Top critical review
Ken's Very Funny Guide to the Bible
April 4, 2003
This book shows you the stuff in the Bible that you would otherwise never have heard of. The dark, bloody, brutal and unseemly side of the Bible. But unlike many other similar efforts, there is no polemic in Ken's Guide. Smith pokes gentle fun, in as brief a style of writing as I have rarely seen. His approach is of the modern-day, clear-headed, common sense variety - and also very, very funny.
The book starts out with a good and very amusing introduction (including, among many other things, a top ten list of the Bible's most influential characters). But then it immediately runs out of steam, sort of, and turns into little more than a collection of lists of damning Bible passages, with an occasional comment here and there. Since plenty of such lists can be found on the net, more is needed to make a good book. When Smith does offer some input, it is usually hilariously funny, making one wish he had written a lot more.
One interesting thing that also could have been made more of, is the various icons in the margin that Smith employs to point out the different categories of Bible passages, among them: weirdness, bunk, divine wrath, holy distortion, blood 'n' guts, sex, Christian arrogance, and a few others. But these icons are used inconsistently and frequently not at all.
Smith admits he's no bible scholar, and on a few occasions this shows, but in general he offers razor-sharp and insightful comments on the absurdities of the Bible. I heartily recommend this book, you'll find yourself frequently laughing out loud when reading it, but, on the whole, I can't escape the feeling that this book could, and should, have been a lot more.