Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Lamb by Christopher Moore

Tessa Bright Wildsmith

“Lamb” is the story of Jesus Christ and his childhood pal, Biff. As a narrator, Biff chronicles Jesus’ years that are missing from the Bible.

This book is not for the fundamentalist. I did not find “Lamb” to be sacrilegious or blasphemous, although I am sure there are those who will. To me, it is a funny, coming-of-age story about finding your way when the weight of the world is on your shoulders.

As the book opens Joshua, better known as Jesus, and Biff are young boys. They’ve grown up together, along with their good pal, Maggie, later known as Mary of Magdala. Joshua and Biff live a fairly normal childhood in and around Nazareth. Biff has known Joshua since he was born and treats him like he would anyone else.

As the years pass on, Joshua becomes confused about what’s expected of him as the Messiah. In order to better understand how he’s supposed the lead mankind, Joshua and Biff set off on an adventure to find the three wise men and ask them for advice and teaching.

With each of the three magi, Joshua studies and learns of a different religion - Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. As he travels on, he takes the best of what he learns and leaves the rest.

The book is hilarious and comedy fills most of the pages. Moore, however, is very respectful of the character of Jesus. He’s never the butt of the joke or strays from his path as Messiah. Biff, on the other hand, is full of sin and faults. He is a constant reminder for Joshua of the weakness and fallibility of mankind.

As the final days of Jesus’ life and the crucifixion draw close, the book turns a little more serious. Moore takes a little bit of creative freedom with the way the resurrection may have gone.

Although this is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, it is heartbreaking at the end as Biff tells the story of the Passion and crucifixion with all the emotion and heartbreak of someone who watched their best friend die, helpless to stop what was happening.

This was the first Christopher Moore book I read, but as soon as I finished it, I looked forward to picking up the next one. With quick wit, slapstick comedy and friendship, “Lamb” fills in the missing years of Jesus’ life in a totally original, imaginative way. Moore’s creativity surprised and impressed me. He was able to tell a story that most wouldn’t even venture to consider. And he told it in a light-hearted, hilarious way that left you with a smile and giggle, but you didn’t have to feel bad about walking in to church on Sunday morning.

I highly recommend “Lamb” to anyone who is open-minded enough to go on a hilarious journey with Jesus Christ and his best pal, Biff.

Have you read “Lamb?” Discuss your thoughts on the book below.

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