September 17, 2011

Before they went mad

A few months back, in a post about creativity v. creationism, I lightly referred to people who were great writers -- and then lost their minds. Whitley Strieber is the primary example of this. He wrote two of the most excellent novels in the English language, The Hunger and The Wolfen, but then he started seeing aliens and writing crazy-people books. It was a huge loss.

And then there's Ann Rice. There was a time when she wrote one excellent novel after another in original, almost unearthly prose. Yes, she was a horror writer but her talent would have made her stand out in any genre. Her books are literature. But at some point, the poor thing discovered jeebus and lost her talent. Jeebus does that to people. (Seen any creative Christians lately? Haha, just kidding. There aren't any.)

One of the best books she wrote, and an overlooked one, is The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned. Dog, that book is golden. If you're a Rice fan but missed this one, try to get your hands on a copy. It is a hopeful, magical book in which she does for mummies what she did for vampires. And no, I won't talk about the plot; I never do. But it's a good book and thinking about it makes me furious that she lost her mind. It's a tremendous loss. By the way, she promised to do a follow-up book to the Ramses story but never did. Religious people are like that: you can't rely on anything they say.

It's hard to believe we lost two great writers, one to aliens and the other to a nonexistent sky-god. What an utter waste. But their early books still shine -- and always will. Even jeebus and the aliens can't take that away from them.


Artichoke Annie said...

Wait a minute you ask "and damned if I know what he means by this "shining" thing" and looky what you write here, "But their early books still shine". Isn't it the same thing or am I still dulled from sleep?

writenow said...

I responded on the Shine post. You're never dulled, Annie, from sleep or anything else. Good morning!