Whenever I read or hear about someone’s grand revelation that, “you guys, God is love,” I get a little eye rolly, and then very thankful for my mother. My mother who reiterated to us that she loved us unconditionally and God loved us even more than that, and that’s the thing that’s so amazing about God, and the most important thing about God.
So there are large stretches of Memnoch The Devil, in which Satan and The Almighty pull Lestat into their eternal arguments about the fate of mankind, and walk him through the history of salvation, and give him tours of heaven and hell, where I had several, “yah, bro, that’s how God works! Why are you acting like people don’t know this?” moments.
But my particular religious education and understanding aside, Memnoch The Devil is an interesting grappling with belief in God, and Christianity in particular. If it were a standalone work, it would be up there with The Great Divorce for literary arguments about the faith.
Um, but it’s not a stand alone work, which makes Memnoch The Devil kind of hilarious also, because lest we forget, this is a book in which The Vampire Lestat De Lioncourt, who was once played by Tom Cruise in a ridiculous movie, tried to be a rockstar in order to reveal the existence of vampires to the world and hunts serial killers, is recruited by the Devil to teach the world that Jesus was full shit and Christianity is an enshrining of human suffering as divine which is not how any of this was supposed to work.
Luckily, when the other vampires show up, (David, Armand, Maharet and Louis) they all also find it kind of hilarious, but it’s still, you know on the dumb side. I was of course delighted by how dumb this is. I understand this was during the time in her life where Anne Rice got really into Catholocism again, which is cool. (Also, when Memnoch started showing up in Lestat’s mind as a disembodied voice, I said out loud, to no one, “If he’s actually a fucking Taltos I will throw this book across the room and quit this series forever!” He isn’t. He’s the Devil. That sucks less.)
Memnoch is well worth reading, even if you aren’t into Rice’s other stuff. I didn’t like it quite enough to read her other Jesus-y books. But I did like it enough to keep going down this road with her.
Up next is Peony In Love by Lisa See. Asian Americans were good to me last year, so let’s see how it goes.