Sunday, June 03, 2012

Review: Lamb

Lamb is a clever, funny, intelligent look at the person Jesus Christ might have been. Moore fills in the gap left by the gospels, namely the 20 years between a story about Jesus teaching in the temple at age 10 and the beginning of his spiritual mission at age 30. Moore uses an unnamed disciple named Levi (who is called Biff) to provide the information. Biff is Jesus's best friend; he calls him "Josh." Biff recounts Joshua's pilgrimage to find his destiny as God's Son. The journey takes them through the Middle East, Afghanistan, China and India, all the while absorbing knowledge and preparing for his final purpose. The last part of the story unfolds as expected, with a twist or two to add extra details - for instance, Lazarus needed a couple of hours to recuperate after being raised from the dead; the smell was just too much for the disciples.

Moore handles the subject matter deftly, keeping (roughly) to the timeline of the existing texts of the gospels and adding his own touches consistent with the tone. He is neither irreverent nor disrespectful to Christians, instead suggesting what Jesus might have been like as a person. The result is an great novel. It is well written, intelligent, and engaging. He is extremely funny, but provides well-timed scenes of intensity to drive the plot forward, making for an excellent read. Highly recommended.

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