Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore

Book Summary (from

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!

My review

This is the first book I’ve read from the author, and boy did I have a good time. It took me longer than I thought; just because, well…you know…people have to work sometimes. Anyway, this was a fun book to read. Biff is an irreverent character, to the point that sometime you just can’t believe he would say that to anyone, let alone any of the important characters of the book. 

It starts with Biff being brought back to life to modern times in order to write his Gospel. He’s been given the gift of tongues so he can write it in something different than Aramaic. The Gospel itself starts with him meeting Joshua when they were kids, and them becoming best friends. They also meet Mary of Magdala being kids, and she will be the life love of both kids. About the time they are turning 13 and Mary 12, she is betrothed to Jakan, a Pharisee’s son that will represent this group all through the book,   in order to save her family (now, I can’t just tell you why). Is then that Biff and Joshua will leave Nazareth in order to find the Wise men that visited Joshua when he was born, a.k.a Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar which will teach them about Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism respectively.

The funny part? The way Moore “explains” the birth of sarcasm. Biff will also introduce the concepts of a pencil and evolution. I found the explanation to why do we have rabbits during Easter just hilarious. Sometimes the humor passes the line from irreverent to really dark, so I guess that if you are really attached to your believes, there is a chance you might be offended by some of the events described here. But if you keep in mind that a. this is just a novel, and b. is meant to be funny, I’m pretty sure you will have a great time. And that's just in the Gospel part. The interaction between Raziel and Biff is just priceless.

One of my favorite parts is when they are in a Buddhist temple with Gaspar, and they meet the Abominable Snowman or the Yeti. The ludicrous situation is painted in such a pretty way when describing the personality of this creature that you almost wish he would’ve existed to meet him. I'm trying hard not to give away a lot from the book. I can't tell the number of times this week that I went on people saying :"I'm reading this book and the funniest thing happened, let me read a paragraph to you..." And I don't want to do this to you, so, this is me trying hard not to copy paste from the book.

But the fact that Joshua has this naïveté yet a great and sarcastic humor sense has to be the thing that sold the book. There would be entire conversations in the book that I just couldn’t help but laugh, people (my boyfriend included, thank you very much) like there was something wrong with me…to be fair, they were talking about Russia’s elections, so I guess my giggling next to them was kind of out of context. Oh well…

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