There is nothing written about Jesus' childhood unless you count the apocryphal Infancy Gospel of Thomas, which is almost as strange as this novel by Christopher Moore. I guess few writers are willing to risk hell, brimstone, damnation, the moral majority and the PTA, not necessarily in that order. Moore doesn't seem to be worried about any of these perhaps because this very funny novel actually manages to treat the subject with reverence and respect, at least to anyone who hasn't made up their mind that anything that strays from the Gospels is sacrilegious. The story is told through the perspective of Christ's childhood friend, Biff. He is a bit of a wise-acre and, very important to Jesus, he can sin. Jesus figures he needs to know what sin is about if he is the Messiah and he also need to know what being the Messiah really means. This leads Jesus and Biff on a journey taking them to the Far East to learn closely-guarded secrets, a hypothesis concerning the lost years that actually has been suggested by some bible historians. But it is best to keep this wonderfully bizarre novel as what it is, a flight of fantasy that entertains and enlightens. As expected from Moore, nearly every paragraph has its joys. The book is full of wit and humor even as you think "I can't believe he wrote that". It is one of the funniest novels I have ever read, right next to Moore's other epic tome of humor, A Dirty Job.