Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lamb: Gospel According to Biff

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff is a humorous mythological novel written by Christopher Moore. Before proceeding, a word of caution. This book may offend you. It may offend you big time, because this novel tells the story of Jesus Christ, it liberally deviate from the Scripture and it portrays a Son of God who is never reluctant to enjoy a light moment even in severe adversity. This novel may offend even those who are not Christians as there are several references about Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism, and not all of them in a flattering way. The novel is about the formative years of Jesus. It is about that decades of his life which is never mentioned in any of the written gospels.

The novel starts when a man is awaken from death by an angel in the contemporary world. The man is revealed as Levi aka Biff, who was the intimate friend and companion of Jesus, but never getting a mention in any of the written gospel. The angel takes him to a hotel room and makes him write his version of gospel. The story proceeds in two levels- through the gospel written by Biff, telling the story of his life with Jesus and his interaction with the angel in modern times. Biff finds about Jesus' (referred as Joshua, the Hebrew version of the name) gift of healing in an unusual way. From that time they become close buddies, doing all the buddy things together. Joshua knows he is the Messiah whom Jews are waiting for, but other than that, he is unsure and confused what to do. Both the friends feels an infatuation with a neighbouring kid, Mary of Magdalene who also joins in some of their adventures together. Joshua decides to follow his destiny by searching for the three messengers from East, who were the first to identify his divinity. Biff decides to accompany him. The novel deals with their journey, their experiences and lessons they learn on the way.

The book is written in an irreverent and absurd style. Though it gives a feeling initially that the writer is attempting a spoof, later on we realise that he is more concerned about filling out the blanks in the life of Jesus and postulating how he might have prepared for his later greatness. More interesting is the character of Biff, who though destined to be a sidekick, rises far above his scope. Initially Biff seems to be an arrogant and irritating kid. But later he reveals to be much more better person. He becomes a loyal companion in Joshua's spiritual journey and in time acquires unique skills. Lamb: Gospel According to Biff is a fun read with many laugh out loud moments, but not so politically correct. Reading it is a pleasant experience and once you finish it you will come to know it is not malicious in any manner. But if you are easily offended, I would recommend to stay away from it.

1 comment:

  1. I love Christopher Moore! I haven't read this one, though, but I'd like to. Most of his books tend to be offensive to someone or the other, which is what makes them funny and you're right, it's best to stay away from them if one tends to take offense easily!