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The Name Of The Rose [Paperback]

Umberto Eco
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 Nov 1992
The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate.When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey where extraordinary things are happening under the over of night. A spectacular popular and critical success, The Name of the Rose is not only a narrative of a murder investigation but an astonishing chronicle of the Middle Ages.

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The Name Of The Rose + Foucault's Pendulum + The Prague Cemetery
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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (5 Nov 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749397055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749397050
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 315,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The late medieval world, teetering on the edge of discoveries and ideas that will hurl it into one more recognisably like ours...evoked with a force and wit that are breathtaking" (Financial Times)

"A novel of sunning intelligence, linguistic richness, thematic complexity" (Il Giorno)

"This novel belongs with Voltaire' philosophical tales-in the entertaining guise of an erudite fiction story, it is also a vibrant plea for freedom, moderation and wisdom" (L'Express)

"A brilliant deconstruction of the traditional crime novel" (Iain Rankin Mail on Sunday)

"Whether you're into Sherlock Holmes, Montaillou, Borges, the nouvelle critique, the Rule of St. Benedict, metaphysics, library design, or The Thing from the Crypt, you'll love it. Who can that miss out?" (Sunday Times)

Book Description

The ground-breaking first novel from Umberto Eco - a murder mystery, an enthralling chronicle of the Middle Ages, a piece of biblical analysis and a stunning popular and critical success all at once.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsurpassed - a true modern classic 14 Dec 1999
By Nigel Collier VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
My favourite Eco novel and one of my all-time favourite books. I keep returning to this informed and wonderfully crafted story time and time again. It _is_ very dense but Eco's narrative style is so smooth and captivating that it's not at all intimidating.
Just like 'Foucault's Pendulum' with all its Hebrew, mysticism and Kabballah (which I love), if you don't like the incidental stuff (like the Latin) in Name of the Rose then just plough through it - and then savour the richness of the characterisation and the clever and meticulously dove-tailed intricacies of the plot which is unravelled at a perfect pace before you.
The basic story is pure Conan Doyle - with the aptly named main Holmes-esque character William of Baskerville being one of the most wonderful characters of any book I've read (on a par with John Le Carre's Barley Scott Blair - coincidentally both characters being played by Sean Connery in the movie versions of their respective books). Baskerville makes the same observations and inferences as the Victorian detective and even says, "elementary" as a playful reference to his fictional mentor (Eco has that sense of fun - like concluding that an encoded scrap of paper thought to hold the secrets to an ancient secret world order of Templars (in Foucault's Pendulum) was actually just a shopping list).
The other characters at the Monastery are utterly vivid, disturbing and grotesque - straight out of an Hieronymus Bosch painting. I really can't rate this book highly enough. Eco needn't be hard work, he does try and be clever (which, let's face it, he is.....very, very clever) but there's no need to get bogged down by the peripheral stuff and commentary if that's not your thing. If it is your thing then this novel will become one of the most cherished and well-thumbed items in your book case - just don't lick your finger when turning the pages.......(you'll need to read the book to understand that last comment).
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monastic murders make fine reading 25 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I can't recommend this book highly enough. The way Eco unravels the labyrinthine plot whilst evoking with such supreme stylistic clarity the intrigues, seductive heretical undercurrents and atmosphere of a time and a place unknown to us is little short of extraordinary - the late medieval world is given a forceful and remarkable immediacy that draws the reader in and focusses attention on every word. I'm aware that people have found the background detail and historical elements overly imposing and generally obstructing to the plot, and although I agree to a point ( Adso's description of the church door in one of the opening chapters goes on far too long and doesn't really add anything ) those who complain about things like the almost obssesive repetitions of the doctrines and actions of Fra Dolcino as slowing down the narrative miss the point a little, as without an understanding of this the revelations towards the end of the book seem a little disingenuous. Incidentally, the parallels between the library of the monastery and that of the library described in the Jorge Luis Borges story 'The Library of Babel' are worth noting, and the presence of a character named Jorge of Burgos surely can't be a coincidence. If this encourages more people to read Borges, then this can't be a bad thing. In conclusion, a book to be both savoured and revisited ...
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read! 10 Feb 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
People will probably either love or hate this book. Those expecting a straight forward medieval 'whodunnit' in the tradition of Ellis Peters might be in for a little surprize, as Umberto Eco adds a great deal of background information (history, theology, linguistics) to his murder mystery. For Adso, the narrator of the work, there is much more to discover than just the identity of the murderer.
I would also like to reassure readers, who might think that knowledge of Latin is essential to understanding and enjoying this work. It is not. A good grasp of Latin will add to the enjoyment, no doubt, but the casual reader can just skip through the quotations. What is given in Latin is background information, also making the work more authentic. However, nothing relevant to the actual plot is hidden from the reader who only knows vernacular languages.
All in all a gripping read, which will change the reader's perception of libraries for ever!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Convincing mediaeval reconstruction 22 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Eco purports to be presenting a now-lost mediaeval manuscript. His reconstruction is indeed convincing; many of the topoi and stylistic manners of mediaeval literature are deployed as one would find in a real work from the fourteenth century (and some, such as the interpolation of lengthy detailings of tiny items at crucial points in the action, are just as annoying as in genuine mediaeval literature). It is in the dialogue that the work shows itself to be clearly distinct from works of the C14th; but this is central to the modern novel, and Eco's combination of the two forms is very interesting. He brings to life many historical figures of whom we know almost nothing apart from the works of theology, philosophy, literature that they left behind: although some of Eco's reconstructions are individualistic, it must be said. Certainly, far more can be gained from this work with even a small amount of knowledge of the history that is played out in the background - the early chapters of J.R.H. Moorman's 'History of the Franciscan Order' come to mind; and for anyone who knows nothing of the mediaeval world, R.W.Southern's 'Making of the Middle Ages' - it's small, very cheap and brilliant.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't read if you just want a good crime novel - incredibly dull
I was unsure whether to leave feed back as I didn't actually finish the book. But this is feedback for people, like me, who don't like authors that write in four pages what they... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Elimb
3.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a present
Bought as a present for my daughter when she was tacking her Masters degree in English Literature and was one of the books she was required to read
Published 1 month ago by Mr F Pine
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
This is a fantastic book, evocative, thrilling, challenging.
A classic detective tale set in a mediaeval setting, uncovers the challenges of the monastic life.
Published 1 month ago by Gail Jones
2.0 out of 5 stars difficult to read
did wade through & parts i did find disturbing ...in between the religious terminology,i wanted to know who the murderer was ..this kept me going !! Read more
Published 2 months ago by eunice
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book
This is such a clever and well-written story. The descriptions are wonderfully written - I had such pictures in my head. Read more
Published 3 months ago by siouxie
3.0 out of 5 stars it was supposed to be new
It was supposed to be new, but I think it was old, it was probably hold on a shelf for years...
Published 3 months ago by Simone
4.0 out of 5 stars disappointed I didnt get the book from the picture
I ordered an used copy of the book. It was disappointing for me when I got an edition which had Shaun Conory on the front page, which totally ruined my imagination when I was... Read more
Published 4 months ago by nh
5.0 out of 5 stars Thriller
I saw the film and decided to read the book, which was even better than the film. The hard to understand Latin was - somehow -irrelevant.
Published 5 months ago by Mr Gerard Critchley
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enduring Classic
I recently re-visited this classic novel after a twenty year hiatus, and I have to say that age has not withered this magnificent novel. Read more
Published 5 months ago by The Reader Review
4.0 out of 5 stars So worthwhile
A book that is hard to get into - but don't give up when you meet pages of description that conspire to forgetting the plot!
Published 6 months ago by bren
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