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

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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  101,715 ratings  ·  9,044 reviews
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, the Messiah's best bud, who has been resurrected to tell the story in the divinely hilarious yet heartfelt work "reminiscent of Vonnegut and Douglas A ...more
Paperback, 1st Perennial, 444 pages
Published 2004 by HarperCollins (first published 2002)
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Christia Seemingly irrelevant concepts and interjections are seamlessly followed up on throughout the rest of the story. I guess it depends on your taste, but…moreSeemingly irrelevant concepts and interjections are seamlessly followed up on throughout the rest of the story. I guess it depends on your taste, but I love the type of humor and brush with philosophy as well as historical accuracy, as far as I can tell. Don't forget that the first part of the book follows the lives of two little boys who live in a culture of religious oppression and wrought with curiosity about life, sex, etc. I thought it was brilliant. One of the few works of fiction I not only had patience for, but enjoyed.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kemper
The last ten years have mutated my views on religion. I went from a vague agnostic live-and-let-live attitude to a full blown distrust and dislike of mass worshipping of mysterious deities. When it wasn’t being used as an excuse to murder people who believed different things, then it was being used to deny basic scientific concepts or prevent consenting adults from marriage based on gender. Overall, I’d become convinced that humanity was far too stupid to use religion as anything but yet another ...more
Chris
If you've been following my reviews over the last few years, I don't see any reason why I should have to put a caution into this, but here it is: if you're not interested in speculative fiction, open to the reinterpretation of the life of Jesus, speculation on the gaps in the gospels and the possibility of pan-religious values having been vital to the formation of Christianity, then you should probably not read this book. Nor should you really be using the internet - there's just too much nasty ...more
Kim

What I remember from CCD:

• It was Tuesday nights and that meant that I missed Who’s the Boss
• All the really obnoxious cheerleaders went to my church (Our Lady of Perpetual Help-OLPH!)
• I had to go to CCD so I could get confirmed or I couldn’t get married in a church (so I was told every time I tried to feign an illness or a menstrual cramp)
• We would be ushered into the school/rectory thing where we had to choose 3 colored rings which represented 3 different ‘classes’ we would attend… things l
...more
Aaron
Aug 30, 2007 Aaron rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who doesn't mind a bit of blasphemy
Christopher Moore is a sick, sick fuck. And I mean that in a good way.

I found a copy of this wonderfully hilarious novel at the Champaign Public Library Book Sale and decided that I ought to own a copy. It holds up well on a second read and served to fill a nostalgia for Kurt Vonnegut, whose death I may not ever get over. This book is very reminiscent of Vonnegut in its plotting and style and wisecracks and it certainly filled a hole. I've read everything Vonnegut ever wrote and I was more than
...more
Dan 1.0
Lamb is the story of the missing years of Jesus, as told by his best pal Biff. That's all you need in the way of summary.

I was subjected to 12 years of Catholic school and mass every sunday for even longer than that so when I heard of the existence of a humorous book about Jesus' missing years, I jumped for it with all the lapsed-Catholic enthusiasm I could muster. Was I disappointed?

Most definitely not. In fact, I was the opposite of disappointed. Appointed? Anyway, this was my first Christophe
...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
**some spoilers**

Lamb starts with one of my favourite quotes, which sets the scene very aptly: "God is a comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh" (Voltaire). A deceptively slim-looking book (but one that is absolutely heavenly to hold - no pun intended - with it's glossy floppy cover and delicate leaves), Lamb is, as the title says, the (fictional) story of Christ's childhood as told by his best friend Levi who is called Biff.

Now, Moore doesn't mention Monty Python anywhere, but
...more
Lance Greenfield
This is an hilarious take on the missing years of Jesus, known as Joshua bar Joseph in this account. The four gospels which mad it into the New Testament miss three decades of the Messiah's life. Only two of them say much about his birth, one describes a brief episode when Jesus was about twelve where he spends some time in discussion with the elders in the synagogue, but they largely concentrate on the short years of his ministry leading up to his crucifiction and resurrection.

Lamb is an accou
...more
Kristen Boers
Apr 01, 2008 Kristen Boers rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of absurdist humor. 15 year olds who like to pretend they're 18.
Remember back in 9th grade when you wrote a wonderful, insightful papers for every assignment and then, eventually, you got cocky, got drunk on your own brilliance, got sloppy and lazy with self assurance? And, inevitably, your next paper would come back with a comment from your teacher that went something like this "Accurate, and mildly interesting, but doesn't compare with your previous work...What happened?" This is what I felt like writing in my copy of "Lamb" about 120 pages in.
There's a
...more
Jonathan
A book recommendation that I suffered through... not for charges of blasphemy, but for style. I can't stand this type of comedic writing with its obvious set-ups and zingers and formulaic irreverence. Douglas Adams wanna-be. This type of humor gets enough time between news items on NPR's "All Things Considered." Bah!
Witness the last lines (paraphrased here):

"The 'H' in Jesus H. Christ stands for Hallowed . . . you know, 'Hallowed be thy name'?"

"Oh! I thought it stood for Harvey."

He saved that ge
...more
Stephanie
Second time reading this book and it is still one of my favorites.

Christopher Moore weaves you through all of the major religions and all the while you are laughing your ass off. You can't say that about most religious books......
Algernon

Lamb is not the first revisionist and humorous retelling of the Biblical stories I've read/watched, but it may be the best one of the lot. Among my favourites are the movies Dogma by Kevin Smith and The Life of Brian by the Monty Pythons, the novel Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. What puts Lamb above the crowd for me was the surprising fact that this is not actually a lampooning of religion but a genuine attempt to capture the spirituality and the fervour of the original Gospels.
...more
smalls
OK, I finished the book! Whoohoo! All in all, it was ok for me. I laughed a lot in the beginning...
some of my favorite lines were
"Revelations 2; Just When you thought it was safe to sin."
and "Actually , I thought I'd stay Josh. Your mother needs someone to look after her, and she's still a relatively attractive woman. I mean a guy could do worse."

My absolute favorite part was the lizard in the beginning. I laughed so hard! very fun and creative.

It got slow for me while he was visiting the wisem
...more
Tara
Nov 11, 2008 Tara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who are not offended easily
Shelves: loved-it, mybookclub
There is something so blasphemous about this book and yet I just laughed from page 1 to the end!

I was raised in a Christian household and knew the story of Jesus forwards and backwards. Or at least I thought I did. Now, I try not to take myself to seriously and I try to maintain a certain amount of humor about my faith and religion as a whole. This book made me bust a gut and there were several times when just a little of "pee" came out, that's how hard I was laughing.

I happened upon this book a
...more
Becky
I should probably start this review by saying that I found this book in what I now think is probably the most inappropriate place possible.. the Young Adult section of my town library. I'd wanted to read this for a long time, but whenever I browsed the Moore books in the adult section, it was never to be found. I always figured, "Eh, someone probably has it checked out... I'll snag it next time." Oh, silly me. I was foolishly thinking that my library would shelve a mature book full of extremely ...more
Noce
Non so come iniziare: avete presente i film per i bambini, che siete costretti a vedere sul divano insieme a loro?

All'inizio partite con scetticismo, la storia l'avete già vista mille volte, anche se non vi ricordate i dettagli, sapete soprattutto che fine avrà, quali sono i punti deboli ecc...
Poi, com'è, come non è, vi lasciate prendere la mano.
Allungate le gambe, vi rilassate, guardate il vostro compagno di “avventura” e piano piano vi ammorbidite, rimanete colpiti dalle sue espressioni di
...more
Silletta
Signor Il vangelo secondo Biff, mi vuoi sposare?

Sei partito pian piano, bisogna dirlo, in fondo all'inizio eravamo ancora due estranei e probabilmente volevi testare le mie intenzioni, non concedendoti tutto subito. Da parte mia, lo ammetto, ero un po' scettica, non del tutto convinta delle tue intenzioni e di come, partendo da esse, avresti potuto diventare uno di quegli incontri da ricordare. Forse era un'abile strategia, per sferrare l'attacco decisivo nel momento migliore, ben conscio che un
...more
brian tanabe
Hello! One of the most humorously engaging books I’ve read in a while. Painfully, I’ve gone through the rest of Moore’s oeuvre confirming my theory that he channeled Tom Robbins and perhaps some other lesser authors to write this literary slice of heaven. As a side note, I attended a reading and was thoroughly blown away for two reasons. First, I learned why Moore doesn’t do readings. He is f-ing horrible at reading, let alone his own words. BUT, it was so incredibly horrible that it made the wh ...more
Lena
When it comes to the life of Jesus, the Bible has some serious gaps - pretty much everything that happened between the ages of 6 and 33. Thanks to the fertile imagination of Christopher Moore, however, and his recording of the lost gospel of Jesus' childhood best friend, these missing years have now been restored to us in spectacular comedic fashion.

The tale of young Jesus as told by his crass but fiercely loyal buddy is truly funny. Oddly, it is also strangely reverent. Jesus may play the strai
...more
Luana
Esistono quattro Vangeli canonici. Una valanga di Vangeli apocrifi. Una valanga di matti che scrive Vangeli credendosi ispirata dal Signore.
E poi esiste il Vangelo secondo Biff, scritto ,senza pretesa alcuna, nel 2002 dallo scrittore statunitense Christopher Moore.

Lungi dalla blasfemia, dall'irriverenza, vicino invece alla provocazione e all'invito a riflettere, Moore compie una rivisitazione del noto testo sacro facendolo stendere dal migliore amico di Gesù, Biff, il suo unico vero grande amic
...more
Robert
While I was certainly entertained from the first page to the last, and the story provided more than a few laughs, I wasn’t as entertained as I thought I would be. The tale proved every bit as imaginatively creative as the name implied, and Christopher Moore managed to take more than a few liberties along the way, which did serve to heighten my enjoyment of said story. But I never felt it achieved its promise of being a literary masterpiece, especially when early on Joshua had stuffed lizards in ...more
Lori
Listened to this on audiobook during a recent road trip. This book reminded me of a Saturday Night Live skit: great concept that somehow wasn't as good in the execution. It's highly irreverent and very funny. The first third is also thought-provoking and quite sweet. I really enjoyed the depiction of Joshua (Jesus) as a child, trying to come to grips with his abilities, with whether or not he really is the son of God and what, exactly, that means for him and for his people. Also loved the friend ...more
Dana Stabenow
First time Jesus Christ ever died that I felt like I'd lost a friend. Hilarious scenes, beginning with Jesus/Joshua reviving his brother's pet lizard every time his brother plays with him so hard he breaks him. Another favorite is when Biff invents espresso in the Antioch marketplace and Jesus/Joshua jitters around on a caffeine high healing everyone.

You'll be either outraged or amused or both, and it'll make you think, too.

All angels are blond.
All blondes are dumb.
Therefore, all angels are dumb
...more
Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. While still incredibly funny at times, this is certainly the most "serious" of Christopher Moore's books that I have read. This is a well-written story full of subtext and with a great emotional tone. The retelling of the crucifixion from Biff's point of view was poignant and extremely well done.
Lyn
This book is funny as HELL!

Though funny and most definitely irreverent, Lamb is a story about the Son of God and his times here on Earth amongst people, told from the perspective of Biff, Joshua’s (Jesus) childhood pal and Moore fills up the lost thirty some odd years from the gospels. Biff is the Jewish lothario Forrest Gump of Biblical stories and Moore uses Biff’s narrative as a vehicle to explore the ancient world, often with laugh out loud results.

Religion.

There are plenty of people who w
...more
Rob
Feb 23, 2012 Rob rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: recovering Catholics (especially recovering Catholics)
Shelves: missing, 2012
Irreverent.

I believe that is the word that appears in every published review. It's fitting; this novel is hand-crafted to earn that adjective. And in that way, it is almost unfair to call it "irreverent" because your credibility as reader is called into question. Did you even bother to read it? Don't you have some kind of feedback of your own?

Of the novels by Christopher Moore that I have read to date, this is undoubtedly his strongest work. And it's definitely irreverent (like I said, he wrote
...more
Patrick Gibson
Apr 16, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who don't take it all seriously
Shelves: humorous
When angels are sent to earth, they refer to it as going ‘dirt-side.’ Most don’t like their assignments.

Raziel, an angel who missed the Virgin Mary annunciation by ten years (he got distracted), has been sent dirt-side two thousand years later to resurrect Jesus’ best friend Levy (called Biff) so he can write a fifth gospel. The power (singular) that be claims mortals need a new one.

Biff and Raziel ensconce themselves in a hotel room. The angel watches television 24/7 (angels don’t sleep) while
...more
Elisa
Uno dei ricordi che ho del catechismo è quello di un bambino di 7 anni che fece alla catechista una domanda destinata a passare alla storia della parrocchia: "Ma se Gesù nasce a Natale, come fa ad avere 33 anni a Pasqua?". Tutti ridemmo, ma la domanda non era affatto stupida. Lui si rifaceva al ciclo delle festività annuali, ma anche alle letture dei Vangeli fatte nelle diverse occasioni. Ci veniva detto che noi eravamo simili a Gesù, che lui amava i bambini, che si era fatto uomo ed era stato p ...more
Chris
Jan 06, 2008 Chris rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
I've been a apostle of Christopher Moore's manic, wonderful fiction since the publication of his brilliant first novel, Practical Demonkeeping. For years now, I've spread the Word, bringing friends and random strangers into the fold, spreading the gospel of twisted humor to the previously uninitiated.

Until I read LAMB, his latest novel, I would have said that Blood Sucking Fiends (A Love Story) was not only his best book, but a feat of comic wonder and wondrous comedy that even the genius of Chr
...more
Joanne
Jul 18, 2007 Joanne rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who want a good laugh
This is my first Christopher Moore book and if time allows, not the last. I really enjoyed it, however it took me an astonishingly long time to get through it considering how easy a read it is.

Well, I have two words to sum this book up: Outrageously hilarious. It was laugh out loud on the metro funny. I love how Moore filled in the 20 or so years of Jesus' life that the world is ignorant of with Jesus exploring the ancient religions of the world with his best friend Biff. I feel like Biff embod
...more
Kelly
Jun 12, 2007 Kelly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
I read this in high school, so take the maturity of my opinion for what you will, but I thought it was absolutely hilarious at the time. Yes, some of the humor is rather juvenile and that kind of made it even better back then. I remember there was also a sweet pathos to it, despite the fact that it is so clearly set up to be a ridiculous, satirical, farce of a novel. It will suddenly hit you with a serious point, or show you the darker side. Then move right back into the hilarity. Sometimes it h ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Christopher Moore (born 1957 in Toledo, Ohio) is an American writer of absurdist fiction. He grew up in Mansfield, OH, and attended Ohio State University and Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.

Moore's novels typically involve conflicted everyman characters
...more
More about Christopher Moore...
A Dirty Job (Grim Reaper, #1) Bloodsucking Fiends (A Love Story, #1) Fool You Suck (A Love Story, #2) Practical Demonkeeping

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