Thursday, January 13, 2011

Book Club Report: Lamb by Christopher Moore



The member who picked our book this month wanted something funny after all the dark, heavy reads we've had.  She just couldn't resist the subtitle The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal.

Short Summary: Biff is brought back from the dead 2000 years after the death of Christ to tell his version of Jesus' life.  After all, the gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John only cover his birth, one incident at 12, his short ministry and his death.  What the happened the rest of the time?  Biff is here to tell us.

The Group's Verdict: This novel was a chunkster, so guess who was the only member of the book club to read it all the way to the end?  Yep, that would be me. Soo...our discussion was mainly me talking about what happened in the book and the rest of the group members explaining why they only got 10/40/250/400 pages in or didn't start it at all.

Moore writes in his afterward (in my version anyway) that he thinks the people who would "get" the references the best (because they know the Bible) are the very people who would refuse to read it because it is sacreligious.  None of my book club members were this type of person, however.  Most of them are simply new moms with little time.

I am a Christian (a Baptist even) and I had no problems reading this.  I know it's fiction.  Moore is not trying to sell these events as "gospel truth".  I know a lot of people that would have problems reading this though. I just thought it was a clever story, written in an engaging manner (I didn't skip over anything - yay).  The first half was more detailed while the second half was more rushed, almost as if Moore suddenly got tired of the story and just wanted to get it over with.  But I liked it.  And I think it would be a good book to discuss with a book club.  You know, if they all actually read the book.

Up Next: THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein - which is a book I would NEVER in a zillion years choose for myself.  (Race car driving? Dog narrator? Saintly husband with a wife dying of cancer? Ummm..no thanks.) So, we'll see how this goes!

23 comments:

Emy Shin said...

I'd be one of those people who would probably "get" the references, and though I do have misgivings, the summary sounds interesting. And it would be a good book club book, especially if there're both those who get the references and those who don't.

bermudaonion said...

I could see the same thing happening at my book club. I'm glad you enjoyed the book, even if no one else finished it.

christina said...

OMG, so wait, the person who even chose the book didn't finish it? Wow. Does it ever bother you when other members don't read the whole book?

Liviania said...

I love this book. In fact, I first read it for high school book club. I'm glad everyone there finished it.

Jenny said...

I'm a little intimidated at the thought of reading a Christopher Moore book but want to eventually. I've never been in a book club which maybe is a good thing because I'd be soooo frustrated if others didn't read the book!

The Art of Racing in the Rain is GOOD!!! I had the same feelings as you... though I love my dog, I didn't know how I'd feel about a dog narrator, and race car driving is one of my LEAST interested subjects, but that book is really good.

Peaceful Reader said...

This is on my to-read pile and I think I might suggest it to my book club. It is a church-based book club but we read a wide variety. In fact we read The Art of Racing in the Rain a few months ago-loved it!

Cozy in Texas said...

Sounds like our book club. We even have one member who doesn't read so we usually have to pick a book that was made into a movie so that she can pick up the story. Good luck with the Art of Racing in the Rain - keep kleenex nearby.
Ann
By the way I'm having a book review competition if you're interested.

Lenore said...

Christina - The member who chose the book is someone who hardly ever finishes our books, so I can't say I was very surprised! We're not a strict book club in that sense. But yes, it would have been nice if others had finished. I really wanted to discuss the ending with someone!

Carla said...

hahahaha my favourite line? "You know, if they all actually read the book." I find it amusing that you were the only member to actually read the whole book. i would feel SO naughty if I turned up for a meeting and i'd not read the book. I mean, yeah, if they did have a movie adaption and i didn;t want to read the book i would cheat that way, but i don't think I could turn upto a book blub not having any knowledge of the book.

this does sound interesting, but I doubt I could take a book seriously that had a character named Biff. Sorry. Could not do that without giggling everytime I read it.

You know, I really think you guys should read some of David Nicholls work. One Day has been getting some rather amazing press here in the UK and I think it's starting to hit the hype in the US too (not too sure might be lying on this point about the US) and Starter for Ten is BRILLIANT. I mean, laugh out loud funny but also witty and intelligent. plus, if the mothers don't have tome for the book they could always watch the movie adaption. Bonus? IT STARS JAMES MCAVOY. They would truly love you forever.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Oh, I would totally read this! You can't take it too seriously. But how disappointing that nobody else finished it! That happens frequently in my book clubs as well. Argh. As far as The Art of Racing in the Rain, I ADORED it. Just don't finish it in public, is all I'm saying.

Serena said...

I really enjoy Moore's humor, but this is the one book I have not read. There are very few of his books I haven't read, but this is one that is on my must read list thanks to a number of recommendations.

I'm curious about your book club discussion of The Art of Racing in the Rain, which I really enjoyed, though dog narrators are always fun for this dog owner.

Zibilee said...

I have this book on my shelf as well, and am looking forward to it. I also have the same problem with my bookclub. They never actually read the book, but they get all antsy when we can't discuss it in detail and tell me that we need to get more in-depth in our discussion. I always end up thinking "how can we discuss a book when you don't read it?"

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Ahah, I found this kind of funny that you were the only one to actually finish it and talk about it, Hopefully this doesn't happen too often!
I read my first Christopher Moore at Christmas, and loved the ironic and sarcastic humor. Maybe I'll try this for the next one!

Lenore said...

Carla - I just looked up One Day and it does look good! Too bad I just picked a book very recently and therefore have to wait a long time before I can pick another.

Sarah said...

I think your blog is super cute so I am sending you the Stylish Blogger award.
http://readinglark.blogspot.com/2011/01/stylish-blogger-award.html
pass it on!

Laura C. said...

I've heard that Christopher Moore is really funny, but I've never read him. I've also heard really good things about The Art of Racing in the Rain, even from people who I don't think would like stuff like that, so hopefully you'll like it.

I gave you an award over at my blog if you want to check it out:
http://hawthornescarlet.blogspot.com/2011/01/long-overdue.html

Trisha said...

Christopher Moore has been on my wish list since I saw the first blog review of one of his books, and yet I still haven't picked one up. I really need to as he sounds hilarious!

Amy said...

It's disappointing that you are the only member of your book club that finished this book especially since Moore is a very good & funny writer! I haven't read this book but it sounds very entertaining despite the last half seeming rushed. It's annoying to me that there's fiction people won't read because of their religion & beliefs. But I know it's happened with other author's books so it doesn't surprise me.

I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to really discuss thei book with anyone. I hoped you enjoyed it otherwise.

~ Amy

alitareads said...

I got this book for Christmas and very much looking forward to reading it. That's disappointing that no one else is your group finished it - it sounds like it would be a great book for discussion.

iubookgirl said...

I really enjoyed this book when I read it years ago. Moore is hilarious!

Charley said...

I did not make it all the way through this one, but I listened to A Dirty Job on audio and had some laughs.

SoonerScotty said...

Funniest book ever!! Hands down IMO...as long as one is not easily offended and understands that God has a sense of humor.

I don't remember it being especially long/big though?

Belgie said...

This is a very charming book that made me laugh out loud so many times. I fell in love with Biff with his humor and loyalty. I did shed a tear at the end but I believe most people would. This book is not to be taken seriously but it does make you wonder how Jesus life was as a child growing up. Did he really put lizards in his mouth .I miss the characters and wish the book didn't end. It's an easy read and I promise you won't forget to recommend it to someome.