After reading Moore’s latest book, A Dirty Job, one of the funniest books I’ve ever read with a truly inventive story line, my good friend, Brad Feld strongly recommended I read this book. I think Brad said something about it being the greatest book ever written . . . Since he reads about 10,000 books a year, I consider that a sound endorsement.
This book is incredible. Not the same deep belly-laughs that A Dirty Job brought on for me, but extremely funny – challenging ALL of the stereotypes created in the Bible as well as the folklore that surrounds it while still respecting the the fundamental teachings of the Book and not being offensively sacrilegious (in my view – right-thinking Christians take notice, you may be ended). Extraordinarily done.
The story is told from the point of view of Christ’s best friend, Biff. Biff, recounts what happened in the 30 un-chronicled years of Christ’s life – between birth and death, basically. During this time, Christ (Moore refers to him as Joshua) and Biff travel throughout the world so that Joshua can learn how to be the Messiah. On the way, they learn kung fu, how to raise the dead, what it is to be a Jew and enjoy bacon and a lot about sex – Joshua learns voyeuristically through Biff, of course.
The secret to much of Moore’s humor is his ability to hit the nail on the head in a comedic way. When Joshua and Biff are learning how to focus on the moment in a Buddhist Monastery, Biff ponders:
“It’s hard for me, a Jew, to stay in the moment. Without the past, where is the guilt? And without the future, where is the dread? And, without guilt and dread, who am I?
This book is an absolute must read. Those who are non-religious will find it a blast as a story. Those who are mildly religious will find it funny and maybe even enlightening – a fresh view that doesn’t change the message of the beginning or end of the life of mankind’s Savior. Those who are strongly religious should remember – it’s only a novel and isn’t meant to be a re-write of the Bible.