Todd Johnson's Reviews > Foucault's Pendulum

Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
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Dec 19, 08

bookshelves: italy
Read in December, 2008

When people asked me what this was about, I would say something like, "It's sort of a cerebral version of The Da Vinci Code." And then I would think, "Christ, if I overheard anyone else saying that, I would hate him immediately."

In the end, the description works better than any other one sentence I've come up with. Feel free to want to punch me, if that suits you.

One big difference is that Eco's book doesn't suck. It is, at times, still a freewheeling romp. But instead of flagellants chasing people with guns, the action is in the form of people reinventing history. The action basically takes the form of people making fun of the same characters who Dan Brown attempts to make terrifying.

Most importantly, though, Eco is a great writer. Every 10 or 15 pages there will be a whole paragraph that is so well put together it makes you giggle.

For me, the middle of the book was a bit slow. I enjoyed the word games and twisting of history, but 400 pages of it is a lot. On plotting and execution of story, the book is a three. But I'm bumping it up one for the occasional sparkle of the writing.
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