"The Great Stupidity" is a witty work of fiction that offers a satirical look at an historic public health crisis. Author Andy Lazris transports readers back in time as the Black Death strikes a small village in France. Village leaders send off a blacksmith's son on a ridiculous quest to cure the disease – and on his journey he encounters many "experts" who "know" how to solve this crisis. A black comedy with 12 songs, the book is an historical mirror through which we can view ourselves, because as our heroes learn, those who think they know it all usually are just out for themselves, while goodness and friendship are really the best cures of all.
As the Black Death wreaks havoc and well – death – a young boy sets out to find the other half of Saint Ambrose's toenail which was stolen from their artifact collection, thinking that it is the reason for the plague. On his way, the boy encounters many who think they know everything, but actually know little to nothing. He encounters "experts" ranging from Flagellates who whip themselves, to zealots who seek to kill Jews, to scientists who claim everyone must wave their hands and build 6 foot walls, to the Pope who sells indulgences before running away, to well-off monks who dip holy artifacts into water and sell them, and to doctors and soldiers who believe you have to kill people in order to save them.
Most of the events and people in the book are based on historical reality, and the book's many adventures, encounters, and comedic moments reflect the truth of what transpired 800 years ago, and what we are experiencing during the contemporary pandemic. All the songs are performed by professional artists and are woven into the fabric of the narrative.