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

by Christopher Moore

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,510297459 (4.24)217
Member:andomck
Title:Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
Authors:Christopher Moore
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2003), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 444 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work details

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

  1. 81
    A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore (Ti99er)
  2. 71
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  3. 40
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  4. 30
    The Preservationist by David Maine (PhilipFOBrienJr)
    PhilipFOBrienJr: An amusing take on the Noah/Flood story
  5. 30
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    andomck: Religion, realism, fantasy, humor, low brow, etc. Makes sense to me.
  6. 30
    The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror (Version 2.0) by Christopher Moore (sturlington)
    sturlington: Character cross-overs.
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    Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore (Ti99er)
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    Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith (MyriadBooks)
  9. 20
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  10. 10
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    sturlington: Character cross-overs.
  11. 10
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  12. 10
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  13. 10
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  15. 10
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    sturlington: My two favorite Moore novels.
  17. 11
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    sturlington: The biblical scenes inspired Moore.
  18. 00
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    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)
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    ptittle: same weird off-beat funny with underlying serious
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(see all 21 recommendations)

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English (290)  French (3)  German (2)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (297)
Showing 1-5 of 290 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book. I am not a religious person, which may be why I could enjoy this so much, but this is the kind of Jesus I would have liked to think about. Doing the right thing, but accepting others (even his good friend and sinner, Biff) completely for who they are.

And, to be honest, there were parts that were so funny I laughed out loud (when done in public, that can be awkward, but it was still worth it). ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this book. I am not a religious person, which may be why I could enjoy this so much, but this is the kind of Jesus I would have liked to think about. Doing the right thing, but accepting others (even his good friend and sinner, Biff) completely for who they are.

And, to be honest, there were parts that were so funny I laughed out loud (when done in public, that can be awkward, but it was still worth it). ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Perhaps only Christopher Moore could get away with writing a humorous novel about the life of Jesus, revealing a real person with flaws and all, and not only not get lambasted for it, but have his book embraced by both the devout and the non-devout alike.

Both the title and synopsis of the novel pretty much cover it. As told by his best friend Biff, Lamb covers those missing decades in Christ's life not discussed in the Bible. And though it's been a number of years since I read it, I'll never forget when we first encounter young Jesus, who is busy bashing in the head of a lizard with a rock, breathing life back into it, then bashing in its head and doing it again. I remember thinking, "Ya know, that's exactly what a young kid with such powers might do."

Of course, his later attempt at bringing back a dead Roman soldier is not quite as successful. I mean, yes, he does reanimate the corpse and all. However, the poor undead thing doesn't get much more alive than any of George Romero's zombies. But then, he's still learning.

Much of the rest of the book is spent traveling the Middle East, meeting with the three Kings who were there at his birth, learning about other world religions, and along the way (and quite by happenstance) inventing things like putting cream and sugar in coffee and the like.

Years after reading it, I was in the bookstore shopping for Christmas, and there saw a leatherbound, limited edition copy of the book that looked for all the world like a Bible. Again, I remember thinking, "only Christopher Moore."

Then again, even for the devout, there's no harm in imagining this as one of the "lost books" of the Bible, with so much care and affection does Moore paint his picture of young Jesus. I suspect that may even be something both believers and non-believers can agree upon. ( )
  BrendanPMyers | Jun 23, 2014 |
If your religious beliefs lean toward the very serious this would not be the novel for you. Christopher Moore creates a best friend for Jesus who definitely sees the drawbacks to the choices his friend makes. Hysterically funny and not at all reverent it's another example of his unusual view of life. ( )
  Jane1551 | May 15, 2014 |
Lamb tells the story of Jesus Christ from his childhood up to his crucifixion, all from the point of view of his best friend, Levi who is called Biff. In his afterward, Moore mentions that there's very little mention of Joshua's childhood and he has attempted to fill in the gaps in history. He says himself "I am not trying to present history as it might really have been, I'm simply telling stories." I feel this is a key element people need to keep in mind while reading this - this is a humorous and endearing look at Joshua's life and the events that might have made him into the man he was - it's not satire and it's not intended to offend. It's fiction!

I'm a little biased, I'll admit, because I love everything Moore writes, wholeheartedly. There's no middle ground for me. I read this book in high school, and it was actually the first of Moore's work that I ever read - I fell in love from page one:
"The angel was cleaning out his closets when the call came. Halos and moonbeams were sorted into piles according to brightness and satchels of wrath and scabbards of lightning hung on hooks waiting to be dusted. A wineskin of glory had leaked in the corned and the angel blotted it with a wad of fabric. Each time he turned the cloth a muted chorus rang from the closet, as if he'd clamped the lid down on a pickle jar full of Hallelujah Chorus."

I never thought about what an angel's closet might look like - but what an image Moore created. Personally, I think he's very clever with his descriptions and his humor suits me perfectly. Moore portrays Joshua as earnest, honest and stubborn. Biff is his wild and crazy buddy who is constantly scheming, swearing and putting moves on the local ladies. They meet a very colorful cast as they seek the three wise men who attended Joshua's birth so that he can figure out how to become the Messiah. There are wizards and demons and Buddhists and prostitutes. There are sacrifices, yeti's, lepers. This book made me laugh out loud several times, but it also had some pretty emotional parts.

Again, this book isn't for everyone - Moore doesn't intend to offend anyone's religious beliefs, but I'm sure it's probably happened now and again. Personally, I know very little about what the Bible contains, so this was just a story for me - I wasn't worried about accuracy or anything like that.

A quick note on the special edition - if you're a fan of Moore's work, or at least this book, it's definitely worth picking up. It's a beautiful book - the pages are gilded on the edges, the cover is black and textured (much like a Bible) with gold embossed lettering. It comes with a ribbon bookmark and and afterward by Moore talking about his reason behind writing this book and the research he did to make this happen. My only issue is that the sticker they put on the back to describe the book, etc, won't come off without leaving some residue behind and I'm afraid to use goo-gone or anything because I don't want to ruin the book. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Apr 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 290 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christopher Mooreprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stevens, FisherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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.
Dedication
First words
The angel was cleaning out his closets when the call came.
Quotations
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.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Original language
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:43 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A humorous, speculative novel fills in the lost years of Jesus' life, told from the perspective of Biff, his childhood best friend.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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