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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

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 across an i

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 good

Gargantua and Pantagruel is a bawdy feast of wordplay and erudition; a wild departure from the simple tales of The Decameron. It is unfortunate that so much of the linguistic inventiveness is obscured by the need for translation, as well as forgotten references and changes in meaning and pronunciati

«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, όπως

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

Here's the dirty truth: if you're not super into 1100 pages of 16th century f

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