Fiction Book Club: The Relic Master (3/2/17)
Please join us for a discussion of Christopher Buckley's rollicking and irreverent tale. Fiction book club is open to the public - new members welcome all the time.
Christopher Buckley's "hilarious, bawdy, and irreverent frolic of a tale" about a sixteenth-century relic hunter and the artist Albrecht Durer who conspire to fabricate Christ's burial shroud reads "like Indiana Jones gone medieval" ( USA TODAY).
The year is 1517. Dismas is a relic hunter who procures "authentic" religious relics for wealthy and influential clients. His two most important patrons are Frederick the Wise and soon-to-be Cardinal Albrecht of Mainz. While Frederick is drawn to the recent writing of Martin Luther, Albrecht pursues the financial and political benefits of religion and seeks to buy a cardinalship through the selling of indulgences. When Albrecht's demands for grander relics increase, Dismas and his artist friend Durer fabricate a shroud to sell to the unsuspecting noble. Unfortunately Durer's reckless pride exposes the trickery, so Albrecht puts Dismas and Durer in the custody of four mercenaries and sends them all to steal Christ's burial cloth (the Shroud of Chambery), Europe's most celebrated artifact. On their journey to Savoy where the Shroud will be displayed, they battle a lustful count and are joined by a beautiful female apothecary. It is only when they reach their destination they realize they are not alone in their intentions to acquire a relic of dubious legitimacy.