A book you’ll love, especially if you’re not a pious zealot.Review by: The Audiobook Review
I've owned this book on my kindle for a number of years. I've probably re-read it at least once a year thereafter because I loved it so much. The audiobook now holds the same position, doubly so maybe because it's read by the fantastic Fisher Stevens. I recognised his distinctive voice the second I listened to the sample and knew I had to have it.
So what's it about? Easy! Biff has been tasked by heaven to pen a new gospel, to fill the missing years of the Son of God before he was 30. As it turns out, those missing years were “filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes.”
If you’re easily offended by someone poking fun at your religion, then this book is probably not for you. You’ll want to throw around words like “blasphemous” and “sacrilegious”. If however, you’re an enlightened human being who can understand satire and enjoys a good laugh, then this book is for you. This was the book that introduced me to the works of Christopher Moore, who I’ve now read a lot more of.
But back to the story! God decrees a new testament is required to fill in the gaps, in particular the missing first 30 years of his life. An angel, Raziel, resurrects Biff (Christ’s childhood pal) who was by his side almost the entire time. Locked away in a New York City hotel room, Biff is forced to recount the adventures which taught Jesus (referred to by his Hebrew name “Joshua” for most of the book) how to be the Messiah.
Along the way, Biff selflessly takes the bullets for Joshua for certain teachings (for example: explaining sex to Joshua by sleeping with whores) and generally being the comic relief sidekick. They meet with Balthazar, an ancient magician trying to learn the secrets of eternal life, monks who teach them Kung Fu (or because Joshua refuses to hit people, they invent a new form dubbed “Jew-Do”), and learn the mystic secrets of how to fit oneself inside a wine bottle.
It’s not all about laughs though. Moore portrays Joshua as very human and fallible, and you can’t help but love the character he creates.
Fisher Stevens, the narrator, is a voice I could listen to (and did!) for hours and hours. His voice so distinct, I recognized him immediately upon hearing the sample. I've since found out he's narrated a few other of Moore's books so I'll likely add those to my library in the future. Marvellous job!
A book you’ll love, especially if you’re not a pious zealot.