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Foucault's Pendulum

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3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  45,309 Ratings  ·  2,455 Reviews
Foucault's Pendulum (original title: Il pendolo di Foucault) is a novel by Italian writer and philosopher Umberto Eco. It was first published in 1988; the translation into English by William Weaver appeared a year later.

Foucault's Pendulum is divided into ten segments represented by the ten Sefiroth. The novel is full of esoteric references to the Kabbalah. The title of th
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Paperback, 652 pages
Published June 2001 by Vintage (first published 1988)
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Aldo Marchioni In the original language it is nearly impossible to read it. Not because of the subjects, but because of the language.
It is possible that in…more
In the original language it is nearly impossible to read it. Not because of the subjects, but because of the language.
It is possible that in traslantions this is different, however.
For me, to finish it has been extremely difficult, it has been a painful agony until the last 100 pagess, more or less.(less)
Douglas Roberts I'm pretty sure it's a joke at the expense of the hermetic characters the publishers spend much of their time with, as when it's first used it's about…moreI'm pretty sure it's a joke at the expense of the hermetic characters the publishers spend much of their time with, as when it's first used it's about how they literally all have a certain look about them (Lorenza says "professional sorcerers with faces exactly like professional sorcerers", then describes them. Diotallevi quips "Facies hermetica", and from then on it's an in-joke).(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Will
May 03, 2008 Will rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dethpakt
Imagine three sarcastic, over-educated editors who work at a vanity publisher. Owing to their occupation, they naturally end up reading an abundance of books about ridiculously grand conspiracy theories and occult societies - the Freemasons, the Templars, the Rosicrucians, the Illuminati (Bavarian and otherwise), and so on. So they start to play a sort of free-association game: Let's connect all these things, using the same half-mad logic as the authors of these books, into one grand design. Thu ...more
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
This book consists of predominantly two things: (1) Endless dialogue by mentally unbalanced paranoid conspiracy theorists; (2) Endless dialogue by scholars who study mentally unbalanced paranoid conspiracy theorists. This is not a bad book, but its not an easy read, and not really a particularly enjoyable one. My enjoyment, or lack thereof, was tempered by the fact that I was apparently trying to read one story, but the author was trying to tell a different one. Put another way, I was trying to ...more
Traveller

Descartes said: Cogito, ergo sum.
Eco says: I seek meaning, therefore I am human.

It's very hard to succinctly describe exactly what this novel is. From looking at the plot description, you may be forgiven for assuming that it is a book like Holy Blood, Holy Grail, by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, or Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. There is an overlap in the fact that all three books deal with conspiracies that revolve around the mystical and mythical order of the Knight's Templ
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Ian Vinogradus
PLAYFUL:

An Opening Gambol

While I first read this novel in 2009, I bought a second-hand copy in May, 2013 for $7, which I thought was a bargain price for the degree of pleasure it's given me.

Only when I was half way through did I notice a sheet of white paper slipped into the last pages.

It shows four hand-drawn circles, each of which contains the name of a city and a number.

If the numbers represent years, they cover 21 years. If you add 2 and 1, you get the number 3. If you examine the gaps betw
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Jaidee
Jan 23, 2016 Jaidee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: really not sure
Recommended to Jaidee by: my partner and some dear friends

3 "the last of the pentalogy of puzzlement and perseverance" stars

A very difficult book to both rate and review. As I read this book I reflected on four other books that have been considered great by so many of my friends and in particular, my darling partner.

These five books to me were seeds and shadows of greatness but I felt were so heavily flawed that they became only fair to average good reads for me.

These books are:
1. 1Q84 (2.5 stars)
2.Cloud Atlas (3 stars)
3. A Fine Balance (3 stars)
4. The
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Ahmed
Sep 15, 2016 Ahmed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

إن قضيتنا هي سر بداخل سر , سر شئ سيبقى محجوبًا , وسر يمكن لسر آخر فقط كشفه , إنه سر عن سر يحجب سر

هناك بعض الأعمال الأدبية التي تشعر أمامها أنها غير مكتوبة , بل تشعر أنها منحوتة , منحوتة بواسطة فنان جبار ظل يضرب فى صخر صلد لينتجه , فأتى العمر قوي كالحجر , عنيف كضربات صانعه , صادم كمواجهة حقيقة مرّة.

أيها السادة : هل تثقون فيما تتبعون من أديان وعقائد ؟
ماذا عن أتبع عقيدة أخرى تنتمي إلى دينكم الرئيس ولكن تختلف في غموض عبادتها وطقوسها المريبة , هل هي ما تعبدون أنتم الآخرون , أم هي مجرد خزعبلات قوم ا
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Nathan
Jul 19, 2007 Nathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults with large vocabularies
Shelves: fiction
The best book I have ever read. It is the creepiest, deepest, and most brilliantly executed piece of literature. Umberto Eco is a genius, and if I could have a conversation with anyone, it would be him.

The book, however, is very difficult to read. The language is dense, and in the first 200 pages, it beats you over the head with history of the Knights Templar and the Rosicrucians. All of this history is necessary to make the second half cause you to shit your pants. It's basically about these gu
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Mohammed Arabey
نظرا لضخامة الرواية، ونظرا لأنني اريد تقديم ريفيو يليق بها سأقوم بتقسيم الريفيو الي 10 مراحل علي 7 ايام او اقل، متتالية

(5) Gevurah السيفروت الخامس - جيبوراه - السيد


دائما بعد الثورات تجد التخبطات في كل شيء...فوضي ما وزعزعة تحدث في الأيمان والثقافة وتظهر الخرافات نظريات المؤامرة غالبا بشكل كبير
خذ مصر علي سبيل المثال وتذكر كيف صارت بعد فبراير 2011 ،لكن الريفيو لن يتحمل التطويل

في بداية هذا الفصل يعود كازاوبون الي ايطاليا، ويقابل بيلبو مرة اخري والذي يبدو انه يعاني الكثير من التخبط من بعد ان هدأت ال
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Ben Babcock
I read a lot, and the people around me are used to seeing a new book in my hand every day or couple of days. Naturally, they ask me what I'm reading, usually in a way that implies I should divulge more than just the title and the author, which are plainly visible on the cover. How do I respond when I'm reading something so sublime and transcendental as Foucault's Pendulum? It defies ordinary description of plot, because Umberto Eco has again unified his narrative with his themes and characters t ...more
Dolors
Dec 25, 2013 Dolors rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Patient seekers of Truth
Shelves: read-in-2013
“ “Us two? All three of us are in this. If we don’t come out honorably, we’ll all look silly.”
“Silly to whom?”
“Why, to history. Before the tribunal of Truth.”
“Quid est veritas?” Belbo asked.
“Us,” I said.” ” (p.435)


Truth? What is truth? Truth is relative. Or isn’t it?
The fact that Umberto Eco portrays one of his characters quoting Pontius Pilate’s assertion that truth is hard to ascertain with some sort of consistent resonance of a Nietzschian Superman who has passed “beyond good and evil” i
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Nikos Tsentemeidis
Ένα βιβλίο που θα το σταματήσεις πριν τις 100 σελίδες ή θα το απολαύσεις αργά μέχρι τέλους. Το γιατί το απόλαυσα είναι εντελώς υποκειμενικό, καθώς θεωρώ πως είναι αρκετά δύσκολο και βαρετό για τους πιο πολλούς. Στην αρχή σκέφτηκα πως είναι καλύτερο από το «Όνομα του Ρόδου», αλλά συμπέρανα ότι είναι δύο μεγάλα έργα, πολύ διαφορετικά μεταξύ τους.

Στις 900 σελίδες ο Eco αποδεικνύει ότι είναι από τους ελάχιστους μεγάλους γνώστες της ιστορίας. Άπειρες πληροφορίες καθαρά ιστορικές, αλλά και στα όρια το
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Andy
Jun 10, 2007 Andy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Very patient Eco fans (is there any other kind?)
This book is a conundrum to me. I liked the story of three book editors accidentally enmeshing themselves in the world of conspiracy theory. I liked the philosophical discussion of why we believe in things like Great Global Conspiracies. I even thought some of the history was interesting.

But LORD, did Eco need an editor. In parts of this book, the signal-to-noise ratio is distressingly low as Eco's talking heads sit and discuss the intricacies of Templar and Rosicrucian history for page after p
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Gerard
Apr 09, 2008 Gerard rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of those books where the author tediously says next to nothing, and all the semi-litterati can't figure out what he's trying to say, so they conclude he must be brilliant. A wasted effort by an otherwise talented (so I hear) author, and that portion of the gullible public that assumes that something profound is being said so long as they can't understand it.
Brad
The best and the worst thing I can say about this novel is that it's a difficult read. Sure, the author is Italian, but that doesn't automatically make it difficult, only a a novel that I've read out of it's normal language. No, the novel isn't even difficult in the traditional sense, where the sentence structure is hard to follow and there might be four hundred commas per dozen pages. The writing is quite nice. No, the novel is difficult because it requires the reader to read and understand a w ...more
J.I.
Between his home and his summer home, Umberto Eco has some 50,000 books to his name. I believe that he has read every one of them, some probably twice. Which is to say that this is an erudite novel. A warning to the reader: you will be wading into lists of reference materials. You are about to be presented with conversations that run for pages that are dedicated solely to the minutiae of conspiracies, most about the Templars. I warned you.

But this book is not just about secret societies and the
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Mahdi
شاید تا به حال زیاد از "تئوری توطئه" شنیده باشید، هر چند شاید این اسم (تئوری توطئه) به گوشتان نخورده باشد. اما این که یهودی ها (یا صهیونیست ها) جهان را کنترل می کنند، همه ی ثروتمندان و دولتمردان فراماسون هستند و رازی مذهبی-جادویی در اختیار دارند و استقرار صهیونیست ها در فلسطین برای تکمیل کردن پیشگویی های کتب مقدس است و آخر الزمان و جنگ های صلیبی و پروتکل های یهودی برای کنترل جهان و تلمود و شیطان پرستی و چه و چه.
این تئوری توطئه، که می گوید ما همه بازی خورده ی یک توطئه ی مشترک جهانی هستیم، مختص ای
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Terry
Jul 19, 2013 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it could be validly opined that all of Umberto Eco’s novels primarily exist to show off how much he knows. They are all jam-packed with esoteric knowledge from such specialized and varied sources that one wonders how a single human being managed to fit them all into his head, let alone turn them into fodder for a story. In this sense Eco seems much like his own creation of Casaubon from this novel, “the Marlowe of culture”: one able to sift through the vast repository of arcane and seemi ...more
Marijan
Ne znam kad mi se čitanje knjige ovoliko činilo kao posao...a zadnjih dvadesetak stranica sam se osjećao kao da se vraćam s marša i jednostavno moram izdržati još tih kilometar-dva do cilja, iako me bole i noge i ramena u koja su se urezali remeni ranca.
Ne mogu dati ocjenu, jer ne znam koju bih dao. na momente je knjiga bila izuzetno inteligentna i duhovita, na momente me izluđivala i imao sam osjećaj da se Eco besmisleno razmeće svojim znanjem.
Treba mi prst viskija i vestern. Ne mora biti ni do
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40 Forte
Jul 27, 2010 40 Forte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eco once said that author Dan Brown (Angels & Demons, DaVinci Code, etc) might have very well been one of the characters he created in Focault's Pendulum. Eco uses Focault's pendulum to showcase the absurdity in over analyzing ancient legends or secret societies and in the process creates an intellectual and dizzying tale that stands in direct contrast to the Dan Brown's of the world writing for the pop culture masses.

The work is a discourse in secret societies (Templar Knights, Freemasons,
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Paul
Feb 01, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eco likes to show off his knowledge and the depth of his reading and he does so with a great flourish in this novel. It’s a difficult one to classify as it crosses genres and throws all sorts of references into the pot. It is really part thriller, part detective with a good dose of conspiracy theory and meandering down the byways of historical obscurity. Of course the whole thing may just be a postmodern joke!
There are lots of nods, winks and jokes throughout. Eco was good friends with the Frenc
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Ahmed Oraby
Sep 03, 2015 Ahmed Oraby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"إن الخرافات تجلب سوء الحظ"
فافهم!
Jan-Maat
This is a novel that contrasts the acceptance, and delight, in the world as it is with the consequences of the desire to read in meanings to everything that we see about us.

In Eco's earlier book,The Name of the Rose, the detective mystery was parodied and this is taken one step further in this novel. The Detective mystery assumes that there is a mystery that can be solved. It invites investigation. In this novel the constant working deeper into mysteries produces only more obscurity ("the penis
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Salma
Jan 28, 2014 Salma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
[ إن الناس تعاني جوعا للخطط، إذا قدمت لها واحدة تلقي بنفسها عليها مثل مجموعة من الذئاب. أنت تخترع و هم يصدقون، إنه بالفعل خطأ فادح أن تضيف المزيد للخيال الموجود بالفعل.] ص679
ثلاثة محررين في دار نشر يقررون اختراع خطة للمؤامرة الكونية... ابتدأ الأمر تسلية لتنتهي بابتلاعها لهم
كعادة إيكو رواية عظيمة و متعبة و معقدة و أكاديمية، و هي أشبه بدراسة للعبادات الشيطانية و الفرق السرية عبر التاريخ... تقوم على فكرة أساسية
و هي أن المؤامرة تقوم على الفراغ، المؤامرة منبعها عدم المؤامرة

قد أدخلتني في حالة تفكير
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the gift
i think of this as a corrective to pynchon’s work (any of his books...), where everything is involved in a massive conspiracy, this book offers a sort of ‘theory of conspiracy’. that disparate events can all be made to connect, that once you begin with conspiracy it quickly becomes an article of faith and not argument, that there is no escape from suspicion and possibility, that- my favorite bit (spoiler)- the entire world is turned inside-out and every evidence contrary is part of a worldwide d ...more
Heidi
Oct 19, 2007 Heidi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe this will make me look stupid... but this book was far too brainy, academic and philosophical to be a really engrossing read. I had to make myself slog through certain portions of this book -- Eco is clearly brilliant, but needs to learn to keep a plot together. Too much extraneous information, too many digressions, too much detailed background information, and you distract from the plot.

This is not an easy read. This book will take patience, ambition, and perseverence to read. It's worth
...more
Carmo
Jan 16, 2015 Carmo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italia
Depois de passar pelo purgatório que é o inicio deste livro, depois da física, da matemática, de tanta filosofia e metafisica, e das intermináveis frases em latim, depois deste cabo das tormentas, estamos prontos para tudo. E é aí que a coisa melhora. ou não
Os templários: a mítica ordem de monges guerreiros, guardiões de segredos e tesouros; perseguidos e extintos de uma forma eficaz mas tão absurda que levanta suspeitas suficientes para os tornar num mito e multiplicar lendas à sua volta. Estav
...more
ΑνναΦ
La prima impressione, rileggendo Il Pendolo di Foucault, questa “Zoticodorsofrazione erudita”, è quella di un grande divertissement, Eco si diverte a prendere in giro i creduloni di ogni sorta e gli intellettualoidi paranoici; quanto a noi lettori, come ci si sente ignoranti, arrivati alla fine, con le nostre letture pilotate dai social e del mercato… e “quanti bei libri ci sono al mondo, che nessuno legge più”. Non mi ricordavo nulla della trama di questo libro, di una bellezza stupefacente, er ...more
Andreea
Jul 04, 2009 Andreea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my second attempt at Umberto Eco's novel, the first time I only got through about half of the book before giving it up in favor of, simply put- more "exciting" books. I picked it up again because I had to read a book about secret societies for the Summer Challenge on The Next Best Book Club and the only alternative was Dan Brown's Angels and Demons (and I'm not that keen on Dan Brown's writing style). In the end, once I tried to think everything through, the book proved to be amazing an ...more
Michael
Foucault’s Pendulum may not be for everyone and I will try not to give away any of the story. Personally, I really enjoyed the way it was written. I went into the book knowing it was about Secret Societies and conspiracy theories, but as I kept reading the book, I started to think it was real. I had to snap myself out of this thought process. The story follows a group of publishers who started deconstructing and analysing what they knew about the Templers, eventually they were drawing connection ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Foucault's Pendulum: Discussion thread 4 : FP Chapters 28 - 38 51 23 Feb 20, 2016 08:14AM  
Foucault's Pendulum: Dicussion thread 7 : Chapter 73 to end of Chapter 88 38 33 Feb 19, 2016 12:39PM  
Foucault's Pendulum: Seperate Plot thread 11 17 Nov 29, 2015 03:31PM  
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1730
Umberto Eco was 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 pe ...more
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“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” 906 likes
“I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.” 499 likes
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