Friday, March 14, 2008

Book Review: Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

Author: Christopher Moore

Pages: 464

Genre: Fiction/Humor

Personal Rating: 5/5

From the back cover:

The birth of Jesus has been well chronicled, as have his glorious teachings, acts, and divine sacrifice after his thirtieth birthday. But no one knows about the early life of the Son of God, the missing years -- except Biff.

Ever since the day when he came upon six-year-old Joshua of Nazareth resurrecting lizards in the village square, Levi bar Alphaeus, called "Biff,"had the distinction of being the Messiah's best bud. That's why the angel Raziel has resurrected Biff from the dust of Jerusalem and brought him to America to write a new gospel, one that tells the real, untold story. Meanwhile, Raziel will order pizza, watch the WWF on TV, and aspire to become Spider-Man.

Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung-fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes -- whose considerable charms fall to Biff to sample, since Josh is forbidden the pleasures of the flesh. (There are worse things than having a best friend who is chaste and a chick magnet!) And, of course, there is danger at every turn, since a young man struggling to understand his godhood, who is incapable of violence or telling anything less than the truth, is certain to piss some people off. Luckily Biff is a whiz at lying and cheating -- which helps get his divine pal and him out of more than one jam. And while Josh's great deeds and mission of peace will ultimately change the world, Biff is no slouch himself, blessing humanity with enduring contributions of his own, like sarcasm and café latte. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Savior's pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there's no one who loves Josh more -- except maybe "Maggie," Mary of Magdala -- and Biff isn't about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.

Lamb is the crowning achievement of Christopher Moore's storied career: fresh, wild, audacious, divinely hilarious, yet heartfelt, poignant, and alive, with a surprising reverence. Let there be rejoicing unto the world! Christopher Moore is come -- to bring truth, light, and big yuks to fans old and new with the Greatest Story Never Told!

Do you want to laugh out loud? I did…from page one. This book was completely unique. Biff was Joshua’s (Jesus) best friend. He is called back from the dead 200o years after Christ’s death to write another Gospel as he saw things. The story follows Biff and Joshua as they set out to find the 3 wisemen who appeared at Joshua’s birth to help him understand how to become the Messiah. (He’s having a little trouble). I simply couldn’t believe some of the situations and thing that happened to these two. It was too funny. To imagine these things happening to Jesus and his friend? At one point they sneak out at night (typical teenage stuff) to chop off the penis of a stone statue since it’s “against” their religion. Typical teenage rebellion but it isn’t!

I wish I still had this book with me but it was too good to hold onto. I needed to pass it on. If I did still have it I could share more of the hilarious scenes from it. This one simply needs to be read. At the end Moore gives a little afterward and says if you found the book offensive you need to pray more. I thought it was a good point. The book isn’t meant to be offensive or make fun of anything. It’s simply one man’s interpretation of events that there is very little documentation for, he just happened to put an amusing spin on it. I think its good to laugh.


Jeane said...

Sounds pretty funny in a sacraligious way.

Juli said...

It may sound strange but it really wasnt sacreligious. IMO. It's really hard to describe.

Katie said...

I love this book! It's so funny! I think it's his best book (of the ones I've read).

Juli said...

Katie--I've decided to read "more" of Moore since I enjoyed Lamb. Any recs?

Katie said...

Well, I liked "Practical Demonkeeping", and I think it's a good one to read after "Lamb". "Fluke" was pretty good, but it was very, very weird! I wasn't as big a fan of "Coyote Blue". Those are all of the ones I've read, but my FIL really liked "A Dirty Job", and he and I usually enjoy the same books. I have "Island of the Sequined Love Nun", but I haven't read it yet. Once I do, I'll let you know!

Juli said...

Thanks for that great summary!

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