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

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4.25  ·  Rating details ·  140,788 ratings  ·  11,352 reviews
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have read—and reread—Christopher Moore's irreverent, iconoclastic, and divinely funny tale of the early life of Jesus Christ as witnessed by his boyhood pal Levi bar Alphaeus (a.k.a. Biff). Now, in this special (check out the cool red ribbon marker, gilt-edged pages, and gold lettering) gift edition of Christopher Moore's be ...more
Leather Bound, Special Gift Edition, 417 pages
Published October 23rd 2007 by William Morrow (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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4.25  · 
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 ·  140,788 ratings  ·  11,352 reviews


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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
Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-shelf, humor, fantasy
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  ·  review of another edition

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
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
[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
Jason Koivu
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
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
Matthew
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
Stephanie *Extremely 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)

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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
C.E. G
Aug 21, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Patrick
Jan 19, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I got about 150 pages into this book and just gave up on it. Moore seems to think he's hilarious and cheeky, but the humor just wasn't funny. I understood what he was going for, but I just didn't see why he thought it was as funny as he clearly did. I don't know. I just didn't like it; it got to be a chore to read it, and I wasn't getting anything out of it. After 150 pages, and still feeling that way, I figured it was time to give it up.
Ray
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I am in two minds about this one. It is funny in places, Jesus' lost best friend coming back to 21C is a fine idea, and there are some very funny passages - but it doesn't quite get there in my view. A couple of things jar with me - Moore goes to extremes to shoehorn everything he can from the gospels into the text, and he takes Jesus and Biff (yes Biff) on a mystical eastern odyssey where Jesus finds himself in Buddhism and Hinduism.

A worthy attempt but others do better with similar ideas - the
...more
Lena
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Madeline
Oct 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If nothing else, you have to love the title of this book.
This is one of those books that you just know will instantly piss off anyone without a sense of humor. The rest of us, however, enjoy reading the fictionalized account of Jesus's (called Joshua in Moore's book) childhood, as told by his friend Levi, otherwise known as Biff. In the Bible, Jesus is born, and then the next time we hear about him is when he's thirty and going around performing miracles and collecting followers. Moore fills in
...more
brian tanabe
Sep 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.” 1110 likes
“Nobody's perfect. Well, there was this one guy, but we killed him....” 964 likes
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