Terry 's Reviews > The Name of the Rose

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
1262683
's review
Oct 18, 2013

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, historical-fiction
Read from October 04 to 18, 2013 , read count: 3

This is one of my 're-read often' books. The story of Adso and his mentor Brother William as they encounter the nefarious secrets of the abbey they have journeyed to somewhere in the heart of Italy is fantastic. Brother William is the unflappable, Sherlock-like investigator first asked by the Abbot to look into some mysterious deaths and then told to stop when he gets too near the truth. Driven by his hunger for knowledge, William attempts to see beyond the rumours of apocalypse and the presence of the devil to find the true human evil at the heart of the mystery.

Following William is his innocent companion, the novice Adso, who tells us this tale of his youth from the perspective of old age. In this tour-de-force by Eco we come across a motley crew of strange characters from the pitable and beastly Salvatore, and the urbane and pompous Abbot Abo to the driven zealot Bernardo Gui (an actualy historical figure painted in somewhat extreme colours by Eco). Woven into the mystery plot and panoply of characters is a dazzling mix of medieval politics and philosophy as the abbey is playing host to a meeting between rival theological factions: the Franciscans who hope to validate their beliefes and way of life in the midst of controversy and their enemies who hope to squash this rival group in its infancy.

To me, reading Eco has been an experience of diminishing returns, as each novel he has written seems to have fallen further and further from the heights achieved by this novel until I could not even finish _Baudolino_ due to its unreadability. That being said _The Name of the Rose_ is a classic and I highly encourage any and all to enter into its fascinating world.
27 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Name of the Rose.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

10/04/2013 marked as: currently-reading
10/18/2013 marked as: read
show 4 hidden updates…

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

s.penkevich Yeah, great book! Sad to hear you didn't like his others, I keep meaning to read another book by him but I fear nothing could ever compare.


Terry I actually really liked -Foucault's Pendulum-, and didn't mind -The Island of the Day Before-, but each one was progressively worse than the one before and nothing has ever equalled -The Name of the Rose-.


s.penkevich Ah, I was thinking Foucault for my next one. I suppose I haven't read much by anyone that reaches this peak.


Steve Agreed, Terry -- this is a great book. Excellent review, too. I hadn't realized that Bernardo Gui was a real person.


Terry Steve wrote: "Agreed, Terry -- this is a great book. Excellent review, too. I hadn't realized that Bernardo Gui was a real person."

Thanks Steve, I may add something or edit it after my current re-read, but I do love this book.

Yeah, I was intrigued when I found out in one of my undergrad classes that Bernardo Gui was real and we even read excerpts from some of his writings.


Kate Sherrod Consider giving The Prague Cemetery a chance sometime. It still doesn't hit the Rose/Pendulum mark, but it's the closest he's yet come to those early achievements.


Terry Kate wrote: "Consider giving The Prague Cemetery a chance sometime. It still doesn't hit the Rose/Pendulum mark, but it's the closest he's yet come to those early achievements."

Yes, I have it and from what I've read about it it sure does sound more like his earlier efforts than his later ones (which is all good to me)!


Mike I've read several of his and agree that The Name of The Rose is the best and most deserving of a re-read (I'm up to 2). (It is one of the best novels, period.)

Foucault's Pendulum is the hardest of the lot, with his later books being "lighter" and more flowing (like TNOTR). Nice review,Terry.


Terry Thanks Mike! Yes, 'Name' is definitely my favourite, though I really enjoyed my recent re-read of 'Pendulum' too.


back to top