A childhood friend of Jesus is resurrected by the angel Raziel and held captive in a motel room while he is forced to transcribe the life and experiences of the saviour during the missing 30 years before his crucifixion. Levi (who is known as Biff) is the life-long companion to Jesus (who is known as Joshua). Biff is a smart-alex and a class-clown but deep down he has a heart of gold and is a worthy companion to the son of God – as well as a foil for his innocence and endless patience. The two meet as boys in Galilee and set out on an epic journey through Asia in search of the three Magi, who they hope will teach Jesus how to become the Messiah. During the journey they learn meditation and judo, meet the abominable snowman, invent latte and tell many parables involving mustard seeds.
What the Armchair Critics Thought:
Lighthearted satire or blasphemous outrage? There were a range of opinions about this book. Some found that reading a spoof of the human life of Jesus made them extremely uncomfortable. But it should be noted that the book is carefully crafted to protect the reputation of Jesus – he remains celibate and self-sacrificing, never behaves outrageously, and actually performs the miracles attributed to him. The book is very funny, although the jokes range in intelligence from extremely clever to frat-boy. Personally I like to think of Jesus in the company of a good-hearted, wisecracking buddy. Moore succeeds in putting a human face on the saviour.