Backstory Book Review: Lamb by Christopher Moore

While I was reading Mockingjay, a coworker, Megan, told me about Christopher Moore. She read one of Moore’s books, Lamb, and told me if I wasn’t easily offended, I should read the story of Jesus’ life from birth to 30 for a good laugh. Being the not easily offended person I am, I figured I’d give it a try.

When something new comes along on my horizon, I get crazy with it. Cupcakes? I’ve borrowed every book the Columbus Library owns on the subject and filled two 3” binders with everything from parmesan olive oil cupcakes to four different vanilla cupcakes. Art journaling? Seven books at home right now on how to document my life artistically. I even went through a knot phase, which meant no less than four books on how to tie just about every knot known to man. And none of this includes Internet ‘research’. So needless to say when Megan suggested Lamb, I spent upwards of an hour perusing his website and other related information to determine if he met my interest standards. Once I decided he may just be a funny guy, I borrowed five books. You know, just to keep up with my reading resolution for 2012.

Unfortunately for me, Megan went on vacation the week I started reading Lamb. I wanted to thank her for suggesting the book because it gave me hope that my own idea for a book wasn’t bad at all and it actually made me laugh out loud. I looked forward to putting the crafting kick – which is winding down a little for those who are interested – on hold to read between cooking and forcing myself to want to finish decorating the eggshell-dominant living room. In the last two weeks, I read Lamb and Bloodsucking Fiends and am half-finished with A Dirty Job.

What did I think?

Lamb by Christopher Moore

An angel resurrects Biff, Jesus’ best friend, and puts him on house arrest in a Hyatt in modern-day St. Louis  to write about the 30-year gap of Jesus’ life that’s not covered in the Bible. Biff is the ‘bad influence’ kid your parents warn you about. He eats bacon, has sex whenever possible and bends the truth if need be. Despite all of that, he’s a good person at heart and has Jesus best interests at heart. How else would Jesus know what an orgasm is like? Or even how delicious bacon tastes? Biff gladly sins so he can try to give Jesus an idea of what he’s not missing in life.

Biff and Jesus travel to find the three magi who brought presents at Jesus’ birth with the hopes of learning how Jesus can become the Messiah for the Jews. Their adventures take them to Balthasar, China and India before returning home to Israel.

This book was funny. Moore does a good job weaving the story from Biff and Jesus’ childhood through the crucifixion. I give it five stars because it was believably funny. Moore’s writing makes them just seem like real people with faults and the normal ups and downs of life. Jesus isn’t always serious and holy. He eats bacon, calls Biff an ass and uses sarcasm. I’m nowhere near religious, but it sparked something in me to want to be a better person. And trust me, that doesn’t happen often these days.

Not easily offended? Read Lamb. Not into authors who wear Berets, tweed jackets or aspire to be fixtures in a university English department? Read Lamb.


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