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Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  2,081 ratings  ·  373 reviews
Autobiographical spiritual memoir providing an account of how the author rediscovered and fully embraced her Catholic faith after decadesas a self-proclaimed atheist. Begins with her childhood in NewOrleans, when she seriously considered entering a convent. As she grewinto a young adult she delved into concerns about faith, God, and theCatholic Church that led her away fro ...more
Hardcover, 245 pages
Published October 7th 2008 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2008)
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Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Read: June 2019
I hesitated between a four and five star rating for this book. Anne Rice was one of the biggest influences in my teenage years and Pandora, Blackwood Farm and the Mayfair Witch trilogy remain some of my favourite novels. I even managed to include Merrick in my university dissertation when I wrote about the role of women in gothic fiction in my early twenties.
I haven’t read any of her recent novels because I felt as though her more recent offerings wouldn’t be able to compare to he
Feb 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
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 rated it it was amazing
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
May 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Cristine Braddy
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love hearing others stories and journeys. I found her voice is to be incredibly powerful.
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, faith
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 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Putting aside the rather creepy cover, this was a moderately interesting book about Anne Rice, the queen of vampires, and her spiritual journey.

Although I'm very happy that Anne Rice has found her peace and is significantly happier having returned to the Catholic faith of her youth, I can't say it has improved her fiction. The few recent books I've read of hers have just been lifeless compared to the emotional extremes of her vampire heyday.

Nonetheless, Anne Rice is still what I shall call a "g
Dec 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Karen L.
Sep 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 30, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
Couldn't even finish this book. Seemed very scattered. ...more
Jim B
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, christian
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
Babe of Darkness
Oct 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
Oh My Goth! This book should be called Bored of Darkness. Not at all what I expected. I tired to listen to the
audiobook but after one hour of my life, that I will never get back, I gave up.

Nov 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it did not like it
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 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 18, 2013 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Julie Reed
Aug 18, 2011 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Ashley Todd
Jul 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Sigrid Jacobsen
Oct 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Valerie Horner
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it

Called Out of Darkness - a Spiritual Confession by Anne Rice

I don’t usually review books that were published more than a decade ago, but I, for the most part, rather liked Anne Rice’s spiritual confession. I’m hardly familiar with Rice fiction. I saw the movie Interview with a Vampire put out almost 30 years ago with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. It was gothic, beautiful, a little creepy, and unfortunately started the re-romanticization of vampires. Vampires are basically the AntiChrist version of
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book gave me an invaluable insight into the later works of the author. A much deeper meaning to different patterns in character building. I loved it and wished it to be longer. Hope a bigger more thorough edition will be following this one one day.
Mar 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Rice should have waited a few more years before writing this--and then perhaps she wouldn't have written it. ...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

Articles featuring this book

The supernatural world has always been more real to me than the real world. I feel a great surge of energy when I acknowledge that there is a world...
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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…” 26 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. ” 12 likes
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