THE BRICK TESTAMENT: Stories from the Book of Genesis

Brendan Powell Smith, Retold by, Brendan Powell Smith, Illustrator . Quirk $14.95 (175p) ISBN 978-1-931686-45-7

In Taco Bell one day, Smith claims, his burrito suddenly burst into flames and the voice of God boomed out that he needed to illustrate the Bible entirely out of LEGOs. "But I'm an atheist," Smith objected. "Then you are especially unqualified to question me!" God thundered. "Now get to work!" This hilarious book, which interprets some of the most famous stories from Genesis, is Smith's first; with 39 books in the Old Testament alone, however, one rejoices that the franchise possibilities could extend for many years. The full-color photographs of Smith's chosen scenes invite the readers into each story. We see the Garden of Eden replete with plastic green shrubbery and LEGO animals; the building of the Ark and the wicked people drowning in the flood (just their heads float over a blue LEGO foundation); Joseph's brothers trying to throw him down a well. One has to admire Smith's LEGO engineering—Noah's Ark and the Tower of Babel are genuine feats—as well as his twisted, keen sense of humor. He's also refreshingly honest about some parts of Genesis that tend to be ignored by Christians, such as a naked, drunken Noah cursing one of his sons. This creative, iconoclastic book is colorful in every sense of the word, and will be appreciated by LEGO enthusiasts everywhere as well as whimsical Sunday School teachers. (Nov.)

Forecast:Smith's Web site,www.thebricktestament.com, has received nearly two million hits in the last two years, and has been featured in Time, Spin and The Door magazines.

Reviewed on: 09/15/2003
Release date: 10/01/2003
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