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The Brick Testament: The Story of Christmas Hardcover – September 1, 2004

26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fans who loved Smith’s surprise hit The Brick Testament: Stories from the Book of Genesis or who have enjoyed his popular Web site (www.thebricktestament.com) will relish this curious take on the Christmas story. Wise men out of Legos? A grumpy Lego King Herod who looks as though he hasn’t slept in weeks? The book offers some hilarious sight gags; check out the fairy wings on the Angel Gabriel, or the rapidly protruding Lego shelf that is Mary’s belly. And when Gabriel tells Mary that the Holy Ghost will come upon her, standing beside him is a friendly, smiling white ghost figure. Readers will be surprised to see some elements of the tale that are left out of the usual Hollywood renderings; Smith depicts the circumcision scene, for example, with Joseph standing over a very naked baby Jesus with a shiny dagger poised in an opportune spot. Despite the bemused, if cynical, tone that pervades the book, parents should note that not all of it is funny or suitable for small children. There’s a disturbing image of soldiers murdering a male child, per Herod’s decree, in front of his devastated mother; the background shows two decapitated children’s heads rolling in blood. Still, Brick Testament fans will delight in this fresh rendering of another biblical tale, and the book should win Smith some new followers as well.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (September 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594740127
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594740121
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,203,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 34 people found the following review helpful By _-_-_-_-_-_-_ on November 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have both of these books of lego illustrations and love them both.

These books are NOT satire! They are true, illustrated stories from the Bible. There's a difference between mocking something and being humorous, and I think the Brick Testament on the whole is very respectful of the Bible. I have no problem with illustrating the Holy Ghost in lego.

They're very faithful renditions of the words of the bible.

Yes, there is some blood - but how can you tell the TRUE story of christmas without Herod and the murdering of the firstborns? This isn't about Santa Claus and some commercialzed hijacking of the holiday. This is the true story of christmas, don't buy it if you're looking for rudolf and frosty.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TMan on November 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Parents - Mr. Smith has advised that when buying his books for a younger audience, to look for the "for kids" in the title as those books are a little less graphic in their illustration.

I, as an adult, realize that there are some very expensive Lego sets on the market, and that Lego's have as much of an adult/teen audience as they do a "toy" --- but, as a parent, I think of Lego's as a children's toy, and an illustrated "bible" with Lego's would then be assumed to be a children's bible... But, if we visualize many things that are presented in the Holy Bible - they aren't necessarily things we'd want visualized by young minds, even if they are historically accurate.

In this particular book, the illustrations presented are not all illustrations I would want in front of my child. That includes the decision to call out the circumcision of Jesus (knife included) and in the Old Testament Brick Bible (different book), a similar scene with blood and "foreskin" suggested with Lego jewels (new meaning to the family jewels, eh?). In addition, this Story of Christmas Lego book has blood and knife to throat of babies from Herod's rage after Joseph and Mary have fled to Egypt. Again, accurate, but not necessarily a scene I want visualized for my kid.

On the aspect of beliefs, there is a Rolling Stone article referenced from the Brick Testament site that documents Mr. Smith's beliefs as an avowed atheist. This link comes from the "press" link on the site.

So, I as a Christian and as a parent, choose to not have this visualization in front of my Lego playing aged children.... We live in a free country, and Mr. Smith certainly has his right to produce this book as he sees fit. All in all, I give him credit for the time spent illustrating these books.

This particular book is not a "rated G" kid's book and parents should be cautioned.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Mikulis on December 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I just got my copy of "The Brick Testament: The Story of Christmas," and really got a kick out of it. Smith is very creative, and I'm still amazed at how he was able to render objects in Lego (frankincense! stockings! a manger! a Christmas tree!). It's a great Christmas gift (it'll fit in a stocking, too!), and good for teaching kids about the real story of Christmas. Bundle this book with a Lego set and you have an awesome gift where they can be inspired to create their own stories in Lego. A budding Brendan Powell Smith, if you will.

Regarding the appropriateness of this book for a younger audience, I went to a Catholic primary school (1st-6th grades), and I can tell you that there is *nothing* in "The Story of Christmas" that wasn't taught to us there. I like the idea of the Holy Ghost being rendered as a smiling ghost, because what better literal representation is there for a child to understand?
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23 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mark P on November 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'll be honest-- I'm Jewish. So I'm more familiar with herring than Herod, and when someone says "Christmas tree" my first thought is, "Oh yeah, the bushy menorah." But even I have to admire the intersection of beauty and brilliance that is this book.

I've seen the New Testament before and comparing it to the Old Testament, well, you know what they say about sequels... But The Brick Testament is the first treatment of the subject that I can really appreciate. It's like those old Reese's Peanut Butter Cups commercials: "Hey, you got colorful interlocking blocks in my bible stories!" "Hey, you got bible stories in my colorful interlocking blocks!" In unison: "This is delicious!!!"

Well I don't recommend that you eat The Reverend's latest masterpiece but I do recommend that you thoroughly digest it. Does that seem like a paradox? Can you digest without eating? Well, it turns out you can and it's kind of like the miracle of communion wafers. Read this book and you'll understand what I mean.
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By JL on May 26, 2015
Format: Hardcover
WARNING: A mockery of the Bible, and was not created to be accurate at all. Read more of the reviews, especially the ones who left a 1 star.

Not the Bible in context AT ALL. None of the stories were told accurately according to the original Bible. While reading the book, you will see that the author intentionally skewed the stories and the characters. Including whom Jesus is.

I was tremendously disappointed by this production. I thought it was even praise worthy at first, until I opened the book to the FIRST PAGE. God was immediately depicted as an angry old man. He even held a knife a few pages in (WHERE WAS THIS EVER MENTIONED in the Bible?)

Almost the entire book is graphic, filled with stories taken out of context and with characters fighting/slaughtering each other.

This production (along with his other books) are a direct attack on the Bible and the Christian faith. There is nothing more to say about this, but really, it's time for this author to move on to bigger things in his life.

The target audience that the author wants to captivate (and mislead) are children and adults who don't know the Bible, Christ, and God the Father. Please be aware of this.
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