Emily's Reviews > The Island of the Day Before

The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco
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's review
Dec 01, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: own
Read from December 01, 2010 to January 10, 2011

This book made me very sad. I was SO excited to read an Umberto Eco book for the first time. I'd heard so much buzz about him and it seemed like everyone whose taste I admire had read him.

The story was interesting and when I got to reading it, I enjoyed the plot. I was horribly distracted by the sheer amount that LOST (the TV show) lifted from the plot and themes and narrative style (flashbacks!), but it was still enjoyable.

The part I really didn't like was the fact that I felt like Eco was trying to make me feel dumb. Or himself smart. I haven't needed to read with a dictionary next to me in a LONG time and it was kind of annoying. That, I was willing to chalk up to a bad translation. But there were also entire paragraphs that referenced art history, ancient history, mythology and obscure philosophy in the SAME paragraph and in the end, it went over my head. I couldn't help but feel like if I even got to the end of the book, I wouldn't have read the same book that Eco wrote. I couldn't tell also if Eco put that many references in because it really made a difference in the story or if he was just effing with his readers.

I like challenging, meaty books just as much as I like my fluff but I don't care for being jerked around by authors in demeaning ways. I know I'm probably just sounding defensive and silly but I was peeved.

Eco, I give up on you.

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