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

Lamb by Christopher Moore
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's review
Aug 29, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: contemporary, need-to-buy, holy-shit
Read in October, 2009

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 like ‘Sacrifice and Abstaining during Lent 101’ and ‘Abstinence - Just Do It’ and I would pick my colors hoping that I would get the class that the Michael J Fox look-alike was teaching
• Sometimes we were given juice

Things I didn’t learn from CCD

• What CCD actually stood for
• How to get married in a church
• How to be cool
• Anything about Christ

So, forgive me if I’m enamored by this book. You can all roll your eyes as much as you want and call it cutesy and a Tom Robbins rip off (never read him, probably never will) and say that the jokes grew old fast and that you were bored and yadda yadda yadda.

My ‘real’ teachings of Christ came from a college Western Civ course, taught in one of the oldest churches in Boston by a professor who kicked Genesis’s ass up and down the pews at 8am every Monday and Wednesday morning.. (Thank you, Professor Coffee, I ♥ you) and numerous viewings of Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ where I had to badger my husband with ‘Now, who is that again?’ and ‘Willem Defoe is a pretty hot looking Jesus.’ (Thank you, Maurice…now Judas will always be Harvey Keitel who will always be The Bad Lieutenant to me)

Here… this book, this work of fiction, will probably replace all of that… well, almost all (never you, Professor Coffee, never you) because it brought a sense of humanity and some laugh out loud scenes that I probably would have never associated with the whole Christian teachings and what have you. (Apparently, I missed that class)

Biff and Josh’s friendship rivaled any literary friendships that I’ve encountered and while I was expecting to LMAO, I wasn’t expecting to want to scoop both of them up and hug them. And then hug them some more. I mean, I know how this story ends, okay? I’m not that daft… and yet.. I was still sniffling and trying to swallow past the lump in my throat.

Many seem to have lost interest with Biff and Josh’s journey searching for the Magus, I can see this, though it wasn’t the case with me… I loved how they grew from each stay learning about the Tao and Confucius and Buddha-- and how I had to struggle along with Josh as he tries to figure out this whole Messiah bit that he has to live up to. I especially love the scene with the Yeti. Wow.

“The mountain people. They killed the yeti because they couldn’t understand a creature who wasn’t as evil as they were.”
“The mountain people were evil?”
“All men are evil, that’s what I was talking to my father about.”
“What did he say?”
“Fuck ‘em.”
“At least he answered you.”
“I got the feeling that he thinks it’s my problem now.”
“Makes you wonder why he didn’t burn that on one of the tablets. ‘HERE, MOSES, HERE’S THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, AND HERE’S AN EXTRA ONE THAT SAYS FUCK ‘EM.’”
“He doesn’t sound like that.”

(If you’ve already started guffawing and/or rolling your eyes, this probably isn’t for you.)

I knew some of the mainstays of the story… when Josh raises Lazarus:

”Simon, get your leprous ass out here,” Joshua commanded.
“But, I’m…. I’m all icky.”

Or when he foretells of his betrayal and death to his disciples:

Someone will have to carry on the church when I’m gone, and I’m going to be gone soon. In the spring we’ll go to Jerusalem for the Passover, and there I will be judged by the scribes and the priests and there I will be tortured and put to death. But three days from the day of my death, I shall rise and be with you again.”……

…We looked not at each other, and neither at the ground, but at a place in space a few feet from out faces, where I suppose one looks for a clear answer to appear out of undefined shock.

“Well, that sucks,” someone said.

And the scene with the moneychangers in the Temple? Almost as powerful as Willem kicking ass… almost.

Alrighty then… this isn’t supposed to be anything but a story and I really have to thank Mr. Moore for making my day. And if any of you doubters want to debate this….. Look! Is that a seagull?!

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Quotes Kim Liked

Christopher Moore
“Nobody's perfect. Well, there was this one guy, but we killed him....”
Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

Reading Progress

10/02/2009 page 274
61.71% "Jesus was way cool"
03/07/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-26 of 26) (26 new)

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony Really? Why?

message 2: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Why not? Is it bad? It seems funny... I noticed a few low ratings, but some high ones too...

Gimme a break, Anthony! I just taxed the hell out of my brain... ;(

message 3: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony Ha. No, I've never read it. I don't mean "why?" as in "this is so awful, don't read it." I save that for Savage Detectives. I was more curious as to what led you to this book.

message 4: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Man, I'm on the defense, huh?

I liked the cover. :)

Chloe For what it's worth, I laugh my ass off every time I reread this.

message 6: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Cool. It's worth. :)

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Tom Robbins rip off (never read him, probably never will)

best line ever

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Great review, Skimmers.

In case you still don't know...

CCD = Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.

message 9: by smetchie (last edited Oct 03, 2009 07:29AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

smetchie I think it's more like an(a?) homage to Tom Robbins. I adored this book. It's rare for me find a book that makes me laugh and makes me think and I thoroughly appreciate it when it happens.

message 10: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Is it? I've never really heard anything positive about Tom Robbins... maybe my whole literary life is a lie.

That would suck.

Thanks, David.... that, uh... wouldn't have been my first guess... and I probably won't remember it in about 5 minutes, but... thanks! :)

smetchie Kim wrote: "Is it? I've never really heard anything positive about Tom Robbins... maybe my whole literary life is a lie.

I love him. Now you've heard something positive. Then again, I'm nobody so maybe you haven't.

message 12: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim But, you've lost your ego... which means you are DEFINITELY someone.... can you fit into a wine jar? :)

message 13: by Kate (new)

Kate Ha! That sounds like my CCD experience, except we didn't get juice.

This book sounds hilarious.

message 14: by Kim (last edited Oct 05, 2009 12:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim I think that that's just plain old blasphemy, Kate.
(The no juice part)

You should give this a try... it's hilarious and heartwarming... like an episode of 7th Heaven.

Michelle Thanks, David.... that, uh... wouldn't have been my first guess... and I probably won't remember it in about 5 minutes, but... thanks! :)

Haha! I read his comment and then almost posted "What does CCD stand for?"

Kim, once again your review has made me want to read the book.

message 16: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim You really should read it, Shel... It's SO sweet. You know, I'm totally Biff to your Jesus. I love you that much.

Will you read it, please? Drop that Coetzee crap and cross over! (uh... no offense to uh... yeah, whatever...)

Jamie Lyn Awesome review! I also do not have any idea what I learned in CCD. Juice would have maybe made it better.
PS Thanks for letting me know what CCD stood for...I had no idea!

message 18: by Janet (last edited Mar 16, 2014 05:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Janet Kim, I just finished this wonderful book! As a Christian it only added to my relationship with Christ. Of course, I am kind of a wonky Christian as I do not believe in boxing God into my mortal parameters. If I did that, how could I grow? I was very much reminded of Tom Robbins, but so what? I also recommend Robbins, along with Smetchie, as he is very knowledgeable and delightfully irreverent on the subject of God and just a brilliant author. I now love both Moore and Robbins. There is room for 2 thoughtful, intelligent well-read authors who both happen to have the gift of sarcasm, which I now know was gifted to them by Biff!

Memizuki Great Great Great Review! I love it! I loved the book for all those reasons and more. I , like you, wanted to hug them both. I don't know if I am a Christian, and I went to Catholic school fo 8 years, but I know the story, I know what happens, and it was so heartfelt. The love that Moore created btw Biff and Joshua....

"It's like Bacon..."

message 20: by Mariann (new) - added it

Mariann Ward Kim, I went to oLPH too but I was married by the time who's the boss started. Glad to know that CCDS never changed.

message 21: by Sarah (new)

Sarah "Things I didn't learn from CCD: What CCD actually stood for." Ha ha! Me either!!

Jennine Thank you for describing CCD perfectly. That is exactly how I felt about the whole thing too. I couldn't agree with your review of the book more either.

Cindy If I weren't already halfway through reading this book, this review would make me immediately find a copy and start reading.

Chris Thanks for the reminder on how useless CCD was. Mine was on Monday nights so it cut into Monday Night Football and every single Rankin and Bass holiday show ever. Still don't know what CCD stand for and am not going to look it up. Thanks again.

message 25: by Sean (new)

Sean Duggan :) I never attended OLPH, but I sang there, assuming we're talking about the same one in Maple Shade, NJ. Under other weird connections, my grandpa is from Essex Junction. We've got a family reunion coming up in October.

Anyhow, nice review. I enjoyed the book as well. I only briefly attended CCD (back in Kentucky) due to going to Catholic elementary school, but I wasn't terribly thrilled with it, as the person teaching it was not the most theologically sound individual. I just about drove her crazy asking for clarifications and pointing out when she started giving us the wrong information.

message 26: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy I'm pissed you got juice. We didn't get jack.

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