Thursday, May 19, 2005

Mini-book review, complete with exciting dream tie-in!

A few days ago, I finished reading "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore. I'd promised Martha (the friend who recommended it) that I'd say what I thought of it when I finished, so here we go. I can see why Martha recommended it. Parts of it literally made me laugh out loud. But at the same time, for some inexplicable reason, I found the book as a whole to be very slow-going. Yet, I really wanted to finish it. That's odd for me. There are so many good books out there that my attitude toward reading tends to be "life is too short to waste on books I don't love", so I normally give a book a couple of chapters to totally grab me and make me want to devour it. If it doesn't, it either goes into the sell/give away pile or, if I think it has possibilities but I'm just not in the right frame of mind, it goes into my "try again later" pile. (That pile can get fairly large during some of my pickier phases!) This one failed to totally grab me in the first couple of chapters. My initial reaction was "some good one-liners mixed in with a somewhat dull story". But for some reason I stuck with it and finished and am pleased that I did. As it turns out, I think I have exactly the right background to appreciate this story. I was raised in a church-going family and spent several years in church-affiliated schools that required Bible-study classes and weekly chapel attendance, so I understood the references and knew exactly which parts were based on the Bible and which parts were strictly out of Mr. Moore's imagination, (like Biff talking about something being written in the book of Excretions!). But I no longer attend church or consider myself a Christian (I believe in the Divine, but not in organized religion or in many of the tenets of Christianity), so I didn't get my knickers in a twist over things that a devout Christian might consider blasphemous. In the end, I found the story to be an interesting exercise in imagining how Jesus might have spent the many years of his life the Bible doesn't talk about, as seen through the eyes of one of his friends. And odd as it may sound, even with all the oddball and often vulgar humor, much of it seemingly designed to appeal to an adult's inner-8-year-old-boy, I thought Mr. Moore's depiction of Jesus as the Son of God given human form was ultimately respectful and even insightful. By the way, the humor worked for me. I have a very active inner-8-year-old. (grin) It isn't a book I'd recommend to Christian friends unless I knew for a fact that they had a strongly liberal slant to their beliefs, but otherwise I think it's a worthwhile read. And now, before I finish this post, I have to talk about the promised dream tie-in. Aren't you excited? Aren't you glad you read all the way through?? Yeah, baby! Early this morning, shortly before waking up, I had a dream about being in school (college, I think, but it could have been high school) and for some reason I was being chased by a bully. I ran into the cafeteria, thinking if I could get to where there were lots of people I'd be safe. I ran to the front of the room, where the food line was, and there, standing at the head of the line, was Richard Dean Anderson. Wasn't it nice of him to make a guest appearance in my dream?? He asked what was going on and the bully and I started blurting out conflicting stories. Then RDA, who obviously had the good sense to believe ME instead of the bully, whipped a Bible out of...well...thin air I was a dream yanno, and opened it and handed it to the bully saying "I think you need to read what is written here in the book of Edvaard." Then he jerked the Bible back and said "No, wait, this is even better", then opened it to a different page and said "Look! Look here, in the book of Bacterials." Then I woke up giggling. The book of Bacterials??? That must be Christopher Moore's influence. Maybe I should write him a thank-you note.