Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. (HarperCollins), 406 pages, $39.50 cloth. Rating: NNNNN Rating: NNNNN
Reading Christopher Moore's comedic sci-fi horror over the years has given me the same satisfying feeling you might get from watching Douglas Adams kick all the pretentious hippie shit out of Tom Robbins.From 1993's Practical Demonkeeping to 1999's The Lust Lizard Of Melancholy Cove, Moore's side-splitting stuff reads like children's books written for grown-ups.
With Lamb, Moore surpasses himself, taking on the globally important subject of religion by posing the question "What if Jesus had known kung fu?"
Lamb seeks to chronicle the missing 30 or so years of Jesus' life from the point of view of his childhood friend Levi, who's called Biff. Those missing years should be of monumental importance, considering how Christianity dominates the society in which we live, but for some reason they aren't. This gives Moore a chance to express his compassion for the boy shouldered with the responsibility of being the messiah.
The narrator encounters Jesus at the age of six while he's resurrecting lizards in the village square by sticking them in his mouth after his little brother bashes them with a rock.
Moore wittily turns the mystical man who inadvertently changed the direction of the Western world and gave us school holidays on his birthday into an actual character with a real personality who studies Buddhism and tricks his friends into trying to walk on water.
I worry that Moore will never be able to top this.Write Books at email@example.com