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

Christopher Moore, Author . Morrow $25.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-380-97840-3

A childhood pal of the savior is brought back from the dead to fill in the missing 30-year "gap" in the Gospels in Moore's latest, an over-the-top festival of sophomoric humor that stretches a very thin though entertaining conceit far past the breaking point. The action starts in modern America, specifically in a room at the Hyatt in St. Louis, where the angel who shepherds "Levi who is called Biff" has to put Christ's outrageous sidekick under de facto house arrest to get him to complete his task. Moore (Bloodsucking Fiends) gets style points for his wild imagination as Biff recalls his journey with Jesus—dubbed Joshua here according to the Greek translation—into and out of the clutches of Balthasar, then into a Buddhist monastery in China and finally off to India, where they dabble in the spiritual and erotic aspects of Hinduism. The author gets more serious in his climax, offering a relatively straightforward, heartfelt account of the Passion and Christ's final days that includes an intriguing spin on how the Resurrection might have happened. The Buddhist and Hindu subplots seem designed to point out the absurdity and excesses of religious customs, but none of the characters are especially memorable, and eventually both plot and characters give way to Biff's nightclub patter. As imaginative as some of this material is, the sacrilegious aspects are far less offensive than Moore's inability to rein in his relentless desire to titillate, and his penchant for ribald, frat-boy humor becomes more annoying as the book progresses. Moore has tapped into organized religion for laughs before, but this isn't one of his better efforts. Agent, Nick Ellison. Author tour. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/04/2002
Release date: 03/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-380-81381-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-126266-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-126265-4
Ebook - 464 pages - 978-0-06-179823-8
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 464 pages - 978-0-06-116108-7
Open Ebook - 464 pages - 978-0-06-116110-0
Compact Disc - 12 pages - 978-0-06-123878-9
Ebook - 464 pages - 978-0-06-122750-9
Paperback - 506 pages - 978-1-84149-452-4
Leather - 432 pages - 978-0-06-143859-2
Compact Disc - 978-0-06-231451-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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