Pesach sameach and happy Easter to all! Have you read Lamb by Christopher Moore?

Every year around this time I'm reminded of this book. Christopher Moore is a whip smart satirist and his books have very clever premises. Vampires in San Francisco, angels and zombies, muses and Shakespeare. The best of all his works is Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. It does a better job of talking about Jesus and what he was all about (love everyone, be kind, learn kung-fu) than the Bible does.

I'm not religious so I tend to get my ideas about spiritualism from books. Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, The Call of Cthulhu by Lovecraft... and Lamb. Lamb presents Jesus as another dumb kid who has greatness unwillingly thrust upon him and what he does with it. It's told through the point of view of Biff, his best friend, who is basically like Bender in Biblical times. He likes hookers and drinking and follows Jesus, called Joshua, around to protect him. It's written by an angel who is learning modern vernacular from watching MTV.

In Lamb, you get a Jesus who is good and kind and righteous. You also get a Jesus who gets drunk as hell at a Passover party and proclaims that he loves rabbits so much that they should appear whenever something bad happens to him. Yeeeeah... He also travels to India and China, meets a yeti, meets Buddha, learns kung-fu and Confucianism. He's served Chinese food on his birthday and proclaims it so good that all Jews should have it on December 25th. It's a very human Jesus, with all the faults and foibles of normal people. It's hilarious and profane. It's like the Ten Commandments as if the Bible they used was jotted down by Eddie Izzard with asides from Mel Brooks. Wisdom, I truly believe, really does come from comedy.


So why am I talking about it today, especially since I'm incredibly not religious? Eh, it's a good book (and we know how much I love books) and it's Easter and it deserves more love. It's a fascinating look at what can be done with the Bible, which is basically fantasy anyway, and it shows just another way in which genre fiction can be just as philosophical and thoughtful as the most literary of fiction.