as (much) interested in cod as God

HolyUnicorn

Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect
Hello,

“Bustling fishing villages and other settlements did sprout to the north of Plymouth, on the storm-lashed shores of Massachusetts Bay, where many people were as much interested in cod as God.”

From “The American Pageant” by Thomas A. Bailey

Is “much” redundant here? I often see “as adjective as”.
 
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