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

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4.26  ·  Rating details ·  139,277 ratings  ·  11,261 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 Adam ...more
Paperback, 444 pages
Published May 25th 2004 by William Morrow / HarperCollins / Harper Perennial (first published March 1st 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)
Cheryl Claussen I loved it. I'm nearly 60 and enjoyed every silly, juvenile and thought provoking sentence. It reminded me of the off kilter slightly irreverent…moreI loved it. I'm nearly 60 and enjoyed every silly, juvenile and thought provoking sentence. It reminded me of the off kilter slightly irreverent humour of Monty Python 's Life of Brian. .(less)
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4.26  · 
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 ·  139,277 ratings  ·  11,261 reviews


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Kemper
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, humor, top-shelf
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
Aug 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing

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
Will Byrnes
Nov 01, 2008 rated it liked it
description
Christopher Moore - image from SFGate

Jesus, the missing years, as told by his best buddy, Biff. This a very entertaining, laugh-out-loud funny book, at times. It is clear that there is real content under the yucks. Where did JC go between the time he dazzled the intellectuals at the temple at twelve and when he returned at thirty to do his messiah thing. Asia figures prominently, Buddhism, an Asian aesthetic. You might want to dust off your Lao Tzu, Kama Sutra, Bhagavad Gita, and sundry others.
...more
Lyn
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Dan Schwent
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: moore
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
Aaron
Aug 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Jonathan
Nov 19, 2008 rated it did not like it
[I'm considering taking down this review, as I'm not happy that my most "liked" review is a negative one. It's too easy to earn praise by casting stones.]

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 (para
...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
Aug 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jason Koivu
Jun 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Mel Brooks and Monty Python have been there, done that.

description

Christopher Moore retraces the steps of those comedy greats of the past in his Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, a lighthearted take on what Christians call "the greatest story ever told."

Sure, it's a good story, but it's also rife with parody potential and humorists have been squeezing it for laughs probably since it was first told. That being the case, Moore's book travels a well-trodden path and so the laughs ju
...more
Kristen Boers
Feb 16, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Matthew
Jan 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Good book - not great - especially when comparing it to other Moore books I have read. I enjoyed his Shakespeare satire better than the biblical satire - maybe because Shakespeare lends itself more to that.

Most of the stars I have given are for the beginning of the book and then the last third of the book. Jesus (Joshua) as a child and the retelling of the gospels from a different viewpoint were really interesting and it is obvious that Moore did his research.

The middle part of the book - where
...more
Nikoleta
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ένα άκρως απολαυστικό μυθιστόρημα, με έναν ήρωα ο οποίος μπορεί να ήταν απλώς ο κολλητός του Ιησού (Γέσουα στο βιβλίο) αλλά ήταν αυτός που εφηύρε τον σαρκασμό (κατά τα λεγόμενα του ιδίου). Και από σαρκασμό βρίθει το βιβλίο. Υπέροχες, κωμικές, σαρκαστικές ατάκες, ευτράπελα και πολύ κέφι.
Το ενδιαφέρον είναι ότι η ιστορία είναι σφιχτοδεμένη και η πλοκή σε κρατά σε εγρήγορση, οπότε ο αναγνώστης δεν υπάρχει περίπτωση να βαρεθεί.
Τι έκανε ο Ιησούς τα 30 χρόνια από την γέννηση του μέχρι τον χρόνο που ξε
...more
Stephanie *Very Stable Genius*
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 (Darth Anyan)
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, favorites

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
Lori
Aug 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Susana
(review in English below)

Gosto muito de "histórias alternativas", sejam da História propriamente dita ou mesmo de contos de fadas (como por exemplo a série Era Uma Vez ou o filme Maléfica), sobretudo aquelas que nos dão uma explicação original para os personagens - reais ou fictícios - serem como são - ou foram.

Aplicando isto a um dos personagens mais interessantes e polémicos (na minha opinião) da História - Jesus Cristo - e polvilhando com uma dose generosa de humor, temos uma receita quase in
...more
Emelia
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal was an exceptional book. Yes, it was enlightening. This was a book that was full of not only humor, but historical facts, which delighted me to no end. A good friend asked if I thought it was sacrilegious, I paused to really consider the question. My answer is, not at all. Why wouldn't the messiah have a sense of humor? As the book reminds us of the quote by Voltaire "God is a comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh". So, ...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
smalls
Feb 23, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Ashley
So this review is not going to be great, because it’s crunch time and I was trying to get my last review of the year in before we got shut out of the Cannonball Read site and/or I have to get back to work. But oh man, such a good book to make my (probably) last book of the year! THIS BOOK SPEAKS TO ME. I’ve actually owned a hard copy for years and years and never bothered to pick it up, and that is so frustrating. I could have been this delighted such a long time ago!

So, what if there was anothe
...more
Tara
Sep 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Wayne Barrett
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, humor

3.5

This book was not only funny but it was intelligently funny.

Moore did a great job creating a fictional character (I say that even though I am one of those who believe that Jesus was also a mythical character) and inserting him into the early years of Jesus H. Christ. The more you know your bible stories the more this book will entertain (or offend) you. The biggest problem with the story, and one that keeps me from giving this a higher rating, is the center of the book where Josh (Jesus) and
...more
Dana Stabenow
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First time Jesus Christ ever died that I felt like I'd lost a friend. Told from the first-person viewpoint of his best friend Biff, who first sees Jesus/Joshua when he's resurrecting his little brother's lizard every time his little brother smashes said lizard to death with a rock. And then there is the scene where Biff invents espresso and Jesus/Joshua jitters around the Antioch marketplace on a caffeine high healing everyone. A superb book in every respect, and a challenging and I would add od ...more
Chiara Pagliochini
«Prendilo, Gesù. Tienilo mentre io lo picchio».

Il Vangelo secondo Biff è senz’altro uno dei libri più dolci che abbia mai letto. Se non avessi tenuto a freno la matita, sono certa che avrebbe decorato di cuoricini ogni capoverso.
«Ma non ti commuove il fatto di sapere chi è? Che cos’è?»
«E a che pro? Se passassi il tempo a bearmi della luce della sua santità, come potrei prendermi cura di lui?»

Il Vangelo secondo Biff è senz’altro uno dei libri più divertenti che abbia mai letto. Ed è un tantin
...more
Paul
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For it is written: “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach a man to BE a fish and his friends eat for a week.”

‘That is not written. Where is that written?’

‘Amphibians five-seven.’

‘There’s no friggin’ Amphibians in the Bible.’

‘Plague of frogs. Ha! Gotcha!’


If you don’t think that’s funny, then maybe this isn’t the book for you.

Christian dogma is so full of inaccuracies. We don’t really know when Jesus was born (I’m holding out for early November), or who the three wise men were, or if
...more
Noce
Apr 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
FeReSHte
Feb 21, 2015 marked it as never-finished
Recommended to FeReSHte by: Shayan Fz
Shelves: humour, america
کتاب قراره روایتی طنز و تخیلی از سی سال اول زندگی مسیح باشه که ظاهرا جایی اشاره ای بهش نشده.

بیف ، شخصیتی تخیلی و نزدیک ترین دوست مسیح راوی این دورانه.کتاب عالی شروع میشه.طنز داستان و تخیل نویسنده در پروراندن دوران کودکی و نوجوانی مسیح منو به ذوق می آورد ولی با جلوتر رفتن داستان و سفر این دو شخصیت به مکان های ناشناخته و ملاقات با شخصیت های مرموز و مخلوط شدن داستان با جادو و جنبل و دیو و غول و سحر و مواردی از این دست،برای آموزش دیدن چگونه مسیح شدن، ذوق و شوق من برای ادامه ی کتابی که شصت درصدش رو خ
...more
C.E. G
Aug 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
So before picking up this book, I read some reviews online that said the book wasn't for "easily offended" Christians, because it's a irreverent retelling of the story of Jesus Christ. I figured that, as a lapsed Catholic who loves to make fun of the church, this book would probably be right up my alley.

How wrong I was. I was offended, but not for any of the religious jabs. This book bases too much of its humor on racism, sexism, and homophobia, and not even in a novel or remotely subversive wa
...more
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Readers Unbound: Lamb 9 15 Dec 19, 2018 08:40AM  
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Get Lit - Bettend...: Christopher Moore Lamb Interviews 1 3 Jun 11, 2018 02:29PM  
Lamb 1 6 May 29, 2018 07:37AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Christopher Moore 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 suddenly struggling through supernatural or extraordinary circums
...more
“Children see magic because they look for it.” 1097 likes
“Nobody's perfect. Well, there was this one guy, but we killed him....” 962 likes
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