#4 – Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore (2002)
It would seem that I have a soft spot for comedic-fantasy novels. Comedy can be very difficult to write and I guess I just appreciate authors who can do it well.
Christopher Moore certainly falls into that category. Most of his books are good, but this one truly blew me away.
The book follows Jesus’ life from the vantage point of his vulgar, well-meaning but not too bright buddy Biff. The book takes the point of view that Jesus was not always the well-spoken leader that he is depicted as in the Bible. He had to hone is craft, practice his healing and work on his vocabulary.
The books also follows Jesus through the ages of 12-30; years that are markedly absent from the Bible. Where did he go? What was he doing? Moore follows these misadventures with heart and hilarity.
To my surprise, the book was not as blasphemous as I thought it would be. I’m not all that religious, but I was a bit worried that the book would cause some backlash in the religious community. But Moore does a great job of making Jesus looks like a real human, but keeping the book humourous; mainly by making Biff the one who does all the blasphemous stuff. He has quite an affinity for prostitutes.
Mary Magdalene is also quite prominent in the novel. She, of course, is not a prostitute, but she grew up with Jesus and Biff. Poor Jesus truly shows how human he is in his relationship with Mary Magdalene, as he knows he cannot marry her, but still cares very much for her.
Even if you are not religious at all, you will really enjoy this book. I’d call it a Bro-mance set 2000 years ago, and it is awesome.
“Nobody’s perfect. Well, there was this one guy, but we killed him….”
- Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal