"Gargantua and Pantagruel"

I thought I'd pop off a few short book reviews of tomes that may be of interest:

First up is “Gargantua and Pantagruel”:

A 16th-century medical doctor and Catholic monk, François Rabelais spent decades writing a series of five books, collectively known as “Gargantua and Pantagruel,” that became wildly popular for their dark and bawdy humor. To this day, the massive tome still ruffles religious feathers. The current edition of The Catholic Encyclopedia calls Rabelais “a revolutionary who attacked all the past, scholasticism, the monks; his religion is scarcely more than that of a spiritually-minded pagan…. His vocabulary is rich and picturesque, but licentious and filthy.”

Sex, drinking, utopian ideals, and heretical philosophy populate this fantastical saga that follows the adventures of a giant and his son. What’s even more intriguing are the multitude of hidden messages, Gnostic insights, alchemical secrets, and herbal obsessions (e.g., cannabis) that bubble far beneath the surface of these tall tales.

Hey, the book is dated, no doubt. But it can still get the Church's metaphorical cloisters all bundled up in a ruffle... so don't let the Pope catch ya readin' it, son.

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