175 of 194 people found the following review helpful
What Did Jesus Do?,
This review is from: Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (Hardcover)
The Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John leave a gaping hole in the story of Jesus. They tell of the shepherds, the angel, the virgin, the manger, and the wise men, then jump to Jesus as a thirtysomething rabbi. What did Jesus do during his formative years? Christopher Moore has an answer in his latest novel Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. Biff is Levi bar Alphaeus, son of a stonemason and childhood friend of Joshua [Yeshua] bar Jehovah, son of God. The first section of the novel tells of the adventures of Biff, Joshua, and Maggie [Mary of Magdala] in and around Nazareth. The next three sections take Biff and Joshua to visit and learn from each of the three magi. The last section puts a Christopher Moore spin on the story told in the New Testament. We can read the good news according to Biff because the angel Raziel has resurrected Biff [and one other person] to write their versions of the Gospel. Biff's interactions with Raziel are interspersed with the main story, usually at the beginings of chapters, and [inconsistently] set apart as long block quotes. This is a humorous book from a master of humor, but also a sensitive book. I loved this novel. Humor fans, Christopher Moore fans, believers, non-believers, mainstream Christians, and non-Christians should all love this wonderful book. If you find sacrilege in non-Biblical mentions of Jesus, stay away from this novel. You'll hate it. You might even want to burn it. You'll convince your friends to write gratuitous negative reviews of this book. But in my opinion, any open-minded person who has ever mused about the life and teachings of Jesus will find a lot to laugh about and think about in Christopher Moore's Lamb.
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Initial post: Mar 8, 2007 1:25:32 AM PST
Your comment about the sensitivity of the book were what captured me. This Jesus fealt more real and I found I hurt for him moreso than in the traditional dogma. It's a wonderful blend of plot developed absurdity and wise interpretation of how things could have been.
Posted on Jul 20, 2007 10:37:00 PM PDT
Geoff Oldham says:
"Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" is witty religious satire done in an entertaining way. Rather than worry about stepping on toes, Chris tells a fun, entertaining story whose merits are the ability to not only look at Jesus Christ and Christianity from a different angle, but to get to the heart of what it is to be human. Some Christians may find the storyline/plot of "Biff" insulting and heretical in its portrayal of Jesus, but this is simply fiction. There is not intent to smear Christ's name, to undermine his teachings, or to paint Christians in a negative life. This is a very human story.
Like Anti-Christ: A Satirical End of Days, I can see how on the surface the novel would turn off a large segment of the audience. Just have a little fun people. It's only a book.
Though I loved "Biff", I enjoyed Anti-Christ: A Satirical End of Days more. Whereas "Biff" and Moore tread lightly, "Anti-Christ" was willing to go much further and tell a deeper story. Highly symbolic, "Anti-Christ" decided to tell the tale of what has become of Christ's teachings. Thus it serves as the Omega to Moore's Alpha. "Biff" deals with the heart and beginnings of Christian belief and teachings while "Anti-Christ" deals with what has become of those same teachings in the modern day. You owe it to yourself to pick both up.
Posted on Nov 4, 2008 10:13:52 AM PST
R. Moore says:
I agree with this review. This is a thought-provoking and sometimes painfully funny story. Christopher Moore is brilliant.
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