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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
8,808365532 (4.23)268
Member:evareads
Title:Lamb : The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
Authors:Christopher Moore
Info:Harper Paperbacks (2003), Edition: 1st Perenn, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:humour, religious

Work details

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

  1. 100
    A Dirty Job: A Novel 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 268 mentions

English (357)  French (3)  German (3)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (365)
Showing 1-5 of 357 (next | show all)
For me, as an atheist who was raised in the Episcopal Church, this was a mildly uncomfortable read. It was also pretty funny, though, so, take that as you will. In the years since I decided that the church had very little to offer me, I've avoided Christian stuff pretty assiduously. I don't like to get into arguments, and I'm not trying to convince anyone to join me in my atheism if Christianity or some other religion gives them something that they need or feel that they're missing in their life. Bringing up the topic generally ends in situations that make me uncomfortable, so I tend to avoid the topic altogether.

On the other hand, I was brought up on these stories. I went to Sunday school. I helped act out these stories for Vacation Bible School. I heard them in the service readings and had them dissected for me in sermons. They feel familiar in a way that is so deep as to be cultural, and though I know now that what's in the bible isn't empirical truth, they still feel like something that shouldn't be messed with, though maybe more because of how I can imagine some Christians reacting to this sort of humerous retelling of their sacred stories than because of my own discomfort.

And that's how we get to my complicated feelings toward the book; I enjoyed this book. I rolled my eyes at this book. It felt dangerous, ridiculous, courageous, and absurd. It felt like something this subversive should be less silly, and yet, here it stands, and honestly, it's subversive because of it's silliness, and its silliness wouldn't have been nearly as interesting if applied to less 'sacred' subject matter. I probably would have enjoyed this book more in the early stages of my transition from Christianity to atheism than I do now when I haven't been to a church service in 9 years.

I also felt at times that I wasn't the target audience for this book in another way; Biff has sex with just about every woman he meets on his journey, and is constantly obsessed with when he's next going to get laid; because of that, coupled with the fact that Biff is our narrator, every woman that we meet is judged based on how attractive Biff finds them, and is described in ways that reflect that viewpoint. Which is... definitely a believable part of Biff's character development, but not something I could readily identify with.

I would recommend this book to anyone whos up for a silly read, and isn't going to be scandalized by a little bit of sex and kung fu being inserted into bible stories, but also isn't as uncomfortable with those stories as I occasionally am. It's well written, and Biff is definitely a memorable character.

This review first appeared on my blog. ( )
  VLarkinAnderson | Sep 24, 2018 |
It was hard to stay super interested in a funny book about a not funny subject, but I'm glad I read it. There were definitely parts that had me laughing out loud, so I was not disappointed - it just felt like the type of book that wasn't a binger. ( )
  echoechokg | Sep 21, 2018 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 357 (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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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.)
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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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