The Cheese and the worms is written about a 15th Century miller in Italy during the time of the Inquisition. His name was Menocchio (well, nickname rather) and he was known for his radical thoughts and ideas. His fellow peers didn't hate him, but they also didn't agree with his brash outspoken ideas. When Menocchio is called to trial the inquisitors can't help but marvel at this man and his crazy ideas! The Virgin Mary isn't a virgin because she had a child? Say What???
The point of the book was to see how popular peasant thought intermixed with the religious beliefs and teachings of that time.
I would have to say the only negative thing about this book was his writing style. I hated it. It was too confusing for me - at one point it was in Menocchio's POV and then suddenly it was the inquisitors or suddenly Ginzburg was trying to relay information. I didn't like the flow at all.
Poor Menocchio, to be born at the wrong time with such radical ideas.
The Cheese and the Worms by Carlo Ginzburg