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The Island of the Day Before

3.41  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,038 Ratings  ·  436 Reviews
After a violent storm in the South Pacific in the year 1643, Roberto della Griva finds himself shipwrecked-on a ship. Swept from the Amaryllis, he has managed to pull himself aboard the Daphne, anchored in the bay of a beautiful island. The ship is fully provisioned, he discovers, but the crew is missing.
As Roberto explores the different cabinets in the hold, he remembers
ebook, 528 pages
Published June 5th 2006 by Mariner Books (first published 1994)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jon Melsæter
Dec 03, 2013 Jon Melsæter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't count the times I've tried to write a review of an Eco-book, whether physically or in my head, then decided to drop it.

Where does one start? How does one review a product of an intellect such as Eco's, a scholar in semiotics, history and god knows what else? Many reviews I've read here on The Island Of The Day Before are just plain moronic - outbursts of frustration because someone expected to grasp the contexts and countless themes it covers as easily as an airport-bestseller. I have a
Mar 21, 2008 Thomas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
was enthralled by The Name of the Rose as a work of historical fiction; loved reading Focault's Pendulum (anyone who enjoyed reading The DaVini Code should read this to experience a real historical-religious thriller.

The Island of the Day Before? this book inspired me to swear never to read a book written by Umberto Eco again. why? i had not made it all the way through Chapter 1 when i encountered the following sentence:

"It is only later that he will assume, in dreams, that the plank, by some me
Feb 28, 2015 Ahmed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كعادة (إيكو) فرواياته مرهقة للعقل , مجهدة للذهن , تحتاج إلى تركيز عميق و استيعاب لأفكاره السامية .

المهم : أننا أمام رواية من الطراز الثقيل , تلك الروايات التي تحمل في مضمونها أضعاف ما يبدو منها من أفكار و غايات ,
هو عمل عن الانسان ورحلته الفانية في هذه الدنيا , ما نريد وما نستطيع بلوغه , كيف هي هذه الرحلة , وكيف نتعامل معها , وكيف تخدعنا الحياة ببريقها الزائف لتخطف منا أعز ما نملك , وكيف يكون العقل لعنة , والخيال جحيم .

العمل ببساطة مطلقة يقدم لنا نموذج إنساني جميل , عن تائه عصفت به الدنيا , من ح
Jul 17, 2007 Josh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Usually, I have one of three reactions to a book: I love it and plow through it, I hate it and put it down within 50 pages, or I like it and take my time, possibly reading other books simultaneously. This one ... oy. Because of The Name of the Rose, I kept expecting it to be good - or, more accurately, to get better. I waited 100 pages. Then 200 pages. Then 300 pages. Finally, I threw it across the room in frustration at 350 pages. I'm still bitter.
Max Karpovets
Dec 25, 2014 Max Karpovets rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have no clear idea why people don’t like this book, because I do really think that is one of the most luminous Eco’s novels. The form of The Island of the Day Before (1994) could seem very simple, but it is not true. As often for Eco’s literal strategy he tries to mask a various citations, allusions and parallels with cultural and historical basis. Every novel looks like intertextual garland of signs and senses which are masterly contained into historical or philosophical fiction, detective or ...more
Dec 19, 2009 Salma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
تدور أحداث الرواية حول شاب إيطالي من القرون الوسطى قد علق على متن سفينة مهجورة و مركونة قرب حيد مرجاني و أمام ناظريه جزيرة يعجز عن الوصول إليها... هذه الجزيرة بحسب ما كان يُعتقد في ذاك الزمن تقع على خط الهاجرة الذي يشكل الفاصل بين الأمس و اليوم...

أسلوب الرواية لذيذ و مسل و لامألوف فهي تنُقل على لسان إيكو الذي ينقل لنا القصة من خلال أوراق تركها الشاب على السفينة و يحاول إيكو في أثناء ذلك تحليل ما جرى مع الشاب و تفلت من بين السطور السخرية من طريقة الشاب في الكتابة و أسلوبه و طريقة تفكيره و بكل ما
Feb 11, 2016 Owlseyes is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italian-lit, italian

Stultus! Whom do I talk to?
Miserable you are! What do I try?
I tell about my pain,
To the foolish seaside,
To the speechless stone,
To the deaf wind,
Ai, and nobody answers,
But the murmuring of waves.

[my translation]

(Giovan Battista Marino)

Just started reading it and it looks so fine.

Photo-phobic Roberto de La Grive survived the wreckage of his ship Amarilli, a fluyt (in dutch) or, as the English said, a Flyboat.

It's year 1643, ...moribund Roberto, on a piece of wood , is all alone in the oce
Vit Babenco
Jan 26, 2016 Vit Babenco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I surmise Umberto Eco envisaged The Island of the Day Before as an antithesis of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe – instead of a man surviving on a deserted island he portrayed his character secluded on a deserted ship and immersed him into all kinds of abstract cerebral musings.
But this somewhat artificial idea could only have somewhat artificial realization so the novel right from the start turned into elaborate exercises in style and erudition.
“Now I would say that harking back, on the ship,
Nov 30, 2008 Tihleigh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really hated this book. I choked through it due to the sheer fortitude engendered by my unreasonable need to finish every book that I start. Every. Single. Book. Had I been able to dismiss it, I would have. A friend once told me that I should read Eco's essays, and that his fiction was an attempt to destroy overly-used literary devices of current literature by gluttonously indulging in them. I've never actually bothered to look into whether or not it was true because, truthfully, it's the myth ...more
Jan 12, 2008 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely my favorite Eco book. Got to give Annie props for recommending this one to me. Who knew that longitude could be such an interesting ontological motif?
Aug 14, 2014 Radwa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
رواية داخل رواية داخل رواية!

مبدأياً الحبكة الرئيسية تدور حول روبارتو، رجل إيطالي غرقت سفينته ليجد نفسه هائماً في البحر على لوح خشبي يقوده إلى السفينة دافني، حيث يبدأ بالكتابة وإستعادة ذكريات حياته وإكتشاف مستقبله على تلك السفينة. السفينة تقع أمام الجزيرة التي تمر من خلالها الهاجرة التي تقسم العالم إلى نصفين، فعلى الجانب الآخر، لم ينته الأمس بعد، فالفارق الزمني أربع وعشرون ساعة.

الرواية تطرح وتتطرق لكل موضوع ممكن، الفيزياء، الجغرافيا، الدين، التاريخ، السياسة، الحب، لم يترك إيكو موضوعاً إلا وجعل ر
Nov 28, 2013 Jonfaith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this one in the late 90s, bought a copy for my best friend shortly thereafter. I saw Ray Rizzo with a copy one evening at Ramsi's, I told him I enjoyed it and replied that he was eager for the challenge. He later played with Days of the New. Oh, those 90s! It was all optimism and challenges were there. Hubris was our cocktail. Our survival surprises me when I consider such. I should reread this ribald novel quite soon.
Yehia Nasser
Nov 02, 2015 Yehia Nasser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite
رواية معقدة مرهقة فلسفية من الدرجة الاولى

عن كل شىء ولاشىء

Patrick Neylan
Nov 05, 2014 Patrick Neylan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, foreign
Readers expect Umberto Eco to take them on a stimulating journey of discovery as his characters unravel mysteries that take them to the heart of early Western civilisation. In The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum this style worked brilliantly. In the 'The Island of the Day Before' it fails catastrophically.

Eco spends hundreds of pages wallowing in his arcane knowledge, resorting to ever more desperate ploys to show off his learning, because this book has no plot to draw out those intelle
Aug 14, 2008 Gavin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I originally read this when it first came out, but have just completed a reread.

It might be described as the ultimate shaggy dog story. Eco explores language to a large extent in this book with phrases that include multiple variations on a common stem, such as it was necessary that the necessities were provided or his intention was to intend on inattention. That kind of thing anyway.

His protagonist is stranded on a ship somewhere near the 180th meridian and writes of his past life, loves and fan
Feb 16, 2010 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was recommended to read Umberto Eco by a friend of mine, and I was not disappointed at all.

Eco's style is a bit dense, so I can imagine it would not appeal to a lot of people. However, it's also extremely lyrical and beautiful. The book itself is littered with debates on life and death, love, the nature of God and time itself. This is probably the book's greatest strength, as Eco writes so beautifully about such lofty ideals. So for anyone who's a fan of debating or philosophy would probably e
Max Nemtsov
Aug 01, 2013 Max Nemtsov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ru-versions
Прекрасный палимпсест популярного семиолога - швы, в отличие от "Маятника Фуко", здесь не торчат, а попытка проникнуть в донаучный ум достойна восхищения. Автор, конечно, сильно лукавит по ходу, однакож убедительно эмулирует это пограничное состояние между магическим и позитивистским сознанием, из которого произрастает что угодно волшебное и удивительное. Ну и, конечно, ужас и одиночество человека перед постижением мироздания... Если сейчас человечество еще в детстве познания, то Эко пытался заф ...more
I really wanted to like this book. While I'm not a big fan of Eco's books, I somehow seem to collect them, nonetheless. The premise wowed me, the cover art is righteous...and yet. And yet. The main character drove me crazy, Hamlet-style. He reminded me of the fear mongers who work 9-5 jobs, but never leave their unhappy jobs and go through life blaming others. It's like driving in the slow lane, even though all the other lanes are empty, and then getting unhappy because the slow lane is bumper-t ...more
Sep 23, 2007 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
This book fits the pattern I've come to expect in Umberto Eco's writing: an excellent story lost in a haze of random thoughts, obscure references, and all together too many words. I would love it if someone took this book's concept and turned it into the brilliant book that it deserves to be.
Jan 20, 2008 KM rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs, intellectuals
Shelves: favorites
Bust out the champagne - I finished this book and my head didn't crack. It is one of the most amazing, yet difficult, books I've ever read. The story presents itself on multiple levels: narrative, metaphoric, historical, imaginative, etc. I'd give it five stars if it wasn't for the convoluted writing style, which made me want to give up numerous times. I forged ahead because the question of "what's on the island?" kept nagging me.

I loved the historical portrait of this period, when people were e
Feb 27, 2012 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
Roberto della Griva abandons his sinking ship only to wash up aboard the mysteriously abandoned Dutch ship, Daphne. Within sight is the island of the day before, and if he could only swim, he could reach it, and change the direction of his fate.

Island of the Day Before has a deceptively simple premise, but goes way beyond it. There are actually a LOT of things going on in this book. The book not only chronicles Roberto’s days on board the Daphne, but also most of his life: from his first battle
Nov 27, 2011 Ajk rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: folks who have a thing for medieval intellectual life but not one for modern-day literature.
Shelves: funsies, fiction
it was very long, and I did not enjoy it. Which is odd, honestly, because I loved Eco's Foucault's Pendulum - one of my favorite books. This one was a whole lot more like, well, slogging through 500 pages written by a Semiotics professor.

The plot is kind of fantastic, though. A man gets shipwrecked, latches onto a raft, and then washes up onto an abandoned ship. He can't swim, so now he's shipwrecked on a ship. this ship, of course, is riddled with secrets.

And then, lecturing ensues. It's all ab
Scott Ford
Mar 20, 2011 Scott Ford rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Umberto Eco intellectualizes within the restraints of 17th century knowledge and superstition about the physics of the earth's rotation, natural phenomena, life, death, and love- which makes for an interesting thought-experiment, but becomes tedious for any reader living in the 21st century with more than a high-school education. The story follows a young man trapped on a 17th century ship in the lagoon of an island (Solomon Island, perhaps). Between the ship and the island supposedly runs the p ...more
Mohamed Shady
Apr 16, 2015 Mohamed Shady rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: إيكو
يبدو أن إيكو يملك، بجانب قدرته على الحكى، قدرة مذهلة على إثارة الملل والرغى بلا طائل..
Sep 05, 2007 Abra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is really the pits. A total drag. I kept idiotically dreaming it would get better after the first hundred pages (as per Eco's post script to "Name of the Rose," which is a TRUE DREAM!)...two hundred...three hundred...and then I finished it. Should have thrown it against the wall like the previous reviewer.

Gave it two stars hoping the cosmos will hand one over to
"Name of the Rose."
Dec 30, 2014 Ints rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
17. gadsimta Eiropa, pasaules lielvaras cīnās par savu vietu zem saules, paplašina impērijas un izdara jaunus atklājumus. Roberto della Grīva ir jauns itāļu augstmanis, nedaudz slimo ar personības dubultošanos, apveltīts ar nerimstošu zinātkāri, pārdzīvojis Kasāles aplenkumu, izglītojies Parīzē. Viņš, glābjoties no kuģa bojāejas vētr,ā nonāk uz kuģa Dafne. Dafnes komanda to ir pametusi atstājot kuģi perfektā kārtībā ar pārtikas krājumiem, eksotiskiem augiem un putniem. Roberto mēģinot atrisināt ...more
Jun 05, 2010 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I initially gave this three stars, but I have modified it to four. Those I know that read Eco and tried this one all say that this is his weakest book. I had a very different experience with it. When I gave it three stars initially, I did so in the context of the other books, The Name of the Rose: Including Postscript, Foucault's Pendulum, and Baudolino in particular. My feeling, like other readers, is that these books are stronger than Island, yet the imagines and scenes in Island have taken up ...more
May 12, 2009 Gabriel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, Eco.

500 pages of blathering and blathering, and most of it what we would consider "junk science." And yet, this is still a curiously well-made novel.

This novel is the surface of the water-- you stare into it, and see things clearly, at such and such a depth and in such and such a relation to each other. There is a fish, swimming past a rock or over some bit of coral. You reach out your hand to touch it, to grab it, and find that the depth that you saw was an illusion: the fish easily slips o
Sep 16, 2013 Shelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This is, by far, the most difficult novel I've ever read. I have never taken so long to finish a novel--ever. I studied the history of science and the history of early modern Europe in college (and recently refreshed my memory of both) and I'm pretty sure I caught maybe 20% of the scientific and philosophical references. At best.

As a means of putting the reader in the mindset of an early 17th century European, it's amazing. Flat out brilliant.

As a novel, it's slow, frustrating, and unsatisfyin
Nancy Ibrahim
وضع الأب جيوزيبي ، الذي كان الموجه الخفي و الشهير و يدعي المعرفة في الاستراتيجية اصبعه على الخارطة قائلا : سنمر من هنا .. فأجابه توراس بكل برودة : ايها الأب الموقر اصبعك مع الأسف ليس جسرا .

الحرب شيء جميل و لكنني أريد أن أقاتل من لأجل شيء يروقني لا لأن عدوي يأكل اللحم يوم الجمعة. كان الوثنيون اكثر حكمة منا . كانت لهم أيضا ثلاث الهات و لكن امهم سيبال على الأقل لم تدع يوما انها أنجبتهم و هي عذراء.

ان اول فضيلة ينبغي ان يتحلى بها الرجل الشريف هو ازدراء الدين ، الذي يجعلنا نخاف من الشيء الأكثر طبيعية
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Umberto Eco is an Italian writer of fiction, essays, academic texts, and children's books, and certainly one of the finest authors of the twentieth century. A professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, Eco’s brilliant fiction is known for its playful use of language and symbols, its astonishing array of allusions and references, and clever use of puzzles and narrative inventions. His per ...more
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