Kirkus Review: “Lamb” by Christopher Moore

Not for the easily offended or literal-minded, “Lamb” by Christopher Moore is perhaps his most exceptional novel. Moore rewrites, rather than chronicles, the life of Jesus (named Joshua) and his best friend Biff, a man with such a deplorable set of morals (as well as an admirable array of charms) that he was written out of the Old Testament.

In the beginning (of the book), Biff is resurrected in present-day by the dimwitted angel Raziel to write a new gospel. Stuck in a hotel suite with the tv-addicted idiot angel, he writes their surprisingly deep and funny story on Hilton notepads. He met Joshua at the age of 8, and they struck up a fast friendship, one which also spurred the development of Biff’s first crush- Josh’s mother Mary. The vague New Testament tales of Jesus’ early years are somewhat present, but given a decidedly hilarious spin.

When Biff finds a Gideon Bible in his hotel room and realizes that the others had completely left out Joshua’s story from age 13 to 30, he sets out to tell of their quest for the Three Wise Men, who Joshua hoped would teach him how to be the Messiah. Here enters adventure, kung-fu, a Yeti, yoga, the Kama Sutra, and more Eastern philosophy than you can shake a staff at. With their return to Israel, the story begins in many ways (though with much more humor and depravity) to mirror the part of the New Testament that we are most familiar with.

In the end, this may be the first time many will actually weep over the death of Jesus. Laugh out loud funny, surprisingly touching, and exceptionally blasphemous, “Lamb” may well be Moore’s magnum opus, though the busy author may well have the last word on that.

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