Summary and book reviews of Lamb by Christopher Moore

Lamb

The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

By Christopher Moore

Lamb
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  • Hardcover: Feb 2002,
    408 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2003,
    256 pages.

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Book Summary

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.

Ever since the day when he came upon six-year-old Joshua of Nazareth resurrecting lizards in the village square, Levi bar Alphaeus, called "Biff," had the distinction of being the Messiah's best bud. That's why the angel Raziel has resurrected Biff from the dust of Jerusalem and brought him to America to write a new gospel, one that tells the real, untold story. Meanwhile, Raziel will order pizza, watch the WWF on TV, and aspire to become Spider-Man.

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 -- whose considerable charms fall to Biff to sample, since Josh is forbidden the pleasures of the flesh. (There are worse things than having a best friend who is chaste and a chick magnet!) And, of course, there is danger at every turn, since a young man struggling to understand his godhood, who is incapable of violence or telling anything less than the truth, is certain to piss some people off. Luckily Biff is a whiz at lying and cheating -- which helps get his divine pal and him out of more than one jam. And while Josh's great deeds and mission of peace will ultimately change the world, Biff is no slouch himself, blessing humanity with enduring contributions of his own, like sarcasm and café latte. 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.

Lamb is the crowning achievement of Christopher Moore's storied career: fresh, wild, audacious, divinely hilarious, yet heartfelt, poignant, and alive, with a surprising reverence. Let there be rejoicing unto the world! Christopher Moore is come -- to bring truth, light, and big yuks to fans old and new with the Greatest Story Never Told!

Chapter One



You think you know how this story is going to end, but you don't. Trust me, I was there. I know.

The first time I saw the man who would save the world he was sitting near the central well in Nazareth with a lizard hanging out of his mouth. Just the tail end and the hind legs were visible on the outside; the head and forelegs were halfway down the hatch. He was six, like me, and his beard had not come in fully, so he didn't look much like the pictures you've seen of him. His eyes were like dark honey, and they smiled at me out of a mop of blue-black curls that framed his face. There was a light older than Moses in those eyes.

"Unclean! Unclean!" I screamed, pointing at the boy, so my mother would see that I knew the Law, but she ignored me, as did all the other mothers who were filling their jars at the well.

The boy took the lizard from his mouth and handed it to his younger brother, who sat beside him in the sand. The younger boy played with the...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!


Introduction


We know all about Christ's birth, and even more about Christ's death. But until he really started getting the word of God out there, there's little recorded information about his life. What do we really know about the Messiah's formative years? Enter Christopher Moore's Biff, resurrected by the angel Raziel and held captive in a New York City hotel room until he records a new gospel.


Lamb is the story of Biff writing his and his buddy Jesus Christ's (aka Joshua's) story; it's the hilarious inside scoop on the could-be origins of hundreds of tales we recognize from the Bible and from popular culture. While negotiating the terrors, curiosities, and conveniences of modern life, Biff ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews
Philadelphia Inquirer

Moore’s storytelling style is reminiscent of Vonnegut and Douglas Adams.

Rocky Mountain News

An instant classic...terrific, funny and poignant.

Kirkus Reviews

The style is a bizarre mix of serious and sometimes brutal historical fiction laced with black humor, wordplay, in-jokes, and sharp one-liners worthy of a good stand-up comedian. Sometimes it all works well, and sometimes the jokes seem strained. Interesting, original, not for every taste.

Publishers Weekly

As imaginative as some of this material is, the sacrilegious aspects are far less offensive than Moore's inability to rein in his relentless desire to titillate, and his penchant for ribald, frat-boy humor becomes more annoying as the book progresses. Moore has tapped into organized religion for laughs before, but this isn't one of his better efforts.

Booklist - John Green

Although many will find something offensive in this novel, which pokes fun at every major religious tradition that existed in the first century, they will find it simply impossible not to laugh.

Reader Reviews
Mariner

Good as it gets
This is probably the fist book that has ever made me laugh out loud to the point of tears. I couldn't get enough of it. I honestly feel sorry for those people here that call his jokes "strained" or "frat boy". They should stop ...   Read More

Meg

what a book
I don't know where to got that kind of sense of humor, keep it up I have read the book 4 times already.

Michael Pedder

What a great read!
I picked this one up after reading, "You Suck" by the same author. Lamb was amazing. I have not enjoyed a book so much in a long time and I read a lot. I laughed more than I had in years and yet through all the laughing there were scenes which ...   Read More

Geoff Oldham

Perfect comapnion piece for Anti-Christ: A Satirical End of Days
"Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" is witty religious satire done in an entertaining way. Rather than worry about stepping on toes, Chris tells a fun, entertaining story whose merits are the ability to not only look at Jesus...   Read More

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