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The Brick Testament: Stories from the Book of Genesis Hardcover – October 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Taco Bell one day, Smith claims, his burrito suddenly burst into flames and the voice of God boomed out that he needed to illustrate the Bible entirely out of LEGOs. "But I'm an atheist," Smith objected. "Then you are especially unqualified to question me!" God thundered. "Now get to work!" This hilarious book, which interprets some of the most famous stories from Genesis, is Smith's first; with 39 books in the Old Testament alone, however, one rejoices that the franchise possibilities could extend for many years. The full-color photographs of Smith's chosen scenes invite the readers into each story. We see the Garden of Eden replete with plastic green shrubbery and LEGO animals; the building of the Ark and the wicked people drowning in the flood (just their heads float over a blue LEGO foundation); Joseph's brothers trying to throw him down a well. One has to admire Smith's LEGO engineering, Noah's Ark and the Tower of Babel are genuine feats as well as his twisted, keen sense of humor. He's also refreshingly honest about some parts of Genesis that tend to be ignored by Christians, such as a naked, drunken Noah cursing one of his sons. This creative, iconoclastic book is colorful in every sense of the word, and will be appreciated by LEGO enthusiasts everywhere as well as whimsical Sunday School teachers.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Brendan Powell Smith exhibits his Lego artwork on his acclaimed website www.thebricktestament.com, which has received rave reviews from Time , Spin , National Public Radio, and The Church Times . He lives in Mountain View, California.

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Product Details

  • Series: Brick Testament
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books; First Edition edition (October 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931686459
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931686457
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #974,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Zana Jamieson on March 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I actually bought The Brick Testament for a friend (who is a devout Baptist) and ended up buying a copy for myself since it was so hilarious. (For the record, my Baptist friend thought it was hilarious and not offensive in the slightest)

The book is essentially a pared down Old Testament, with the most critical aspects of the stories depicted entirely in Lego brick. It is quite clever! The author uses the Legos in a very creative and illustrative way. I can't help thinking that it takes a slightly twisted sense of humour to appreciate, so those who enjoy Monty Python for example, will definitely appreciate this book.

And, as someone who has read the bible several times, I can say with certainty that it is a very accurate and blunt depiction of biblical tales. The people who say it is inaccurate probably have never read the bible, and the people who say it is irreverent have no sense of humour! That being said, since it is a very accurate and literal depiction of biblical stories (such as Sodom and Gomorra), this is probably not a good book for children. I would rate it at least PG-13 for sexual situations and violence (albeit the brick variety).

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a great gift or a coffee table conversation starter. Lego lovers and crazy people from Baptists to atheists will enjoy this book! You will never look at Lego the same way again!
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31 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jeff O. on April 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Biblical scholars may debate who originally dotted the i's and crossed the t's, but it was Brenden Powell Smith who, at the command of God, illustrated and retold this collection of stories from the book of Genesis - using LEGOs. In his introduction to The Brick Testament, Smith recalls his conversation with God over a flaming burrito (that's right) and how, like many of the heroes of the Genesis stories, God used the most unlikely person to tell these stories. Combining a strong sense of visual story telling, elaborate LEGO constructions, and intentional photography, Smith has creatively "illustrated" favorites from the book of Genesis such as the Garden of Eden, Noah and the Flood, the Tower of Babel, The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and other lesser known stories. The "illustrations" are created entirely from LEGOs and presented in full-color photographs. The Garden of Eden scenes are complete with leafy trees, colorful flowers, red apples (that perfectly fit the LEGO human hands), Adam, Eve, and yes, God. Smith does take some artistic liberty and augments facial features for emotional effect. While the LEGO "illustrations" are unconventional for story telling, it is Smith's wickedly humorous objective perspective which gives these stories a fresh look. Highly Recommended.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Biomusicologist on December 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I must say...I don't understand all these people that are so upset about what is written in their own holy book.

"Propaganda?" Either the bible is the word of God or it isn't. Sorry, no pick-and-choose allowed here.

"Lack of respect for god's word?" God's word speaks for itself. It is those that choose to ignore the words that appear in the bible that show their lack of respect.

Bestiality, homosexuality, violence, bigotry, slavery, etc. are all parts of the "good" book. So either you subscribe to them as "gospel" or you don't (which is the most reasonable position).

Deuteronomy 22:22 states: "If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them die."

Leviticus 20:13 states: "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

In other words....God has no tolerance for homosexuals, adulterers, etc. So either you subscribe to his punishment for such offenses (stoning to death), or you don't. And if you don't then why do you subscribe to any of the other nonsense that was written by a bunch of primitive people who thought that bloodletting by leeches was a cure for dysentery, that the earth was flat, etc.?

Either you accept "God's word" (accurately portrayed with lego people) or you don't. Period.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. Field on September 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Regardless of your religious beliefs, it's hard to deny that the bible is one of the most important books ever written. Its influence on modern life in America, and much of the world, is hard to overstate. Still, most people have not read much if any of the bible, regardless of their religious beliefs.

This book is the most fun and readable bible book I've come across.

I like that it's composed of verbatim bible verses, rather than narrative retelling. Many books that aim at making the bible casually readable do so by playing with the content. That is not done here. Certain verses and chapters are omitted to move things along, but the content you read is the purported word of God.

The book maintains its readability by virtue of its beautifully realized images. The artwork is whimsical yet effecting. Watching these classic stories unfold visually is great fun. I would say that the bible is "brought to life" moreso here than in many other forms. In fact many of these images have become the images that I see when visualizing biblical tales!

Only ten stories from Genesis are covered, but the book is substantial since each verse is on a page of its own accompanied by a beautiful full sized, full color illustration. It's a quick read, but I find myself showing it to friends and flipping through it again and again. I'll be leaving this on the coffee table for quite a while :)

Whether you are a fundamentalist or an atheist (like myself) this is a great, fun little book.
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