Growing up does strange things to a person’s beliefs. In Lamb, it is Jesus Christ himself that is growing up from the perspective of his ride-or-die, Levi, known in the book as Biff.
Covering the necessary bases early, author Christopher Moore makes it known that he is not afraid of fallout from writing a book about such a prolific religious figurehead as a somewhat bumbling and naive kid who grows into a bearded man as equally bumbling and naive.
Lamb is well-classified as a comedy and perhaps the funniest book I have ever read. Moore seems sent from the heavens to twist meanings and write his audience into stitches, and while religious humour does abound, the best moments are those in which Biff works with best friend Jesus in getting out of a zany situation.
The story begins after an eerie, angelic prologue in which Biff is resurrected in order to write a new gospel from his very personal perspective.
Over the next three decades, they travel the world, learning everything from matter manipulation to bomb-making and filling the gap between Jesus’ childhood and re-emergence at age 30.
Exhilarating in every line, Lamb is both humorous and heartbreaking. There are only a handful of people on Earth who don’t know how Jesus’ story, by necessity, must end.
Sacrifice is a mainstay of the plot, as are a set of star-crossed lovers, but the most powerful emotional punch is the double-edged sword of envy and love that Biff holds for Jesus.
The unselfish love for the world that Jesus feels is powerful, but the smaller scale events are what sell Lamb. Simply put, Lamb immediately became one of my favourites.
For what its worth, Lamb also served to reignite a spark of faith within me; seeing the greatest story told broken down to the day-to-day made it better somehow.