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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

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

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

I was deeply offended by this book. Christopher Moore waxes sacrilege in his book about Joshua (Jesus) and his best friend Biff. Though the book tackles many religions, there are some religions and some topics within those religions that are best left unmolested. It wouldn't hurt Moore to learn this. There is nothing—ABSOLUTELY NOTHING—funny about Coffee. Adherents of the Coffee Bean do not take such matters lightly. Though we may not be recognized by other religions whose validity we ourselves question, we are strong and organized (and very energetic). For Moore to introduce Coffee into his narrative is one thing, but to laugh at its stimulating qualities is another. However, what can we expect from society? Many poke fun at the Coffee Bean and its miraculous powers. But Moore takes it one step further—he perverts the history of Coffee. No, Mr. Moore, Joshua and Biff DID NOT consume coffee anymore than Abraham Lincoln slammed down a Slurpee. In fact, Coffee and its wonderful effects wouldn't be discovered for another 1500 years. Not even close. Did you even make an attempt at research? And no, obviously Biff couldn't have been the first to add milk and sugar to Coffee, because, as I've already established, COFFEE HAD NOT MADE ITSELF KNOWN TO MAN. One offense is ignorance, two offenses is pardonable, but no, you just kept going and going, dragging Coffee through the mud of not only Palestine, but into the east, as far as China and India. Coffee came to India in 1670. 1670 AD! Do your research, Mr. Moore, or perhaps next time you'll be roasted.

 

Putting the issue of Coffee aside for the moment, the book had its highs and lows. Some will hate what Moore does with other religions, but I don't think he was too harsh (so stop your whining you babies). He certainly set out to be offensive, but he doesn't directly attack the claims of these faiths—in fact, you could say he largely embraces them for the sake of this novel. I was impressed with this, and didn't expect it (why he couldn't do the same for Coffee is left to debate). The humor swings from Junior High bathroom jokes to absurdest, Monty-Pythonesque skits. Relying too much on penis-this and sex-that, the book isn't all that funny. It has its moments though; I especially enjoyed the duo of Abel and Crutus though their presence was limited to only a few pages.

 

Largely, the book's biggest issue is its time spent in the East. Joshua and Biff's pilgrimage, while relevant to the ideas Moore was trying to get across, were a chore to get through. The demon-monster, the yeti, the teachers, the sex, sex, sex—none were entertaining, all took us away from the story that paralleled the greatest story ever told. Had the book not returned to the gospel stories as we known them, I would've hated this. It's when Moore is reinterpreting the classic that he is at his best.

 

So here's how we fix the problem. Next time, I want less East, more Abel and Crustus, and more bunnies. Definitely more bunnies, especially toward the end. And one last thing, Mr. Moore, leave the Coffee to the experts.