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La Mystérieuse Flamme de la reine Loana
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La Mystérieuse Flamme de la reine Loana

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  9,191 Ratings  ·  777 Reviews
Qui est Yambo ? A l'issue d'un coma, il a tout oublié, sa famille, son métier, son passé, ses amis, son enfance, les femmes qu'il a aimées... [...] Comme dans un jeu de piste, la mémoire de Yambo n'est d'abord que le souvenir des choses lues. Ensuite, grâce à une mystérieuse flamme qui le parcourt quand il touche au plus profond de sa vie passée, il retrouve quelques étape ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 563 pages
Published October 25th 2006 by Le Livre de Poche (first published June 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Leore Joanne Green
I expected a lot from this book when I bought it, and I have to say that I was quite dissappointed.

I liked the lead character a lot, and the offset for the plot was excellent, but it seemed to me that he (Eco)didn't play around enough with all the possibilities which his character's situation allowed.
At Solara, the idea of trying to recover his history by surrounding himself with his childhood things was very appealing to me, but at some point I got sick of rummaging through old vinyl discs and
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana tells of an antiquarian book dealer who has suffered a stroke and lost all memory of the people in and events of his life. At the novel's outset, the protagonist, Yambo, begins the daunting work of trying to reinsert himself into the life he has forgotten. He finds that he does not recognize his family or closest friends, but can still appraise a 17th-century work of natural history. His only sparks of memory relate to books he has read. These come back to him ...more
Nov 04, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read every 449 pages of this book... and feel like I wasted a lot of time. This book needs SO MUCH editing. The premise and some of the ideas presented had great potential for a very interesting story, however it fails in almost every way. There is no characterization, the story barely moves from page 1 to page 449, and there are many story lines which are left unfinished. 90% of the book is tedious description of dated material such as books, records, photographs, etc. which are suppose to ev ...more
I was about 150 pages into the book when I started feeling the way you feel when you're looking through stacks of photo albums with someone you don't really know, who's telling you very detailed stories about people you've never met and places you've never been -- people and places to whom you have no connection.

In the end, the concept of the book (which is what drew me to it in the first place) was what made it weak. People are interesting because of their experiences, their memories of them, t
Jul 28, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meta, own-currently
This book really disappointed in the end, after giving a fairly fascinating glimpse of the culture of an Italian childhood under Fascism. I was enjoying the plot and then suddenly it ends in this inexplicable way, as if Eco suddenly got horribly sick of writing the thing. I'm keeping it for the gorgeous color reproductions.
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: interesados en la Segunda Guerra Mundial a quienes no les importen los spoilers
Tengo opiniones encontradas con respecto a este libro. Por un lado, me encantó. Por el otro, me produjo incomodidad. Había leído una entrevista en donde Eco afirma que esta es su novela menos erudita, pero a medida que iba pasando las páginas, lo único que veía era una admirable complejidad (que siempre se agradece, como suelo decir). Por ende, dejé de creerle.

La misteriosa llama de la reina Loana tiene como protagonista a Yambo, un hombre que pierde la memoria pero conserva un conocimiento en
Nov 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: multiple-reads
The beauty and richness of Eco's language is as good as it gets in this book. Every sentence was a work of verbal art. The language sang, to me. I was awed by its power. Truly a great novel.

This man, a failure since birth, not only reads, he also writes. I could write, too, could add my own monsters to those that scuttle with their ragged claws across the silent sea floors. That man ruins his eyes over pages on which he sets down his obsessions in muddy ink from inkwells whose bottoms ar
Mar 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
L'Eco dei ricordi

Quando lessi questo libro una decina di anni fa, mi affidai a una visione panoramica dell’insieme. E mi piacque. Riletto adesso, e aggrappandomi a una visione panoramica dell’insieme, mi piace.

Dare lo stesso giudizio a un libro, a distanza di dieci anni, è quasi sconfortante per un lettore medio forte, convinto di evolversi continuamente in una maturità letteraria che va di pari passo con le sue letture. Se non fosse, che in questo caso, riesco a percepire quei dettagli per cui
Rick Davis
Dec 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
This was not as engrossing as The Name of the Rose and not as complex as Foucault's Pendulum, but The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana hit me harder and at a more personal level than Eco's other books. The theme is nostalgia and personal identity. Through Yambo's amnesia, Eco explores the way in which we construct our identities through scraps from our past: what books we've read, movies we've seen, music we've heard, experiences we've had. It also shows that what we choose to forget and how we c ...more
The premise of this book is that Yambo, a rare book dealer, has had some sort of illness that has caused amnesia. He doesn't recognise his wife and children but he can remember the capital of Madagascar, the dates of famous battles and endless quotations from literature. He is obsessed with quotations about fog and compares his mental state to thinking through a fog. So far so good. Up to a point, I found his situation quite interesting.

As part of his recovery process, Yambo goes to the family e
Sonia Gomes
Feb 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Persons who like books about Second World War
Recommended to Sonia by: Got it from a Library
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
Author: Umberto Eco
Translator: Geoffrey Brock

It has a been a long time since I have read “The Name of the Rose’ it is one of the most fascinating books. Since then the Catholic Church and its politics have intrigued me. So when I got ‘The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana’ I was thrilled, would it be like 'The Name of the Rose’ so beautiful, so intriguing?
No it wasn't, or was I missing something.
The reviews that I read mention it as deep, a profound meditation,
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: love-it
This is the first book that I did not completely mangle in my comings and goings from work. The pages are still crisp and the cover has not fallen off. I consider this an accomplishment, because for me, the sign of a good book is one that is beaten up and dog-eared. I LOVED this novel. It is the first Umberto Eco book that I have read and it was a delight to read.
The main character, a very loveable Italian gentleman named Yambo awakens from a stroke to find that his personal memory bank has been
Sarah Archer-beck
I'll admit that I was initially drawn to this book because of the great pictures - reproductions of pop culture media from the 30s and 40s. I have liked previous books by Eco as much for their interesting plots as for their philosophical ruminations. Unfortunately, this book was really short on an interesting story line and seemed to be purely a vehicle for Eco to riff on the themes of memory, identity, childhood in wartime Italy, and whatever else occurred to him.

The first section of the book,
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sixty-year old rare book dealer Yampo wakes up in a hospital in Milan after a stroke with only one aftereffect a complete loss of his personal memory. He can remember every line of every book he ever read, but does not know who he is, who his wife and children are, what he looks like, what he feels like (he has no memory of what his skin feels like) in short, his whole personality is gone.[return][return]What follows is a journey for Yampo into recovering his past. The process of recovering his ...more
Melissa Mann
Dec 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rounded up 3.5 stars...

As a translator, I am confident in stating the problem with translation is translation. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana is meant to be read in its original and by those who truly appreciate pop culture and memories thereof. The words are well translated into English; the ideas are adapted properly to English; the strain lies in this: Latin-based language speakers culturally use five sentences where an English-speaker would use one. Normally, this is not a problem; we
Jean Tessier
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leisure
My other favorite author. Usually not an easy read, but you end up less stupid for it.

The main character lost his memory and relives his childhood by examining the litterature he was reading as a child in fascist Italy: comic books, translated novels, fascist propaganda. It is a very good look at a fascinating world. Later, when the main character regains his memory, he takes stock of his life and looks at how his life was shaped by patterns and events in his youth and teenage years.

I was a litt
Marius van Blerck
May 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a recent diet of rather good thrillers and mysteries, I decided to try Umberto Eco’s most recent book, for a change of pace. A change it most definitely was – the pace of Queen Loana is decidedly slow (occasionally practically coming to a standstill), the tale intriguing, the atmosphere foggy and the concepts challenging. I "read" the audiobook and George Guidall (whom I will always associate with the narration of "Crime and Punishment") narrates this work in exactly the right manner. I ca ...more
Feb 14, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007, didntlike
I was so disappointed, just kept reading because I thought it had to somehow be fantastic (I absolutely loved name of the rose) but actually got worse. I loved the initial concept of a man who can suddenly only remember all the books that he has read, and all the graphics were really interesting, but for me it just fell flat. The story wasn’t enough and I didn’t particularly enjoy the writing either.
Алена Tалапіла
Я дачытала гэтую кнігу з другой спробы. Першы раз ледзьве прачытала старонак дваццаць, другі раз - праглынула за два дні.

Самае важнае для мяне ў гэтай кнізе - дзяцінства героя ў фашысцкай Італіі, настойлівыя пытанні: я верыў у прапаганду? я любіў дучэ? у што верыла мая сям'я? І мне цікава было разам з героем разблытваць гэты клубок.

Дзякуючы гэтай "мемуарнай" частцы я і стаўлю чатыры зоркі, нягледзячы на псіхадэлічны фінал.
Manuel-Antonio Monteagudo Gauvrit
"The one about comics".

That's how I knew this Umberto Eco novel before I got a chance to read it.
After finishing it, I realize it is more about nostalgia, and childhood in fascist Italy, than an ode to graphic novels. However, the parts dedicated to comics and pop culture are particularly touching and well thought out.

Despite it being nice summer reading, it is a minor book in Eco's library. Although it is a pleasure to read, the rythm is quite uneven. A must for Eco addicts like me, but not a
One of the few books read in the last 25 years that has earned a place on my list of all-time favorites. Such a rich exploration of memory and our relationship to our own past, via the story of an older (but not yet elderly) rare-book dealer who loses and gradually regains his memory of his life.

Memory has always been an important theme for me; likewise, the ways in which our childhood and young-adult experiences shape us. This book is itself bound up in memories for me. I bought it in Prague an
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tender, nostalgic, and at times painful account of an amnesiac old bookseller's attempt to recover his life's memories, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana reads as though it could quite possibly be Eco's own memoir. Certainly, details have been changed to protect the innocent--our protagonist Yambo did his dissertation on the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, while Eco did his on aesthetics in the Middle Ages, for example--but these are mere cosmetic details. Eco is at an age now where he can clearl ...more
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Umberto Eco is always prone to uncontrollable wordiness but the reader is usually compensated by the fascinated plot, complex characters, and general atmoshpere of his books. It is also generally the case that when Eco goes off in a tangent, it is to show off his knowledge in history and symbolism which personally I find interesting.

This books is an exception. It preserves the charactistic verbosity of the author bu the plot fails to become gripping or evolve in any significant direction. Also t
Jan 31, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to agree with most of the other reviewers - I had high expectations for this book based on both the concept and my experiences reading Eco's other works, but in the end I was disappointed. I actually came across the book on my shelf a few weeks ago and remembered reading it part-way through last year. So I thought I'd give it another try. I skimmed until I found where I left off, and tried to continue. After a while I realized I recognized what I was reading and skipped ahead. This happen ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
A bookseller wakes from a coma with no memory of his life, and the only frame of reference he has for any conversations are direct quotations from books he has read. He journeys to the home he used to spend summers in to try to uncover the truth about his past.

While an interesting premise, this book has major tedious moments. Anyone with an interest in obscure Italian fascist literature should read this. He includes entire songs, book covers, and comic books that the main character encountered a
Christopher Bennett
First of all, I like Umberto, and I think he's an intellectual superstar.
But I don't think he's a great novelist, and this book is why. This book was trying to swallow an enormous amount of philosophical pondering that is only barely sugar-coated by narrative. Really hard to take in, worst was the 50 pages of random literary and philosophical associations littering the beginning of the book.
The only reason this gets 2 stars is I liked all the historical anecdotes from Italy in the 40's and 50's
As most reviewers noted: an interesting general concept (is person a summ of his memories and experiences or something more) a few interesting ideas but not much more. The rest is painstakingly detailed description of 30s and 40s Italy ephemera. I can't stress this enough, it is stunningly full of details about comic books, radio programs, bycicles and other stuff I can't make myself care about.
Gec olsun guc olmasin, kitabin Turkce degerlendirmesi icin:
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Umberto Eco was an Italian writer of fiction, essays, academic texts, and children's books, and certainly one of the finest authors of the twentieth century. 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 pe ...more
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“It was awkward, revisiting a world you have never seen before: like coming home, after a long journey, to someone else’s house.” 25 likes
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