Sandra
Sandra asked:

has anyone read this book? I think i saw it as a movie back in the day...does anyone know if it is a compelling read??

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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 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 :)
Pontos Calling it just a murder mystery would be doing injustice to the vast expanse of knowledge and tradition of thought that Eco compels his readers to submerge in his book. Yes, as many have observed, including the author, it could be the 'entry point' to the book -- the suspense could take the reader forward in what otherwise would be only a polemical book. But it is definitely an entry point for the uninitiated (me, for example) to the Medieval European history and Catholic Philosophy. The book is ridden with references and the fact that it came after the advent of postmodernism, makes it further interesting and often humourous, which is also an important aspect of the plot.
'The Name of the Rose' is also quite pertinent in the contemporary world, to understand the politics, through the effort of reading between the lines, or signs in this case. Methinks.
Although I haven't yet watched the screen adaptation, Eco himself didn't quite like the film, naturally so, since it couldn't capture the intricacies too well. But they shouldn't be compared in the first place.
Also, yet another great achievement by William Weaver.
Zaira Wardrope Some people believe that Aristotle wrote two books about Methaphysics, only one came to our knowledge. The other one disapeared. Umberto Eco tells us what could have happend to it. I found it absolutely brilliant.
Per Henrik Just finished the book. A monk modeled on Sherlock Holmes uses logic and rational reasoning to find a killer in a community where most things are explained by saying: "because God".
Fascinating, but some perseverance is required since the book is as much about the age it is set in as it is about the murder mystery.

The movie absolutely misses the point. It is as if they made a movie based on the synopsis of the book.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book even while just having seen the movie.
Ioana Stoica It's one of the best books I've ever read. Not the easiest to read, but definitely a masterpiece.
Nadia Its a slow start but well worth the perseverance. There are so many meaty philosophical arguments, you are bound to find a few that interest you. I didnt have a copy with the Latin translation, it would have certainly added to the experience.
Josh Go for it. It has so much underlying code and philosophical depth. Some say it is too wordy, but for a novel set in an age with no cell phones or computers all they had were words...which is essentially what the book is about. Read it. Enjoy it. Hopefully it will be one of those books you just want to read again years down the road.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Check out a few of the dozens of reviews up there under the title blurb. That's what Goodreads is here for.
Andrea Compelling and hard.
At least in the original language (Italian)

Consider this :
- I think my Italian vocabulary is above average
- I've studied Latin for several years in secondary and high school
- I understand German and French to certain degree

... and still ...

I've read the book as quite young boy ( fresh in latin studies ), and twenty years later I've tried to "listen to" it ( actually while driving, for most of the time )

... and still ...

Quite curious to read the English version , it should have been a real hell for the translator.
David Pretty sure it's the best novel of all time. Did you read it?
Kumari de Silva It's a little bit of a hard read, it's not a cozy mystery like Agatha Christie - there are long asides, that you don't have to experience while watching the movie, where something is described or discussed of historical significance or philosophical important that you may not have expected based on watching the movie. If you are a history buff, you'll love it
Arthur Remarkable story made into a fine film that featured Sean Connery.
Nelsie Geografo Years back, I've read the book because I've watched the movie. The only one I think where I watched the movie first before I read the book. As much as I like the movie, I think the book got me deeper. I can understand why it would be difficult to read for others because there's a lot of details described in the book. But for me it is a fascinating read.
Samuel No, this book is really boring
E.Lurie I am reading the book now in the wonderful translation by William Weaver. I find myself fascinated and continually running to the internet to check the various characters, orders of monks and nuns. It's a world in which a powerful and rich Catholic Church seeks to consolidate that power by punishing anyone it deems a heretic and manipulating the faithful by lies and deceit.
Pat Agree that its simplistic to call this novel a murder mystery. Eco conducted considerable research to set up the medieval world of the novel. The murders are often set aside for debate that only medieval ecclesiastics could appreciate on issues that seem far removed from the 21st century. The debates however do raise questions about private property, the outsized power of corporations or other similar institutions, and how that power corrupts. The debates are set very much in those times, and its odd to me for the monks to try to justify the power of the Catholic church based on whether Christ was poor or not. These debates were life and death decisions as those on the wrong side would be branded as heretics and burned.
Sofiane Indeed! But the book is more interesting than the movie!
Rowena C. I've just started it (in anticipation of the television series that airs tonight, March 4th). It is a challenging read that tests your patience, but with the help of Litchart's summary and analysis, I'm finding it fascinating in regards to the history of the Catholic church in medieval Europe.
Lawrence
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Kathleen I read it years ago and all I remember is that I was very happy when I finished it. I did not find it compelling at all, but I see from all the other responses that I am in the minority.
Richard Watson It's an incredible read. You have to commit to it though. There are some long passages of intricate and seemingly irrelevant detail. The prose is beautiful though and well worth it.

When I read it the first time I did it in 3 nights and I was completely immersed. I've not really had the same experience with any other book.
Stoyan "Absolutely! It's a murder mystery in the 1100's "
In the 1300's actually!
Isabel Maria Matias Baeta Marques It's a very good book. Def on my top 10.
Vince Greensill Digesting this now. It is quite a piece. A careful approach to the reading and a companion list of translations to hand is a must unless you are classically educated and fluent in Latin.
Hate2beLate Yes :) I found it at a thrift store - or yard sale and once I started reading it I found it to be really good. I didn't know at the time it had been made into a movie.
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