Baudolino

May 15, 2008 at 9:03 am Leave a comment

Umberto Eco. I finished this a couple of weeks back, but I must admit it took me about six months to read. My thoughts of the novel are summed up in the sentence: it’s not The Name of the Rose. I loved The Name of the Rose. I found it utterly moving and compelling. I loved the way the story was encased by the monastery, and the relationship between the young narrator and the friar (read it so long ago that I can’t remember names… ah, Adso and William, thank you Wikipedia). The friar William seemed to me unutterably wise, and a lot of what he had to say I needed to hear at the time (I read it at Christmas, four and a half years ago, in Berlin, three months into my masters at York, the same time I read and adored Slaughterhouse Five). And I loved the thought of Aristotle’s lost work on comedy…

I enjoyed the beginning of Baudolino, but I got stuck three quarters of the way through. Eco doesn’t skimp on detail and ideas! The book hinges on the search for the kingdom of Prester John, with some forgery of religious relics on the side. It’s about the power of stories to influence political realities, and the way stories even hold power over those who make them up.

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Entry filed under: medieval, Umberto Eco.

The New Life My Antonia

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