Though Jesus is pretty sure he is the Messiah, he is also, like any kid learning a trade, not sure what he should and should not do as Messiah. He sets out on a loopy and sometimes-hilarious quest to discover his destiny and test his powers , while Biff, thoroughly cynical and amoral, accompanies him.
Interesting, original, not for every taste. Do you work in the book industry? The main part of the book has to do with Biff and Josh's search for the Magi, to learn from them how Josh can be the Messiah.
On their way they face demons, death and certain temptation, but also wisdom and experience from the wisest men in Asia. From Balthazar in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, Joshua learns of the Tao, contemplating its Three Jewels - compassion, moderation, and humility. He learns about suffering and mercy and kindness and the effects they bring. Biff, on the other hand, learns about the ways in which eight Chinese concubines can make life a wonderful place, night after night.
He learns how to make potions and explosives, how to cast metal and read Chinese. He learns vital skills that the Messiah cannot - or must not - know. From there they go to China, to a monastery high in the cold mountains to study with Gaspar, a monk of the Zen school. From Gaspar, Josh learns stillness and mindful breath, compassion for all things and, oddly enough, how to turn invisible.
He discovers the divine spark that exists in all things, a holiness that no one can claim or take from you. He also learns what it's like to be the only one of his kind, and foreshadows the tragic end that can bring. Biff, of course, is learning kung fu and how to break bricks with his head.
Finally, they go to India to seek out Melchior, an ascetic yogi and the last of the wise men. Joshua here learns about sacrifice and blood, and the horrors that are perpetrated in the name of religion. He discovers the injustice of denying the Kingdom of God to anyone, Jew or Gentile, and the futility of trying to teach yoga to an elephant. Biff, for his part, manages to put together a truly spectacular version of the Kama Sutra. Don't get me wrong - while Biff is certainly more earthly than his friend, he is also devoted to both Joshua and his mission.
He is Josh's anchor to the real world, always reminding him f his mission and making sure he doesn't take himself too seriously. Biff, in this rendition of Jesus' story, is a necessary element in the ultimate teachings of Christ. As he admits in his afterward, Moore has tackled a very tough subject here, one that he knows is likely to rile people up. Jesus is one of those characters that is very set in peoples' minds - he is the tall, beatific figure with a gentle voice and blue eyes who glides around in robes followed by insightful and worshipful men. He certainly never ate Chinese food on his birthday, nor did he get hopped up on coffee or learn kung-fu.
He's never had a sarcastic best friend who was willing to risk damnation to describe what sex was like to the young Messiah, who was pretty sure that he wasn't allowed to Know women. We haven's seen Jesus get frustrated and yell at his disciples because they didn't get the message he was trying to send, or be torn between what he has to do and what he wants to do. The Jesus in this book is an excellent meld of the human and the divine.
He has the miracles and the powers, but his mind is human.
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
He knows that he's the son of god, but he feels like just a regular guy who's been tapped to save humanity from itself. It's a very difficult situation to be in, and Moore does a really good job of getting us to understand that. More importantly, the life of Jesus hasn't been this funny before. This is the kind of book that will piss off your family or co-workers, because you'll want to read out passages from the book every five minutes, but you won't get it out right because you'll be laughing too hard.
The way the book is set up, Biff has been resurrected by the angel Raziel in order to write a new gospel. Unfortunately, he's been resurrected in the modern age, about two thousand years too late to help his friend avoid the awful, horrible sacrifice that he knows he has to undergo. So he writes in the modern American vernacular, assuring us that while the words may not be a direct translation of first-century Hebrew, Latin, Aramaic, Chinese or any of the other languages they encounter, the tone is accurate.
And the tone is comedy, all the way through. Of course, the comedy kind of drops off as the book races towards its unpleasant end, which is where my troubles with Moore as a writer usually lie. He tends to write endings that are abrupt and unfulfilling, as though he just wants to finish writing the book so he can, perhaps, get on with the next one. Even though we know how this story ends, it still feels rushed. Biff's attempts to save his friend from horrible death make sense, but I would like to have seen them drawn out a bit more. I have a feeling that Moore could have added another hundred pages without breaking a sweat - and I wish he had.
The best thing, though, is that Moore treats his characters with the utmost respect. Nothing that Jesus does in the book is out of character for him, insofar as we know his character. And Biff is more than just a goofy friend of the Messiah - he is the reminder and the anchor of Jesus' humanity. I'm not a Christian - I don't claim any religion, in fact - but this version of Jesus would be one that I might be willing to give some time to.
It's a brilliant book, in my top ten View all 16 comments. Aug 29, Kim rated it it was amazing Shelves: What I remember from CCD: You can all roll your eyes as much as you want and call it cutesy and a Tom Robbins rip off never read him, probably never will and say that the jokes grew old fast and that you were bored and yadda yadda yadda. And then hug them some more. I mean, I know how this story ends, okay? I was still sniffling and trying to swallow past the lump in my throat.
I especially love the scene with the Yeti. I knew some of the mainstays of the story… when Josh raises Lazarus: But three days from the day of my death, I shall rise and be with you again. And the scene with the moneychangers in the Temple? Almost as powerful as Willem kicking ass… almost. Moore for making my day. And if any of you doubters want to debate this….. Is that a seagull?! View all 27 comments.
Nov 01, Will Byrnes rated it liked it Shelves: This a very entertaining, laugh-out-loud funny book, at times. It is clear that there is real content under the yucks. Where did JC go between the time he dazzled the intellectuals at the temple at twelve and when he returned at thirty to do his messiah thing. Asia figures prominently, Buddhism, an Asian aesthetic.
I found at times that I was getting bored, but stuck with it. Aug 01, Lyn rated it really liked it. This book is funny as HELL! There are plenty of people who will never read this book but will nonetheless be very offended by it. However, though it is an absurd comedy, it is like The Shack: Documentary Evidence of Jesus' Year Journey to the East in that it treats Jesus as a miraculous and gentle though powerful superhuman, and somewhat ironically, like the Kevin Smith film Dogma, affirmatively casts him as the Son of God.
Certainly, there will be many who would not read this, and still some others that may get started and cannot finish for reasons of reverence and guilty ideas about blasphemy. I remember years ago when The Last Temptation of Christ came out and everyone made such a big deal about it. Truth be said, it was the publicity that drew me to go see it and I was a little thrilled to walk through a picket line. A Presbyterian minister and two younger people with him stopped me and asked me some questions about why I wanted to go see the film.
They were not fire and brimstoners, but seemed like nice folks who were sincerely offended by what they understood as an attack on their faith. I asked them one question: I also remember that during the film, there seemed a slow but somewhat steady exodus of people from the theater, until about halfway through, when only the stolid and curious were left. In that film and this book, I guess I can see why some would be offended, but I am not, my faith is not at all shaken by a liberal, interpretive, and in this sense, irreverent and humorous artistic license.
In the end, this is an entertaining, well written book, funny and yes, irreverent, but also without any overt attacks on faith. Told with warmth, Moore also focuses on parts of the faith and teachings that could draw a believer closer. View all 29 comments. Feb 04, Dan Schwent rated it it was amazing Shelves: Lamb is the story of the missing years of Jesus, as told by his best pal Biff. That's all you need in the way of summary. I was subjected to 12 years of Catholic school and mass every sunday for even longer than that so when I heard of the existence of a humorous book about Jesus' missing years, I jumped for it with all the lapsed-Catholic enthusiasm I could muster.
In fact, I was the opposite of disappointed. Anyway, this was my first Christophe Lamb is the story of the missing years of Jesus, as told by his best pal Biff. Anyway, this was my first Christopher Moore book and the measuring stick against which his others are Biff's a great character, the regular guy accompanying Joshua aka Jesus on his adventures. Jesus, of course, plays the ultimate straightman to Biff's jokes. From when Biff told Jesus he was going to marry his mother when they were little tykes all the way to the end, Biff makes what could be a fairly boring religious story into an odyssey of the hilarious.
While Moore tells the story in a humorous way, it's not as absurd as, say, a Douglas Adams book. Jesus visiting the Three Wise Men and actually learning from them was a good way to fill those missing years. In fact, Jesus traveling to the Far East makes a lot more sense than a lot of stuff in the bible.
The characters other than Jesus and Biff were pretty memorable. Mary Magdalene played a huge part in the story and the three wise men were all given a lot more to do than the Gospel writers originally gave them. Catch, the demon from Practical Demonkeeping, makes an appearance.
Raziel, the title character from The Stupidest Angel, makes his first appearance here and is the catalyst of the plot, resurrecting Biff and Mary M to help him fill in the gaps. I've owned four copies of this book, each destroyed or lost under suspicious circumstances. People I've loaned the book over the years still quote parts of it to me when we run into each other. It's just that damn good. I can't put the hilarity of Lamb into words.
It's easier if you just read it yourself. Five of the easiest star I've ever awarded, with the caveate that if you are humorless about religion, you might be extremely offended. View all 21 comments. Aug 30, Aaron rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Christopher Moore is a sick, sick fuck. And I mean that in a good way. I found a copy of this wonderfully hilarious novel at the Champaign Public Library Book Sale and decided that I ought to own a copy. It holds up well on a second read and served to fill a nostalgia for Kurt Vonnegut, whose death I may not ever get over.
This book is very reminiscent of Vonnegut in its plotting and style and wisecracks and it certainly filled a hole. I've read everything Vonnegut ever wrote and I was more than Christopher Moore is a sick, sick fuck. I've read everything Vonnegut ever wrote and I was more than a little depressed that my days of reading new works by one of my favorite authors had come to a close. This book alone marks Christopher Moore as the leading contender for that particular throne. If not Vonnegut, then Douglas Adams. Lamb tells the story of Jesus Christ, chronicling the missing years from 12 through 30 that the Bible itself fails to enlighten us on.
It's very funny and more than a little blasphemous, but it's also firmly grounded in theology. Moore doesn't make any shit up here. He merely expounds on the details the Bible has left out. Basically, Levi who is called Biff is resurrected by an angel of the Lord centuries after his death so that he can write a new gospel we later come to find out that Mary Magdalene has been resurrected to write one, too.
Holed up in a seedy motel with the angel Raziel, himself addicted to professional wrestling and soap operas, Biff writes his side of the story on hotel stationery. Biff was Christ's only companion during the missing eighteen years, so he's pretty much the authority on this subject.
Through Biff's writings, we learn that he and Jesus here named Joshua, due to Hebrew translation spent many years traveling the world in search of the three wisemen, hoping that they can help Joshua understand exactly what it is Joshua is supposed to be doing. They battle a vicious demon with Balthazar.
They encounter a Yeti with Gaspar. They study Buddhism with Melchior. And through all of this, Joshua creates a new ministry that seems to totally contradict the one started by his father. Along the way, we learn how all of the apostles came to stand at Jesus's side. We learn what bunnies and chocolates have to do with Easter. We discover how to tell the difference between a legitimate vision of The Virgin Mary and just a face in a pile of cow dung. We meet some ninjas. We stand face-to-face with the blood-thirsty goddess Kali. And we also get treated to a rough draft of The Sermon on the Mount apparently Jesus really wanted to bless all the dumbshits, but got vetoed.
This book is highly recommended. View all 4 comments. Nov 19, Jonathan rated it did not like it. It's too easy to earn praise by casting stones. I can't stand this type of comedic writing with its obvious set-ups and zingers and formulaic irreverence. Witness the last lines para [I'm considering taking down this review, as I'm not happy that my most "liked" review is a negative one.
Witness the last lines paraphrased here: Christ stands for Hallowed. I thought it stood for Harvey. View all 13 comments. Jun 26, Jason Koivu rated it liked it. Mel Brooks and Monty Python have been there, done that. Christopher Moore retraces the steps of those comedy greats of the past in his Lamb: That being the case, Moore's book travels a well-trodden path and so the laughs ju Mel Brooks and Monty Python have been there, done that. That being the case, Moore's book travels a well-trodden path and so the laughs just didn't come for this reader. Certainly it was an enjoyable enough read.
It wasn't until the end that I had to push myself to finish what was becoming an increasingly dry, straight up retelling of Jesus' crucifixion. Prior to that, Moore takes a few popshots at other religions during the son of god's trek through self-discovery and sometimes his aim is true. When you hear and read a great deal of praise for a writer, as I did for Moore, your expectations rise to an unreasonable height. I'm afraid mine were higher than he could reasonably obtain. View all 10 comments. Nov 02, Shannon Giraffe Days rated it it was amazing Shelves: A deceptively slim-looking book but one that is absolutely heavenly to hold - no pun intended - with it's glossy floppy cover and delicate leaves , Lamb is, as the title says, the fictional story of Christ's childhood as told by his best friend Levi who is called Biff.
Whether he liked it, got it or appreciated it, I couldn't say, but it's a possible inspiration. It doesn't have the clever wit or irony, or the sheer genius of Brian, but it does have the irreverant humour. That aside, Lamb is a great story, made up but oddly plausible. Keeping to the "known" facts and not interested in questioning your faith in any grand or cynical way, Lamb is told by Biff, resurrected today by an angel so he can write down his version of events. Given the gift of tongues, Biff writes it in contemporary American idiom, which saves the story from being dry and boring.
He claims to have invented sarcasm, and encourages Joshua later Jesus to have a sense of humour. The best bit about this book, though, are the adventures the two friends have. At about 13, they set off to find the three Wise Men who had been there at Joshua's birth, in order for Joshua to learn how to be the Messiah.
They spend years in a cave-like fortress in Afghanistan with Balthasar, more years at a Budhist temple in the mountains with Gaspar, and yet more time in India in nooks in a cliff with the seagulls learning from Melchior. They learn Confuscius from Balthasar, Biff learns about poisons and alchemy from Balthasar's Chinese concubines, and they encounter a very hungry demon They meditate and study Budhism from Gaspar as well as kung-fu and "Jew-do" because Joshua doesn't want to hurt anyone and encounter the last Yeti; and rescue children from the Hindu god of destruction, Kali, before finding Melchior, who teaches Joshua how to fit himself inside a wine bottle and multiply food - which comes in handy later, that's for sure - while Biff learns the Kama Sutra.
Biff is the perfect counter-point to the more serious, naive and well-meaning Joshua, whose mother brought him up from birth to believe his father is God, not her husband Joseph.
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Although Moore admits it's hard to write a story set in this time and place because of the lack of knowledge of the period, he does an admirable job and it's entirely believable. I did find it a slow read at times, but I definitely found myself laughing as well. It also gave the best explanation of the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, that I've ever heard, and suddenly it makes more sense. More to the point, though, it makes Joshua - Jesus - more human, and thus more sympathetic.
That matters to me, though it might not to other people. It got so that I found myself really caring for this character, and the others - especially Maggie the Mary Magdelene , their friend from childhood. The final scenes, when you're suddenly reminded of how the story ends, creep up on you and settles like a lump in your throat, and I totally felt for Biff and understand why he did what he did at the end - though interestingly enough, despite all he'd seen Joshua do, and despite the fact that he had always believed in him, he did not believe Joshua could really bring himself back from the dead.
And so, in the end, he did not have faith. Despite Biff's silly humour and the occasional fart joke, Lamb is written with maturity, compassion and skill. The setting, landscape and supporting characters immerse you in the story, the period and the upheavels. More to the point, it's a nice comforting thought that Jesus might have had as good and loyal and silly a friend as Levi who is called Biff.
This is an hilarious take on the missing years of Jesus, known as Joshua bar Joseph in this account. The four gospels which mad it into the New Testament miss three decades of the Messiah's life. Only two of them say much about his birth, one describes a brief episode when Jesus was about twelve where he spends some time in discussion with the elders in the synagogue, but they largely concentrate on the short years of his ministry leading up to his crucifiction and resurrection.
Lamb is an accou This is an hilarious take on the missing years of Jesus, known as Joshua bar Joseph in this account. Lamb is an account which is written by Levi, known as Biff, who is Joshua's best friend throughout his life. There are so many funny stories within the whole, and it would just spoil it for you if I were to repeat them here. You really have to read the book to find out. However, I just can't resist telling you that Joshua takes his time to refine his magic to the level that he can perform the miracles of his latter years.
For example, the first resurrection that he performs is very short-lived excuse the pun , but the Roman soldier lives long enough to identify his real murderer and free Josh's step-dad, Joseph. The are lots quotes from books that you've never heard of if you have read the Bible, such as Amphibians, Dalmatians and Excretions. The description of how Biff and Josh spend a whole week writing the speech that has become known as The Sermon on the Mount, is so very funny.
Not for what was eventually included, but for those groups who were left out, such as the wankers and the dumbfucks. Believe me, that is not the funniest part of the book. The adventures that the two of them have in the years between their childhood and the period described by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are great. Moore is very creative. The only small criticism that I have of the book is that there were times when I felt that it was too long. However, I have to admit that when I finished the final page, I would have liked more. View all 19 comments.
Feb 16, Kristen Boers rated it liked it Recommends it for: Remember back in 9th grade when you wrote a wonderful, insightful papers for every assignment and then, eventually, you got cocky, got drunk on your own brilliance, got sloppy and lazy with self assurance? And, inevitably, your next paper would come back with a comment from your teacher that went something like this "Accurate, and mildly interesting, but doesn't compare with your previous work There's a Remember back in 9th grade when you wrote a wonderful, insightful papers for every assignment and then, eventually, you got cocky, got drunk on your own brilliance, got sloppy and lazy with self assurance?
There's a really lovely forward to this book, inviting believers and non believers alike to enjoy the book, take what they need from it, disregard the rest. The story's protagonist is not Christ himself, but his best buddy Biff, brough back from the dead by an angel of the Lord. The reason for Biff's resurrection is that the Powers that Be Uh, God has decided that the Bible doesn't really tell us enough of what happens to Jesus between the time He's born and around 30, when He becomes a big deal with His proclaiming to be the Son of God bit. So, Biff is brought back by the angel Raziel to write the Gospel According to Biff, giving us an insight to Jesus from the man who knew him best.
What a great idea. It's such a great idea, that as a writer, I'm jealous and annoyed I didn't come up with it first. Anyone unclear as to why they've never come across a "Biff" in their readings of Leviticus or Matthew should note that the protagonist's real name is Levi. He's just called Biff. Just like Jesus Christ, who's name in Hebrew translates to Joshua. At first I thought this was a clever trick of Moore's, enabling the reader to see past what we already know about Jesus Christ by giving that character a new name.
That was, of course, before I got to the chapter where Joshua and Biff are living in a desert fortress with one of the three Magi and seven Asian concubines. You read that sentence correctly. Incidentally, that's where it all went down hill for me. The early chapters are full of clever twists on things we already know or think we know about the life of Jesus in 5 B.
We meet a young Mary Magdalene, and surprise surprise, she does have a crush on the Boy Who Would be the Savior, but her story take a delicious turn I didn't see coming and won't spoil for you. We also meet Jes.. The world of Joshua and Biff is contextualized for us, made relatable, by modern day Biff, reminiscing not only on his childhood but trying to compare it to this strange world he suddenly finds himself alone in.
Then, with almost no warning, the innocent reader is thrust into a world of sex, drugs, and kung fu.
My complaint is not with the sex, drugs, kung fu, meditation, yaks, human sacrifices, and bull violating but with the seemnig randomness in the story. It's like Moore got a little too comfortable with how well he was going and jumped the shark. Who cares iff it doesn't fit in history, this is fiction after all, but it doesn't fit in the narration. As the book goes on, we touch in less and less with modern day Biff, losing our conduit to the world that is slowly but sreuly getting more outlandish and harder to stay connected with. There are the last four chapters, with the ending we all know, slapdashed on the page as if the author has to interest in them himself, so why should we?
And then the books over. Arguably, that is the author's point. This book, Biff's Gospel, is about Joshua's life, not his death, and neither Moore, nor Biff, will give us the safisfaction of retreading every moment of the end, like some perverse literary "The Passion of the Christ. The charm of the book, of Biff himself, is that he treats his pal like anybody else He treats Joshua as his best friend in the world, but not as the Savior. By repriving the reader of the true anguish at the death of a best friend, Moore looses something His book had smarts and it had charm.
What it's missing is heart. A more detailed ending could have given us that. Without it, the book was accuate and mildly interesting View all 9 comments. Jan 08, Matthew rated it liked it Shelves: Good book - not great - especially when comparing it to other Moore books I have read. I enjoyed his Shakespeare satire better than the biblical satire - maybe because Shakespeare lends itself more to that.
Most of the stars I have given are for the beginning of the book and then the last third of the book. Jesus Joshua as a child and the retelling of the gospels from a different viewpoint were really interesting and it is obvious that Moore did his research. The middle part of the book - where Good book - not great - especially when comparing it to other Moore books I have read.
The middle part of the book - where Biff and Joshua go in search of the wisemen kind of drug on and wasn't as interesting - but took up most of the book. So, I can say if you are a die-hard Moore fan or you enjoy satire, give this one a go. Otherwise, proceed with caution! View all 6 comments.
Second time reading this book and it is still one of my favorites. Christopher Moore weaves you through all of the major religions and all the while you are laughing your ass off. You can't say that about most religious books View all 7 comments. Sep 09, Algernon rated it it was amazing Shelves: What puts Lamb above the crowd for me was the surprising fact that this is not actually a lampooning of religion but a genuine attempt to capture the spirituality and the fervour of the original Gospels. It is also a proof that, despite claims from Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter fans, the Life of Jesus remains The Greatest Story Ever Told, able to capture the imagination and the hearts of readers two thousand years after it was first copyrighted.
As to why Moore has chosen comedy in order to tackle such an important subject, the answer may be found in the Voltaire quote he has put on the first page of the book: God is comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh. In the dispute between the theories that we are put on Earth to learn about suffering or that we are supposed to enjoy the brief time in the sunlight, Moore votes emphatically on the later.
In order to focus solely on the project the angel locks himself with Biff inside a modern motel room with only a television set for entertainment. Talk shows featuring the screaming ignorant, soap operas, and wrestling. The setting serves a double scope in underlining the shallowness of popular entertainment and the need of the younger generations to be presented with adequate role models.
What hero could touch these children anyway, with their machines and medicine and distances made invisible? For Biff the answer can be only one, his childhood friend Joshua, the boy who conquered his young heart in the dusty street of Nazareth: Love without desire, or conditions, or limits — a pure and radiant glow in the heart that could make me giddy and sad and glorious all at once. Biff is lecherous, assertive and impulsive where Joshua is idealistic, self-doubting and contemplative.
They complete each other like the Chinese ying and yang symbols, but I am getting ahead of the story, it will be some years before they reach China. The plot in the opening chapters and in the last chapters is surprisingly close to the original Gospels, and the setting is convincing and rich in details, not only geographical, but also political and ethnographical, showing us how serious was the author in his research for the novel Moore went to Israel to get a better impression of the country and of its people.
The point where the novel diverges sharply from the established Gospels is in the theory that Joshua needed to learn how to become a Messiah and so he set out in search of knowledge from the three wise men that have reportedly showed up at his birth. Biff and Joshua leave Nazareth, after some trouble with the Roman occupiers and after some romantic complications with Maggie aka Mary Magdalene, who starts by delivering the memorable one liner: For twenty years the duo will travel from one wise man to another, apprenticing themselves first to Magician Balthasar who keeps a demon locked in his mountain fastness and prolongs his life by sleeping with beautiful young maidens.
The three jewels of the Tao: Balthasar said compassion leads to courage, moderation leads to generosity, and humility leads to leadership. The next of the wise men lives also on a sacred mountain, close to the Great Wall of China. The lessons of Gaspar deal with the wisdom of Buddhism, but they also teach an early version of Shaolin style kung-fu to the duo, and gives Joshua an opportunity to learn about mercy and tolerance towards others, towards strangers and towards diverging opinions. An episode with a Yeti is among the most humbling and emotional passages in the novel.
Of course, Biff goes his own way and still gets in trouble with women even when locked in a monastery with only a hairy yak for company. The last Magi is to be found in India: Melchior is Hindu yogi who teaches the value of renouncing the materialistic world and releasing the power of the mind, including how to make yourself invisible and how to multiply a grain of rice or a loaf of bread.
Biff has his own separate lessons, studying the Kama Sutra page by page with a temple prostitute.
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This section of the picaresque oriental adventures of the duo also touches on poverty, the social destructive caste system and the danger of worshipping blood thirsty deities who demand human sacrifices Kali. I may have gone too fast through the twenty years Biff and Joshua spent travelling, learning and having wonderful adventures, so I will let the author put the whole journey in perspective. My sending Joshua and Biff to the East was motivated purely by story, not by basis in the Gospel or historical evidence.
I decided on this not because it is not as important or as well rendered as the rest of the novel, but because the events and the characters should be familiar to most readers from the New Testaments. Moore manages to make the 15 Apostles according to Biff human and funny and vulnerable and earnest, infusing fresh blood in a story that has been twisted and turned around already by various branches of later Christianity according to their own political agendas or deep seated prejudices.
Some readers might still feel outrage at the irreverent and unorthodox treatment of the events in the New Testament and about a new Gospel aimed at the 21st century audience. To them I offer the last quote of Biff, following one of his particularly risque repartees fans of Monty Python might recognize the reference: Grow a sense of humor.
View all 3 comments. Aug 03, Lori rated it it was ok. Listened to this on audiobook during a recent road trip. This book reminded me of a Saturday Night Live skit: It's highly irreverent and very funny. The first third is also thought-provoking and quite sweet. I really enjoyed the depiction of Joshua Jesus as a child, trying to come to grips with his abilities, with whether or not he really is the son of God and what, exactly, that means for him and for his people.
Also loved the friend Listened to this on audiobook during a recent road trip.
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
Also loved the friendship between Biff, Joshua and Maggie Mary Magdalene as childhood pals, teasing and protecting each other, secure in their places in a tight Jewish community even while they bump against its strictures. I liked the author's idea of exploring Jesus' young-adulthood, the part of his life that is a big blank in the Bible. Joshua and Biff leave home to explore other places and cultures, with Joshua taking ideas and teachings and wisdom from those other places and cultures and incorporating them to form his own gospel. Joshua grows into a man and comes into his own on this physical and spiritual journey.
But this is also where the book became too ridiculous for me to suspend belief and remain immersed in the story. Fun to read, naughty and funny, but I missed the thoughtful undertone of the beginning of the book, and I increasingly wondered why Biff remained unaffected by all of his time and shared expereiences witih Joshua. Biff was the ultimate loyal friend, sure, but he remains a caricature--a horny wisecracker. Likewise all of the other apostles--the depictions are funny, but they remain totally flat and buffoonish. I wanted them to really feel something, to question, to show emotion beyond their one-word stereotypes the village idiot, the fanatic, the penny pincher, the surfer It felt like the author got tired and resorted to goofball humor rather than trying to tackle a more serious effort to explore the different reasons these men took up with Joshua and what they may or may not have believed and understood about the ministry they helped create.
The ending was also a letdown. The author seems overwhelmed by how to handle the known story of Jesus' trial and crucifixion. Biff's lack of dimension really comes out here, as the narrative degenerates into Biff's desperate, frantic chase to prevent Joshua from killing himself.
It felt like the author didn't quite know what to do with Biff once he arrived at the end of Jesus' life and what he does decide to do to tie it up was disappointing. Recomendado a toda a gente com mais de 18 anos!
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