Christopher Moore, 2002, Harper Collins
This is a book that was recommended to me a couple of time, and which I never tried to find. The premise — the “true” history of Jesus and his formative years, as told by his not-very-bright best friend Biff — is not only tired, but not very compelling. When you add in that the reviewers often mention that there are lots of fart and fucking jokes, I thought this was one to miss.
So when it showed up lying around in the living room (a loan from Paul & Jeanette), I only opened it to confirm my doubts. Turns out, however, the book is very entertaining. Sure, it’s full of juvenile humor, crude language, anacronisms, wildly improbable plotting, and elaborately-worked retro-explanations of traditions. But, that being said, it’s charming. It winks and giggles and lets you in on the joke — which is that it’s a respectful, if untraditional, imagining of the life of Jesus.