#20 The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

Weird. The literary equivalent of children's bedtime stories as told by your (chronically) drunk Uncle. I can see why it has the following it does, and why it was irresistible to Terry Gilliam. Even the relatively conservative Gustave Dore was taking liberties with the illustrations here, lending a Rablaisian flair to the goings on. Ribald and magnificently offensive, the book manages to be difficult to read quickly because the events insist on just not making sense. Not that it's a problem - it's part of the charm, but it made for a few instances of having to go back to double-check where the storyline veered off uncontrollably. And as challenging as the book was to read coherently, the bizarre visuals it induced were even more taxing - particularly for those of us with overactive visual imaginations. Which is still tame, compared to dear Mr. Harrison's book, which I read next.

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