For years I have been pretty outspoken regarding my love of all of Christopher Moore's novels. And I've been pretty outspoken regarding this particular novel, even going so far as to record a review of it for the podcast Books You Should Read on the Simply Syndicated podcast network. So yeah, I'm a little biased. :D
I must first start by saying that Lamb is a fictional look at the life of Jesus, or Joshua as he is called, told from the point of view of his best friend Levi, aka Biff. And because it's fictional, I would hope that readers realize that there are going to be some things going on here that clearly didn't happen. But I tell you, it all makes for one heck of a read.
Not much is known about Joshua's life for a period of about 30 years. But with Biff's input, we learn that the two of them set off to find the three magi who attended Joshua's birth to learn their secrets. And with that knowledge comes many hilarious adventures, such of Biff's teaching Joshua about sex, since the Savior can never know a woman; Biff and Joshua's encounter with a Yeti; and Biff's journey through the Kama Sutra.
I laughed, but then again I'm a heathen. I also cried, but then again, this is a wonderful story of friendship, and you know going into it that it has to end a certain way. And I learned. No, I didn't learn secrets of Joshua's life; I learned that each life is a daring adventure and we should live it to the fullest.
So sentiments aside, I say read this book. If you're familiar with Moore, you'll laugh at his trademark humor. If you're not, maybe you'll discover how great a comic writer he is and be inspired to pick up his other books. That's why I give this a perfect five out of five journeys of a lifetime.
#4: Homer & Langley - E.L. Doctrow (2009, 208 pages)
Homer and Langley Collyer were two of New York's most eccentric residents in the 20th Century. In E.L. Doctrow's historical fiction account of their lives, the original story is changed, but it is no less fascinating.
The Collyer brothers became recluses following the deaths of their parents in the early part of the century. Homer's is due, in part, to his blindness, while Langley's stems from madness due to his surviving a mustard gas attack during his service in World War I. But while they close themselves away from the world, they still manage to have many adventures, including encounters with hippies and gangsters. Langley's madness adds humor and heartbreak when he does things like install a Model T in the dining room and collects useless junk that piles up throughout the home and unfortunately becomes their downfall.
Written in E.L. Doctrow's beautiful prose, the book is set with no chapters, and the dialogue is written in a style similar to what Cormac McCarthy used in The Road. There are no direct quotes, but you still get the story and the language, beautifully so. I didn't know what to expect from this novel, but I found myself really enjoying it, which is why I give it a strong four out of five hoarders.
Total Books Read: 4 / 50 (8 percent)
Total Pages Read: 1,751 / 15,000 (12 percent)