Linda's Reviews > Foucault's Pendulum

Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
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Feb 11, 2012

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bookshelves: conspiracy, mystery, should-be-classic, templar-treasure, underlying-message
Read from January 27 to February 10, 2012

Casaubon, Belbo and Diotallevi work for a vanity publisher in Milan, and they are used to reading manuscripts with conspiracy theories. Eventually, they get bored and decide to create their own conspiracy. They use many historical mysteries and with some fantasy and creativity connect the dots between them. It's called "The Plan" and at first they have no idea how they could make people believe in it. But, scary as it seems, the longer they work with the story, the more they realize that there are too many coincidences. The Plan becomes real.

It's interesting to follow the change in the characters when The Plan totally consumes them. The obsession isn't healthy. What really happens to people who need something to make them going? To fuel their lives. What happens when there is nothing left?

You stand no chance to understand it all. Even though I've read some books about the Knights Templar, one of the main things in The Plan, I didn't catch some of the details of the other stuff. There's probably something from every mystery on earth in The Plan, and Eco doesn't bother to explain the historical events or characters, which demands a lot of the reader.

The character I found most interesting was Belbo. Here are some of his universal truths:
1. Never run in a straight line! (When someone is chasing you with a gun)
2. There are four kinds of people. Cretins, fools, morons and lunatics. A genius uses one component in a dazzling way, fueling it with the others.
3. "A pompous, self-important, overweening individual is thought to hold himself the way he does because of a cork stuck in his sphincter ani, which prevents his vaporific dignity from being dispersed. The removal of the cork causes the individual to deflate, a process usually accompanied by a shrill whistle and the reduction of the outer envelope to a poor fleshless phantom of its former self."

I know it's a well written book, and there is much to think about after finishing it. But there were too many slow parts and there were too many names without introduction. Apart from that, Eco keeps digressing, and it's not so exciting after a while.
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01/29/2012 page 100
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