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Gargantua and Pantagruel - Book 1

François Rabelais

Book Overview: 

The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel is a connected series of five novels written in the 16th century by François Rabelais. It is the story of two giants, a father (Gargantua) and his son (Pantagruel) and their adventures, written in an amusing, extravagant, satirical vein. There is much crudity and scatological humor as well as a large amount of violence. Long lists of vulgar insults fill several chapters.(Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I know Touchfaucet is. For I see his courage so changed that he had willingly joined with our enemies to fight against us and betray us, if they would have received him; but as virtue is of all, both friends and foes, praised and esteemed, so is wickedness soon known and suspected, and although it happen the enemies to make use thereof for their profit, yet have they always the wicked and the traitors in abomination.

Touchfaucet being at these words very impatient, drew out his sword, and therewith ran Rashcalf through the body, a little under the nipple of his left side, whereof he died presently, and pulling back his sword out of his body said boldly, So let him perish that shall a faithful servant blame. Picrochole incontinently grew furious, and seeing Touchfaucet's new sword and his scabbard so richly diapered with flourishes of most excellent workmanship, said, Did they give thee this weapon so felonious. . . Read More

Community Reviews

An Exuberant Masterpiece

This novel is almost 600 years old, yet it’s hugely entertaining, far more so than I had expected.

In both content and style, there were times when I couldn’t have guessed when it was written.

It’s no longer argued that it was the first ever novel. However, its narrative div...more

How to describe this book? (You don't describe it, you read it, hahahaha...)

This book is absurd. It makes me think absurd things and make stupid jokes. It has some funny moments, yes, but it's sort of like when you're with that one funny friend who just takes it all a step too far and can't let a...more

You know what philosophy needs? François thought to himself. More fart jokes. And excrement jokes. Also some obscenity, blasphemy, over-eating, and sex. Ooh, and giants! But most of all, more fart jokes.

Personally, the philosophical discourses were the part I found most interesting, but if you th...more

Rabelais is not to be skipped in literary history as he is a source of so much proverb, story & joke which are derived from him into all modern books in all languages
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is perhaps one of the most reassuring aspects of reading great books of the past how often you come acro...more

That is why, Drinkers, I counsel you to lay up a good stock of my books while the time is right; as soon as you come across them on the booksellers’ stalls you must not only shuck them but devour them like an opiatic cordial and incorporate them within you: it is then that you will discover the g...more

I miss having time to write reviews

But you pick something up and something has to fall from you
(Human hands hold very little)
A skull blinks & centuries have dusted away
Since Rabelais

...
I miss having time to read
Uninterrupted hours and time to think about what I read
But we take on other tasks...more

September
This is going to be a long term, yet highly enjoyable, reading project. Gargantua and Pantagruel is the anti-novel before the novel, a proto-Swift, a proto-Pynchon, who combines and blurs the boundary between low and high culture. It's also highly readable, as each chapter is maybe 1-3 p...more

«Αν μου πείτε: «Δάσκαλε, φαίνεται πως δεν στάθηκες ιδιαίτερα σοφός με το να μας γράψεις ετούτες τις κουταμάρες και ετούτες τις χαρωπές κοροϊδίες» σας απαντάω πως δεν είσαστε διόλου πιο σοφοί, αφού χάνετε την ώρα σας να τις διαβάζετε. Πάντως, αν για να περνάει χαρούμενα η ώρα σας τις διαβάζετε, όπ...more

995. La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel = Gargantua And Pantagruel, Françoise Rabelais
The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel (French: La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel) is a pentalogy of novels written in the 16th century by François Rabelais, which tells of the adventures of two giants, Ga...more

Rabelais! The foreman of farts! The sheik of shit! The rajah of rectums! The first joke in the world was a fart joke. Sophocles, Shakespeare, Melville, all liked fart jokes. Louis CK calls the fart the perfect joke. But no one has ever farted like Rabelais.

Here's the dirty truth: if you're not su...more

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