Wednesday, June 11, 2008

LAMB: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

As author Christopher Moore states, "the world of the first-century Jew under the rule of the Romans would not have been one that easily inspired mirth. It's more than a small anachronism that I portray Joshua [the name Moore uses for Jesus] having and making fun, yet somehow, I like to think that while he carried out his sacred mission, Jesus of Nazareth might have enjoyed a sense of irony and the company of a wisecracking buddy."

Joshua's blessed with a very, very smart and devoted wisecracking buddy, named Biff, or Levi, of Nazareth. This is definitely a funny read, even though I'm sure some of the jokes went whizzing over my head. Don't worry: I do know that there are no books called Dalmatians, Excretions, or Amphibians. Anyway, Biff is a great character.

I can't help but hear Michael Feldman (on his NPR show) stating "some of the answers to these questions have been painstakingly researched, while others have not," in reference to the way Lamb is filled with references that may or may not be accurate. In his end notes, Moore states that he and his editor decided not to use footnotes, which would distract readers from the story. He decided that readers who are sticklers for the truth can get their own talk shows are probably not going to read this book.

Ha! And Moore's advice, on page 442 of his afterward section, advises those of us who are not familiar with the Bible"to find someone who is, sit them down, read them the passages in question, then say 'That one real? How 'bout that one?' If you don't know someone who is familiar with the Bible, just wait, someone will come to your door eventually. Keep extra copies of Lamb on hand so they can take one with them."

I almost fell off my chair when I read that, because I'd almost finished this book when I heard a gentle but persistent rap on the door. This is my precious day off, and I thought about playing 'possum, but then I remembered that Mike left the garage door open because of the heat, so it was obvious that someone was home. Drat. I peeked out the window, and saw a child. Oh, OK, I thought, I'll be polite and say good morning, and give a gentle no thank you to whatever she's selling. When I opened the door, however, there was a woman standing in front of this silent little girl, and she wanted to talk about the scriptures. Boy, was this embarrassing! I wasn't dressed for company and I was clutching this yellow book to my tummy like a moron, telling this carefully coiffed woman that I didn't need to be saved.

I haven't read the Gospels, but I suspect that there wasn't a Siddhartha angle to any of them, so this one's unique. Without giving away any of the jokes: Two thumbs up!


TLP said...

You've told me about this book before, and it sounds interesting. Of course I HAVE read the Gospels, and can still name the books of the Bible, if you let me sing them.

Ariel the Thief said...

LOL! Maybe you SHOULD have give them a chance. :-)

I too think Jezus smiled a lot. I mean, those guys would have drived me crazy, but he was just smiling and said, nah, don't be afraid.

Ariel the Thief said...

Of course I know that it is drive, drove, driven.

Doug said...

That does sound funny and the afterward sounds funny too. I can help with this much, though: Jesus is the Greek equivalent of Ieshua for which the English equivalent is Joshua so he's ok there.