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Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

By Commander Strikeher | Books | January 26, 2010 |

By Commander Strikeher | Books | January 26, 2010 |

Jesus H. Christ, I loved this book! Or, more accurately, Jesus H. Christ made me love this book.

A few years ago one of my friends pointed out an interesting fact. The gospels focus on the birth of Jesus, and then you never hear another thing about him until he starts preaching, just before the crucifixion. Ever wonder what happened between the birth of Christ and his crucifixion? Lamb is the missing gospel according to Biff. Biff was Jesus’s best friend ever since he stumbled on the six-year-old Messiah resurrecting lizards in the desert. Biff is hardly a Christ-like figure. He has sex (a lot), curses, learns to fight, and is generally a pain in the ass.

Biff was resurrected in the present day by the soap opera-obsessed angel Raziel in order for Biff to write his gospel. Biff and Joshua (Jesus’s real name) grew up in Nazareth together and both fell in love with Maggie (Mary Magdalene). Joshua knows from the beginning that he is the son of God, even though Biff thinks he’s nuts. Joshua realizes that he can’t learn how to be the Messiah just hanging around Nazareth, so he and Biff set off on a journey to visit each of the three wise men. The first wise man, Balthasar, lives in a fortress with his concubines. Joshua and Biff hang around for a few years, learning about Taoism and other Asian religions/philosophies. Then they study with Gaspar for a few years at a Tibetan monastery. Finally, they travel to India and study with Melchoir. The boys, now men, return to Jerusalem and Joshua/Jesus begins preaching, gathering apostles, and well … you know the rest.

I love that Moore has Joshua/Jesus learn about all of the other established religions before starting his own. Quite a bit of Christianity has its roots in other religions. Not all of this book is wacky hijinks. There are quite a few poignant moments as well. This book was a blast to read, and I am sure that I will be re-reading it again and again. Put this on your shelf next to Good Omens. They would be great companions.

This review is part of the Cannonball Read series. For more of Commander Strikeher’s reviews, check out the blog, Boldly Going to Kick Your Ass.