* Featured on www.orbitbooks.co.uk and in the Orbit ezine. * www.orbitbooks.co.uk/chrismoore * Review coverage in the genre press.
Christopher Moore began writing at the age six and became the oldest known child prodigy when, in his early thirties, he published his first novel. Chris enjoys cheese crackers, acid jazz, and otter scrubbing and lives in an inaccessible island fortress in the Pacific.
A childhood pal of the savior is brought back from the dead to fill in the missing 30-year "gap" in the Gospels in Moore's latest, an over-the-top festival of sophomoric humor that stretches a very thin though entertaining conceit far past the breaking point. The action starts in modern America, specifically in a room at the Hyatt in St. Louis, where the angel who shepherds "Levi who is called Biff" has to put Christ's outrageous sidekick under de facto house arrest to get him to complete his task. Moore (Bloodsucking Fiends) gets style points for his wild imagination as Biff recalls his journey with Jesus dubbed Joshua here according to the Greek translation into and out of the clutches of Balthasar, then into a Buddhist monastery in China and finally off to India, where they dabble in the spiritual and erotic aspects of Hinduism. The author gets more serious in his climax, offering a relatively straightforward, heartfelt account of the Passion and Christ's final days that includes an intriguing spin on how the Resurrection might have happened. The Buddhist and Hindu subplots seem designed to point out the absurdity and excesses of religious customs, but none of the characters are especially memorable, and eventually both plot and characters give way to Biff's nightclub patter. As imaginative as some of this material is, the sacrilegious aspects are far less offensive than Moore's inability to rein in his relentless desire to titillate, and his penchant for ribald, frat-boy humor becomes more annoying as the book progresses. Moore has tapped into organized religion for laughs before, but this isn't one of his better efforts. Agent, Nick Ellison. Author tour. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Adult/High School-An angel has resurrected Levi bar Alpheus, known as Biff, to tell this story of his life with Joshua, better known to the modern world as Jesus Christ. As youths, they travel to the East in search of the wise men who gave gifts to Joshua at his birth, because the young man has a problem: he knows he's the Messiah, but he doesn't know what to do about it. Along the way, he and Biff come in contact with the spirituality of the East, along with a smattering of martial arts, strange poisons, abominable snowmen, and more. The story concludes with their return to Israel and Biff's own explanation of the events that make up the traditional gospel narrative. Readers who might be offended by the author's casual treatment of Christian themes may also take umbrage at his treatment of Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, and much else. However, the author manages to share a variety of the world's spiritual insights while creating interesting and vivid characters. The style is smooth, drawing readers into the story seamlessly except for the need to laugh out loud every page or two. The humor is good-natured, despite the fact that Biff claims to be the inventor of a practice known as "sarcasm." In an excellent afterword, the author explains the choices he made in writing the novel, which will fascinate would-be writers, as well as provide a rebuttal for the book's likely critics.-Paul Brink, Fairfax County Public Library System, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.