Catherine Mustread's Reviews > The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco
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Oct 17, 10

bookshelves: fiction, italy, translation, world-war-2, 1930s, 1940s
Recommended to Catherine by: WSJ "novel approach to life"
Read from September 16 to October 16, 2010

After losing his memory, antique book dealer Yambo delves into the past through re-visiting the cultural history of the 1930-40s – from comic books to classics of Italian literature, music and films. Although I loved the concept of this book, the Proustian search for lost memories, the introspection, and the heavy dose of literature with which I was unfamiliar made it slow going. The parts about World War Two were fascinating and went much more quickly. 5* for concept and being well written, 2* for sluggishness and unfamiliarity of subject matter which were all on my part, not the author's, therefore I'll give this 4*.

This was my first Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose: Including Postscript is next on the list.
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Reading Progress

09/17/2010 page 64
13.0% "Yambo, an Italian antiquarian book dealer has lost his personal memory but can remember everything he ever read. Interesting concept and very Proustian as he attempts to regain some of his personal past. Lots and lots of quotes, many un-translated, are over my head. My classical education is lacking."
09/22/2010 page 101
21.0% "Yambo (who lives in Milan) returns to his childhood home in Solara in search of memories. Love the colored illustrations."
09/30/2010 page 155
32.0% "Moving slowly as Yambo reviews the literature of his childhood and the remains of his Grandfather's antiquarian book business stuffed in the attic of his childhood home. Mentions Emilio Salgari: "people today still talk about Salgari all the time." They do? I had to look him up to discover he is considered the father of Italian popular culture and the grandfather of the Spaghetti Western."
10/10/2010 page 253
53.0% ""The fog was still, as always, within me, pierced from time to time by the echo of a title.""
10/13/2010 page 325
68.0% "Finally moving a bit more quickly."

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