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The Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine, Whiskey, & Song: A Spirited Look at Catholic Life & Lore from the Apocalypse to Zinfandel (Bad Catholic's guides) Paperback – May 1, 2007
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"All saints suffer one way or another but there are no sad saints. As this book makes abundantly clear, some more than others had the gift of earthly gladness which, by not being lived as an end in itself, points the way to heavenly joy." -- Rev. George Rutler, Author, Theologian, Host, Eternal Word Television Network
"Silly some of the time, respectful most of the time and hilarious all of the time, even the squirrel recipes sound delicious and will have me driving slower thru the red states, chumming for low cost snacks on the two lane all the way to Mardi Gras." -- Mario Batali, Chef, Host of "Molto Mario," "Mario Eats Italy," and"Ciao America" on The Food Network. Author, The Babbo Cookbook
"Thanks to John Zmirak and Denise Matychowiak's uproarious cornucopia of Catholic fun, now we can laugh ourselves up and out of literary purgatory. Their sharp-witted irreverence seldom fails to amuse--because they know the Church so well, and love her so dearly." -- Thomas McArdle, White House Speechwriter, former Communications Director, The Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights
"This ingenious guide will leave you educated and entertained. A comical yet dignified must-read." -- Erik Blauberg, Chef, former Executive Chef, The `21' Club
From the Publisher
This book is great fun! The book moves through the year featuring different saints amd other holy people, the stories behind them and occasional recipes and other suggestions for celebrating these feast days. The saint's histories are written in a very light-hearted way although the underlying theme of this book is strong - the authors stick firmly to traditional Catholic doctrine including some of the more controversial areas such as contraception ...[A} fun and interesting book and the authors were able to very effectively and convincinlgy explain some more tricky and controversial Catholic doctrine. - Christian Marketplace, September 2006
Top customer reviews
I had previously reviewed their first book Bad Catholics Guide to Good Living which I also enjoyed. This book takes the same format and applies it to the many intersections of the Catholics Church and the making of various spirits.
Take equal parts history, drinking songs, teleology, odd facts, monastery brewers, and add a heaping measure of humor you start to get an idea of what this book is like. At close to 400 pages this is a fairly long book and what I think is an amazing accomplishment that it is both informative and funny throughout. Seldom has one book made me laugh out loud as many times as this one did. The footnotes are also a major part of the book. If you are inclined to not read footnotes, do not do that with this book. Sometimes the footnotes provide fascinating information and sometimes they are just jaw-achingly funny.
The book covers various alcohols literally from A - Z and also contains segments on loopholes to the Ten Commandments throughout the book. This is a book only Catholics could write in the first place. There is not exactly a rich Baptist tradition between breweries and vineyards. While I was aware that many monasteries throughout history had their hand in these arts, it is rather amazing just how many connections there are of intersections between the Church and alcohol. Though not really surprising considering the miracle of Cana and wine used as the species for the Holy Eucharist. This history is quite fascinating just reading straight, but the authors punctuate this history with many funny moments. Their are also many strange but true facts scattered throughout the book that you would think they were just part of the authors well developed humor. One being a quote from anti-Catholic and just strange John Harvey Kellogg (yes founder of the cereal) who ironically turns out to be a flake.
Another great thing about the book is that while these are Bad Catholic guides, the authors themselves are quite serious Catholics (if serious can be applied to them) and when they include discussion of Church teaching and theology throughout the book it is quite good. The swipes they take at both progressive and Rad Trad Catholics are also fun. Some people will pick up the book expecting something else and will discover that not only that Catholics aren't Puritans, but they will see aspects of the faith quite well presented.
There are also some very funny comparisons in various tables included my favorite being the comparison between Lager Beer and Infallible Papal Declarations. Another hilarious section is a critique of some of the songs you will find sung at most Masses.
" "Here I am, Lord." This hymn depicts a human soul responding to the call of Christ--but the music is whiny and grim, evoking in most people's minds a can of rancid potted meat, being slowly spread by windshield wipers across a plate of dirty auto glass. You hear Christ calling all right--but you feel like He's some hobo who's tapping at your window at 4 a.m. to wake you from a sound sleep so He can ask you directions to Dunkin' Donuts. You don't so much want to answer Him as clock him with a slipper. Sung in a sleepwalking, zombie rhythm, its use at Communion time produces a strikingly cinematic effect, which film critics have dubbed "The Church of the Living Dead." Here again, we have a chance to bring good out of evil: In preliminary tests, use of this song by military interrogators has proved successful, slightly more humane replacement for water-boarding."
As you would expect on a book covering this subject they do cover the discussion of drunkenness and the virtue of temperance. I also loved that fact that they made the comparison between people going to Whole Foods to buy pristine and purer organic foods and at the same time pumping their bodies full of hormones through birth control, a point I have made myself. This book is just flat-out funny and informative and one that I would highly recommend this book along with the first one in the series.
Tolkien on life & a bottle of wine: "The unseemly cobwebs & dust, and the stained label, are not always signs of impaired contents, for those who can draw old corks" (Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, 1981:337).
This book's plethora of information is like a wonderful Catechism. Deep within the fun, bubbly subject matter lurks deep theology, for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. By the time you hit "N," subjects become deeper and more complex. "Cider" vividly describes faith, that "the love He showed in entering our life and sharing our death is vaster than the galaxies" (31). The section on Drambuie is one of the best summations of the British wars against Jacobite "papistry" I've encountered. Stout moves from Guinness, to an insightful refutation of anti-Catholic fundamentalists. All that nonsense about "proof-texts" is what people like Hahn bring into the Church. The authors quote columnist Joseph Sobran: "As a Catholic, I take my hat off to 'Bible Christians' . . . it must be admitted we can't hold a candle to these folks. They can quote rings around us, Scripture-wise. What do we know? When they cite a verse like Second Ben-Hur 26:19, we can only take their word for it" (p. 288). The authors go on to describe a priceless theological debate at LSU.
Overall, the book's odd organization can be as confusing as the Catechism. The whiskey section is a throw-away, and you can't find Mead under "M." There appears to be nothing on port and sherry, or much on brandy. Ales are scattered throughout, but Belgian Ales are covered under "Trappist." An index would have been invaluable! Despite flaws, this entertaining book provides a unique and rich exploration of faith twined with yeast. The humor only falls flat when there's trite glibness, or the unsavoury sausage-making of politics; Rebulicans are lumped with the KKK (98). Many KKK members were anti-Catholic Democrats, Lincoln was a Republican. English Anglicanism is rightly attacked, but the authors call Jews a "race," hard to believe in this day and age (258). Lame jokes about the Third Reich, architecture, and Penn station don't work (92), any more than would jokes about those who starved during the Irish Potato Famine (read Feed the Children First: Irish Memories of the Great Hunger). There's a remarkable, great essay under "Purim," marred by glib remarks about the Third Reich, within the "Celebrate" section with the recipe for Hamantaschen). But the statement that "The Irish indeed formed America's first underclass" (102) doesn't work either. What about the people "discovered" in the Americas by Europeans, the slave underclass in the historic South, and indentured servants in the colonies? There is a wonderful section on Loretto, brilliant, but it's followed by cherry-picked history about California and Montepulciano. The friars did not fight "for indigenous rights against land-hungry white settlers" (158). The Indians were forced into labor and died by the thousands. Catholics have been and are persecuted, so let's use that Catholic compassion to relate to others without minimizing historical truth. History is a mess; at least try not to rewrite the past. But overall, this fun, informative book, with the delights of Guinness and Affligem Tripel, that make it good to be bad.
As to those Trappist Belgian Ales, life's delight, they consist of: Achel, Chimay, Koningshoeven (the Netherlands), Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvleteren. The most richly delicious is Affligem Tripel. The Affligem Abbey brewery was last destroyed during WWII, but the monks preserved their brew's original alchemy. Affligem Abbey retains ownership of the recipe (don't let the Heineken brand throw you). Affligem Tripel has a high percent of alcohol by volume, but that's not the only reason to keep a bottle sweating in the fridge, awaiting your pleasure. Affligem Tripel has a unique light-mead flavour, not too sweet, a complexity achieved with only a few pure ingredients. Other beers can't mimic it. Don't miss the toasty flavour of the yeast floating like gold at the bottom of the bottle; the last glass of bottle-conditioned ale tastes even better than the first.
Most recent customer reviews
1) It is irreverent... but FULL OF LOVE for the Church and Her history.
2) It is funny and campy, but proclaims the truth.
3) It has great drinking songs that gently poke fun at protestants...
4) And best of all, great drink recipes and party ideas.
All in all... AWESOME BOOK.Read more