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Some books are good for you, and some books are fun to read, but few books are both; Rabelais novels are among these few. A cornucopia of jokes, unforgettable characters, filth, sex, philosophy, and religion, Rabelais novels create our cultural DNA while they make us laugh. When we laugh at the mythical giants Pantagruel and Gargantua and their companions we laugh at ourselves. All the while we are following the heroes and their friends and enemies as they react to the burgeoning world of modern nation states, modern science, modern law, and modern forms of religion, we can see how we have become what we are today. Without Rabelais and his contemporaries Cervantes and Shakespeare, modernity would not exist as we know it.