I admit it. I totally spaced and forgot to post my review of this book from when I was reading it back in September.
No matter, I’m here to correct that. So, back in September I re-read Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore.
Biff has been tasked by heaven to pen a new gospel, to fill the missing years of the Son of God before he was 30. As it turns out, those missing years were “filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes.”
If you’re easily offended by someone poking fun at your religion, then this book is probably not for you. You’ll want to throw around words like “blasphemous” and “sacrilegious”. If however you’re an enlightened human being who can understand satire and enjoys a good laugh, then this book is for you.
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, the Messiah’s best bud, who has been resurrected to tell the story in the divinely hilarious yet heartfelt work “reminiscent of Vonnegut and Douglas Adams” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
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. 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.
This was the first book by Christopher Moore I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be the last. I’ve looked through his back catalogue and added a few into my “to read” list.
God decrees a new testament is required to fill in the gaps, in particular the missing first 30 years of his life. An angel, Raziel, resurrects Biff (Christ’s childhood pal) who was by his side almost the entire time. Locked away in a New York City hotel room, Biff is forced to recount the adventures which taught Jesus (referred to by his Hebrew name “Joshua” for most of the book) how to be the Messiah.
Along the way Biff selflessly takes the bullets for Joshua for certain teachings (for example: explaining sex to Joshua by sleeping with whores) and generally being the comic relief sidekick. They meet with Balthazar, an ancient magician trying to learn the secrets of eternal life, monks who teach them Kung Fu (or because Joshua refuses to hit people, they invent a new form dubbed “Jew-Do”), and learn the mystic secrets of how to fit oneself inside a wine bottle.
It’s not all about laughs though. Moore portrays Joshua as very human and fallible, and you can’t help but love the character he creates.
A great read you’ll love, especially if you’re not a pious zealot. 🙂
Check out the sample on Amazon.