A friend of mine recently made a big mistake. She asked me to review books for her website and she promised me that she’s a good editor, so we’ll see if this makes it to the final revision. We’ll also see how long it takes for her to realize the error of her ways and stop asking for further reviews…
I’ve recently started on a path of reading everything by Christopher Moore. I’ve heard good things about his books and I had been in the mood for some “comedic fantasy” so I thought I would give him a whirl. Perhaps his most famous (or infamous?) book is Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal.
Biff is resurrected in modern day to write a new Gospel to tell the story of a naive Josh (that’s what Jesus’s friends called him) and how he spent the first 30 years of his life trying to figure out how to be the Messiah. To accomplish this, Josh decides to search out the three wise men to learn from them. And since Josh is naive and idealistic, who better than the “street smart”, not-so-naive, and idealistic Biff to come along and help keep him safe. Along the way, Josh learns Kung-Fu, Biff learns Kama-Sutra, they meet a demon or two, stop human sacrifice, befriend a snowman, you know…all the usual stuff. Once Josh has figured out the kind of Messiah he wants to be, Moore’s “take” or “spin” on the Gospels finishes up the book and you figure out why Biff seems to have been cut out of the story altogether.
This is my favorite Moore book so far. I’ve become a big fan of books based on religion and this one gets added to that list along side Unholy Knights (Seth Grahame-Smith) and Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett). I’d call all three of these books satire or parodies, but that’s not really what they are. They don’t mock or ridicule. They put real, flawed humans into biblical settings and stories and try to give you a fun, humorous, and touching story without mocking the stories they are borrowing.
That said, if you find the idea of Jesus learning martial arts or being unsure of himself or being curious about sex sacrilegious, this book most definitely is not for you. Also, if you aren’t a fan of sophomoric humor, Moore probably isn’t for you either.
Matt Balgeman is a soccer dad and a connoisseur of fine books. Or any books. Okay, he’ll read pretty much anything. Keep up with his latest reviews here at Bookli.