Paolo asked:

Is Foucault's Pendulum a difficult read?

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J Yes, it's difficult unless you are a human encyclopedia like the writer.
Eric Martin Yes, very difficult. I had to force myself to finish this novel and it wasn't worth it. It starts out with a very gripping 75 pages or so before you hit an impenetrable mass of 700 pages where nothing happens. Then the last 200 pages are OK.
Joshua Not really, if you take notes on every character and historical figure while reading it, as well as keep Wikipedia open to look up various personalities and events from history. Then it moves down from "difficult" to "requires a lot of concentration".
Roberta Trevisan Marques de Souza No, I started this book last week (I'm on page 143 and I'm going to read today until 171), I think it's quite fun reading this. When I finish this, I'll tell more. =D
TerryLynn Melody I think it depends on your interests. Kabbalah, Quantum Physics etc. I did find myself doing a bit of research in some area's but once you get deeper into the book its entertaining despite your knowledge in those areas.
Fr C My overall impression on the book is that whether or not you're language freak, or a person highly educated on medieval themes, history and esoterism, the reading has quite situations in which every human can feel empathy, because one of the best things on this novel are both reflections and arguments from the protagonists and rest of the characters. If a reading helps you think and shows you so many things you probably didn't know before, most of the time it's a good one. At least in my case, now I see myself studying about the kabbakah and other topics I learnt with this marvelous novel.
By the way, I'm not a native english speaker. I read in spanish which was a very well done translation in my opinion.
Aldo Marchioni In the original language it is nearly impossible to read it. Not because of the subjects, but because of the language.
It is possible that in traslantions this is different, however.
For me, to finish it has been extremely difficult, it has been a painful agony until the last 100 pagess, more or less.
Predrag I think that today, reading this book is much easier, since all concepts are easy to decipher on Wikipedia. But to take you to read the more extensive literature.
Dreamer I actually didn't find it difficult at all. I was so intresting that all I wanted was to read one more page, and one more page. I finished it in only four days although it's pretty big. I guess it depends on if you like it or not.
Sotiris Krallis To be honest the first 100 pages were hard to understand as the book begins in media res. After this point it started becoming more interesting. After a while i couldn't stop reading in. By far my favourite book and best plot I have ever read.
Alberto D'amico I think this is the best book by Eco.
It´s fun, really fun, and it continuously entice the reader to learn more about what he/she is reading. Without a solid background, it may seem difficult to approach, but, in an era of fake news and conspiracy theories, usually supported by arrogant and gullible people, it is a refreshing read.
Ceylin Yes, it was extremely difficult to read. I cannot see the point in writing a "Novel" if you cannot simplify thoughts and issues - which i believe should be the gift of a writer. He could have written an academical book on the issue, mixing up all those details which most people are not familiar with at all.
Jennifer Yes, but it is becoming more engaging as I get further into the book.
Robert IMO, once you get through the first hundred pages or so, it gets easier. Once you get to the part about the two publishing houses. The final payoff of the book is amazing. I found it a lot easier the second time, and the third time was really able to appreciate the amount of occult research Eco had done to write this book. Even if he clearly didn't believe a word of it :-)
Tobias Somewhat. You don't have to understand all, or even most, of the references to enjoy the book. You probably have to find them fascinating, but if you don't find the topic of a book interesting, why read it at all? I was nineteen when I read it first time and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Marlin Forbes No, I thought it was very accessible, compared to some of his other works.
Maureen Carden I worked in a small library when I first read this back in 1989. I did a bunch of research with it, wrote it up and included if with the library's copy. I figured not too many small town Mississippi readers would be familiar with some of the organizations mentioned. Nowadays-pshwaw-who hasn't heard of the Knights Templar or Rosicrucians etc.
Jenny Nielsen It depends on how well read you are when you start. If you've written a thesis about the middle ages, it's an easy read. If you've never studied anything more advanced than a high school textbook, it's a bit of a workout and will require lots of secondary resources or google to keep up.
Nageen It is not difficult, just quite extensively academic. I am done with 60% and considering I am an art history freak, even I find this over written with too much esoteric references. I was googling everything I did not know however now I am mostly reading and making sense of it without the aid of the internet-there is so much in here regarding the Templars and Kabbalah.
Cassandra Kind of. It certainly took me ages - more than a week, and I had to keep stopping to read other books because it was too much. But it's certainly interesting, and you can kind of skim read some of the research, especially near the beginning.
I'm referring to the English translation, it could be different in other languages.
Oliver Kann The first 5 or 10 % is. But let this part not scare you too much.
At first you can’t comprehend what all this information is needed for. It’s some sort of introduction to the story and its theme. Actually it is not that hard to read as many parts from “Ulysses” or “In search of lost time”…Anyway, after this part the book gets easier to read.
But one more thing, the book contains a lot of historical material which could be difficult or a bit boring to read. Again though, it is as lightly presented as it is possible to present the historical material.
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