Monday, April 09, 2012

book review: "Lamb" by Christopher Moore

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

The first Moore novel I read, "Fool", turned out to be my worst read of 2011, but I decided to give his work another chance before giving up on it for good. I especially reserved "Lamb" to read for Lent, expecting to dislike it, for pointless mentions of sex and for blasphemy, but I'm glad I gave Moore a second chance [although "Lamb" did have numerous mentions of sex].

"Lamb" tells us the story of Jesus', or Joshua in Hebrew, "lost years" from the age of 1 to 33, as told by his best friend Levi who is called Biff. It may be improbable, but given the little that is known about that period of time, who is to say that it was impossible? To enjoy the tale, one needs to view it not as a result of serious religious contemplation, but rather as entertainment.

However, the story is not only about Joshua, but about Biff. Biff represents the ugly in all of us, our lust, our envy, but he is also that part of ourselves who try to be better despite our failings. And Joshua is always there at our side to accept us as we are.

Ultimately I think "Lamb" is a story about friendship, loyalty, and love. Who else but a friend would follow you wherever you went, to try and protect you from harm, to support you and cheer you up, who would share your suffering, who would place your well-being first and his second? Anyone who has a Biff in their life is lucky, and should be grateful for that blessing.


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