The Smartass Gospel: Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

What if Jesus and his best buddy had been smartasses?

God wants us to laugh, right?

Christopher Moore certainly thinks so. His book Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal is a hilarious, slightly blasphemous and probably offensive to super religious and hardcore Christians, account of the Jesus’s life, as told by his best friend Biff. We owe Biff the invention of cafe lattes, matches and, most importantly, sarcasm.

In the book, Biff has been brought back by the sloppy blonde angel Raziel – he was supposed to announce Joshua’s (Jesus’ Hebrew name was Joshua, apparently) birth to the shepherds but got distracted playing cards and showed up ten years late – to write HIS account of Jesus’s life. It differs drastically from the other Gospels.

Moore’s book is DEFINITELY tongue-in-cheek and not for people who are easily offended or touchy about religion. But the book is still touching in its own way. I was raised Christian, so Jesus is a guy I’ve “known” for quite awhile. It’s easy, when someone’s, you know, the reason for your religion, to put them on this huge pedestal. It was nice to see an account (even though it’s fiction) of Jesus that reminds us that he was a pretty neat guy. Even if sometimes he “loses it” and wants to give something to the “fuckheads” in the Beatitudes. Also, you get to see him as the typical smartass teenager, screwing with adults, and being a fan of irony (when he sees “Untouchables,” he pokes them).

This part might be a bit spoilery, but everybody knows how the Jesus story ends, so.

I almost cried when Jesus died. I mean, it’s sad and touching anyway, especially if you’re a Christian. But reading it from Biff’s perspective REALLY got me. I have best friends. I love them. I don’t even want to THINK about them dying. But to have been through everything Biff and Josh went through together and then to think about the fact that Biff is WATCHING his best friend die in the worst most painful way…MAN.

Anyway, Lamb is awesome. You should definitely read it. It’s a cool reminder that Jesus was a pretty cool guy and it connects Christianity with eastern religions in a neat way. Also, there are phrases like “the barfing Messiah” and “Torah! Torah! Torah! – War Cry of the Kamikaze Rabbis” in it.

Overall, I HIGHLY recommend Lamb. If you’re easily offended by religion, you might not like it. But Moore writes in the afterword: This story is not and never was meant to challenge anyone’s faith; however, if one’s faith can be shaken by stories in a humorous novel, one may have a bit more praying to do.

Rating: *****

I’ll be back soon with the next book on the list, Life of Pi.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. hahaha this book sounds glorious!

    Reply

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