Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Warning-book spoiler and discussion/RANT

Hello Again!

Yeah, have I got a bone to chew with a book I read last night. . .

However, before I get into the nitty gritty and perhaps even get your ire up....allow me a moment to give those folks , who will decide not to read much farther as books --"just aren't their thing", -- a bit of humor. I book marked one of those Next Blog results that I spoke of in the previous post. 3-some had another post that was downright hilarious!!!
The title? Men vs. Women Check it out!

A humorous item for your viewing pleasure ....

NOW! For my book disucssion and spoiler... spoilers are where many of the points of the book that give the gist of it away are revealed. I"ll try not to go that far ....but I feel the need to vent. Today my blog is my sounding board.

The Book? If Angels Burn - A Novel of the Darkyn by Lynn Viehl

You need to understand, that I made a personal decision to NOT speak of religion on my blog. It is a turn off for many or it is a intimate subject for many.
That being said, because of this book, I am going to do it anyway....... you can stop right here if you want. No slight taken.

Read the short summary of the book if you want .
It is the summary that had me interested in reading it in the first place....I enjoy vampire romances...I just do.

In the first chapter, you are introduced to the 3 main names ....Alexandra - the surgeon, Her brother, John -the priest and Michael -the Darkyn. Luisa is a "motivator" character.
I will say that I fully expected to enjoy this book. Overall...I did. This was not mindless reading, however. I get to Chapter 2 and THAT is where my brain woke up and pulled the reins -whoa! I quote"As Cabreri prepared to administer Communion to the faithful, John went to kneel at the alter rail. Partaking of the symbolic body and blood of Christ was one of the most sacred rituals of the faith....."
For me, calling the body of Christ "symbolic" was like waving a red flag at a bull.

The author , throughout the book, wrote factually about the profession of the character...plastic surgeon. The medical jargon and techniques used were obviously derived from intense research on the authors part. She clearly wanted to give the reader a feel of "being there" and for the most part, she succeeded. She made many references to the Catholic religion and its ceremonies...going so far as to use the Latin names for the prayers and for protocol with visiting religious dignitaries. If she strove for such vigorous and realistic writing, she should have gotten the reality of Communion correctly. Why she didn't is beyond me. Perhaps she was basing what was written on research alone..without a Catholic faith background. Perhaps she was writing from her own incomplete experience with the Faith. OK, I'm getting preachy can stop NOW if you want..... Or maybe she didn't want to rock the boat. She sure rocked mine.

As you can well imagine...I have a belief...and the urge to correct a myth. The Body of Christ is NOT symbolic. He is real . It may Look like bread, Taste like Bread, Feel like bread, but once the consecration takes place it becomes HIM. His Flesh, His Body. THAT is the miracle. That is the Faith. That is what makes Catholics different...Ok,..I'm being simplistic..there's a lot more to it ..... Have your hackles gotten a rise yet?
I think of things this way.... if the Host was NOT Him, why would Satanists try to steal it? To desecrate it and use it for their unholy purposes if there wasn't a truth to it? What could be more damning that actually using Christ's body in the worship of the enemy???? In my church, attempts to steal or sneak the Host, once consecrated, out of the church have been intercepted and thwarted. That's a lot of effort to steal a piece of "bread", don't you think?

Since that paragraph of the book, I began reading the rest on 2 levels. Yes, I finished the book. Yes it brought up many bones of contention but I only took on the one that felt most important for me to do so. Hence this blog.

Also, this book is not for the faint of heart. There is a torture scene that is more graphic than anything I've read yet from LKH. There are disturbing literary visuals that might make you cringe or put you off entirely.
By no means can this book be considered Boring!
By no means would I advise you not to read this...... please do! Make your own judgements.
Do not, however, expect a simple romance. It isn't there.
I was hoping for romance and I was given something else entirely.
Overall, this book was well written. If you like Angst... there is PLENTY.
If you like grit and has it. If you like strong women, Alexandra is.

The next book by Lynn Viehl will be PRIVATE DEMON and it continues with one of the characters you meet in this first book. You won't really "meet" him until the last few chapters, but the second book promises to be just a gritty as the first. Once you meet the character Thierry, you'll understand.

My gosh! Are you still reading this? You actually put up with my religious POV and made it to the end? Wow! Thanks. Um, I guess you are gonna leave a comment now, huh? Should I put armor on???

Since you made it this far,
the ending,

Here's a humor treat.

Thanks for sticking around for my rant.
I hope it will be a looong time
before I vent
like Vesuvius again.



Brandy said...

I titally loved the comics you posted. Also, my DH and I are in the process of converting to Catholicism. (I was raised in the Catholic Church until the age of 12, then Mom decided she wanted something different and switched us to Baptist. I didn't get a vote.) I found your post factual and informative and thank you for pointing out an error in a book others may have not seen. No matter how much research an author does sometimes it's not enough or their understanding of the subject is not clear. That's why the phrase 'write wha tyou know' is often followed more than others. Thanks for posting. B.

uk-charlie said...

Hi Michelle,

Yeah it's pretty crazy, people doing that but that's just humans isn't it. The thing with the banana's that made me laugh....Yes it's a bit strange that they sell them hanging up. None of the other supermarkets do that.

Our free at the point of demand healthcare system is partly funded by the petrol duty, but mostly through income tax which is also a lot higher than where you are. But having said that we have one of the best social welfare systems in the world so things are not all that bad.

I too am an avid reader & when I get time I'll get to reading some of the books on your site they look good. However let me say right now I'm an atheist not religious in any way lol.

Like the humour about computers & indians it's good :)

Charlie xxx

Michele said...

You have NO idea how much your comment meant to me when I got it.
Thank YOU very much!

Any book recommendations you care to share? I need to expand past romances...just nothing akin to Stephen King type stuff....I'm not into nightmares. No prob re: your beliefs....thanks for letting me know, Though rest assured, that's not my usual topic.
Thanks for your comments.


I'm a little more forgiving with the "symbolic" references and inferences. I was raised Lutheran, but I attended a Cathloci school for several years, and I probably have more respect for spiritual Catholics than those of my own faith. However, my crossed background (such as it was) put me in the position to see multiple sides of multiple faiths. Your beliefs are your own, and if they work for you that's great and I wouldn't intentionally disrespect them. However, I also wouldn't understand them.

One of my spiritual teachers is the late Joseph Campbell who was a master at what he called "comparative mythology." Most religions believe in the same core principles but, to coin a phrase, the devil's in the details.

The Catholics see a true transformation of the host wafer from bread to the body of Christ. Lutherans see it as a symbolic transformation. I saw it as something Jesus probably never intended for us to get into an argument over.

The Bible states that thou shalt have no other gods besides Me (refering to God), but in my eyes any man or woman who treats people with compassion, strives to better themselves and the world around them, and manages to luagh once in a while isn't going to be condemned to eternal damnation because he refers to God as Allah or Buddha or fate or luck.

Enough religion... book commendations:
I'm currently reading "Life After God" a series of short stories by Douglas Coupland that has nothing to do with God at all... just a catchy title.

Finished reading Dave Eggers' first fiction book "You Shall Know Our Velocity," which, if you skip past a lot of the internal monologues, is a good read.

That's all for now. Have a pleasant tomorrow.