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Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's…

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (original 2002; edition 2003)

by Christopher Moore

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,734363528 (4.23)266
Title:Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
Authors:Christopher Moore
Info:Harper Paperbacks (2003), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:comedy, historical fiction

Work details

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore (2002)

  1. 100
    A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore (Ti99er)
  2. 91
    Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett (yokai)
  3. 50
    The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore (Ti99er)
  4. 30
    Fluke, or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore (Ti99er)
  5. 30
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (andomck)
    andomck: Religion, realism, fantasy, humor, low brow, etc. Makes sense to me.
  6. 20
    Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  7. 20
    Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore (sturlington)
    sturlington: Character cross-overs.
  8. 20
    The Preservationist by David Maine (PhilipFOBrienJr)
    PhilipFOBrienJr: An amusing take on the Noah/Flood story
  9. 10
    Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith (MyriadBooks)
  10. 10
    You Don't Have to Be Evil to Work Here, But it Helps by Tom Holt (Ti99er)
  11. 32
    Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore (Ti99er)
  12. 00
    Nothing But Blue Skies by Tom Holt (Ti99er)
  13. 00
    The Pericles Commission by Gary Corby (meggyweg)
  14. 00
    The Road Trip Dialogues by Jass Richards (ptittle)
    ptittle: same weird off-beat funny with underlying serious
  15. 00
    Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible! by Jonathan Goldstein (meggyweg)
  16. 00
    Who's Afraid of Beowulf? by Tom Holt (Dr.Science)
    Dr.Science: The English author Tom Holt is relatively unknown in America, but very popular in England. If you enjoy Jasper Fforde or Christopher Moore you will most certainly enjoy Tom Holt's wry sense of English humor and the absurd. He has written a number of excellent books including Expecting Someone Taller, and Flying Dutch, but they may be difficult to find at your library or bookstore.… (more)
  17. 00
    Fated by S. G. Browne (Phantasma)
  18. 00
    Death: A Life by George Pendle (meggyweg, meggyweg)
  19. 01
    Only Begotten Daughter by James Morrow (the_awesome_opossum)
    the_awesome_opossum: Only Begotten Daughter is darker and less whimsical than Lamb, but the protagonist - the daughter of God - also struggles with her divinity and purpose on Earth. It is funny in spots, but in a more wry and satirical way. So if you liked the more serious parts of Lamb, try this book… (more)

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» See also 266 mentions

English (355)  French (3)  German (3)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (363)
Showing 1-5 of 355 (next | show all)
Action. Adventure. Romance. Humor.

All of these (and quite possibly more specificities) are so prevalent throughout Christopher Moore's Lamb that it wouldn't be the same story without them.

Initially, I admit -- having been raised Baptist and still feeling quite spiritual at my current road in life -- I was hesitant to read this. Jokes, satire, poking-fun, etc., regarding God and Jesus seemed to cross into territory that was uncomfortable to me. However, as Lamb was a recommendation and gift from a friend, I started to read, and I found myself laughing and enjoying the story set out in front of me.

A couple character notes:
Biff is a loveable character, but at times his sexual encounters are either too abundant or graphic (and at times, both). It became distracting in parts, but for the most part, the sexuality throughout was handled with humor and a touch of off-kiltered class.

Joshua (Jesus, Yeshua, variations apply) was given the respect I had hoped for (and appreciated) and a personality I thoroughly adored. Never once did I, as a spiritual reader, feel that the Messiah of my personal religion was being poked fun at in the name of "creative licence".

All-in-all, my approval of this book can be summed up with the disclaimer 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."

I can only hope my prayers are heard by the same, fun-loving Messiah as His Lamb counterpart. Any afterlife just wouldn't be the same without Joshua's sense of humor. ( )
  omgitsafox | Jul 23, 2018 |
The only previous book of [a:Christopher Moore|16218|Christopher Moore|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1200095788p2/16218.jpg]'s that I read was [b:Coyote Blue|33459|Coyote Blue|Christopher Moore|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1266455546s/33459.jpg|813988] which I loved. [a:Christopher Moore|16218|Christopher Moore|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1200095788p2/16218.jpg] is a clever writer, funny and insightful with an eye towards the folklore in which his books (or at least the ones that I've read) are based.

My dear friend Condor recommended this book to me, though it was already on my 'to-read' pile from years ago. With the recent recommendation I knew I had to get about to reading it... and I was rather glad I did. Funny, irreverent, and with an eye towards the historical in a way similar to [b:Unholy Knight] this book was quite good. It really grasped the political situation of the time, and although a great deal of the book was drawn from rumors (the Buddhist and Hindu more than the rest) it was still very fun.

I think there is much to be gotten from this book from people who enjoy the study of early Christianity and the like, though as [a:Christopher Moore|16218|Christopher Moore|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1200095788p2/16218.jpg] said, unfortunately that's the crowd least likely to read the book. All in all, however, this was just a quite fun experience. I'm glad I'm starting to clear out my to-read pile! ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
“For me, to know at ten that my best friend was the Messiah, while I would live and die a stonecutter, seemed too much of a curse for a ten-year-old to bear.” - Levi who is called Biff, BFF of Joshua (a.k.a. Jesus)

This story is told by Biff, 2,000 years after his death. (He is brought back to life by the angel Raziel to tell the tale) Biff first meets Joshua when they are 6 years old, and Joshua is reanimating lizards that his brother had killed. The first 106 pages, Part I of the book, is pretty dang funny!

The chapters about the three wise men - Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar - were boring, even if the point was that Joshua had studied other religious philosophies of the time. And as that material covered almost 200 pages, nearly half of the book, I felt like my interest really waned.

When Joshua and Biff return from all of that, the story picks up a bit, although the end of the story is a bummer, as most/all Bible readers know. And the end piece by the author was very interesting, and cool, to read! I'm sure a devout Christian would not appreciate this book, but if you are open minded to read a humorous tale about Christ's missing years, you may very well enjoy this read! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jun 11, 2018 |
Many years ago, I took a college class on "Religions of the World", which was taught by a very devout Christian. The result was wasted class time equal to one on "Evolution" taught by William Jennings Bryant. This book was a hundred times more enlightening, a thousand times more interesting, and infinitely more entertaining. For much of the book, one might compare it to a new Harry Potter movie, scripted by Elmore Leonard and directed by Mel Brooks. Most of the premise of the book is that the Bible doesn't cover the time between the birth of Jesus and his adult years (other than a brief reference to his childhood.) Since there's essentially nothing to contradict what the author says about these childhood years, the author's imagination gets to run a little wild. In the process, the author also gets to delve into other religions available at the time. It's at this point that it really comes through how well-read the author is on the Bible, other religions, and the times in which Jesus lived. Having set a certain tone up to this point, it's a little surprising to see how seriously the author takes the narrative, while maintaining all the "givens" he's established up to that point. In an Afterword to his book, the author speculates that a person who knows the difference between the "real" biblical references and those made up, would not be reading the book. That makes me one of the lucky ones. I knew and I still read. But then, I see life as infinite shades of gray, not just the black and white that religion keeps trying to show me. ( )
  larryerick | Apr 26, 2018 |
I wasn't sure how I was going to take to this one. Moore tends to lean towards dark humour which can sometimes fall flat for me. What did work for me is the idea that Jesus embarked on 30-year journey of introspection and learning (the "Gap Years"). Makes sense to me, as does the idea that he would have been accompanied by his best friend on this destiny quest. When one doesn't have much to go on, seeking out the three wise men who came bearing gifts seems like a logical plan. Given that the focus of this story is to be humorous, it is not surprising that Joshua's BFF Biff is a street-smart, amoral and rather cynical individual (kind of the mirror opposite to Joshua), but like any good BFF, he is there for Joshua, through thick and thin. The quest was best part of the book for me. Loved the years spent in the Buddhist monastery, Balthasar's fortress and the sea caves! I got some good chuckles over some of the banter and sharp one-liners, but Biff's "frat boy" attitude started to wear a little thin with me. The second story line - set in modern day with Biff and the angel Raziel holed up in a hotel room in St. Louis (why St. Louis?!?) where Biff writes this "missing" gospel - is just... odd. Doesn't quite work for me, even though I can see how a "visitor" could become addicted to pizza and binge watch soap operas.

Overall, I love the concept for the story but I was glad to reach the end of this one. Not an easy book to recommend as the story will probably offend some readers. One definitely need to be a fan of dark humour to enjoy this one and should be prepared to read it with a rather open mind. My reading tastes tend to lean more towards Moore's other books, like The Stupidest Angel. ( )
  lkernagh | Apr 16, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 355 (next | show all)
"Lamb" is an incredibly compelling work even for readers who don't agree with Moore's conclusions. The book is also laugh out loud funny at times, which really helps during some of more irreverent parts of the story.
Interesting, original, not for every taste.
added by mysterymax | editKirkus Review (May 20, 2010)

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christopher Mooreprimary authorall editionscalculated
Balder, Hugo E.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baranger, LucTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Estrella, JuanjoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevens, FisherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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God is a comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh. - Voltaire
Author's blessing

If you have come to these pages for laughter, may you find it.
If you are here to be offended, may your ire rise and your blood boil.
If you seek adventure, may this story sing you away to blissful escape.
If you need to test or confirm your beliefs, may you reach comfortable conclusions.
All books revel perfection, by what they are or what they are not.
May you find that which you seek, in these pages or outside them.
May you find perfection, and know it by name.
First words
The angel was cleaning out his closets when the call came.
You think you know how this story is going to end, but you don't.
I learned how to boil down goat urine to make explosives today.
Hi, I'm the Messiah, God wanted you to have this bacon.
I know that even now, having watched enough television, you probably won't even refer to them as lepers so as to spare their feelings. You probably call them 'parts-dropping-off challenged' or something.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
In this work the author seeks to fill in the "lost" years of Jesus through the point of view of Jesus' childhood pal, "Levi bar Alphaeus who is called Biff". Biff has been resurrected in the present day, to complete missing parts of the Bible. Supposedly under the watchful eye of the angel Raziel, who turns out to be more interested in the soap operas on the television in their hotel, Biff is made to write down his account of the decades missing from Jesus' life. During these years he and Joshua (which, as Biff points out, "Jesus" is the Greek version of, and thus in Galilee Jesus was called Joshua Bar Joseph) travel to the East to seek the Three Wise Men who attended Joshua's birth, so that he may learn how to become the Messiah.
Haiku summary
Biff is quite a guy/His friend is the Messiah/Find out what that's like (jeshakespeare)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380813815, Paperback)

While the Bible may be the word of God, transcribed by divinely inspired men, it does not provide a full (or even partial) account of the life of Jesus Christ. Lucky for us that Christopher Moore presents a funny, lighthearted satire of the life of Christ--from his childhood days up to his crucifixion--in Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. This clever novel is surely blasphemy to some, but to others it's a coming-of-age story of the highest order.

Joshua (a.k.a. Jesus) knows he is unique and quite alone in his calling, but what exactly does his Father want of him? Taking liberties with ancient history, Moore works up an adventure tale as Biff and Joshua seek out the three wise men so that Joshua can better understand what he is supposed to do as Messiah. Biff, a capable sinner, tags along and gives Joshua ample opportunities to know the failings and weaknesses of being truly human. With a wit similar to Douglas Adams, Moore pulls no punches: a young Biff has the hots for Joshua's mom, Mary, which doesn't amuse Josh much: "Don't let anyone ever tell you that the Prince of Peace never struck anyone." And the origin of the Easter Bunny is explained as a drunken Jesus gushes his affection for bunnies, declaring, "Henceforth and from now on, I decree that whenever something bad happens to me, there shall be bunnies around."

One small problem with the narrative is that Biff and Joshua often do not have distinct voices. A larger difficulty is that as the tone becomes more somber with Joshua's life drawing to its inevitable close, the one-liners, though not as numerous, seem forced. True to form, Lamb keeps the story of Joshua light, even after its darkest moments. --Michael Ferch

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:29 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The birth of Jesus has been well chronicled, as have his glorious teachings, acts, and divine sacrifice after his thirtieth birthday. But no one knows about the early life of the Son of God, the missing years-except Biff, the Messiah's best bud, who has been resurrected to tell the story in the divinely hilarious yet heartfelt work "reminiscent of Vonnegut and Douglas Adams" (Philadelphia Inquirer). Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Savior's pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there's no one who loves Josh more-except maybe "Maggie," Mary of Magdala-and Biff isn't about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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