Tuesday 19 August 2008

"And the dumbf***s shall inherit a fruit basket" (Amphibians 4:12)

This is the other book my sister gifted to me for my birthday, at my request. And I requested it because it was recommended to me by someone in far away Israel whom I haven't seen since our halcyon undergraduate days in Halcyfax. She said I'd "laugh my Gentile ass off", and she was correct (I'm quoting her loosely here; and by "quoting" I mean "making shit up").

Christopher Moore's Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal is a novelistic (and novel) re-imagining of the life of J.C., which includes the 30 years between his birth and the beginning of his ministry (for the most part excluded from the real Christian Gospels).

In this book, J.C. is the holy guy he's been understood as historically by Christians but he's also pretty funny and quite human. His best friend Biff, who's been edited out of the Gospels for reasons I can't reveal if you haven't read the book, is totally human insofar as he enjoys making a lot of jokes that are alternately hilarious and lame, and he likes all the pleasures of the flesh very much indeed. He also saves J.C.'s naive ass a number of times (because, in case you didn't know, J.C. and Biff spent many years in the east getting Kung-fu lessons).

One thing about the book, well about Biff really, that I found alternately funny and kind of annoying was how "Forrest Gumpy" Moore made him. I don't mean slow. I mean how Forrest Gump kept sort of inadvertently inventing things, like the lyrics to that John Lennon song; you know the one.

In Lamb, Biff "discovers" Darwin's theory of natural selection, gravity, and the earth's roundness; of course, no one believes him, not even J.C. I probably wouldn't have minded this at all if it weren't for the Forrest Gump connection (that silly-ass film may be why I've seen only approximately 7 films since the mid-90s), so it's a minor complaint.

Overall, Lamb was a really enjoyable read and I would recommend it to all my friends who are not part of the Christian right (from whom, surprisingly, Christopher Moore has apparently received no guff whatsoever).

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