November Book Club: "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal"

Statutory Warning:

This book should not be read if:

1. One is easily offended by religious flippancy

2. One has weak sphincter muscles

3. One is generally morose or loves to wallow in eternal grief

(To be taken in Lighter vein)

*********************************************************

A Man! A friend. A journey in time. A book of profound divinity.

Deeply philosophical:

"Is temptation itself at fault for man's woes, or it simply the lack of judgment in response to temptation? In other words, who is to blame? Mankind , or a bad designer? Because i can't help but think that if God had never told Adam and Eve to avoid the fruit of the tree of knowledged, that the human race would still be running around naked, dancing, in wonderment and blissfully naming and stuff between snacks, naps, and shags."

Rebellious at times:

“Confucius is like the Torah, rules to follow. And Lao-Tzu is even more conservative, saying that if you do nothing you won't break any rules. You have to let tradition fall sometime, you have to take action, you have to eat bacon.”

At other times, profound observations:

“I think this is a bodhi tree,” I said, “just like Buddha sat under! It’s so exciting. I’m feeling sort of enlightened just standing here. Really, I can feel ripe bodhies squishing between my toes.”
Joshua looked at my feet. “I don’t think those are bodhies. There was a cow here before us.”
I lifted my foot out of the mess. “Cows are overrated in this country. Under the Buddha’s tree too. Is nothing sacred?”

But religious at all times:

“It's hard for me, a Jew, to stay in the moment. Without the past, where is the guilt? And without the future, where is the dread? And without guilt and dread, who am I?”

“It's very difficult to stay angry when a room full of bald guys in orange robes start giggling. Buddhism.”

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  • Hina

    Thanks Neel for organising the event

    November 18, 2013

  • Joanna J.

    Really enjoyed the discussion today - lots of themes to draw out of the book. Thanks, Neel, for choosing something a bit different!

    November 17, 2013

  • PC

    Hi all ive been called into work today which is quite unfortunate but i should be finished by five and would be keen to meet for a cup of chai at kati roll or yalla yalla after.

    November 17, 2013

  • Gail

    Looks like I won't be able to attend today.

    November 17, 2013

  • Neel

    Hello everyone! Post the book club meeting, how about going to the Lebanese restaurant "Yalla Yalla" near Oxford Circus? http://www.yalla-yalla.co.uk/

    Or we could go to Kati roll as suggested by Preeti.

    Please confirm here/PM me/text me at[masked] for dinner participation and I would book a table.

    November 14, 2013

    • Vineet

      My preference is for Kati Roll. Never been there.

      November 14, 2013

    • ramesh r

      Might turn up for the social after. Would like to try Kati roll.

      November 16, 2013

  • Neel

    Here's a link to a BBC documentary that touches upon some aspects of the story in the book(see from 36 mins onwards):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAaW6BYhfNM

    On slightly tangential lines, here's a link to a documentary about "Buddha boy" Ram Bahadur Bamjan, made by the Discovery channel:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v29clGMWU84

    November 16, 2013

  • Caroline

    I'm also not impressed with the book - but maybe you're interested to see some 1890 photos of some of the 'Holy Land' photos:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/palestine-in-the-19th-century-pictures-2013-10#from-the-holy-land-to-the-motherland--26
    At least enjoy these!
    Caroline

    November 15, 2013

  • Vijay

    haven't progressed much with the book so bailing out.

    November 15, 2013

  • PC

    I'm only on page 253, this book lacks gravitas and is failing to engage me meaningfully.

    November 15, 2013

    • PC

      Actually the only thing I can say is the demon is scaring the bejesus out of me

      November 15, 2013

  • PC

    Im keen on kati roll but seating there is difficult for a large group

    November 15, 2013

  • Malvinder

    Not managed to read the book so bailing out. Might come by for the social though

    November 14, 2013

  • Shachi

    Sorry Neel , wont be able to attend.

    November 14, 2013

  • PC

    Hi I want to go to Kati roll after if anyone wants to join me. I have to say this book is more banal than me

    November 13, 2013

    • Hina

      I wouldnt mind joining. Agree on the book. Don't know about you though

      November 14, 2013

  • Anuradha Sharma K.

    Sorry I will not be able to attend.

    November 10, 2013

  • Neel

    I am glad that you have decided to give it a go, Malcolm. If you were offended by Monty Python's "Life of Brian", then I can assure you that you would be no less offended by this book.

    November 9, 2013

  • Malcolm

    Am just religious enough to be offended and love wallowing in misery but I'll give it a go.

    November 8, 2013

  • Sabina

    This looks like some good old fashioned politically incorrect humour! Look forward to meeting you all :)

    November 8, 2013

  • nivedita

    SORRY Neel, will not be able to attend this particular Meet-up, due to other pre-scheduled prior commitment which I realized later. Please do accept my sincere apology. Look forward to see you ALL - next time hopefully. Please take care.

    November 3, 2013

  • ramesh r

    Well.. I have weak sciatic muscles instead and am generally not politically correct when it comes to religion.. So I guess I qualify to read this book :-£

    1 · October 22, 2013

    • Neel

      You absolutely do! Hope to see you in the bookclub

      1 · October 27, 2013

    • nivedita

      Would love to join in the debate. Looks like its going to be very informative, interesting and a great learning experience.

      October 27, 2013

  • nivedita

    WE would like to know a bit more about the author please. I personally prefer doing that to do a bit more re-search and be well equipped with knowledge to take active part in the discussion. I hope you don't mind. Many thx.

    September 8, 2013

  • Vineet

    Lily here is another hint, it is an intensely religious books. Here is an extract from a review ..

    "The last ten years have mutated my views on religion. I went from a vague agnostic live-and-let-live attitude to a full blown distrust and dislike of mass worshipping of mysterious deities. When it wasn’t being used as an excuse to murder people who believed different things, then it was being used to deny basic scientific concepts or prevent consenting adults from marriage based on gender. Overall, I’d become convinced that humanity was far too stupid to use religion as anything but yet another system to justify telling someone else how to live."

    August 21, 2013

  • Neel

    Well, that's the plan: to build up the suspense to generate some interest in the book and then divulging the details in a couple of weeks time.
    However, the more enterprising or anxious ones may just as well google and get the details.

    August 21, 2013

  • Lily

    Are we allowed to know the title and author of the book or are we meant to be kept in suspense?

    August 21, 2013

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