Andres's Reviews > The Name of the Rose: Including the Author's Postscript

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
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's review
Sep 25, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read from September 25 to October 15, 2011

This is my first Eco book and though it was a challenge at times it proved to be an interesting mystery solved by an interesting investigator at an interesting location in an interesting historical period involving that most interesting of objects: a book!

So yes, I thought this was a very fascinating (gotcha!) multiple-murder mystery. While the various, usually lengthy, discussions about historical, philosophical, or religious points slow down the story considerably, it does add to the atmosphere of the book because these were precisely the subjects that these particular kinds of people at this particular time were going to be discussing, and this helps to no end in establishing the characters as real people rather than just cardboard cutouts. I can't deny I skimmed certain passages but they were in the minority.

What helped immensely in better understanding the novel, though, was The Key to The Name of the Rose, a guide that not only translates all the non-translated parts (and there are MANY of these) but it gives thumbnail sketches of all the people, places, events, and concepts that are referred to throughout the story.

This is a challenging book to read, and really only those with the patience for its quirks (and the guide, maybe) will reach the end, but I suggest everyone who likes a mystery to give it a try. I just wish his other books had guides as well since a couple of them seem to need it too.

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Reading Progress

12/12/2016 marked as: read

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