CBR13 Bingo Square: Pandemic – I highly recommend reading this during a pandemic, the laughs were needed!
No disrespect to Christopher Moore but had I not procrastinated I would have seen Jenny Lawson in conversation with either Felicia Day or Neil Gaiman for her Broken (in the best possible way) promotion. However, I’m grateful I did as this was my first event with Moore and he was highly entertaining! Lawson shared that Lamb is her favorite book by him which instantly put it on my radar, then Cannonballer Ardaigle gave it high praise, so I ordered it. Happy to report that it lived up to the hype!
If poking fun at religions, particularly Christianity and Judaism, along with Buddhism, Hinduism, and others, is not your thing then this is not the book for you. If you enjoy the antics of Monty Python and The Holy Grail and a tongue in cheek look at how Jesus created Christianity, then you will be delighted by this book.
Moore wondered what Jesus (real name Joshua, the Greeks confused things) would have been like in the years leading up to his being 30 and a then fully formed Messiah. How was it that Christianity came to be different than what came before in the Old Testament? Moore supposes that it was due to the influence of other religions. To tell this story, he created Biff (real name Levi), Joshua’s wise cracking, sexually promiscuous, best friend and set them off on the journey for Joshua to learn what it means to be the Messiah.
Overall, I found Lamb to be hysterical. There are so many funny bits and one liners, plus long running gags that this book frequently had me laughing.
Being a shepherd seems easy, I went with Kaliel last week to tend his flock. The Law says that two must go with the flock to keep an abomination from happening. I can spot an abomination from fifty paces.” Maggie smiled. “And did you prevent any abominations?” “Oh yes, I kept all of the abominations at bay while Kaliel played with his favorite sheep behind the bushes.” “Biff,” Joshua said gravely, “that was the abomination you were supposed to prevent.”
However, there were a few cringe worthy aspects of stereotyping and one scene of a character trying to vehemently prove they aren’t gay, that would technically bring this review down to 3.5 stars. I did like the storytelling device of having the angel Raziel resurrect Biff so that he can write down everything he knows about Joshua. As part of the resurrection, Biff received the gift of tongues, which is how he is able to tell us his side of the story in English and modern language. And despite some of the crudeness and levity of the subject matter, Moore does have some thoughtful things to say about religion and Christianity. This book is not for everyone but I know several people that need this book in their life ASAP.