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Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (2004)

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (2004)
Rating
4.27 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0380813815 (ISBN13: 9780380813810)
languge
English
publisher
harpercollins
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Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, C...
Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (2004)

About book: What I remember from CCD:•tIt was Tuesday nights and that meant that I missed Who’s the Boss•tAll the really obnoxious cheerleaders went to my church (Our Lady of Perpetual Help-OLPH!)•tI had to go to CCD so I could get confirmed or I couldn’t get married in a church (so I was told every time I tried to feign an illness or a menstrual cramp)•tWe would be ushered into the school/rectory thing where we had to choose 3 colored rings which represented 3 different ‘classes’ we would attend… things like ‘Sacrifice and Abstaining during Lent 101’ and ‘Abstinence - Just Do It’ and I would pick my colors hoping that I would get the class that the Michael J Fox look-alike was teaching•tSometimes we were given juiceThings I didn’t learn from CCD•tWhat CCD actually stood for•tHow to get married in a church•tHow to be cool•tAnything about ChristSo, forgive me if I’m enamored by this book. You can all roll your eyes as much as you want and call it cutesy and a Tom Robbins rip off (never read him, probably never will) and say that the jokes grew old fast and that you were bored and yadda yadda yadda. My ‘real’ teachings of Christ came from a college Western Civ course, taught in one of the oldest churches in Boston by a professor who kicked Genesis’s ass up and down the pews at 8am every Monday and Wednesday morning.. (Thank you, Professor Coffee, I ♥ you) and numerous viewings of Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ where I had to badger my husband with ‘Now, who is that again?’ and ‘Willem Defoe is a pretty hot looking Jesus.’ (Thank you, Maurice…now Judas will always be Harvey Keitel who will always be The Bad Lieutenant to me)Here… this book, this work of fiction, will probably replace all of that… well, almost all (never you, Professor Coffee, never you) because it brought a sense of humanity and some laugh out loud scenes that I probably would have never associated with the whole Christian teachings and what have you. (Apparently, I missed that class)Biff and Josh’s friendship rivaled any literary friendships that I’ve encountered and while I was expecting to LMAO, I wasn’t expecting to want to scoop both of them up and hug them. And then hug them some more. I mean, I know how this story ends, okay? I’m not that daft… and yet.. I was still sniffling and trying to swallow past the lump in my throat. Many seem to have lost interest with Biff and Josh’s journey searching for the Magus, I can see this, though it wasn’t the case with me… I loved how they grew from each stay learning about the Tao and Confucius and Buddha-- and how I had to struggle along with Josh as he tries to figure out this whole Messiah bit that he has to live up to. I especially love the scene with the Yeti. Wow. “The mountain people. They killed the yeti because they couldn’t understand a creature who wasn’t as evil as they were.” “The mountain people were evil?”“All men are evil, that’s what I was talking to my father about.”“What did he say?”“Fuck ‘em.”“Really?”“Yeah.”“At least he answered you.”“I got the feeling that he thinks it’s my problem now.”“Makes you wonder why he didn’t burn that on one of the tablets. ‘HERE, MOSES, HERE’S THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, AND HERE’S AN EXTRA ONE THAT SAYS FUCK ‘EM.’”“He doesn’t sound like that.” (If you’ve already started guffawing and/or rolling your eyes, this probably isn’t for you.)I knew some of the mainstays of the story… when Josh raises Lazarus:”Simon, get your leprous ass out here,” Joshua commanded.“But, I’m…. I’m all icky.”Or when he foretells of his betrayal and death to his disciples:Someone will have to carry on the church when I’m gone, and I’m going to be gone soon. In the spring we’ll go to Jerusalem for the Passover, and there I will be judged by the scribes and the priests and there I will be tortured and put to death. But three days from the day of my death, I shall rise and be with you again.”………We looked not at each other, and neither at the ground, but at a place in space a few feet from out faces, where I suppose one looks for a clear answer to appear out of undefined shock.“Well, that sucks,” someone said. And the scene with the moneychangers in the Temple? Almost as powerful as Willem kicking ass… almost.Alrighty then… this isn’t supposed to be anything but a story and I really have to thank Mr. Moore for making my day. And if any of you doubters want to debate this….. Look! Is that a seagull?!;)

OK, I finished the book! Whoohoo! All in all, it was ok for me. I laughed a lot in the beginning...some of my favorite lines were "Revelations 2; Just When you thought it was safe to sin."and "Actually , I thought I'd stay Josh. Your mother needs someone to look after her, and she's still a relatively attractive woman. I mean a guy could do worse."My absolute favorite part was the lizard in the beginning. I laughed so hard! very fun and creative.It got slow for me while he was visiting the wisemen. But I did laugh once in a while. Definately not as much as in the beginning.The End...I was nervous reading the part during His ministry. Being a Born Again Christian, I knew this could be difficult. I did struggle with a few things, and to me they were important. Well, at least two things. First, the scorging, "At least it wasn't a Roman scourge they lashed him with. He took thirty nine lashes, but it was just leather, not the lead -tipped whip that the romands use. " A cat of nine tails was used with other devices. It was the Romans scourging so it was a roman scourge. Pieces of glass and metal shards are embedded in the leather strips, and they rip through the flesh. Important to me because I want others to know how bad the penalty for our sins was.Second part was the crusificiton, the poisen. This is a fictional work. But Mr. Moore did do a lot of research for this book as well. And I always have to take a stand on the belief of the real death and resurection of Jesus. I found myself praying that the book wouldn't go that route. But it did, and you are lead to believe that he drinks it. Thankfully Moore didn't let the ending be the poisen.Now that that is said, I would like to say that I loved that no matter how raunchy the book got, or made me shake my head, the ending was still sad. His followers didn't get it, didn't want to believe it even. It ripped them to shreds inside. With how the book was going,I kept expecting humor in the crusifiction, but it was well done emotionally. If there was a poisen that could work like that, I would have wanted to try it to save Him too. It is too much to fathom that the person you have been friends with for even the time that the real diciples were with Him, was going to have to bear that torture, and then to understand He was coming back, and that it was being done to save the world, I wouldn't have gotten it either. Because of the Bible, those who believe have hindsight. I really appreciated that Moore stayed true to at least the tragedy and pain that His friends had to wittness. Jesus swearing as a kid, didn't seem to bother me quite as much as it did as He aged. Once the book got to the part that is written, it was much harder for me to find the humor in certain things. But there were some. Like when Biff talks about his mom and Joshua says, "she still plagued with demons?" Lines like that cracked me up. Thanks for letting me read the book. It was interesting and at times fun. I will still reccomend it to one more of my friends who I know can handle it as a Born Again believer. But it is definately a book I have to be careful of recomendations. Only because so many "Christians" that I know would have a fit reading this book. But I did pass it on to a friend of mine, who is a christian, but who also has a great sense of humor.
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Reviews
Lyn
This book is funny as HELL! Though funny and most definitely irreverent, Lamb is a story about the Son of God and his times here on Earth amongst people, told from the perspective of Biff, Joshua’s (Jesus) childhood pal and Moore fills up the lost thirty some odd years from the gospels. Biff is the Jewish lothario Forrest Gump of Biblical stories and Moore uses Biff’s narrative as a vehicle to explore the ancient world, often with laugh out loud results.Religion. There are plenty of people who will never read this book but will nonetheless be very offended by it. However, though it is an absurd comedy, it is like The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity and The Lost Years of Jesus: Documentary Evidence of Jesus' 17-Year Journey to the East in that it treats Jesus as a miraculous and gentle though powerful superhuman, and somewhat ironically, like the Kevin Smith film Dogma, affirmatively casts him as the Son of God. Though Moore makes up the earlier parts, he tells the last months of Jesus’ life fairly straight from the gospels, though from Biff’s perspective. Moore states at the end of the book in a well crafted and sincere sounding address to his readers that although he did thoroughly research his book, especially as to historical accuracies of the time and place of Christ’s time, it is a work of fiction, maybe not even rising to the level of the “historical fiction” genre. Simply stated, he made up the story, and he was never attempting to influence or change anyone’s faith. He also makes the astute comment that “if one’s faith can be shaken by stories in a humorous novel, then one may have a bit more praying to do”. Certainly, there will be many who would not read this, and still some others that may get started and cannot finish for reasons of reverence and guilty ideas about blasphemy. I remember years ago when The Last Temptation of Christ came out and everyone made such a big deal about it. Truth be said, it was the publicity that drew me to go see it and I was a little thrilled to walk through a picket line. A Presbyterian minister and two younger people with him stopped me and asked me some questions about why I wanted to go see the film. They were not fire and brimstoners, but seemed like nice folks who were sincerely offended by what they understood as an attack on their faith. I asked them one question: “Have you seen the film?” Of course, they had not. I also remember that during the film, there seemed a slow but somewhat steady exodus of people from the theater, until about halfway through, when only the stolid and curious were left. In that film and this book, I guess I can see why some would be offended, but I am not, my faith is not at all shaken by a liberal, interpretive, and in this sense, irreverent and humorous artistic license.In the end, this is an entertaining, well written book, funny and yes, irreverent, but also without any overt attacks on faith. Told with warmth, Moore also focuses on parts of the faith and teachings that could draw a believer closer.
brian tanabe
Hello! One of the most humorously engaging books I’ve read in a while. Painfully, I’ve gone through the rest of Moore’s oeuvre confirming my theory that he channeled Tom Robbins and perhaps some other lesser authors to write this literary slice of heaven. As a side note, I attended a reading and was thoroughly blown away for two reasons. First, I learned why Moore doesn’t do readings. He is f-ing horrible at reading, let alone his own words. BUT, it was so incredibly horrible that it made the whole thing endearing. And the other thing that I learned was that Lamb was by far *his* most favorite book, if he had to choose one. Makes sense.
Jonathan
A book recommendation that I suffered through... not for charges of blasphemy, but for style. I can't stand this type of comedic writing with its obvious set-ups and zingers and formulaic irreverence. Douglas Adams wanna-be. This type of humor gets enough time between news items on NPR's "All Things Considered." Bah!Witness the last lines (paraphrased here):"The 'H' in Jesus H. Christ stands for Hallowed . . . you know, 'Hallowed be thy name'?""Oh! I thought it stood for Harvey."He saved that gem for the end of the book.
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