I see I taste I write Links What?
August 14, 2006


Christopher Moore – ISBN-13 – 978-0380813810

This book is a laugh a minute, but only if your reading speed is slow.

Levi, also known as Biff, is Joshua’s childhood friend, and Joshua (Jehovah in Greek) is Jesus Christ. Biff is resurrected by the angel of death to return in the 21st century to reveal to the world the life of Josh in the 30 years between his birth and his ministry, and is accompanied by Maggie (Mary Magdalene), tasked the same, for another “take.”

Of course, the whole thing is a spoof, and I can imagine Jerry Falwell being incensed, but there is a chuckle on virtually every page and a guffaw on not a few.. For instance, he explains how Joshua practiced miracles. Resurrections were the most difficult and confusing: “To be fair, . . . resurrections weren’t that uncommon [then]. Jews were quick to get their dead into the ground, and with speed there’s bound to be errors. Occasionally some poor soul would fall unconscious during a fever and wake to find himself being wrapped in linen . . . but no one complained, except perhaps those people who didn’t wake before they were buried, and if they complained—well, I’m sure God heard them.”

And, who knew:
• That at age 13 Josh and Biff journeyed to the Afghani cave castle of Balthazar, a black African wizard (yes, he of the Myrrh), to study Confucius, Tao, Feng Shui, and other disciplines and philosophies?
• That Joshua challenged God when he first tasted bacon? Forbidding fornication, killing, stealing, coveting and all that made sense, but being deprived of bacon had to be a mistake!
• That after nine years they traveled to a mountain top in China were they sojourned with an Indian sage, Gaspar (yep, another Wiseman), where they studied Buddhism, Kung Fu and Jew-Do? Here Josh learned to “turn the other cheek” (from a Yeti, no less) and of the Golden Rule, etc., while Biff mastered the martial arts which would assist him in protecting Josh for the rest of his life. Josh, you’ll recall, was totally non-violent! Wouldn’t even protect himself.
• The ends to which Biff went to inform Josh of the carnal truths which he was to be deprived of for life?
• That after years with Gaspar they moved on to India to study with his brother—you guessed it, Melchior—where Joshua lived in a cave, practiced extreme asceticism, learned to turn water into wine and to multiply loaves and fishes, later “to feed the multitudes?” Biff learned little, but used Josh’s new found talents to support himself (selling the stuff) and “studying the Kama Sutra” with a sex worker.
• That there were really 13 disciples? “Thomas twin” was really two people: Thomas (a bit of a nut) and his imaginary, invisible twin who was always near.
• That the content of the sermon on the Beatitudes was debated amongst the disciples for weeks, determining who/what should be included, who inherited the earth, who went heaven, etc.?
• That the Sermon on the Mount didn’t happen quite as it is recorded?

And in the epilogue you will finally learn what the “H.” stands for in Jesus H. Christ.

There is, perhaps, a bit too much idle profanity and occasional scatological talk, and the book drags near the end, but it is quite an amusing read. For those who will not read it, there is little to say. For the doubters, you might wish to read the last chapter (pp 438-444) first. Here Moore explains the considerable research which he did before beginning the book.

Posted by respeto at August 14, 2006 10:50 AM