Book reviews: Lamb, Roads to Quoz

Roads to Quoz: An American Moseyalt, William Least-Heat Moon:

I’m having a hard time putting my finger on why I didn’t enjoy this book.  I loved Blue Highways, Least-Heat Moon’s solitary journey through the forgotten backroads of America. Though Roads to Quoz is very similar in content, and the flowery prose is both creative and entertaining, the book itself failed to draw me in.  Perhaps it’s a lack of a feeling of authenticity?  The sense of navel-gazing is much stronger this time around, and the travels in this story were undertaken ostensibly to feed this very book, whereas Blue Highways had the feeling of being a personal odyssey that would’ve taken place whether there was a book deal in it or not.  I don’t know if this is actually the case or not, but there’s something below the surface that makes Roads to Quoz feel more cynically mercenary at its heart.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Palalt, Christopher Moore:
Christopher Moore has yet to write a book I didn’t thoroughly enjoy.  His stories are ridiculous and elegant, tightly-controlled bundles of absurdity that somehow never manage to jump the shark.  Lamb keeps that streak going, with its story reportedly inspired in part by the question “What if Jesus had known kung fu?” according to the author’s afterword. In truth, though, Lamb comes across as a surprisingly thoughtful consideration of religion and history, and of the process through which both are created.  Of course, it’s also got concubine-eating demons, an angel who thinks that everything on the television is real and a passel of hilariously clueless apostles, so don’t let the philosophy distract you, if you don’t want it to.