If I try to explain this book, I kind of sound like I'm on something rather exceptional, but this book really rocked my world. If you ask me about it in person, I'll gesture with my hands and make Good Book Noise™ and try to explain how much this book changed the way I view things. I converted from Episcopalianism to Judaism 13 years ago, but this book, which I read about 12 years ago, made me appreciate my former faith and culture, my current faith and culture, and, most importantly, the way in which thinking of Christ as a person instead of as a mythic figure can change the way one understands the various interpretations of Christ.
The basic premise is that the angels resurrect Levi, known as Biff, who was Christ's best friend during the missing years of the gospel – better known as Jesus' adolescence. The angels stick Biff in a hotel room and ask him to write down his gospel, and the story found in the missing years of the gospel is hilarious, sad, and at times eyebrow-raising in the absurdity. If you like absurd humor (of which Moore is a master) and you are open to having your view of Christ reshaped a good bit, this book might blow your mind like it has mine. If nothing else, you'll understand why Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas.
This is one of my most favorite non-romance novels. I love this book. I hope you'll give it a try.
The birth of Jesus has been well chronicled, as have his glorious teachings, acts, and divine sacrifice after his thirtieth birthday. But no one knows about the early life of the Son of God, the missing years — except Biff, the Messiah's best bud, who has been resurrected to tell the story in the divinely hilarious yet heartfelt work “reminiscent of Vonnegut and Douglas Adams” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Savior's pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there's no one who loves Josh more — except maybe “Maggie,” Mary of Magdala — and Biff isn't about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.