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The Name of the Rose

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  328,539 ratings  ·  10,108 reviews
The year is 1327. Benedictines in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glis ...more
Paperback, First Harvest edition 1994, 536 pages
Published September 28th 1994 by Harvest Books (first published 1980)
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Mark Koster Absolutely! It's a murder mystery in the 1100's with monks, what's not to like? :) The book is slow paced, but incredibly well written. Make sure your…moreAbsolutely! It's a murder mystery in the 1100's with monks, what's not to like? :) The book is slow paced, but incredibly well written. Make sure your version has an explanation of all Latin terms in the back. First time I read the book, I never noticed the section until I finished the book :)(less)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  328,539 ratings  ·  10,108 reviews

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Apr 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
Eco's writing is so infectious, lively, and likeable that I thought it appropriate to pen my review in his style.

1. In which I, as reader, feel used.
Yes, I'm almost certain Eco wrote this thing for the sole purpose of informing us of how knowledgeable he is of the finer points of monastic orders, book trivia, and medieval philosophy.
Knowing most would not put up with this crap for 500 pages, he wisely chose to interrupt his many digressions on poverty, heretics, whether or not Jesus laughed, Ar
(A-) 84% | Very Good
Notes: A medieval Sherlock Holmes manages sectarian politics and investigates serial murders in a dense but effective read.
Go ahead, throw your tomatoes at me!

I know that in general this book is loved. Many count it amongst their favorites. I found it very dull and very boring. I had an extremely hard time staying interested in the story, which is weird for me and mystery/suspense stories. Never have I fought so hard to finish a book (in general, I do not DNF).

So, if you couldn't stand it either, let me know that I am not alone.

For those that loved it and are ready to launch rotten produce at me:

Ahmad Sharabiani
(Book 293 from 1001 books) - Il Nome Della Rosa = The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco

The Name of the Rose is the 1980 debut novel by Italian author Umberto Eco.

It is a historical murder mystery set in an Italian monastery, in the year 1327, an intellectual mystery combining semiotics in fiction, biblical analysis, medieval studies and literary theory.

It was translated into English by William Weaver in 1983.

In 1327, Franciscan friar William of Baskerville and Adso of Melk, a Benedictine novice t
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the biggest novels in the 80s. I remember the book very well. A crime story set in a monastery with much Latin and Greek and some dubious monks trying to solve some murder cases. The denouement was brilliant. The whole story was absolutely outstanding (the lost book on comedy) and extremely sophisticated. So much wisdom and philosophy in one novel. It's very seldom that you come across a book like that. There is also a famous movie with Jean Connery as William of Baskerville but ...more
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: YOU!
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Ypsi John
This is one of those rare near-perfect books that crosses through many genres and could be universally acclaimed. There are dozens of great reviews on here already, but this book struck me as so profound that I felt I needed to briefly put down my own thoughts. I could not bring myself to put this down and it was always a battle to not skip work and continue reading in the parking lot after lunch break. Eco crafts a novel that could be labeled as historical fiction, mystery, theology and philoso ...more
Vit Babenco
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Are all the libraries receptacles of knowledge? Are all the books vehicles of wisdom? Are all the librarians propagators of good?
“Which books?”
Benno hesitated. “I don’t remember. What does it matter which books were spoken of?”
“It matters a great deal, because here we are trying to understand what has happened among men who live among books, with books, from books, and so their words on books are also important.”
“It’s true,” Benno said, smiling for the first time, his face growing almost radian
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: For those who appreciate complex historical fiction
Recommended to Lawyer by: Goodreads group "Literary Explorations"
"The Name of the Rose" is not a book to be picked up lightly with the expectation that you, the reader, are about to embark on a traditional work of historical fiction. Umberto Eco expects much from the reader of this book. Almost immediately the unsuspecting reader will find himself dropped into the midst of the High Middle Ages, a society completely foreign for the majority of modern readers.

In historical context, the story occurs during the time the Papacy had moved from its traditional locat
Jason Pettus
Mar 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read a hundred so-called "classics" and then write reports on whether or not I think they deserve the label
Book #7: The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco

The story in a nutshell:
In one of the more fascinating stories of how a novelist was first drawn to his profession, scholar
Apr 23, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
“The Name of the Rose” is a horribly pretentious, pedantic, verbose “novel”. And it stinks too!

Under the guise of a medieval mystery Umberto Eco has written a diatribe on philosophical ideas (and not presented all of them accurately) in order to impress upon the reader how very smart he is indeed. Characterization, moments of human reality & truth, and most importantly accessibility to the reader are clearly repulsive ideas to Mr. Eco.

I can sum up the book, which takes place at a monastery in no
Apr 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If I had to spend a year on a desert island and was only allowed to take one book, this would be it.

At the time of its publication, one reviewer described `The Name of the Rose' as "a book about everything". At first glance, it may seem to be a book largely about obscure Fourteenth Century religious controversies, heresies and sects, with a murder mystery mixed in. But this is a book that rewards repeat readings (I've just finished it for the seventh time), and the heart of the novel is in its
Forget Christopher Hitchens. Away with that Richard Doggins guy. For a truly penetrating look at religion and atheism, Umberto Eco, he da man.

The Name of the Rose is a profoundly nihilistic book. It is ostensibly a book about a murder mystery: A man, a monk rather, Brother William, arrives with his assistant, Adso, at an abbey high in the Italian Alps. A murder has been committed, and Brother William will apply reason and logic—a Sherlock avant la lettre—to deduce the murderer. Or does he? He d
Kevin Neilson
Apr 27, 2010 rated it did not like it
What a didactic, tedious, prolix piece of trash! Eco writes whole paragraphs in Latin and then leaves them untranslated, because he's such an awesome polyglot that chicks want to do him. Readers are also expected to know Dutch. Eco likes to hear himself talk, too. Want to hear pedantic 14th-century theological arguments that stretch on for pages and have nothing to do with the plot? You've got it! Want a lame Dan Brown mystery, with the same stilted dialogue, but embellished with entire chapters ...more
I was attracted to The Name of the Rose some years ago when I learned that its story is centered on a medieval mystery set in an Italian Abbey. Now, I'm quite a fan of the mystery genre and I love history. Hence it went onto my "to read" pile. But it was there for quite some time, almost forgotten. But two years back, I visited the Melk Abbey, and I had a vague recollection that I've got a book in my collection that had some reference to the Abbey. Back at home, a quick search made me realize th ...more
Nandakishore Mridula
This is one humdinger of a book - medieval history, Gothic noir and classic whodunit rolled into one. It's very slow - but taking your time to read it slowly provides rich dividends, IMO. This is a book to be savoured.

Brother William of Baskerville - the name, as well as his appearance marks him as a sort of medieval Sherlock Holmes - is the detective par excellence, and Adso of Melk is the perfect Watson. The story unfolds in the fashion of the classic mystery. The secret, when it is revealed,
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I remember discussing Aristotle's Poetics at university, and the whole class started a major digression on Umberto Eco because he had that genius idea of pretending that the part where he analyses comedy isn't lost to the world.

In our idealistic young hearts, we all hoped against hope to find a manuscript (not poisoned by a monk without a sense of humour, though) like that, and to be able to build our academic fame on it.


Our professor took the idea apart, of course.

"It is absolutely bon
Jul 23, 2007 rated it liked it
I had wanted to read The Name of the Rose for a long time, mostly because I enjoy both fiction and non-fiction about the Middle Ages, and also because of its importance as a piece of modern Italian literature. Although I liked it for the most part, I have to admit that it disappointed me in many ways. As a mystery novel, I was expecting it to be a fast-paced page-turner, whereas in reality The Name of the Rose is very slow and ponderous. I appreciate the attention to detail and the minute and ac ...more
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This novel belongs to the few ones which I reread at least twice yearly. It;s one of the best novels ever written. I've been the admirer of The Name of the Rose for many, many years now, and I remember reading it for the first time when I was in high school. I reckon I didn't understand much then regarding the dispute which is the theme around which this novel revolves. Now, with every read, I discover something new... what could any reader expect more from a novel? ...more
A surprising novel, masquerading as a piece of historical fiction, all very proper inside its fake framing narrative, but also managing to be a spoof murder-mystery.

The main character is William of Baskerville who has a Watson like side-kick. He may not use cocaine but he does eat 'certain herbs' and some of his description is lifted from that of a famous resident of Baker Street. And wait, a isn't a monastery with it's hidden conflicts, somewhat isolated from everyday life, and desires awfully
Murder mystery/philosophical and theological debate set in a labyrinthine library? Yes please!

A cursory glance at the reviews for Eco’s most famous work shows that people seem to either love or hate “The Name of the Rose”. I can definitely see how it’s not a book for everyone: the writing can feel pompous, with Eco working his best to emulate the medieval writing style such a manuscript would have been written in, the sometimes confusing time markers, the random Latin or French bits, the long mo
6.0 stars. On my list of "All Time Favorite" novels. This incredible book is the newest entry onto my list of favorite novels of all time. Reading this book was a one of a kind literary experience that I highly recommend everyone experience. The basic plot of the novel is an excellent murder mystery set in an Italian monastery during the 14th century and featuring an excellent "Sherlock Holmes" type character named William of Baskerville. As good as the basic plot is, the real essence of the sto ...more
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indispensable
Truth illusory

Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose can rightly be called the literary equivalent of a shrewd smuggling operation. Surreptitiously sailing under the banner of what seems at first glance to be a traditional – and thus holding the promise of mass appeal - detective story, the recently deceased Italian semiotician clearly is reaching for a far more rich tapestry of genres – some tropes of which maintained, others slightly subverted - and themes. In fact, he himself admitted as such, on
Manuel Antão
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1989
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Stat rosa pristina nomine: "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco

"Stat Rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus"

In "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco

As a novelist Eco blends the style of Arthur Conan Doyle with that of Cervantes in a most intellectually entertaining way but with surprising heart, also. It makes me keen to explore the labyrinth of his philosophy, which seems to exist in a realm of its own immune from the tedium and d
Lynne King
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
20 February 2016 - Umberto Eco died yesterday. Sad. May he rest in peace and may the gods be with him.

I have read some rather amazing books this year but upon reflection this has to be the best.

Apart from being a gothic thriller set in the late fourteenth century in a monastery, the structure and style of the work is exceptional. I really wish though that I had not seen the film with Sean Connery because every time Brother William of Baskerville philosophized or even asked a somewhat ordina
What more can I say about The Name of the Rose, besides adding that I loved it?
“Until then I had thought each book spoke of the things, human or divine, that lie outside books. Now I realized that not infrequently books speak of books: it is as if they spoke among themselves. In the light of this reflection, the library seemed all the more disturbing to me. It was then the place of a long, centuries-old murmuring, an imperceptible dialogue between one parchment and another, a living thing, a
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
It is wishful thinking on my part that my review would capture, firstly, and then later, the mood of my bewilderment and disappointment respectively. The Name Of The Rose is an ode to ignorance. As the saying goes, never attribute to malice what can be attributed to ignorance. This medieval tale doesn't feel like a contemporary book, which is the aim of most historical fictions.

For much of the beginning, politics and theology dominate the proceedings. As this story is a mystery at its heart, i
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medieval-mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Constantina Maud
Watching Rai 1’s recent adaptation of this gem of a book got me in a revisiting mood.

A fair twenty years ago, this novel wouldn’t have fallen in my teen hands had it not come as a gift from a friend. And then, as if out of nowhere, a crime mystery story coming to life among medieval monasteries and philosophical debates, had me, not really a crime fiction aficionado, drawing sketches of the infamous labyrinth library, as if I was William of Baskerville’s sidekick along Adso.

Thank goodness for th
We more readily remember the film than the book, and today I admit that the two mix, but I enjoyed both so much!
Eco's writing is very erudite, detailed, but still pleasant to read; the delicacy of the descriptions (architecture, characters, books) is an absolute pleasure.
We are in an absolute thriller with suspense, intrigues, and an investigator as fine as mysterious, a closed and scary world!
Dec 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, history, mystery
This book is both astonishingly difficult and extremely rewarding. I had six years of Latin in middle and high school and have taken a course on medieval philosophy and I still found this one both challenging and satisfying. Anyone willing to put the work in is going to adore this one.
WARNING, however: this is not a trashy medieval-conspiracy novel. This is not a thriller. It is an excellent book and a perfect mystery, but it is still set in the 14th century and all of the characters are still m
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Umberto Eco was an Italian writer of fiction, essays, academic texts, and children's books. A professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, Eco’s brilliant fiction is known for its playful use of language and symbols, its astonishing array of allusions and references, and clever use of puzzles and narrative inventions. His perceptive essays on modern culture are filled with a delightful sen ...more

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