Moore, Christopher "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" - 2002
A friend of one of our members had recommended this book, she is an art gallerist and we told our member not to forget to thank her for this.
We quite liked the book. We would have preferred to have someone there who didn't like the book (that's always so much better for a discussion) but everyone present agreed. However, I did have a comment from a former member who said she doesn't often get upset with books (which is true) but found this one very sacrilegious and rude. Obviously, she didn't care much for it at all.
As for the rest of us, we found it quite amusing, entertaining, relaxed, enjoyed it but were afraid some very devout people might not like it. We got into the spirit of it, laughed hysterically. We liked the book, it was funny, well written, interesting, timeless. It was showing the human side, described a touching friendship. We liked the sarcasm, it's cheeky, very humorous, an original combination of religion and fantasy.
I usually don't like to read "sequels" written by other authors. There have been a lot of attempts on this one but I don't think any of them has gone into it in such a way. We found the author respected Jesus. Great was the idea of friendship, loyalty, sacrifice, treat others the way you want to be treated. It was also nice to hear more about different other religions, the way the author brought in all the other, older religions, and also tried to put in events of Jesus' life that we have found out (or tried to find out) through artefacts, events, etc.
If you've been to Israel, you enjoy in particular the accuracy of details. He inserted forgiveness, kindness, comparison, humility and moderation. The book encourages you to be more like Christ. We also agreed that it was a little OTT sometimes and that this book should not be taken seriously. One remark of one of the members was, if this challenges your faith, you have some more praying to do.
One of my favourite quotes ever: "There's no such thing as a conservative hero".
We discussed this in our book club in February 2010.
From the back cover: "The birth of Jesus has been well chronicled, as have his teachings, acts, and divine sacrifice after his 30th birthday. But no one knows about the early life of the Son of God, the missing years - except Biff, the Messiah's best bud, who has been resurrected to tell the story in this hilarious, yet heartfelt work."