Friday, February 27, 2009

A Good Read

Over the years I have had an on and off relationship with reading. I have always enjoyed a classic novel and grew up reading comic books like they were going out of style. I suppose what distanced me from the enjoyment was my brief stint in college. Forced readings and incredibly lengthy textbooks managed to suck all the enjoyment out of it. For a long time I couldn't think about starting a novel without getting a headache. The 28 pages of a Green Lantern monthly was about all I could handle.

I was recently directed to a great book by Christopher Moore. My friend had just finished reading it and was so excited about it being the best book he had ever read, shoved it at me and begged me to read it. The book was entitled Lamb (The Gospel According To Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal). It sat on my desk for a couple of days before I ventured in and once I did I couldn't put it down. It was amazingly funny and sarcastically intelligent at the same time. I finished it in a couple of days and realized I had rediscovered my love for reading.

The book tries to explain the gap in the recorded history of the life of Christ. Why wouldn't it be possible that Jesus had many adventures prior to beginning his ministry? Of course Jesus is joined on his travels by Biff, a stonecutter's son who aspires to be the village idiot. Through humor Moore tackles some incredibly tough issues and manages to make you smile through some of the hardest parts of the story. I think even the deeply religious could enjoy the read if they could accept the book for what it is, a work of fiction. Not meant to blaspheme or rewrite the accepted gospel.

After finishing Lamb I had to find more Moore. The second novel I blazed through was A Dirty Job. A story that finds a man suddenly faced with the reality that he has become the grim reaper. Or at least one of them. I think I enjoyed this one even more than Lamb. I quickly decided that I needed the rest of his collection and have began to buy and read them one at a time. I'm currently on Fluke, one of Moore's best sellers, and am engrossed as always. I even got a membership to Books A Million to aid in my quest. That's really an understated book store that deserves more credit. I think this is the part of the blog where Levar Burton pops up and thanks me for the book review. See you next time.