re-read a book. I had been feeling drawn to do so for a few weeks, and so I tried it, and I was not mistaken. I loved reading it as much as the first time, and it did not seem repetitive. I did get more out of it, too, as one might expect. This book speaks to me. Somehow, Anne Rice speaks my language. My hidden language that is not really a language. My private currency, that strange admixtu...more
Nichole
Wow, what a story.

First, a little about how I got the book: it was my turn to recommend books for one of the book clubs I attend. I was drawn to many biographies/autobiographies/memoirs which is how I came across this book. As I was exploring the shelves in the bookstore I saw this book and thought, “Anne Rice and spiritual confession…well I never thought I would see those together. Didn’t she write Interview with a Vampire? (yes, I do have these rather long and detailed conversations with mysel...more
Jennifer
Dec 30, 2008 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Thoes who are learning about their own conection to God, and anyone else.
Recommended to Jennifer by: Found it in the library
This is the story of Ann Rice’s spiritual journey, from being raised strict Catholic to atheism and back to the Catholic church. It isn’t an autobiography of her life, she only touches briefly on what was happening outside her spiritual quest. I found that as she described her childhood her line of thought was a little scattered, but her about her adulthood observations about the church, God, and her relationship with it all was incredible insightful. There were many quotes that I love, but this...more
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Anne Rice (born Howard Allen Frances O'Brien) is a best-selling American author of gothic, supernatural, historical, erotica, and later religious themed books. Best known for The Vampire Chronicles, her prevailing thematical focus is on love, death, immortality, existentialism, and the human condition. She was married to poet Stan Rice for 41 years until his death in 2002. Her books have sold near...more
More about Anne Rice...
Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1) The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles, #2) The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, #3) The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches, #1) The Tale of the Body Thief (The Vampire Chronicles, #4)

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“In the moment of surrender, I let go of all the theological or social questions which had kept me from Him for countless years. I simply let them go. There was the sense, profound and wordless, that if He knew everything I did not have to know everything, and that, in seeking to know everything, I'd been, all of my life, missing the entire point. No social paradox, no historic disaster, no hideous record of injustice or misery should keep me from Him. No question of Scriptural integrity, no torment over the fate of this or that atheist or gay friend, no worry for those condemned and ostracized by my church or any other church should stand between me and Him….I didn't have to know how He was going to save the unlettered and the unbaptized, or how He would redeem the conscientious heathen who had never spoken His name. I didn't have to know how my gay friends would find their way to Redemption or how my hardworking secular humanist friends could or would receive the power of His Saving Grace. I didn't have to know why good people suffered agony or died in pain. He knew. And it was his knowing that overwhelmed me…” 19 likes
“…being an atheist required discipline very like that of being Catholic. One could never yield to the idea of a supernatural authority, no matter how often one might be tempted. To think that a personal God had made the world was to yield to a demonic and superstitious and destructive belief. ” 10 likes
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