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Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  1,831 Ratings  ·  351 Reviews
Anne Rice’s first work of nonfiction—a powerful and haunting memoir that explores her continuing spiritual transformation.
Anne Rice was raised in New Orleans as the devout child in a deeply religious Irish Catholic family. Here, she describes how, as she grew up, she lost her belief in God, but not her desire for a meaningful life.  She used her novels—beginning with Inte
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2008)
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Feb 04, 2009 Jamieson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 15, 2009 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 12, 2008 Jimmy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 18, 2013 Sherrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith, memoir
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
Apr 19, 2009 Patty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 31, 2009 Alexis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, how do I review this book? Knowing that in the past few years, Anne Rice has stepped away from any kind of organized religion, even to say she has "quit" being a Christian?

Well, it is a great book, a great calling back to a faith that is the pillar of who we are (whether or not we want to admit it).

By Rice's very own admissions, this call back to Christ was clearly going to be incredibly difficult - a road not easy to follow - a path wrought with strife. I guess the strife got her in the end
Dec 21, 2008 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-books
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
Jan 30, 2009 Jennifer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't bare to finish this 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
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
Apr 23, 2013 Holly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't even finish this book. Seemed very scattered.
Jim B
Feb 11, 2016 Jim B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, memoir
In the first part of this book, I found a kindred spirit. I've known about Anne Rice's return to the Christian faith (orthodox Catholicism), and really found her two novels about Christ to be compelling (see my reviews). I have rarely encountered someone whose childhood faith was so like mine (except that I attended a Lutheran church). Like her, I always felt as a child that Jesus was more real than just a real person who lived in history -- I knew Jesus was really with me, that He loves me with ...more
Nov 15, 2008 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 12, 2010 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 19, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 04, 2015 Eva rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-give-up
I am not counting this book towards my reading challenge for the year because it was simply too unbearable to finish. I gave up about 1/3 of the way in, and skimmed the rest. Lest anyone think I am judging the content of this book because I dislike people believing in Christianity, let me point out that I took a class in college called Spiritual Autobiography, and it was really interesting. I enjoyed reading the stories of early Christian martyrs being so devoted to their new faith they allowed ...more
Neil Gilbert
Mar 02, 2016 Neil Gilbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read but an inspiring one. Having been bathed in the language of Christianity through an upbringing rich with faithful church attendance, it was refreshing to hear familiar concepts reiterated by an outsider. Repeated back to me, this vernacular was sweet and melodic. A breath of fresh air. There is such a richness to the ideal of loving your enemies and it's a beautiful thing to see it lived out and be on the receiving end of such treatment. The history of Christianity is rocky but rich ...more
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
Sep 09, 2014 Elysha rated it it was ok
Meh. Sure this lady can write, but sheesh, she can also drone. I had to take a break from this book because I was so dulled by it. She evaded a lot, and talked mostly about her childhood, and not anything that I was particularly interested. I learned a great deal about her love of architecture and her inability to read, but I didn't learn much else. It all felt very surface level and nothing was deep or probing. She'd plunge into something interesting--like her mother--and then she'd back off be ...more
Nov 14, 2012 Dawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ashley Todd
Jul 13, 2013 Ashley Todd rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
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.
Sigrid Jacobsen
Oct 08, 2009 Sigrid Jacobsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 22, 2016 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Captivating and fascinating account of Rice's return to the faith of her youth. Beautiful memoir but so sad to know that she's left the Church again since writing this book.
Feb 14, 2017 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read quite a few reviews of this book and there were criticisms about the author spending too much time describing her early spiritual life. This aspect is what I loved so much about this book. I'm not sure if it is because I relate so much to her early Catholic experiences, which in some ways mirror my own feelings of my early Catholic upbringing. She described my exact feelings in some places so well I was flooded with nostalgic memories. I felt as though I was having a conversation with an ...more
Jul 13, 2012 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
It wasn't exactly what I expected but still an interesting journey in to Ann's spiritual journey. Good stuff.

FAVORITE PASSAGE, also in Andy Stanley Christian series:
"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 th
Jun 07, 2017 shirley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bios-memoirs
Very fascinating book from an author best known for her supernatural books on vampires.

This is about Anne Rice's conversion back to her Catholic faith after being an atheist for a number of years.

Since this book was written Anne Rice had turned her back against organized religion but not on her faith as a Christian.

She stated that Lestat from the Vampire chronicles was based on herself and about her internal struggles. Makes me want to read her story on Lestat.

I have read her book "The Wolf Gif
Mar 13, 2017 Shauna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Anne’s personal life story of growing up in the Catholic church, leaving the church for years and then returning to the parrish.

She describes growing up in New Orleans, her family life, the Nuns that were her teachers, but mostly the discovery of Christ influence in her life.
Juhana Lumme
Bit of a bore to read, but the text is sincere and comes from the heart.
Laura Ponticello
Mar 13, 2014 Laura Ponticello rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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...

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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…” 24 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. ” 11 likes
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